Sunday, October 23, 2011

I have some new moves to try!

Just need these waves and rather more mat riding skill to in order to do so! Absolutely stunning and hours of rerunning to watch and learn!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Big mat? Hmmm, no a small mat!

In a period when I am looking to try out bigger mats, yesterday's conditions were such that I assessed it would be best to take out my smallest mat, the 4GF Standard. As I was suiting up to go in, a grizzled older surfer, from a West Coast surf town it turned out, expressed surprise that I was entertaining the thought of going out at all as the conditions were not that flash but occasionally a good wave would come through. He was even more taken aback when he discovered I was going out on a surf mat and looked in disbelief when I said I would blow it up as I walked backwards in the shallow water to the rip that very usefully transports us out to the break. Well, he said, "I will be hanging around to watch this!" and I left him with Michelle explaining the finer points of why on earth anyone in their right mind would take out a surf mat. Anyway, I managed to put on a bit of a show, as I got the wave of the day, as it turned out, for my first ride. A ripplingly quick, long right allowing a nice carving cut back and in to a perfect little diagonal reform that took me almost all the way back to the rip. A local short boarder was on his way out as I kicked the rest of the way towards the rip, and most unusually for that breed of wave rider, was clearly impelled against his better judgement to comment that it was a good one alright. I am used to being ignored by those guys as they paddle away from me in the hope that they are not in anyway associated with the old guy on the blow up. I have a bit of a chuckle in the end though as it transpires I often get more successful rides than they do and they start to get a little inquisitive.
Grizzled surfer dude did hang around to watch as he was still sitting at the look out when I finished the session.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

4GF Vespa Roundtail review

I have managed to score two sessions on the Vespa so far. My first very immediate impression was that it was very similar to the Tracker to ride with a bit more of an ability to glide being a slightly bigger mat obviously. The waves were not very powerful so after that first session I am thinking yes I can use this mat for sure. Interestingly, I felt a bit more buggared than usual and I think that has to do with having to man handle a bigger mat. It certainly felt like I was having to push a bit more mat through the water so clearly there is a happy medium between flotation and size in terms of moving around the line up. For my height and weight, at this point in time, I think the Roundtail Tracker is probably the best compromise.
Today, the swell had a bit more push and some additional differences have come to light also. I have always ridden smaller mats than the Vespa and I have become accustomed, when necessary, to holding back the take off, to generate a steeper drop into a face to get a bit more speed up. Love doing that! Anyway, I think that riding the Vespa, I was actually getting on to the wave a little earlier and not always aware of it so my timing was just a little off. So I started to try to keep this in mind and felt a little happier with my resulting placement on the face. The other issue is that the Vespa starts to drift earlier and is harder to correct that. In one instance, so much so, that I ended up going backwards on one wave. It has been a very long time since that has happened to me. Although the Tracker is a roundtail too, it seems to be small enough to control the drift more easily with a bit of a rail squeeze and the fins whereas the Vespa is just a little too much mat to be able to control in the same way. One of the great features I love about the Tracker is it's ability to hold a high line and I have a feeling that it does that better than the Vespa too but this is mainly an intuitive feeling as I have yet to really test that theory. All in all though, a satisfying mat to ride and well worth considering adding to your quiver.
I have had one session on the UDT in really foul conditions so I am unprepared to say atop much about it until I get a chance to try it when the set up is more amenable.  Except to say that there is an awful lot of mat to deal with and it is a big bloody thing to push through the water!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Greenough article - thanks Tom!

Hi Ramsnake!

Here's another out of print magazine article about George Greenough you can add to your collection.
This is an interview with GG written by Drew Kampion and  published in the August 1978 issue of Surfing Magazine.
I worked at Surfing Mag then, and had a hand in putting this article together.
I was a kneeboarder back then and a follower of all things George. Hope you enjoy the story.

Tom Threinen