Friday, August 3, 2012

Squaretail V Roundtail

After weeks of riding the very square tailed MT5, I took the Tracker Roundtail out for a spin yesterday as there was mainly a local sea running with very little actual swell making for the likelihood of pretty piss poor (Oz for weak) waves. Although, I am a firm believer in "The smallest mat you can get away with the better" philosophy, I thought a slightly bigger mat might just do the job. Well, it certainly did for the first part of the session as it mainly involved kicking and paddling up and down the bay looking for something to take off on. The Tracker is limousine like and a very comfortable mat for cruising around on, but really, I was more interested in catching waves.
I knew there was a jump in the swell on the way as I had seen it register on the West Cape Howe buoy and if I had timed it right, would arrive sometime as I was out.
So with this thought in mind, I continued to wait patiently, paddling kicking, paddling kicking, and eventually there was a noticeable rise in the height of the waves coming through. However, as I mentioned before, it was mainly driven by a local sea rather than a long range swell so did not amount to much oomph. The result of these sort of conditions means that getting on to waves takes a bit of effort and one tends to drop in to the wave a little late.
A long preamble I know, but now to the point of this post. Now, correct me if I am wrong, those who know about these things. I think I have discovered another advantage of square corners on a surf mat other than the one I posted about here. Once you are on a wave they release earlier than a roundtail mat. I say this as the Tracker seemed a little sluggish in comparison to the MT5 and needed more speed before it finally released and got going? Nothing against the Tracker. It is just noticeably different and it still remains one of my favourite 4GFs along with the Standard.

PG's 5GF also has pretty square rear corners but also relies on being narrower to provide the advantages MatMax speaks of:
"If I had to choose just one mat to use all the time it would definitely be a 5GF, because it really will work in almost any type of conditions, especially fast big surf. If the waves are good, I go straight for the 5GF, and inflate it so that it bends 90 degrees. I'm 5'8" x 175 lbs and was hooked on the Standard for years, but now prefer the narrower 5GF due to ease of paddling and the feeling of streamlining, which is rather similar to the velocity one gets from a narrow surfboard."

I notice that the mini Simmons boards are very square too and I think they are pretty quick to get on to a wave too even though they are generally very short! Perhaps the slight difference in the length of the mats also contributes to this. I don't know? Anyway, just thought I would share that observation and I am interested to hear if others may have come to a similar or indeed quite opposite conclusion!

1 comment:

  1. I have 5'6" simmons and I can tell you the board catches waves like a 9'3 log! :) it's great!