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!


  1. Thanks for the great info from MT and thank you Robin!

  2. Mark me down for #9. Can't find poll on right. My phone is too smart.

  3. Hi Henry

    Your phone is probably displaying the mobile view of this site. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the web view and you will be able to access the poll.

  4. My pleasure. Well, Mr Stickney appears to have romped it in at this stage but we will see how the vote is at the end of 7 days.