Monday, April 25, 2011

I don't know how Prana does it?

But he just seems to get it right every time! Hope you had a Happy Easter folks! I celebrated with about the fastest left I have experienced on any type of wavecraft ever on the Tracker yesterday. Big "Whooot" at the end of that ride!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Here we go, the 2nd attempt! I managed to get a first session using DaFins the other day. They are made of a vastly softer material and are short and lightweight, in comparison to my UDTs, with skinny ankle straps that had me concerned they would not stay on my feet. Once I had them on, they were certainly comfortable and there was no need for fin socks but I still felt that the ankle straps were not assisting as well as they might to keeping my feet secure.
Out in the water, I felt like I had nothing on my feet and they definitely lacked the lazy raw power of the UDTs for cruising out to the take off spot. I also found myself reaching down to try to push them further on to my feet as the ankle straps just didn't feel like they had enough tautness to keep them on. It didn't seem to be a problem though and I got used to the sensation after awhile. I also had to change my kicking action, as they are much shorter, so it was back to a kick generated from the knee rather than the hip. I was also missing the length of the UDTs which allow one to more easily kick at the same time as well as arm paddle. As I was on the Tracker, DaFins were just not quite long enough to get properly into the water with out sliding further back on the mat which made it more difficult to arm paddle.
My take off procedure with the UDTs is to generate plenty of forward momentum and use some big porpoising kicks to get on to the wave. This procedure did not work for DaFins as they just did not have enough power to gain as much momentum so it was sit a little deeper and flutter kick like mad to get on the wave. This worked pretty well as they are quite wide fins but did result in considerable energy expenditure and it was probably a shorter session ultimately because of that. Once I was on a wave I seemed to be using the mat to maintain position on the face more than usual as I am in the not so useful habit of using the UDTs to assist. The DaFins were out of the water more and I was going faster so that was an added bonus. I really must start to get my fins out of the water if they are not needed 'cos I love that speed! When I did need to dip a fin, the fact that the verticals on the DaFins do not extend to the tip, meant they did not seem to provide the same degree of assist as the UDTs. Will I be using DaFins when I take out a mat in future? No, they just don't cut it for mat surfing in the way that the UDTs do. However, they are definitely better than my POD 2s so next time I take out a hand board DaFins will be on my feet along with some fin straps securing them to my ankles!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Surfing has shaped my life, mat riding has fine-tuned it.

I agree. Thanks Peter, where ever and whoever you are.

1976 5' 4" Twin Fin Merrin Air Mat

The Assyrians were the first............ think of riding on an air filled mat. Well, an air filled pig or buck or something of that nature! From a fascinating interview.

Happy Birthday to me..................

......and I celebrated in style with a damn fine session today on the Track Roundtail around the bay in the best conditions we have had for weeks. Off shore and riding the set waves which were peaking up very nicely thank you very much. I was sharing the clearly superior peak, to the one the gossipy masses were on, with only one other which made it all the more satisfying! It is a long, long, long walk around the bay so the character of the walk back is dictated by the success or not of the session. Today it was a pleasure and I had someone to rap to on the way. Awesome!

Snapshot view!

I reckon that the new dynamic views feature, particularly Snapshot, that is now available to us bloggers is a terrific innovation. There have been a few times when I have discovered a blog and read it through from go to wo which is laborious to say the least. Snapshot view allows one to get a good idea of what a blog is all about and interesting posts can be immediately read and snapshot view easily returned to. Just keep scrolling down and the posts keep appearing on and on, particularly useful if one is looking for a particular image. Mind you, you could be there for days scrolling through Surfmatters or Prana's blog for instance! But at least it would be for less days than the old method.