Saturday, May 28, 2011

Getting so comfortable after a year

Yesterdays session was notable for the lack of waves and any that came through were closing out. I amused myself by taking off as early as possible on as high and oblique a line as I could but restraining the forward motion of the mat in an attempt to get in that momentary little tube that forms in the wave as it closes out. Not very successful but such a lot of fun. As I was hanging around waiting, I found myself reflecting on how completely differently I and the mat get on now since I first attempted to get on the Fatty and promptly fell off. At the time, it just seemed such an impossible object to deal with and the notion that one could actually catch a wave on it, let alone be thinking about attempting what I describe above seemed a nonsense. How a year can change the state of things! I feel less comfortable on a board now and ironically when I first get on one again after being on a mat it seems a clumsy object to deal with and the notion that one could catch a wave on it seems a nonsense. There is none of the feel and nuance that you get lying on a mat as it all just feels hard and unyielding. In comparison to a mat, catching a wave seems an overwhelmingly difficult and cumbersome task to achieve. I takes me a while to get used to not being able to feel what is happening in the water beneath me and when I am first up and riding I am find my self intently trying to feel through my feet what the heck is going on as the board interacts with the wave. All I can feel is a numbness so I give up!
Well one year down and I look forward to many more great rides and experiences on the mat.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cutback and highline!

I had a wonderful session around the bay a couple of days ago in perfect autumn conditions that we can often enjoy at this time of year. I was sharing, with only a handful of others, the not very frequent, but when they came along, sometimes well shaped and handily sized rights. There was plenty of face to enjoy and I got so far ahead of the peak on one of them that I had to perform a sizeable cutback in order to get back to the peak and carry on. A little like GG in the pic but maybe not quite as fast but fun nevertheless. The final wave of the day was a long ride requiring a cruise up to the highline to make sure I negotiated a section before kicking hard a couple of times to get on to a couple of most enjoyable reforms for 100 metres or so. Fantastic fun and these sessions sustain one so well until the next opportunity arrives.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Buggared groin!

Yes, you read that correctly. I have been out of the water for awhile now with a groin strain arising from me attempting the semi splits recently whilst popping up on my improperly waxed longboard. That exact little muscle pictured to the left! Of course, at the time, you don't feel like anything nasty has happened, but later on that evening? Excruciating pain and a very sleepless night! Now I have had this strain before but this was definitely a more acute case as following a few days off and feeling like it had righted itself enough I entered the water again, on a mat this time, and though I had a stellar little session around the bay, clearly  did way too much because I had a similar pain filled experience that evening. So I have given it a little longer this time apart from some forays in to the garden to wheelbarrow quite some numbers of loads of wood to burn out a large stump that is hindering my beloved's master plan for our block!
Anyway, I am feeling 98% normal today so am just a few minutes away from heading off to the beach and throwing myself rapturously back into the ocean on a mat of some design. Wish me luck my friends!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Surf mats and their riders!

Got a few minutes to spare? Here for your enjoyment are 181 images of surf mat riders and their mats from all over the world. I recommend you put on some music that you really like then sit back and enjoy this 14 minute showcase of mats and mat riding. I would like to acknowledge and thank all the artists and photographers who have created these images. You know who you are.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

ET in action!

Fellow West Aussie mat rider Eric enjoying a day out in some pretty reasonable waves nearby. He has promised to let me know next time he comes down so as I can bloody well enjoy it with him!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The sweet spot!

Having done the splits on my longboard the day before and tweaked a upper thigh muscle (which was incredibly painful during the first part of last night), I was forced (Oh, twist my arm then!) to take my mat out in small conditions that I would not normally do so. 'Twas a beautiful day and I knew it would be fine just to be in the water so, even though my expectations were not high, out I went. Anyway in the end I manage to get the requisite 3 rides constituting a successful session. The last was notable as it was small but shapely and reformed a couple of times for a most satisfying ride. Reflecting on the session a little later, as I often do, I found myself a little in awe of the modern surf mat's incredible ability to find the best part of the wave to be in if left alone to do so. I have experienced this behaviour on bigger waves also when the mat seems to stall unexpectedly after the take off before charging off again having placed itself where it bloody well prefers thank you very much you incompetent rider you!