Sunday, January 27, 2013

UDT delights!

Winner of the GSMRR competition, Dustin Fritsche, enjoying his Greenough spec UDT in Byron Bay. The picture is courtesy of

Saturday, January 26, 2013

SCUMM at "The Cove"

Hi Robin

Well that was another fun day starting out at 6 am at Waka’s place at Wandandian which thankfully survived the recent massive bushfires….

So off to flatties thru the fire blackened forest roads and when we arrived at “the cove” with no one out I “bolted” out. In hind sight, I  suppose I should of at least looked first as it was quite big and whoomping… but caution is not in the Da Bolt vocabulary. First wave in decent surf in months and after a nice take off and wall on my Parkes kneeboard I got flogged then wore 5 waves on the head… OH yeah this is fun at 6.30 am…
Adam paddles out on his MT5 spewing. Look at this I broke my flipper strap…OH boo hoo I say I just got flogged.
Hey why aren’t you on ya 4GF vespa he says?  …… in this size and with that rip running ..OH yeah I can see myself swimming back in VIA the boat ramp if I loose it…Come on ya big wuzza go and get ya mat..So got one all the way in, grabbed his Cannon camera and snapped some piccies.
Have you ever tried to catch decent sized waves in a rip hahaha, he  looked so funny going around in circles. I then grabbed the trusty Vespa roundtail and into the rip we go. Got a couple of OK ones from half way out and even a half cover up.
Still looking for our first entry in the tube of the year comp..dash it..nearly.

Back to Wakas place for another flipper down to cuddy shop for a cup of tea then into to “very interesting” big cross shore Sussex reef took us a while for us to convince ourselves we could do it on the mats, AH who cares out for another  crazy slide all on our own. So after 5 hours of fun waves we were shattered, getting old mate.

Seeya next time

Da Bolt

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Welcome to the 2013 Krypt Surf Technology Surfmat Tube of the Year Award

It's On Again and it's Bigger and Better!!!
This year’s competition will run from the 19th January until the 15th of December 2013 and there are some great additional prizes on offer.

Krypt Surf Technology will again award the winning entry 2 x Krypt MT5 Surfmats.
1 x MT5 Surfmat for the rider and 1 x MT5 Surfmat for the photo/videographer. Here is last years winner Chad Stickney with his two new MT5s as he was both rider and photog.

In addition to this great prize, Krypt International, the Australian distributor for the Legendary Voit swim fins will match this prize with a pair of Duck Feet for the rider and the photographer of the winning entry.

The collective effort of all the entries in last years competition has not gone unnoticed and has attracted some other high profile sponsors.

The resurgence in popularity of the surfmat has caught the attention of the prestigious surf publication The Surfers Journal. Recently, they featured this fantastically artistic double page spread of Daniel Thomson surfing Lennox on the full moon on page 2 and 3, incredibly, of issue 21.6. The pic was taken by his mum Janet Planet.

The Surfers Journal have generously offered a years subscription for the winning entry!

But wait there's more!

Adventure brand Patagonia, who have been retailing the Krypt MT5 Surfmat through their global retail network, will also support the competition.
Patagonia have offered one of their top of the line ecco friendly R1 Steamers for the winning entry. A prize worth $500.

In addition to all these great prizes, the Ho'okupu Surf Shop in Byron Bay will donate a framed photograph of your choice from their outstanding collection.

So there you have it.  You and your photographer could win yourselves new surfmats and swim fins, a new steamer, a subscription to The Surfers Journal and a beautiful framed picture.

So with such great incentive, what are you waiting for? Grab your Go-Pro or a friendly photog and risk a flogging or two to get that great tube ride to enter in this year's competition.
And.............if you want to enter the competition but don't have a surfmat and fins, Krypt Surf Technology are offering a Krypt MT5 Surfmat and a new pair of Duck Feet swim fins for a special, special price of only $250 so as you can go hunting too!

To enter just send myself or Mark Thomson your best surfmat tube ride images whether on still photo or video. Don't forget to add the name of the photog as well if you used one.

Heres another look at Chad Stickney’s winning entry from last year

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mat riding thoughts

So what have I learnt about riding mats of late? Well, quite a bit and it really seems to be a never ending learning curve which is a great thing. A little like learning a musical instrument.
I am not sure why but I am back to using UDTs again for some reason having happily used Duck Feet for sometime up until I made the change recently.  Although I did use them with little issue previously,  I seem to be coping with them even better than I used to. I can only surmise this maybe because my legs have gained more strength from nearly three years of constant fin usage. Ironically, I am carrying quite a bit less weight now too and more generally riding smaller mats requiring less effort to push through the water. Anyway, I am really enjoying the effortless power they provide and am really looking forward to getting my ever gnarlier looking toes in to a pair of the new compound UDTs when they become available in OZ for the first time very soon now!
I remember when I first flopped in a most ungainly way on to a surf mat and ever so inelegantly rolled straight off it again thinking........... "WTF! I will never feel comfortable with this thing underneath me!"
Well, I have and increasingly more so as time goes by and I am not talking here about when one is actually riding a wave but dealing with all the other situations in-between. 
Here are some things I have learnt of late.
If I am on the way out and the waves are breaking before they get to me confronting me with whitewater then I will dive under the wave and hold the mat above the whitewater with my right hand. It is surprising how big an amount of whitewater you can get away with using this technique to get out the back.
If I am late changing my mind about taking off on a wave and my 180 flick around does not get me completely off it and I start to get carried over then I bend the front of the mat downwards to avoid going all the way over or at the worst limit the speed with which I descend if I do go over.
If, on the way out, I am confronted by a wave that rears up in front of me, I have found myself starting to use the duck diving concaving technique to stiffen the mat in order to drive over it to avoid the mat folding in half thereby drastically impeding one's progress. 
I tend to lie on a surf mat right up on the front and this allows me to be an arm paddler whilst I am moving to and from and around set ups. I prefer this to using my legs as I like to keep them fresh for driving hard during the take off. I am in the habit of slipping back on the mat for the take off, using my right arm to assist the legs and my left to control the front of the mat before hauling myself back to the front again to actually ride the wave. Being primarily an arm paddler has actually taught me to keep my body soft and pliable with my upper body as close as possible to the mat. I can move around pretty quickly in this fashion and for great distances also as I search for suitable waves around the bay. The pay off is that maintaining a low centre of gravity and a soft body is becoming habitual and carrying through to when I am riding waves with subsequent positive results.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Hi Mate

Well nuthin much to report over here except heaps of fires, smoke and hot weather. No cyclones to generate any swell so just some small southerlies.

S C U M M  (sth coast unashamed mat men) went for a splash on Saturday, should have scored great waves except the dash southerly came up at 6 am and ruined a fun session.

But like true SCUMM we did go out and get a couple. After one set Oily says hey look at Adam chasing his mat down the beach…he better catch it, I said, cause that’s my MT5, that seemed to invoke more laughter.

After coffee I  went to the other side of jervis bay (Culburra)and scored a couple hours of fun sliders…ran over a friend of mine and he thought it was hysterical that he did not even feel it, beats getting hit by a fin..

I got one small cover up…. luckily its ALWAYS overhead on a mat.

We hope to have some decent piccies soon..

Da Bolt!

Monday, January 7, 2013

As I was reviewing 2012's posts.........

......... it occurred to me that last year must count as pivotal. I am claiming this was the year when our humble surf mat, once lost, has again been found!
There are a number of events that have been posted about (a record 139 in 2012) that may explain for you why I am entertaining this idea.
Before recapping the significant posts, a couple of other interesting facts. In May I noted that the blog had just clocked up 40000 visits. In just another 7 months, by the end of 2012, it had grown to over 71000. That adds up to more than a thousand visits a week!
Secondly, there has been an incredible amount of surf mat related images and videos that have appeared this year. This has resulted in my surf mat image collection now not far away from 1500 images and my Youtube site also gaining more footage.
Stream 1 which is full with 1000 images
Stream 2 which now has nearly 500 images and continues to grow rapidly.
RamsnakeSurf which now has nearly 50 videos and has had more than 100,000 visitors.

A quick run through this years posts saw MT5 surf mat designer Mark Thomson of Krypt International launching the first ever tube riding competition specifically for surf mats which garnered an amazing 11 image and video entries from all over the world. When it came to voting for the winning entry, there was a phenomenal response with over 500 people taking the time to visit ASMR and vote. Two of the entries, both of which could have been worthy winners, came from riders at the legendary Wedge in Newport Beach in the US and another arrived from an Irish lass at Nias in Indonesia! Pretty hard to get anymore mainstream than that!

The first reference that I have ever seen in a mainstream surf related magazine occurred when Mark Anders noted in Surfer's Path that he loved his Paul Gross designed 4GF Vespa Roundtail!

Chad Stickney and his mates surfed Uluwatu!

Warren Pfeiffer rode a 4GF 5GF on the pretty challenging reef break at Gnaraloo in the North West of Australia. Thousands saw the footage of that ride in concerts around Australia and when the Sydney concert of "The Reef" was televised recently.

Cyrus Sutton and the crew at the very popular Korduroy.TV produced a great little vid of surf mat riding featuring Daniel Thomson

Tanner Gaudaskas took a surf mat out at J Bay and the footage of that ride appeared in Vans video release Get-N Classic Volume 2.

Swedish mat rider Tim Ciasto produced some great standing wave footage out of Germany.

Rob Machado became Krypt International's official surf mat ambassador.
Joel Parkinson showed off the new training regime he used to become World Champion this year.

So there you go, an awful lot happened last year to support my supposition. I was interested to see Tim Ciasto's comment on a recent post at Surfmatters where he spoke of his belief that 2013 would be the year of the surf mat. Sorry, Tim but I reckon 2012 was the year. Now I know there are some who might completely detest this thought and would like to keep the surf mat thing all clubby and cliquey, but personally, I would like to see surf mats become a common part of the line up everywhere. There would be definitely be more grins on show rather than the serious looks that seem to accompany some lineups especially those that are populated by riders of thrusters around 6' or so for some reason.

There are also likely to be more shared waves which mat riders everywhere know really adds to the stoke. Both Tim and I will be sharing it so I hope you people will continue to do so too!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Krypt Surf Technology Master Class with Surf Mat Master Mark Thomson

Custom Krypt Grip, Hip Grip, and other Designs

Customising the grip on your surf mat is simple and easy.
Although the proprietary Dolphin Skin non skid deck of the Krypt MT5 surf mats works well, like anything, it does wear out over time.
This short and simple lesson shows how to increase the grip around your hips whilst still allowing you to slide up onto the mat.
Contrary to what others have had to say about this process being expensive, messy and difficult, this lesson shows that you can customise the non skid on your mat quickly and cleanly and using your own personal design if you want to.

Stuff You Will Need
One Ice cream Bucket
Small plastic container
One roll of masking tape
Cleaning fluid
Clean rag
Vulkem 116 or other Sticker Flex or Marine Urethane Sealants

Wash your mat with fresh water and allow too dry.
Inflate your mat to maximum pressure.
Clean the deck surface with Isopropyl Alcohol, Methylated Spirits or if available I use Toluene.
Toluene is nasty so wear gloves and use in a ventilated area.
Allow to dry.
Grip Design
You can now apply masking tape to the mat in the design of your choice.
Keep it simple like this lesson or be creative and inventive
If you have an artistic streak you can use cardboard to make a stencil and apply double sided tape to the stencil.

Application Of The Grip
Cut the lid of the ice cream bucket to make a small squeegee.

Squeeze a small amount of Vulkem in to the small plastic container. You don’t need much it goes a long way.

Get small amount and work it into the fabric.
Repeat the process and add more Vulkem.
Do long even stokes applying medium pressure along the design to get an even thickness of material.

Use a sponge and dab it onto the job to create texture on the Vulkem.

All that remains now is to peel the tape while the Vulkem is still wet. This is where your ice cream bucket becomes the waste bucket and comes in handy for cleaning up the sticky mess
Allow to dry for 24 hours before surfing.

I prefer to use 1 inch strips as this process, if done incorrectly, can add significant weight to your mat.
With the MT5 surf mat weighing only 500gms, the designs we have chosen to use are strategically placed and add as little weight as possible whilst still providing ample grip.

For this lesson a few friends brought along their mats and attended the Master Class also.

My Series 3 mat is over a year old now and pretty thrashed so I needed more grip through the middle.

The others non skid is still in good condition and they only needed the hip grip so we made a short strip design on the rails to provide more grip allowing greater confidence in larger surf and bottom turns.
We also did one using a basic circular stencil.

Well now you know how to do it, have a bit of fun and give it go.

Or........ we can customize your next Krypt Surfmat for a small extra charge.

A fantastic amount of effort has gone in to preparing the material for this post so a big thank you to MT, the photog Hilton Dawe and his mat riding mates for donating their mats for the demo!
I will definitely be having a go at applying grip to my MT5s.