being the glide

I have been stand-up surfing
(that sounds so stupid but I can't think of another way to describe it)
for decades
(I did stop for five years when my kids were born
it didn't seem right to go to the beach
and leave my wife changing diapers)

After that I rode,
long boards
a host of mid rangers
the odd hull
and a school of fish
until the stars aligned
and I lucked into the mats

Since that time I have been sort of singular about riding mats

I have ridden boards on occasion but they seem so distant compared with the intimacy of mat riding

With the mats, not only are you inches from the wave face, but you aren't in the mode of “what can I make of this wave”, its more “the wave is taking me along for a ride, I wonder where we are going...”

Too much fun for words,  wheeeee is as close as I can get.

But I noticed something the other day.

I had lost my mat,

(it happens)

but I was in a great place to pick up the next wave and body surf in to where my mat was floating inside

So I'm riding along thinking hey I'm body surfing pretty good

No, not like someone watching and saying, “Hey look at that guy! He's surfing pretty good!”

Just going along having a really good time

Which is more than enough for me

I'm obviously easily amused

And I am totally enamored with a minimalist approach.

It seems the years I have spent on the mat has given me some skills that directly transfer to the other finned facets of the surfing experience.

By "finned" I mean swim fins.

This spring / summer I think I am going to devote more time to the finned water sports,

So mats, hand planes, Paipos and just plain ole vanilla, ultra groovy

body surfing.

In my usually mode of making everything way to complex and complicated

I thought I would try a variety of hand planes

ranging from too big too flat plywood Paipos

(getting cut in half in the shore break,

coming home with a belly full of splinters,

those were the days!)

thru my latest favorite

micro hand planes made from discarded flip-flops.

There is something about the glide,

not being on top of the water feeling it thru a couple of inches of poly

but in the water,

being the glide.

PS No this does not mean I am giving up the mat!
Not going to happen, so save your emails about scoring my mats cheap.

Just sharing the plan

Speaking of the plan.  I'm looking at posting at 23B less often.
I have been doing the M-F thing pretty consistently for a while
and I would like some more time to develop longer pieces and to work on other projects.
Posts (like this one) may not have pictures
I spend more time looking for pictures than writing
(if  you have pics you would like to send over please do!
If they get used I will gratefully acknowledge your contribution)


pranaglider said…
no idea why the blogger editor is showing the words it feels are misspelled as highlighted on the post. It's a curious beast and quite possibly one of the reasons I want to cut back on posting. But today, lets just say it's one of those trippy little things that technology gifts us with and just carry on.
LESider said…
I completely hear where your coming from.
Over the past couple years I've been enjoying the mat more and more and this year I feel the need to build some more prone craft.
I ordered a little vacuume bagging kit for skateboard decks and plan on doing some hand planes and small paipo/bellyboards with some rocker and concaves bent into the ply, should be fun!
While I haven't given up completely on stand up surfing I am tending to do it less and less.
Its going to be a fun summer!
pranaglider said…
LESider - Exactly! Sent some pics! I'm thinking of something shaped like, well like the liberty bell, with up rails in the nose, down rails in the tail and concave down the middle.

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