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.