Before the rag biz they had a band
well maybe not..
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5 hours ago
GG surfing at an advanced level
"The funny thing about mats is that they're the easiest thing to surf on a basic level, but they're the hardest thing to surf on an advanced level. It takes 10 years of experience before you can drive them anywhere near their potential..." George Greenough
Two points I would like to make regarding the statement above by Mr. Greenough
First, It's super fun the whole time!
Second, I am so stoked to look forward to the future. Not only in my own mat riding which no doubt has a ways to go but in the groundswell of mat riders I am beginning to see form "outside".
Matting may have always been the "fly fishing of surfing". Surfers would see it and while a few would jump right in, most would pass and stay on the standard craft of the day.
I think more media exposure is going to change all that. You may start seeing people at the beach riding mats that you don't even know!
We need to look at the development of board surfing as a model of one way to manage the growth of the sport.
We can welcome new comers and share the joy in the ocean experience. We can honor the mat riders and the mat makers of the past while encouraging innovation in the present
we can have sportswear companies tell us that the most important thing it that we all ride the same mat as their sponsored pro rides at Teahupoo while wearing the latest in mat surfing fashions.
My point being that if we stick close to the experience we can grow and change without mat riding being exploited as just another profitable niche market.
It`s nearing dusk, and you're airborn on takeoff, drifting down the face of a newly discovered secret wave. As your craft finally touches the surface and begins to find its line, you roll into a long, smooth fade to the left, toward the strange, angled base of this thickening maul. At the outer edge of your vision you see the peak thrusting itself skyward. As the shadow of the lip passes overhead, you quickly straighten and aim deep for the bottom.
There is silence in the moment before impact, and then heavy thunder lands close to your left. But looking away, your focus is on the oddly swirling water just ahead. The surface pulls tight, pouring off the rock shelf to meet the incoming wave. At the last possible second you twist completely over on the inside rail, banking so far to the right that you can`t see much of anything, straining to raise your head as a great unseen force drives you firmly into the deck, and the tightening arc of your turn throws you over the watery glaze of the reef and back up across the face.
Your grip relaxes as you level out, skimming across the vertical upper third of the inward-bending wall. Far ahead, the inside bowl rises ominously, stretching out, the wave growing larger and thicker than it was when you first caught it.
Now is the time to let go, pressing down, unwinding at full power, the soft chattering of your craft changes to a whispering hiss, as you strain into the highest possible line. As your velocity increases you wonder if this is what a seabird might feel as it soars across a wave sensing invisible pathways to maximum speed.
Fast approaching the inside section, turbid boils and broken kelp hint the end is near. Without prompting, your vehicle accelerates, descending toward the surging base, falling deeper into the coiling hole. Lightly textured backlit bluegreen hues become dark oily slick and the water feels hard.
As if trapped in a slow motion dream, you watch the massive roof of the tube heave itself outward and far ahead. Racing higher again you flatten, leaning closer to the uprushing wall. Surprised and amazed by the mysterious pull of the building momentum your grip tightens instinctively. You`ve never ridden anything, anywhere this fast.
Streaking toward your wave's last escape portal time finally slows to a single moment. And just before the opening winks shut you look back at your spiralling, shimmering track, swallowed up by the swirling darkness, and surrender to the unnerving suspicion that this mat of yours is somehow... surfing itself!
Scott Kurth on his Neumatic at Matland. Photo by Ken McKnight