Monday, December 31, 2012

GSMRR 1st Anniversary Competition result!!!!

Way, way back at the beginning of the year, on January the 5th to be precise I announced details of a competition to be drawn at the end of the first year of Global Surf Mat Rider Forum's existence. The winner would receive a twice used Greenough specification 4GF UDT surf mat shipped anywhere in the world.  Unfortunately, with the advent of more sophisticated networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter the idea of the forum failed miserably. So I changed the name to the Global Surf Mat Rider Resource as it works reasonably well as an on-line information resource instead. When I first set up this competition the rules for entry included joining the forum as a member and then posting or commenting on a post a minimum of 6 times. However, in view of the fact that it was unsuccessful as a forum, I have rescinded the minimum of 6 posts/comments and put the 21 people who joined and took the time to introduce themselves into the draw. I hope everybody considers that this is probably a fair amendment to make.

Mr Mike
Nico SB
eric bridges

I have sorted this list on the date you joined in ascending order thereby allotting each of you a number.
I have used a random number generator to pick the winner and the number generated was 7! So the winner of a near new 4GF UDT is dustjf!
Here is how he introduced himself.

"hi i'm dustin been riding mats for 2 years now, I live in lennox head nsw and get to see some good mat riding by mark thomson and george greenough both those guys inspired me to give it a go and now i'm obsessed."

So a worthy winner me thinks for a self confessed mat obsessive!
So Dustin you need to let me know what your address is so as I can get the UDT off to you asap. When you receive it I would love to get a pic of you with it to post at a later date.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thanks for dropping by in 2012!

I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas where ever you may be.
Thanks again for taking the time to visit ASMR and making 2012 such an incredible year for the seemingly humble but oh so enchanting surf mat!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Surf Today WA

This is one for the local wave riders here in Western Australia. I have spent the last month or so developing my first IOS app for iPhone and it is now available on the app store here. Rather than a providing a forecast, this very simple but useful app provides near real-time swell, sea and interval data from off shore buoys situated around the coastline and within the half hour wind direction, gust and speed data.
It is designed for those times when you get off work early, feel like you need a session and need to check what the essential conditions are right then. Well, now you can do just that!
Michelle is part of this app development enterprise helping out with design and colour selection for the graphical elements of the application. I am intending to port it to the Android platform soon.
This first version is free for the moment so no reason not to check it out. You will need to have IOS 6 installed but there is an update waiting for review providing support for IOS 5 devices. Anyway, if it does it for you, do tell your mates!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Krypt International 2012 Tube Ride of the Year winner is..........?

Mr Chad Stickney! Chad (381 votes) got huge support for his entry, in a battle royale there for awhile with second place getter Eva Darcy (195 votes), before pulling a way in the end. So as both the rider and the photog, Chad wins another 2 MT5s for his fast growing quiver!
Just in case you missed it here is the winning footage again for your viewing pleasure!

I think everybody will agree that Eva Darcy, also riding a Krypt MT5, did really well to get so many votes. As the only female to put an entry in the comp, MT has very generously decided that she deserves a reward too and so there is brand spanking new MT5 for her as well!
Here, again for your further viewing pleasure, is that perfect Nias wave Eva got tubed on !

Thanks to everybody who got an entry in. It was just a sensational first time effort with 11 varied and classy contributions.
Krypt International will be running the competition again in 2013 starting on the 1st of January. MT assures me there will be much more in the way of prizes up for grabs so start planning your entry now. Teahupoo anyone!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Tube Riding Masterclass with MT!

Entries for the 2012 Krypt International Tube Ride of the Year Competition have now closed. A poll is set up in the right panel of the blog so as you can vote for the tube ride you consider was the best this year. You can only vote once and the poll will only be available for 7 days, so get your vote in asap.

You can review all 11 entries at this *link* on GSMRR.

So, you like the idea of getting a Tube Ride but lack a little confidence in your ability to do so on a mat.
Well this post is for you as MT provides a detailed break down of the technique he uses to catch those great tubes rides he gets.

I want to thank everyone who took the time to put an entry into the 2012 Surf Mat Tube of the Year Competition. It's not always easy to get a good shot and especially so on the good days. Someone always has to make the sacrifice to sit it out and get the shot hence the prize is shared with the photographer. There have been some amazing entries and I look forward to seeing how the voting goes. Happy Christmas everyone and I look forward to running the competition again next year.
Hopefully the banks here at Lennox Head will recover in 2013 and provide opportunities to get a good tube ride after the massive 30ft 18 second period swell on the 5th of June which coincided with the transit of Venus wiped out all our good sand banks this year!

Here are a few tips for riding deep tubes that I have learnt over the years.

Riding good tubes and making it on a mat is one of the most difficult things to do in the surfing world.
Inflation is critical! Too hard and the mat will get sucked up and over the falls. Too soft and the mat tends to slide to the bottom of the wave and you get a flogging from the lip!
Everything has to be just right.
Your inflation, your body position on the mat, everything!

Taking off is a high speed flutter kick and hurry hurry hurry quick quick quick step on the gas and kick kick kick.  Drive straight down the wave into the bowl and hit a hard bottom turn. I find this set up turn gives me the whip and acceleration I need to project down the line.

Stalling to get in to the tube and slowing the mat down can be a challenge as you can break from that perfect line you need to hold the rail in the tube.
I like to hit the section from behind accelerating from the bottom turn to get in to the tube.
Once inside maintaining your position in the tube is like all things with mat riding.  Intuitive.
As soon as I park it inside, I find the best results come from setting the outside rail!
This allows the water to drain around and under the mat and the mat will intuitively hold the perfect line.

To achieve this as soon as I get the inner vision I throw my inside arm back and release my inside rail, put my head down and fire all my energy at the escape route. 
Left arm holding and setting the outside rail and again letting go of the mat in a critical tube is not exactly a natural thing to do but you have to trust the mat knows where to go and you know what to do.
This the part where time stands still. Deep behind the curtain enveloped in a whirlwind of  electrical vortex energy
This is the worm hole where the time space continuum gets bent to your will
I believe you can and do control the wave and what is happening around you at this critical moment and it’s a very zen and spiritual experience to get rinsed by all that energy.

Getting out of the tube is a matter of experience and being comfortable with your mat and your ability to make changes and corrections to your flight path at the speed of light as the barrel unwinds itself.
Nothing feels better than getting shot out of the barrel at warp drive knowing you just banked a drainer.
Like any wave though, sometimes you make it and some time you get a flogging!
Sensational MT. Thanks for putting that excellent masterclass together!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Chris Chen goes prone!

I discovered this footage by accident and though I am not a huge fan of POV video, unless it is combined with the view from the beach, I think mounting the camera on the outside of the helmet does makes it more effective. Thanks to Chris Chen for the footage.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

4GF Blue Streak Omni Review

Last weekend MattJ finally made it down for a mini mat meet and it was quite an eventful visit. There was nothing to surf on the Saturday so we filled the day up with coffee and conversation. Matt had bought his very natty camping hammock complete with insect netting and fly sheet. We happen to have a couple of perfectly spaced trees at the bottom of our block so he set it all up there and looked forward to a comfortable night asleep swinging gently between the trees. Unfortunately, the neighbours directly behind us were celebrating a 50th birthday and apparently partied on until 3am in the morning!
Fortunately, on Sunday, there was a reasonably favourable wind and a good sized but slightly overpopulated right to be had around the bay. After the appalling night he had to suffer through, I was rapt to be able to enjoy sharing some pretty reasonable waves with Matt. It was especially so for him as he had brought down his brand spanking new Blue Streak Omni. Knowing he was going to be caught up with a heavy week of work, he incredibly generously left it with me for the week, so as I could get a few sessions on it for a review before posting it back up to him in Perth.

So what do I think about PG's latest creation.
Firstly, I would like to commend G on the grip he has applied to the mat. The craftsmanship is Solomonson like! The front corners of the Omni look remarkably similar to the rear ones. Has PG produced the first egg mat? Matt mentioned that he thought there was something very right looking about the general physical dimensions of the Omni and I think I agree.
The first session on the Omni was in rubbish small, howling onshore conditions which are a great way to test the possibilities of a surf mat. Now this is the first time I have got my sticky mitts on a Blue Streak and it has been sometime since I rode one of Dale's mats. Unfortunately, I had forgotten just how grippy Vulkem is and I made the added mistake of wearing just a rashie and board shorts. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the rashie seems to provide more grip than a nylon wetsuit, so I had a hell of a time taking off on the Omni and pulling myself on to the very small weak wind waves that were coming through. It felt to me like I was having to make gross movements in the manner of a copulating elephant seal in order to position myself.  Despite my difficulties, I did manage to get a couple of short faces with the odd reform so I was able to get some idea of the potential of this new mat.
It felt smooth, very smooth. It was a pleasure to move out to and around the line up, even in the very choppy conditions. I think this is a lot to do with the thin deck as much as anything as the MT5 has a similar feel.  However, it did feel like the Omni glided very easily straight on to the wave with a negligible amount of the transition action that I have experienced on other mats. It is also highly responsive, turning easily with just a small depression of the front corners of the mat. Now I cannot remember steering a surf mat in this manner before but for some reason the nature of the Omni found me choosing to do so. This came as a bit of a surprise as I am sure I am a from the hips steering kinda mat rider. My red raw nipples and chafed elbows confirm that a Vulkem gripped surf mat and a thin rash shirt are not a good combination!
My second session on the Omni was on bigger waves well around the bay in rather too strong a side shore conditions. This time I made sure to wear a wetsuit and the issues I experienced during the first session during the take off were pretty well non-existent. Although the waves had good size they were a little straight and it was not until some time into the session that I was able to really get on to a couple of waves of any quality to unleash the Omni on. The ease with which it transitions on to a wave from the take off was again apparent and this assists the rider to gain good position. The Omni has definitely got a bit of straight line speed and again I found myself able to make lightning quick changes of direction by just depressing the front corners of the mat a little in the direction I wanted to go. I still remain a little astounded at how riding this particular mat finds me choosing to steer in this fashion.
It also occurred to me during this session that the Omni seems to have a great balance to it. So much so, that at one point during the session, I turned it around and paddled around on it backwards for awhile but the comfortable feeling of balance was lost. The waves during this session were not very critical and although pleased with the performance of the mat it left me keen to try it out in waves with a more vertical face to just see how it handles those conditions also.
Yesterday's third session on the Omni, was in tiny but clean little waves that were a challenge to get on. Again the Omni performed well proving that it certainly seems to be a bit of an all-rounder as the name of the mat implies. I have to say that I think PG has invented a great mat that rivals the status of the Standard as my personal favourite 4GF. It had been great to get some time on a Blue Streak and I really like the ride it provides. I would still have liked to have got the chance to get it on to waves that were sitting up more on the take off to test it's ability to set a rail but that will have to wait for another time as this fun mat needs to be returned to it's owner.
And it is nice to see that the Omni has featured on Liquid Salt.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Da Bolt hits the North Shore and Oily joins the club!

East Coast mat rider Da Bolt and his Missus have been in Hawaii recently. Here is the man himself about to enter the water with his Vespa at Velzyland on the North shore of Oahu. Apparently, some dude was taking pics on that day and Da Bolt is hoping that some copies end up in his inbox.

The other interesting news is that fellow kneeboarder Paul "Oily" Newman, behind the camera for many of the pics you have seen of these mad Aussie mat riding kneeboarders, has succumbed and bought himself an MT5 too. The club just keeps getting bigger and bigger!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Out of my way!

The opportunity for sessions have been a litle meager of late but I usually manage to get a couple in each week. Last Sunday there was a small but quite shapely little wave at the point in the afternoon. I was sharing the left with one of the young short board guns Austin whose Dad, Paul, I often get the opportunity to surf with also. Paul rides pretty well everything and a few years ago contested the national longboard championships. Also sharing the line up, and going right mostly, were a Nameless Dreadlocked Shortboarder, I have often seen in the lineup, and his girlfriend. A great matting moment occurred for me on the one right I chose to to ride that day. Both the girlfriend of the NDS and I went to take off with yours truly on the inside. I called her off it, which she either chose to ignore, or was unable to respond to, as she was a little slow to pop up and consequently, we both found ourselves on the wave. As she was basically still heading on down the face, without really thinking about it, I whipped up above and around behind her and on down the line enjoying a very pleasant little ride. The speed differential between us was quite extraordinary but even more so was the mat's ability to instantly turn on the speed in order to complete the maneuver without my being aware of quite how it occurred. It was almost like I merely used some sort of thought control? Eerie, but yet another mat riding peak moment nonetheless!