/*23 Breaths: November 2008*/

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thank you Dale, Paul and George

I have been under the weather for a few days and so I have decided to re-post something from a while back.

I hope you don't mind.

Riding a mat is not like riding anything else,

but at times it's like riding everything else.

It's not like a body board.
Yes, you have fins. Yes, you are treated like a lower life form for no good reason. But there is a whole lot more going on with a mat that isn't with a body board. You do reshape the body board as you ride but not nearly to the extent as you do on a mat.

It's not like a short board.
First there is no ER or ING so there is no mass marketing machine telling you how cool you are if you have the right tee shirt and surf the right way. But seriously, when you are riding a mat you are surfing the wave in a more intimate way than you could possibly do when riding a fixed fin hard board. You can't really say you reshape your short board on the fly to fit the ever changing wave face, can you. The "moves" are a lot more subtle and aren't really maneuvers at all but optimizations to fit the context of the wave at the moment.

It's not like a long board.
Well maybe it is more like a long board. Position surfing, working with the wave, an emphasis on trimming and finding those spots on the face that provide bursts of speed. And the tube riding, eh well then again, maybe it's not like a long board.

It's "like jet-propelled bodysurfing"
This is right from the horses mouth.
Some people comment that a mat is a good thing to ride when it's big and bumpy. And it is a good thing to ride when it's big and bumpy. But it is even better when it is dredging and pitching. Don't take my word for it. Go look and any of the George Greenough's tube shots. Most were done while he was riding a mat. There is a feeling of connectedness with the wave that really helps when you are trying to sit in the tube. You can see the wave changing ahead of you and you can feel it, thru the mat, underneath you.

I have kept you a long time but here is one more comparison.

I surf in one of the more crowded areas of Southern California. But I surf alone. I surf it like it a early 60's longboard, lots of soul but maybe not that exciting to watch. But I am having a blast! As much fun as those first days as a super stoked grimmie in the shore break at Huntington. I hope to, someday, be a part of the mat revolution. Faster, more turns, more "total involvement". But right now it's like the 1950's or early sixties and I don't see another mat rider for miles and if I saw someone with a mat I would pull my car over and chat because I either know them or I share something very important with them.

So my final comparison is that mat riding is a lot like surfing used to be, a simple, joyful pleasure shared amongst friends.

Happy Thanksgiving, see you at the beach!

I will post again next week and will be answering emails and comments thru the weekend.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fluid Dynamics

Thinkmat has posted his POV mat video on You Tube.

Great stuff!

Watch in High Quality mode for best results

All this time you thought he just spent his time making his own mats and curating the mobile mat museum.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Green grass and high tides forever?

Love the fall

not so much the astronomical morning high tides

Nice weather, combo swells and enough water to float an ark!

I would have bet that the name of this song was "green grass and high times forever"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Musica Surfica

Musica Surfica is now available!

Visit the Safe to Sea blog

Here is link to a review on Daily Stoke

Musica Surfica includes one the very best mat surfers in the world,
Warren Pfeiffer of Yamba, NSW.

Now available in DVD

Monday, November 10, 2008

Daily Randomness

Since Kaser is out of town I thought I would take liberties with his blog.
So I bring you...

Random Monday Randomness...

The view out of the back of the van when I woke up this morning

Prana was out on his pool toy (does he ever do anything normal?)

WJ (I think, he had a bonzer) was going out but I wanted to look elsewhere

THE Wedge had two guys out, one on a sponge and one on a huge catamaran, the search continues...

Two bright red amoebas on the charts means surf somewhere

The streets looked OK so I went out for a few

Here are some random, I mean art shots I took because there were bits left on the end of the roll

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Surfing around

If you haven't checked out We Are H20 now should be the time.

I nice essay on paipo riding, have a look.

The image above is included in the article.

Another site to visit is rodndtube.com

Monday, November 3, 2008


Some great stuff over at SurfMatters , a community surf mat blog with multiple contributors. Paul Gross is a frequent contributor and his photos of Greenough are not to be missed. My personal Brownie (that's a camera) has neither a waterproof nor a "way back" setting so you had best stop by an check it out over there.

Since we are talking about New Zealand blog also check out Coffee Waffle. "One man and his dog, blogging from Nelson New Zealand". Excellent photography and while mat surfing isn't covered there are enough great photos of other topics to keep you interested.

About to go check out the first post "fall back" surf morning in a few. There is some fresh NW swell in the water and it should be fun, if the wind isn't on it.

PS Thanks for obliging my foray into political blogging. Those that wrote into the blog or my personal accounts were all great!

Remember to exercise your right to Vote tomorrow!