/*23 Breaths: February 2008*/

Friday, February 29, 2008

matters of the mat

Since this blog is going to discuss mats, matting and matters.

YOU need to stop what you are doing and read this article about Dale Solomonson.

Mr. Solomonson is an artisan / craftsman and makes all sorts of amazing wave riding vehicles.

new kmat test

The video below is of Ken testing out a new mat in "small and shitty surf"

Watch this a few times and take a look at how fast he is going.

Think about how fast he goes when he has some disent waves to ride.

Ken in this case is Ken McKnight of AllAboutSurf.com fame.

I believe this was captured by his usual partner in crime James who is mentioned in a nice blog entry at 70 percent.

Ken and James are who I think of as the Godfathers of the southern California mat scene.

There really aren't enough people to constitute a scene but you know what I mean.

I was actually able to get in the water this weekend.

I had a great time even though I had been sick for a while and I can still feel it.

Nice to see some south swell in the water!!

With the swell and the off shore winds I'm sure some fun was had.


I have a few posts for your viewing pleasure. I want to focus this blog more on the mat and less on other surf craft. Having said that I may delete it, make it private or bring on some other writers. Lets just see how it goes.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

All in all a lot of fun

I am so glad that George Greenough and a host of others started exploring mat riding.

And that Paul Gross and Dale Solomonson have continued to create outstanding mats to ride.

Even though I rode the rental mats in Huntington when I was a little kid I never would have looked at mats as an advanced surfing tool.

But they are, just that.

You see waves are always changing shape.

To have a vehicle those shape can be changed, as you surf it, is quite an advantage.

Also the volume of air in the mat can be adjusted between waves. This lets you determine the basic volume of air in the mat and adjustments can be made for factors like the water temp and the size of surf that day.

Of course the absolute shape of the mat is determined by it's creator "At the factory", so to speak.

But since the mat is surfed under inflated, that is not filled to capacity, the absolute shape of the mat is not used.

By squeezing the forward corners you shift air from the outside rail to the inside.

So the inside rail forms to its absolute shape but the outside rail and the back of the mat flattens out to allow very clean release.

The shape of the rail, since the mat is filled with air, constantly adjusts to the wave surface.

This is a huge plus in either off shore or on shore wind conditions.

The result, with a decent wave is for the mat to take off like a shot.

Other types of mat manipulation including subtle shifts of weight, change of the riders' center of gravity etc allow for turns, stalls, and the odd sideways slide.

All in all a lot of fun.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Surfing - no commercial potential! Who knew!

Surfing is surfing.

It's the joyful experience of being in the water and playing with the waves.

It's sad to see it used as a marketing vehicle for selling crud to the highly sought after 12 - 17 and 18 -25 year old niche audience.

But how to go about making a living and still surf.

That's the rub.

Honest people have attempted with greater and lesser success to "live the life" by suppling the basic tools to surf.

Allas the real gold is in tee shirts.

Who knew!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Where is the stoke?

Where is the stoke?

Is the stoke in the mat?

Is the stoke in the wave?

Is the stoke in you?

The stoke appears when these things come together.

When you join them together the stoke appears.

Monday, February 11, 2008

23 Breaths

23 Breaths to blowup a surfmat to an acceptable level of semi inflation