Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All is strangely quiet..............

..................in the matting world of late! Like the quiet hissing of a slowly deflating mat after another session or am I imagining it?
Well, I'm still stoked and busy learning more about this noble and ancient craft practised by a few wise and inquisitive all over this planet of ours.
As I have mentioned before, I am getting much more comfortable with a low inflation mat and am getting a better idea of when I need to change the inflation level relative to the prevailing conditions.
In the picture you will note that the conditions are particularly benign so the rider is able to perform the "Flying Blind" move on a very softly inflated mat left entirely to it's own devices with no rider input.
I have discovered that the Neumatic has a marvellous ability to slowly lose air through it's valve over a period of time or a severe thrashing resulting in one riding at an even lower inflation without realising it and I like that.
Getting out the back!
If there is no particular channel and I am required to work my way out through the shore break I quite often breath a bit more air into the mat as I can more easily move around on it and arm paddle if necessary. Another trick I use for getting out the back, for broken waves particularly, is to hold the mat above the breaking wave with my right arm and slip just under the whitewater. This works really well as the outstretched arm will accommodate quite a mass of whitewater and even if it is a bit more the mat is fairly easy to drag through in any case. If the wave hasn't broken I am still using the duck dive which I have now pretty well perfected on a mat.
Interestingly, I took my mat around the bay to 1st reef where I have once previously had a session on the mat which was not particularly satisfactory as there is no defined channel and a pretty consistent onslaught of broken waves until one gets out the back.
The same thing occurred again and I found myself on the reef so I high tailed it out of there back around to Pusies (rhymes with bus) where I know I can punch through the whitewater as there is at least a bit of a hole.
The other day I had a particularly jet propelled take off on a wave and I still don't quite know how it happened but I shot straight up to speed seemingly instantaneously. It must just have been the way the wave broke and my positioning on it as it certainly wasn't intentional but I would like to know how to make it so?
So the journey continues and there is never ever a dull moment!