A most interesting session today that included a regulation cover up. The swell is up, although very westerly, meaning it travels past mostly and the wind is resulting a very strong off shore effect. The swell was big enough today that the bank in front of the inlet was a little too intense looking for me let alone dealing with the wind to which one is far more exposed to in front of the inlet. My gauge as to whether I am likely to survive the experience on a mat is whether I would consider bodysurfing a particular break and if it is no, then I don't go there 'cos if I lose the mat, and with the wind the way it was a good possibility, it can be a difficult situation even with fins. However, there was a perfect looking smaller wave closer to the corner and local shaper Warren T was also pretty intrigued by it's possibilities. Unfortunately he has been mostly out of the water for the last 4 years getting his shoulders joints replaced so he was not prepared to go out but I was game. I took the Roundtail out initially and discovered just how well the wave was standing up as I involuntarily found myself power sliding, albeit in a fairly controlled fashion, much of the time. So I decided I should change mats, always a bummer to have to do, and made my way in, ripped off the fins and plodded back up the beach. I decided it was time to give the Standard another crack and so glad I did. Some people probably think I am mad having a quiver of mats but believe me they are all very different, and now that I am pretty familiar with their characteristics, it is wonderful to have enough knowledge now to be able to make a reasonably informed decision relating to which one might better suit the conditions. The Standard is certainly a wonderfully capable mat and immediately demonstrated how well it can hang in to the face whilst still providing enough mat for me to get on the wave early enough and if I didn't allowed me to grab a front corner and carve hard across the face. Really good stuff and as I said I definitely got a very reasonable cover up as well as some charging fast face time.
Get that quiver happening!