Friday, April 27, 2012

That's a nifty little thing you've got there!

It is so rare that anybody ever says anything to me about mat riding. So it was pleasant to have the title of this post thrown at me as I walked back up the beach after the session yesterday.
My reply you ask?
"Yes, a little more sophisticated than a surfboard".
Not quite sure where that came from but it seemed to be freely accepted and damn it felt good! I guess it had been clear that the 4GF Standard and I were handling the slightly challenging conditions a little better than the hard board brethren that also shared the peak. In fact one of them happened to mention during the session, that he had a better time yesterday when the swell was a little smaller and the waves were not quite so fast and critical. Today, there were also towering sets regularly making their way through the line up resulting in a degree of mayhem. It was fun for me.
I am comfortable going left or right as I have always surfed beach breaks. But I seemed to be having some issues going left during the session and it left me wondering if I am doing something different to when I go right. So much of the art of catching and riding waves is instinctive. Going right I am automatically manipulating my body and the outer forward corner to set the inner rail on a steeper drop. I am not sure what I am doing when I go left unlike Warren Pfieffer. So the first step to changing a habit is to recognise there is a problem but bloody annoying all the same and I will be keeping that top of the mind for awhile until it has.

Postscript: During the session today, I paid a little more attention to what I was doing going left and it turns out I am performing a half superman. Left arm thrown back and the right manipulating the front corner as required. It was sure as hell working today when it got a bit sucky which the left was doing as it hit the shallow sandbank. I got two other superb lefts on the occasional set waves that peeled through maintaining absolutely perfect shape. I was able to hold the mat back high on the face in perfect position and that is a sensational feeling. I love Autumn!


  1. Sounding a bit evangelical there. Nothing like a convert for extremism.

  2. I know, I know. I can't help myself sometimes.

  3. We had our first slightly chill day recently (water still lovely though!) and I wore a sleeveless shortie wetsuit out. First time in a wetsuit for ...9 months? Paddled into a nice tapering 3 footer, already imagining the 'I gotta get me one of those' thoughts of the lone paddler in the channel ;-) As I rolled into the face, water poured down into the open arm hole of the wetsuit and I ballooned into a giant sea anchor and stalled off the wave!

  4. So what your saying is that the comment "That is a nifty little thing you've got there" would not have been directed your way as you exited the water after the session. LOL!