Yes, I have played a bit of cricket as a result of nine years captive in an Australian boarding school where there is little else to do but engage in some sporting activity!! In my case that meant playing tennis (many hours trying to perfect McEnroe's wonderful looping kick serve action), bowling at somebody in the cricket nets (they didn't call me Thomo for nothing), kicking a footy around (started that game too late at the age of 10 and only ever made the 2nd XVIII), swim team training (yep butterfly included) and finally and possibly most surprisingly shot put (which included dragging sections of bloody heavy ship's chain across the oval to gain more leg strength). I still have those legs too!
Anyway back to the central theme of this post.
The year started off with a bang as I pulled together a couple of videos of GG on Maui and made a slo-mo version also. Then it was discovered that Mark Thomson was trying to break a world speed record and that 4th Gear Flyer were experimenting with a mega-mat that allowed you to surf with a buddy! I had recently received a Neumatic from Dale Solomonson and he had provided some insights into mat riding in response to an email from me and I posted more of his comments on mat riding that I researched from Swaylocks here.
In May I pulled a groin muscle as my front foot slipped forward popping up on a longboard. I created the first of the "Surf mats and their riders" slideshows and another of ET, the only other West Aussie mat rider I have come across to date, enjoying a session at a break nearby. I also uploaded some footage of a session at Shipsterns in Tasmania featuring the iconic Aussie Blues band Bondi Cigar's Howlin' at the Moon as a soundtrack that has garnered nearly 26,000 views.
In February I bought a Surfoplane and discovered that you could ride them standing up!
In March I posted a pic of a painting of GG and discussed why I had decided to sell my boards.
In April, I turned 58, was disappointed with the DaFins that I had purchased and MT locked in!
In July, I went absolutely berserk and posted 14 times although that is a paltry effort in comparison to Prana's usual efforts. Anyway, one of the most compelling images of mat riding I had seen to date appeared, the sandbar at my usual haunt was breached providing a great wave for 2 weeks. I gave both the MT5 and the Standard a run, reviewed the Darkfin gloves, ordered a pair of Duck Feet fins in the wrong size and created the 2nd "Surf mats and their riders" slideshow. Whew!
In comparison to July, August was a poor posting month with my resorting to posting an image of a strawberry mat and some poor bastard with malleable eyes performing his favourite party trick. This was all because 2 weeks after the little A-frame that produced the great waves appeared, it went and disappeared leaving us with the ugly sight chosen as this month's image. I did get one unexpectedly good session though which was the highlight of the month.
September started interestingly with a post that ended with me espousing a new mantra "Ride like a dolphin!" Ummmm! Oh well. I created the 3rd "Surf riders and their mats" slideshow, another slideshow of MT on a very fine looking wave and a little off blog topic, posted a video of Ramsnake playing at a great outdoor venue. I was finally able to review the Duck Feet fins as they were the correct size and in a later post pronounced them the hands down best all round fin for mat riding that I had discovered to date. I also added a link to some interesting out of date mat related articles mat and showed off my quiver!
October saw the release of the best mat riding footage I have ever seen in Mark Thomson's Turbo Time II, a review of the Vespa Roundtail, my revelation about mat size and a generous donation from Tom Threinen for the out of print library.
In November I turn inventor designing and manufacturing a mat strap to carry my quiver. I finally find some green water again, MT's grandson learns to ride a jellyfish and I bag the 4th Gear Flyer UDT. Erik Schmahl demonstrates how to ride a mat without fins and off blog topic I post pics of the new veggie garden.
December is another eventful month where I again go berserk with 12 posts with one of them creating an unusual amount of vitriol! It started off fairly tamely with a couple of revelations although one of them did display an image of a mat rider who seemed to have attained a similar status to Hannibal Lecter by mid month in the eyes of some! No, no, no. The rider in the 2nd image. A very pleasant post showing a couple of the fairer gender delightedly enjoying sharing a wave on their mats in Hawaii did not provide any clue to what was about to erupt. I then created a 4th "Surf Mat riders and their mats" slideshow before offering you mostly fine people the opportunity to download a slo-mo version of Turbo Time II I had created before biting the bullet and splitting it here and here so as it could go on YouTube. It was then that Tremor Temchin alerted to me to the existence of 3 most informative videos that MT had made for the Wet Sand Surf Shop which I spliced together, uploaded to YouTube and embedded in a post. Clearly this was just to much for some. Neumatics-R-Us erupted, GG rang Paul, suddenly there was a flurry of interesting and informative posts on Surfmatters and Magic Carpet Ride was blogona non gratis! After the dust settled, there was a complaint in relation to having to pop up and a thumbs up for habit learning before we finished off the year on a high with Chad's beautifully edited little video!
I wish you all, yes everyone of you, a Happy, Productive and Magnanimous New Year!