Sunday, March 4, 2012

3 sessions and the advantage of square corners!

I have been in the drink for the last three days and will probably get in today and tomorrow too from the look of it. The conditions have varied the last 3 days from a crazy, lumpy, gray and forbidding, strong onshore to very pleasant sunny side shore conditions. So which conditions do you reckon I had the best rides? Nuh, the rather uninviting onshore day with a couple of particularly sweet rights and plenty of lesser rides to the left and right. All on my little lonesome too as usual as no one else bothered. Anyway yesterdays, conditions were the sunny side shore ones but there was a little too much swell coming in for the banks as they are at the moment. So I wasn't expecting much and decided on a session using the MT5 because the waves were pretty powerful.
I have to say that the Krypt is a very secure feeling mat to be on because of the generous square corners under the thighs and the squarish front corners which make the mat feel quite wide. My MT5 is the Mark I model so I have a little wax on the deck which works well. It always takes me just a little time to familiarise myself with MT's mat as the deck is much thinner than the 4GF heavier canvas deck. It is such a different experience riding a mat with a lightweight deck. It really does feel like a bubble of air and although it feels great to be on, I do find myself falling off the MT5 more often than a 4GF with the stiffer deck. The difference in weight is also pretty substantial too. The MT5 just a touch over 2 pounds(UK) and the Tracker almost 4 pounds(UK) when both are inflated to 90 degrees.
I tend to have the MT5 at a tight 90 degrees to start with and work from there. Every time I take it out I  understand it a little more about how to ride it. One of the reasons I had chosen it yesterday is when I was around the bay recently I had some issues setting the rail on the Standard for a clean bottom turn. Now I know the MT5 is stickier as I have experienced it and of course seen MT perform countless perfect carving bottom turns on his vids. I wanted to up my confidence level with the MT5 so as I feel more comfortable about taking it around the bay as the waves are more powerful and often hollower. Anyway, the conditions yesterday were pretty poor and basically it was drop and a quick turn across the face before pulling out through the back of the wave. (I remain amazed that one can actually do this on a mat!). There is no better mat (I have yet to try an 5GF) for performing the quick and precise carve than the MT5.
Those big square corners (a huge difference compared to the 4GF Roundtail Tracker next to the MT5 in the pic) at the back certainly seem to do the trick as it is incredible the way it will turn so well into a steep face. Returning to this quite long post, today's session was short due to the poor close out conditions and, as I was on the MT5 again, I amused myself by practising pulling straight in to the pit as soon as the take off allowed it. I added to the fun by dragging fins and arms to restrict the forward momentum as if setting up for the barrel and got mashed most of the time but good practice for when there is actually a barrel to head off into. I should ride this mat more often and having dropped a little more weight off recently will do so over the next few weeks as the conditions improve heading in to autumn in an effort to become more comfortable with flyweight, thin decked mats.

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