It had been a longtime, probably before I even started to ride mats, since I watched this video of GG discussing surf mats. It is so much more meaningful for me now, than it was then, as I am able to empathise with all that he talks about. I was particularly interested this time round, with the comment that there was a excellent illusion of speed because the head is close to the wave. Moments later, however, he seemingly contradicts this, by stating that the speed is very good and in fact that it is excellent. So, an illusion that is in fact real! No wonder I like riding mats as sometimes I just feel so like I am flying!
Anyway, getting back to the crux of the matter, local board shaper Warren Thompson had made the comment titling this post to Michelle during a conversation about mats after I had left the beach yesterday. It amused me so much I just had to make a post about it. The conversation came about because, Warren, who is still recovering from having both shoulders reconstructed, had unusually chosen to come out on a bodyboard yesterday rather than a longboard. This was not a surprise to me, as I know it is still difficult for him to paddle the board, and I have often thought to myself why on earth doesn't he ride prone to help maintain his fitness while he recuperates and buggar me there he was finally doing so. Anyway, it transpires that Michelle, told him he should try a mat some time and he showed some interest and so a conversation around the matter (ha, ha) occurred. Michelle, who has had a couple of sessions on a mat, reads this blog and so has some idea what they are about, gave him a bit of a run down on the 21st century in real-time adjustable speed machine.
The "too soft!" comment came up as Warren, a Kiwi, had apparently ridden mats as a child and was in the habit of pumping them up rock hard as the kids over here in Australia did in the 60's. I think any shaper would have made the same comment as all their experience points to a wave craft needing hard surfaces and rails in order to work effectively in a wave. Any of them would benefit from hearing GG's explanations above. So it will be interesting for Warren, if he does ask to try a mat, as like all of us he is going to have to throw away everything he ever thought he knew about surf craft and waves. I wonder if he will be able to do so and persevere. Somehow I think not.
On another matter (Stop, stop, you are killing me here!), I still haven't managed to link up with Eric for a session together and will have a last crack at it today, as by the end of it, many of the holidaymakers will have returned home. Hooray, hooray! Not that I have anything personal against them of course, it's just that...............well, you probably know what I am thinking!