Monday, June 25, 2012

Ironman Daniel Thomson

Back in August 2010, Prana posted about Krypt surf mat designer Mark Thomson's son Daniel finally getting around to exploring his old man's obsession with surf mats. I can only imagine how Daniel might have really resisted doing so as a young guy as the last thing you want to do at that age is something your parents are in to. Anyway, having established his own identity as a shaper he obviously now felt comfortable about trying out a mat and indeed may have done so to inform his board shaping I suspect. As the original post mentioned, Dan was stoked at the mat riding experience and spent the next few days exploring it further. Interestingly, in the comments on that original post, Mattitude commented on how inflated Dan has the mat as he enters the water in the first pic above. I suggest there are two reasons for this. One, it is his first time on a mat and riding a thin decked mat at low inflations immediately is a challenge. Two, I remember MT commenting that he is in the habit of adding air to his mat when coming in at Lennox across the rocks and I imagine Dan has taken MT's advice to do something similar on the way out! It certainly looks like he has dropped the inflation level in next pic.
Now based in Southern California, Dan has continued to ride mats whilst shaping the most extraordinary looking boards. He has enjoying great success there as he has won 2 prestigious Scared Craft best of show awards for a 5'3" freestyle planning hull and a 4ft 11 inch diamond nose diamond tail with a very parallel outline. He has also became increasingly interested in whether a board could be as fast as a surf mat having been inspired by the seemingly limitless top end speed potential that surf mats possesses. Incidentally, he is not the only notable board rider to take up mat riding as the list now also includes Chris Delmoro, Rob Machado, Tom Curren, Joel Parkinson, Wayne Lynch, Wade Goodall, Mick Fanning, Dean Morrison and of course Dave Rastovich.

Images by Hilton Dawe

As I mentioned in this post, Dan had apparently developed his own unique style of mat riding using a unique minimal use of hands technique. Dubbed the Ironman, it utilises riding way forward, head down for maximum speed potential and squeezing the rear corners of the mat to provide some degree of control.
On a recent trip back home Daniel got to go head to head with his father and a few mates for some serious speed trials showing off how effective the Ironman is.
The following images provide a great insight into what went down, how much fun was had by all and that Daniel is certainly no slouch when it comes to riding mats.

Images by Janet Planet

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