Sunday, August 12, 2012

But I have managed to get them on one now!

You may remember this earlier post that detailed my lack of success in obtaining a 5GF from PG.
5GF's were not officially a part of the 4GF range at the time. Interested parties were asked to send an email to PG if they wanted one to test and assist in confirming it's viability as an addition to the 4GF range. I never received a reply and certainly not a 5GF.
Not unexpected, of course, as PG had made it clear earlier, in this post, that he would no longer sell surf mats to me.
In response to this bizarre situation, I had a terrific amount of fun creating this video. I know many of you thoroughly enjoyed viewing it and a good number of you offered to assist me to obtain a 4GF anytime.
This 2nd attempt at getting a Fourth Gear Flyer was done in the hope that PG might have come to the conclusion, in the intervening time, that it was a bit pointless to deny me. Nuh, I was wrong.
The pointlessness of this situation further highlighted by the good news that I have now taken the opportunity to successfully get my now clearly controversial, irreverent and very dirty mitts on a 5GF anyway.
Firstly, and most interestingly, as I was adding the 5GF to my quiver, I happened to lie it on top of an MT5. I was a little taken aback to see that apart from the very square rear corners, they were identical in deflated dimensions at least.

Anyway on to my first impressions of the 5GF but a little preamble first. 
On Wednesday this week, the bar at the inlet was breached as it was getting pretty damn full as we have had a lot of rain this winter. The repercussions of this event are a little like the curate's egg. For instance, last year it emptied out straight in to the bay. Initially, this was terrific as it set up a wonderful A-frame bank that produced ripping waves for a couple of weeks which I duly posted about here. Unfortunately, this also resulted in the distribution of sand both to the left and right of the inlet filling up all the channels and a complete lack of waves for some weeks. This year however, you will note from the pic above, it has gouged out a huge outlet in only two days and in a direct angle towards the point. This is looking very promising as you can see from this next pic showing a few punters out late this afternoon testing the banks that are already starting to set up. 

The one of most interest being the right from the direction of the point that will hopefully provide some nice long rides eventually. The other pleasing factor to note is that the water has remained green to the left of the inlet and hopefully will leave those banks undisturbed this year.
Anyway my surf check this morning did not offer up any hope for a wave at OB and our visit yesterday to the break 25 clicks further to the west showed it was not producing either. So I suggested to Michelle that we visit our favourite break in the old hometown 75 clicks or so to the east. 
We piled in to the car and 50 minutes later arrived to find plenty of swell getting in providing the opportunity to try the 5GF out in very suitable waves as they were certainly standing up well.
It took me awhile to negotiate my way out the back and it was only because we had travelled so far that I persisted and it turned out to be quite a reasonable session in the end. It also gave me the opportunity to talk about and to demo, to quite a crew of shortboarders and a longboarder, the advantages of a mat in the spritely conditions that prevailed.
The waves had plenty of push, so apart from an initial awareness that it was a little narrower, the smaller dimensions of the 5GF were not a factor. 
As others have mentioned the narrower profile actually makes it easier to paddle through the water which balances out the fact there is less mat for the wave to push on the take off. 
The 5GF sure is quick and in a very smooth and unfussed manner as it scythes easily across the face. Weirdly, this gave the feeling that it wasn't going that quickly but one of the board riders commented on the speed I was getting so clearly it was. 
I can also confirm that it does feel rock solid as if it has a fins/fins. This adds further to the unique sensation, I cannot remember experiencing before, that this mat provides. 
I can understand why Warren Pfieffer chose to use one at Gnaraloo!
So it certainly is looking like a worthy addition to the quiver and I really looking forward to giving it another crack especially if that new right forming at OB produces the barrelling waves I think it might.  If so, I will be loading my Gath Hat up with the Go-Pro and take both the MT5 and 5GF out to compare their performance. Should be interesting!