Mat rider reply

In my last post I mentioned a story in the latest Surfer's Journal. I thought the wave in the story would be great on a mat and I asked for any mat riders on Oahu to let me know if the mat would be the call.

The reply from Tony Lum gets a post of its own!

(Tony's reply starts below)


From Tony Lum of O Ľahu:

"The waves are big, but it's really choppy and the sections close-out too fast for my surf- board. I'm not having much fun, so I go home and grab the surf mat.

As I'm paddling out on the mat, I remember... the less I try to ride the surf mat like a body board, the better off I'll be... I see a big set on the horizon so I slide myself up a little further on the mat. I kick hard as the swell begins to wall-up and pitch-out. Instead of pushing the nose of the surf mat down, like I would on a body board, I grab the two front corners of the mat and "pull" it into the wave. I'M IN!

It's an extremely vertical drop, but the surf mat conforms to the steep face of the wave and I survive the late take-off.
Instinct tells me to dig my legs and fins in for control, but I fight it off. I lay down low to the mat, lift my legs and the FRICKEN THING TAKES OFF!!

I end up going so fast that I blast right by an entire closed- out section. I see a long boarder paddling out, with his eyes and mouth wide open, totally awestruck that I covered so much distance and was rocketing straight toward him.

When I finally kicked out of the wave, I was so far away from my
original take-off spot that I didn't recognize any of the faces of the surfers waiting at this new peak...

I'm learning new things every day. For example, I've discovered that with the surf mat, you can sit further out than the long- boarders and catch swells that they can't even paddle for!"

Tony, Thanks for sharing the story!


Anonymous said…
23 Breaths - 23 Chips

pranaglider said…
23 Breaths - maybe a few too many breaths in a mat

23 Chips - maybe not enough chips in a cookie

No relation
twinfin said…
Great Story. Im already learning that flying low is what it's all about!!
warm jet said…
good stuff.
Can the mat handle the wedge?
can u engage a Quick bottom turn?
I know points are the pleasure but someone's gotta give her a go!
Passing cloe outs is awesome and in this time of 'racy' lefts in yer hood,
why are not you out at the spot we know? I'm a believer but wanna see it!
23 Breaths said…
Particularly incite full comments / questions, as always.
Can the mat handle the Wedge?
Indeed, although I dread the thought that what the mean old nasty Wedge would do to the mat.
Sudden extreme pressure on a closed air filed bag...
Having said that there are mat-ers that ride the Wedge and rave about it.
Quick bottom turn?
Yep takes a bit of practice but that's all.
Personally, I like a nice A frame peak.
I have been over the falls enough and at this stage of my life I only count the waves I make.
I have picked up enough used syringes at HQ that I try to only make it an occasional indulgence when its really good.
But enough of my rapier wit.
The ride on the mat is different and you approach waves differently.
But you can ride anything and do anything with it.
Like the difference between a fish, a bonzer and a hull.
Not better, not worse just different.
More like fast body surfing than anything else.
I can’t explain it but the next time I see you give it a try and see.

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