Monday, July 30, 2012

Da Bolt digs the Vespa!

As you already know from this post, my 4GF Vespa Roundtail went off to join the mat quiver of the irrepressible Eric "Da Bolt" Bridges. Here is what he had to say about his first outing on it.
"Mate only ONE word for the Vespa Roundtail...F**Kin AWESOME....what a great mat man....took it out on Saturday and it is SSSOOO easy to blow up 26 breaths and it was some excellent long waves did all sorts of totally stoked...Adam is going to get one now to add to his collection of surf craft...we were lucky my daughter was with us to snap a couple of piccies from the shore..Adam has some pro cam video so it should all look good when he puts it on his blog site later on...just had the best time...shame we did not get any Tube shots."
Umm that's two words Eric but so delighted that you are pleased with it and I knew you would be. Here are some more pics from the session.

I have told him that he really needs to use some bigger fins!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

I hope Tim is ok with this!

I was so taken with this footage, I just had to rid it of all those stand up try hards and feature Swedish mat rider Tim Ciasto, alone, on that great little standing wave in Munich! I particularly love the view from above which shows so clearly the efficiency of the mat's movement through the water. Sorry mate changed the music as well then YouTube didn't like Deep Purple's Flight of the Rat so they made me change it yet again!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

PG's Mat Riding Tip from the Pros post 1 & 2 in slo-mo!

A couple of really interesting posts, one & two, from PG lately relating to mat riding technique.
They feature the great mat riding footage of GG and Mike Cundith from Crystal Voyager. It is a little hard to pick up what is going on as the clip is from the original footage.
I thought you might appreciate the slo-mo version of that footage that I created a little while back specifically so one could get an even better view of what is going on. It even features the "Keep on Chooglin'" soundtrack that featured the original Rubber Duck Riders movie GG first released in 1972!
The second post shows GG doing a move I think most mat riders with a bit of experience have probably found themselves performing at some point. That super quick skidding change of direction is a move I love to do and only possible on a finless craft of course. You can see GG perform the move at around 2:06 in the footage above. The next wave is interesting too as you can see him really keeping his chin down low and just charging along with fins free of the apart from the odd dab every now and then.  Mat riding is such exceptional fun! PG has made it easier for you to join in too if you live outside of the US as he is offering free shipping until August 10.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tanner Gudauskas on an MT5 at J-Bay, South Africa!

Tanner needs some mat riding lessons but awesome to see a WQS surfer open minded enough to go out on something completely different!
Thanks to MT for the head's up

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Vespa Roundtail goes to a good home!

2012 Tube of the Year contender Eric "Da Bolt" Bridges contacted me last week for advice as he was having some difficulty with the MT5 he bought recently as he is used to riding a RedBack surf mat which is a fair bit bigger as you can see from the pic.
Eric loves RedBacks but he keeps popping them. I recommended he take on my Vespa Roundtail, as I never use it anymore, and it has plenty of size and being a 4GF is pretty indestructible. With a little negotiation on price, a deal was struck and the Vespa was on it's way arriving today apparently.
I think the Vespa might be a perfect option for Eric as it is considerably larger than an MT5 but smaller than the RedBack.
So what have I been up to recently matwise? Well, not too much to be honest as I have been ill, and as you already know, recently visited Perth, the city with little chance of catching a wave, for the last few days. When I have been out on a mat, it has been either of my 2 MT5s that I have chosen for a number of weeks now. As a consequence, I have become so used to a thin decked mat that the nylon decked 4GFs now feel a little stiff and unfamiliar which is a real surprise considering the amount of time I have spent on one or other of them. With the UDT on it's way to whoever wins the Global Surf Mat Rider Resource competition at the end of the year and the Vespa sold, the only 4GFs I have in the quiver now are a Standard and Tracker Roundtail.
I meant to add a couple of other things to this post but forgot to do so. The first related to when MattJ came down for our mini mat meet recently. I noticed he was using reef booties under his swim fins. I have always used a couple of pairs of fin socks but I have to keep replacing them as they fall apart under the strain. I remembered that I had purchased a pair of booties for our trip to the Cocos-Keeling islands a few years ago, so I rummaged around in the unused surfing paraphernalia draw and managed to find them so as I could give them a go at the next session. Well, buggar me, they work brilliantly so I have been using them ever since. Absolutely, no foot issues and I reckon they will cope with the wear and tear far better than the fin socks.
The second issue related to the MT5 and the difficulty of deflating them after a session using the little black valve cap. Basically, up until now, I haven't bothered deflating them more than to get enough air out so as I can fold them in half. It happened that I was fiddling around with one of them the other day checking to see if the valve had dirt in it which was allowing the mat to lose inflation over a period of time. I happened to use my car key to push the little spring and blow me down if the mat didn't start to deflate in record time! So now after a session, I use a little piece of twig to depress the spring and easily deflate my MT5s.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Reef and MOMA!

Michelle and I were in Perth for 3 days this week. We were there to see her folks as it was her birthday recently, to attend The Reef which I posted about here, visit the MOMA exhibition at the WA Art Gallery and catch up with middle son Oscar and his girlfriend.
What an experience The Reef was. A surprisingly wide array of captivating music, absolutely wonderfully played and accompanying by a visual extravanganza of surfing and landscape footage taking in the far North West of our state at Gnaraloo.

The music was as follows:
Tognetti - Heart of the Black Beast, Bathymetry
Tognetti/Grandage - Beyond
Seeger - Where have all the flowers gone
Rameau - Les Vents from Les Boreades
Ligeti - Ramifications
Crumb - Black Angels (excerpts)
Bach - Fugue from Sonata No. 1, BWV1001
Grandage/Atkins - Immutable
Pigram Brothers - Raindancing
S Pigram - Mimi
Kilar - Orawa
Alice in Chains - Them Bones, Angry Chair
Dean - Peripeteia from Electric Preludes
Shostakovich - Allegro molto from Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a
Rachmaninov- Vocalise
Beethoven - Cavatina from String Quartet, Op. 130

It is not often you hear a string ensemble play Seattle grunge but the ACO2 did and the Alice in Chains pieces were awesome. The leader Richard Tognetti, also a fin free surf afficionado, who would have enjoyed his fair share of waves at Gnaraloo, put away his priceless Guaneri violin and got an evil looking electric violin out and rocked out with some great electric guitar style sounds. Sweet indeed.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the Crumb and the Beethoven Cavatina played as the concert finale was achingly beautiful. You could not find 2 more contrasting pieces of music but each worked so well with the visuals that were chosen to accompany them.

Really amazing as there is something very powerful about the combination of music and images, especially, those captured by an incredible talent like Jon Frank. Lots of underwater footage viewing the waves moving through from underneath and some sensational close views from a wide variety of angles of Derek Hynd and Ryan Birch, on that famous little piece of foam, sliding across in front of the camera!

I am pleased to report that our very own Warren Pfieffer, who was also involved in the similar Musica Surfica project, featured in the first actual surfing footage of the evening on the wave you can see in the pic. I am hoping to get my hands on that footage and any other footage that exists of Warren from the trip, edit it and get it up on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.
Michelle and I also visited the Museum Of Modern Art exhibition featuring the work of 14 Modern masters including Picasso and Andy Warhol. I have always liked Jackson Pollock's work as I tend to paint a similar style of abstract expressionism myself when ever I do paint which is not terribly often nowadays. Michelle kindly took this pic of me standing next to a typical example of the abstract art he produced in exchange for the dozen or so I had to take of her.

I also really liked Picasso's work and it is so interesting to be able to get up close and check out the brushwork. I have also always admired his draughting skills and there were a few of his drawings there also which was a treat too. It is always a relief to get home again but it was an enjoyable and culturally enriching change.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Surf mats and their riders in action 9

In my opinion this is one of the best compilations so far in this series of surf mat related images. The aptly titled "Do What You Like" by Blind Faith provides a great accompaniment.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jakey's Hero Wave at Lennox Head!

You have already seen pics of one of Jakey's waves here. But these images you have not seen as they are from another wave caught that day that was far more challenging for the little guy!

Friday, July 13, 2012

New ASMR "Exceptional Fun" T-shirts

Having diced "Magic Carpet Ride" as the name for the blog, I have redesigned the "Exceptional Fun!" t-shirt to include the blog's new name "Australian Surf Mat Rider".
It also includes a stylised image of the Krypt MT5 as it is the only high performance surf mat designed and marketed here in Australia.
I have not created this t-shirt specifically to market but if you do feel you might like one then it can be arranged on an ad-hoc basis at cost plus whatever the postage to your door amounts too. This cost varies depending on the discounts currently offered by the supplier.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Reef Project

Next week Michelle and I are hoping to get to Perth to see The Reef which I recently posted about here. This has suddenly become dependant on whether we both manage to throw off the flu we have been suffering since our winter holidays started. I am feeling ok today but it keeps bouncing back to bite me every time I try to actually do anything and I just want to feel my usual self again. In the meantime, I happened to check director Mick Sowry's blog yesterday and was delighted to discover they had basically finished editing the footage. This has been all the more difficult as there are precise timings to be considered in order that the footage fits with the live music that will be played. Anyway. Mick included some stills in the post including this great one of Warren Pfieffer on the 5GF I imagine, being the mat that he deemed worked the best for him in those pretty gnarly conditions. A bit hard to judge from the pic but there is plenty of size and aggression to that wave and the following footage will give you an even better idea of what the conditions were like.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ironman practice, finless musings and jazz!

MattJ emailed me recently with the news that he had managed to score waves in our capital city Perth, a difficult thing to do, I may say. Apparently, the dumper usually to be found at Scarborough Beach was producing it's occasional good waves for a change like the pic from another day shows. So good in fact that he was able to put some time into practicing the "Ironman" on his Blue Streak Standard. Here is what he had to say.
 "The 'ironman' made an appearance at scarb this wknd, spent a session trying that manouvre whenever I could and noticed a couple of things. it seems to be a little less forgiving ie if you have to control the mat in a situation where you are adjusting or correcting your line like in a less than perfect bottom turn etc it can be tough but - in an ideal situation where you handle the take off bottom turn nicely (in normal rider position) and you drift up toward the shoulder and in front of you its walling up perfectly for that beautiful glide, then as long as you're far enough forward then that seems like the perfect time to pull out the ironman, had a couple of really nice runs like that, completely unobscured vision and felt really cool too, got a couple of stoked looks from people in the whitewater when I was doing it too so thats a good sign:) also the MT5 probably lends itself to the ironman better with the square corners easier to access if you need to firm up the mat etc."
"I was revisiting some ideas on finless surfing this wknd, design etc not that its any priority because as Pranaglider has mentioned before, surfmats really seem to be the most advanced wave riding craft out there and I havent ridden standup since shortly after getting on one!! but I was searching round and on vimeo there is a video with Derek Hynd and Andrew Kidman, and its not bad, its titled POV II Derek Hynd part two or something similar and it goes for about 9 minutes, I thought if you havent seen it you might find it interesting because a lot of what he is talking about is applicable to mats, he draws a quick analogy with music (jazz) and toward the end at about the 8min mark he's describing a moment at J bay and what is quite the revelation and a bit groundbreaking I suppose is something that as a concept at least, is already a familiar idea or experience to a lot of matriders - 4th gear!!"

"I also came to the conclusion this wknd that matting gets better the longer you do it...!"
How right you are my friend. How right you are!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

World first tandem surf mat ride at Lennox Point

Back in December I posted about MT's grandson Jakey having a great old time learning to ride a surf mat with the help of his grandfather. Jake has continued his mat riding lessons and has become quite waterwise and understands already which waves to go for and how to turn the mat. He is also used to wiping out enjoying the flogging game that he and MT play.
"Was that a flogging Pop?"
"Yes. Jakey that was a flogging!"
As you can see he was really starting to get the hang of riding a surf mat. Jake has continued his mat riding lessons and the other day, in front of an understandably worried photographer mother, this 4 year old became the youngest rider ever to surf the point at Lennox Head. Check out the 5 images below.
Shall we do it Jakey? MT mentioned that Jake holds the mat when they go in off the rocks making the decision when to jump in himself with Pop following afterwards.
Yeh. Let's go for it Pop!
Get your head down Jakey!
Cover up!
Can we do that again soon?