/*23 Breaths: January 2011*/

Monday, January 31, 2011

Saturday afternoon at Rincon

"...he has more from the wave, I think..."

Phrases like that make my blogger heart race and after a few emails I had enough photos for ten posts!  

Instead of doling them out like government cheese, here they are. 

Better to connect the dots between bottom turn, glide and tube ride.

Just another Saturday afternoon, Andrew Stephen Buck enjoying the slide

All photos by Jason MacMurray

Friday, January 28, 2011


Photo by Jason Hall see more at Daily Bread

Sometime today or maybe tomorrow the site meter I use to keep track of web traffic will roll over 100,000 page views for this blog.

Roughly 75,000 visitors to 23Breaths.

Quite a few for a small blog dealing with one small facet of surfing.

23B started as a way to share my love of riding surf mats.

Jason Hall of the Daily Bread blog took the photo above and it attracted many more readers that would have otherwise found their way here.  The same photo made an appearance on the Surfers Journal website which also attracted more readers.

As the mat rider population grew the blog became a meeting place for it's readers to contribute and share their experiences either online or offline in emails to me directly.

The Cottons mat meet last summer was a great time and brought together many new friends and some old friends I had never meet face to face.

I really think of you all as coexplorers really.

Riding surf mats is still a small club and it retains that "hi how are ya, glad to meet you" friendly feel that I just don't see in the main stream surfing community. We are all very lucky to experience some of the same camaraderie that hasn't been seen in the surf community since the 50's.

In the coming months I hope to include more photos and writing from other readers.

Other than that I don't know where we are headed and that is all part of the fun.

Thank you all  for coming along for the ride.

One more thing

On Monday I will be posting some pictures by Jason MacMurray the photographer / mat rider many of you may have meet at the Cotton's mat meet last summer. Rincon, Surf mats, Good stuff!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

About two minutes

Ever since the Winter Solstice we have been getting a little more day light every day.

A gathering of Wiccan's, Druid's and  Matters at the Winter Solstice

Just about two minutes a day.  

Not much in the cornucopia of things that occur during our busy days, but like compound interest after a while it adds up.  For instance, I no longer go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. 

But the increased sunlight makes me think of things I'd like to do this upcoming Spring and Summer.

(so has watching the Volcom Pipeline Pro, but I won't be heading to the islands anytime soon) 

With all the rain we got this "winter" there train loads of sand at the local river mouths, waiting for distribution. While sand bars alone don't make for a good or possibly great spring / summer season, it can't hurt.

Photo by Jason at Daily Bread

If you are a movie maker and are interested in contributing to the crowdsourced MATMOVIE, mat rider and movie mogul Dirk Brandt had posted up a couple of new entries on the Mat Movie blog.

Probably a good time to start up your summertime asana practice too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Get it while it's hot

From the weather service

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A few random thoughts

 about the 405 freeway and the morning commute in Orange County

Pick a lane and stay in it!

I did some research about transportation, accidents, traffic fatalities etc., while getting my degree.
The data clearly shows changing lanes doesn’t help, you just race up to the next bottleneck.
Pick a lane, stay in it and pay attention to the car in front of you.  It could stop. Suddenly.

If you have more money than sense and have gone out and just had to buy some uber expensive pleasure barge to drive to work in.

Don’t expect anyone to gauze longingly at your car when we are stopped in traffic, fantasizing how cool it must be to be you. We are all stuck in traffic, none of us is ever going to ever have a chance to go mach 1 on the freeways around here, and you are probably an idiot.  If you want to impress anyone you should have bought reliable transportation that does well in a crash and then invested the rest of the money or donated it to some worthwhile charity. That's impressive!

If you are driving south on the 405 in the morning and you have a surfboard strapped to the roof of your car.

First stop smiling.  It’s hard enough to drive in to work on a Monday.  I spend the entire commute trying to avoid being involved in a firey crash wilst  mulling the surf conditions around in the back of my mind,  trying to calculate how many PTO hours I have and wondering if I have used the  “I won’t be in today because I have the one day leprosy” excuse this month yet. So if you have the day off and are heading down to Trestles, SanO or points south please flash me a “I’m–going-to-the-dentist” frown as you pass by. 
It will really help me continue on to work and I would appreciate it!

Best Regards

Monday, January 24, 2011

Just another day in January

And as the sun sank into the west the sky erupted into bright pink and a color I can only describe as "evening sky blue".

But I have gotten ahead of my self and focused on the pizza too soon.
Which is actually a good thing because if you forget about the pizza is burns.

The day started off with high hopes in the surf department.
The weather report was promising


And the swell had looked promising as well.

Sadly the reality of the new swell was that is was a quite steep NW which offered overhead close outs or one foot zippers.

Jonathon and I had to result in extreme measures.

There was a car ride, a walk, a mule trip to the bottom of the canyon and a time machine involved.

But we were finally able to get some great mat waves!

Wave of the day honors belonged to JJ as he caught a close to shore slab left (most of the rides were much farther out side and were well over a hundred yards).

The wave in question started out looking not unlike a Wedge monster, but of course the Wedge hadn't even been created yet and if it had would be many miles away. But that was my first impression, a take off that was mostly heaving lip and a little bit of mat rider hanging on and trying to find some purchase for his rail. My initial thoughts were I wonder if I brought a shovel to dig poor Jonathon out of the sand at low tide. But JJ found his rail and screamed down the line just barely escaping the hungry mouth of the beast.  A small band of friendly natives had gathered on the shore, screamed and yelled as JJ exited the water but I was surprised by one fellow who offered up a quite authentic "golf clap".  

Several hours later and maybe two hundred years later I returned home just in time to make pizza for dinner.

And I think that where this story started.   

Sorry no surf pictures but the whole time travel thing seems to ruin any photos.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Not Todos

Mattitude sent me a link to a video with the caption, "not Todos but a good trial run to see if riding killers is possible on a mat"
click on the pictures to enlarge
Big bottom turn above and everything almost coming apart below

James says, "I like this shot, hand skim rail pop madness!" 
Thanks for passing this along, great stuff!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Both Sides Now

photo by Seth de Roulet

Andrew Stephen Buck banking off the bottom at speed. A very interesting shot. You don't often  get to see this perspective, unless you are out in the water.

JDUB catching Andrew Stephen Buck in mid flight. 

Same wave after the turn? 
I have no idea 
but maybe.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Global Warming

 We interrupt this normally scheduled posting on the 23B network for this very important announcement regarding the weather.

Greetings Citizens,
There is nothing to the vicious rumors of Global Warming or Climate Change. These are just examples of bad science being pushed by the leftist media elitists. 

The strange weather patterns we in Southern California have been experiencing are examples of  a new governmental policy of “Calendar Seasonal Re-Arrangement”. 

We just can't afford all the nice weather and seasons we have come to expect in California with the current state budget short fall.  
It's not like the Federal level where they can actually print money and the country is pretty much run for the benefit of powerful campaign contributors on Wall Street.

So to make ends meet we have had to eliminate and consolidate some of the seasons we normally take for granted.

Think of it as a lean and mean governmental weather machine.

Let's look at a few examples of how this will work.

The “summer that never was” can easily be explained by compressing the normally sunny months of July and August into an extended period of cloudiness and meager surf that is historically, the month of June. 

So in the future, no more 100 days of summer, just a 90 day period of June. 

After the June quarter, where normally we have the season of fall we will have winter. 

The warm days and chilly nights will be replaced by warmer temps, weekly rainstorms and record rain accumulations. The high pressure dome you loved for the warm days and offshore winds but hated for deflecting NW storms and swells will be saved for the season that used to be called Winter. 

Since we already had one winter and Winter Part II is a trade mark of the MGM Corporation, we will use fall as the name of the following season. We are saving tons of money on legal fees on this one decision alone. 

So far we have the seasons of Not Summer or the June quarter, followed by winter followed by fall. 

Are you with me so far? 

If not, no matter as this fall season is a short affair brought to an abrupt end by Summer – Like temperatures and maybe some off shore wind. We had some extra heat in the system and this seemed like a good place to put it. 

The next season or few seasons are as yet to be determined. We are kind of winging it here at the GCRA or Governmental Calendar Seasonal Re-Arrangement headquarters.

If you are reading this from the Great Frozen Eastern United States and are wondering WTF? We are working on a “Calendar Seasonal Re-Arrangement” for your area but currently all we have is Snow then more Snow then a garbage strike. In fact your seasonal change may turn out to be two seasons, “Snow” and “more Snow”. 

As a side note of this governmental “Calendar Seasonal Re-arrangement” the letters L, M, N, O and P will be combined into one letter LMNOP because everyone sings the alphabet song that way anyway 

But I digress. 

So in closing, Citizens never fear these changes because your elected officials have nothing but your best interests at heart. Unless of course, you live in Bell

We now return you to the normally scheduled blog post which is already in progress.

So then I said, "No it's supposed to be partially inflated!" 

Signing off until next time,


Monday, January 17, 2011

Paradise Found

I was ready to call it a day and not run anything today.

Nothing interesting coming to mind

Not really feeling the stoke from a few days ago

But as I was reading the internets end-to-end

I came across a perfect wave

No crowd, no parking lot, no industry

As beautiful to look at as it would be to ride

No names, locations, or clues of any kind.

Just an image

Paradise is out there

Friday, January 14, 2011


This mornings post evolved from two emails from fellow matters James and Tom

First up a note from James,

"its interesting to hear perspectives from people who have never ridden them :)
i dont expect many people will get it .
just offering my experiences and sharing what im into. 

the thing to remember is that  we are all surfing .

a bodyboard is somewhat like a military jet 
but there is one problem in surfing our speed comes from the waves not the planes engines

so the bodyboarder is constantly looking for the juice becasue w/o a certain amount of power the jet falls out of the sky and has shitty stall speeds compared to say a  bi plane or a hang glider.

meanwhile the surfmat is a better glider and actually gets up to the speeds of the jet with alot less wave energy to  push it 
the ride has a bit of a wild feeling to it cause going 
mach 2 in a hang glider is crazy shit.

seriously its like trying to compare flying a wingsuit to a jet fighter  no matter how much the jet fighte trys to say its better the wingsuit guy will just shake his head and say you just dont understand"

 Great stuff, James nails the mat / glider thing and I'm definitely posting this but I'll need some visuals for the text.

So I open an email from Tom

"Is it just that it's been too long since I've been out on my mat, or 
do I really see some mat-like aviation going on here?" 

Yes, Tom it's been too long and yes it's most definitely mat-like

And that's how 23B comes together in the morning.

James and Tom, first round's on me! Thanks

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wandering Through Winter

My wife picked this up for me in a used book shop we were browsing

The fourth in a series of books by naturalist Edwin Way Teale details the journey he and his wife Nellie made through the US.

This one starts in San Diego and ends in the North East.

I like the title 

Maybe I can relate to the wandering.

Tom Curren went on a Search.

Myself, I can only say I go for a Wander.

You never know what you are going to find. 

Sometimes there is rain, sometimes good conditions but no swell.

Sometimes solid swell and offshore.

You never know.

I always bring a mat.

photo by Graham Day

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

KSUSA 2011

It's that time
when the kneelo population
seems to grow exponentially

But it's just the annual gathering

Details here 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


No prose to polish

No poem to pen

Nothing else to say

Could this be the end?

Monday, January 10, 2011

a skipping stone

Finally got in the water on Saturday after a long break.

Standard issue high tide Huntington.

A little flop over outside which soon flattens out altogether
 with the occasional inside reform when the stars align.

After a couple of decent ones it occurs to me that to optimize the situation  I would need to start out with a larger more buoyant vehicle for the take off and to deal with the outside mush
and greatly reduced volume on the inside if a racetrack section presents itself.

 Wait for it...

 (well that and it makes the walk a mile down the beach from the parking lot much easier)

 So the paddle out and take off are at the normal end of the mat-for-a-mushy-day spectrum.
Somewhere mid wave,  after the cut back,  if the wave looks like it might make a good inside reform

 a quick grab and tug

 and a litter of air is decanted

 making the mat a perfect little shore break projectile
 sort of like
a skipping stone

Friday, January 7, 2011

Finally a Friday

The longest four days of my life

(Some how there is a space time worm hole that also makes the time between 5am and 5:15 the shortest time span of the day but that's a discussion for another day)

With the help of some music therapy I will make it to the weekend.

Orange County coastal areas-
200 am PST Fri Jan 7 2011

Surf height.............3 to 5 feet with sets to 6 feet.
Rip current potential...high. Strong rip currents and dangerous
                        swimming conditions.
Water temperature.......54 to 57 degrees.

Remarks...west northwest swell.

Outlook for Saturday...3 to 4 feet.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Up at 5

Ok, I'm up at 5am

did the dishes, started the laundry

made my lunch

let the cat out and in

and out and in

nothing I can do now but sit down and crank out another 23B

Problem is I've got nothin

I need some waves

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


"It's a bad sign when any SoCal surf trip starts with an ice scrapper"

Conditions are still a bit nippy here but the rain has stopped and perhaps, there is a slight chance, of surf in the future. (I'm trying not to jinx's it)

Totally skunked over the holiday weekend BTW. Between a lack of swell, high tide, rain, and pollution there just wasn't a wave to be had.

So flat I had to surf the internet, but

I discovered a new Paipo / Mat blog   MrMikes Paipos

Mr Mike makes his own craft and surfs mats for good measure.

Thats a quiver shot from his blog up above.

Great stuff, check it out!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pema Chodron and the reason surf mats work so well

I was reading thru a bit of poetry and came across a passage that I thought  I should share with you all.

First we need to borrow some beautiful words from Tibetan meditation teacher Pema Chodron

"happiness lies in being able to relax with our true condition, which is basically fleeting, dynamic, fluid, not in any way solid, not in any way permanent. It's transient by nature."

Now that we have been inspired let's replace the word "happiness" with "the reason surf mats work so well".

It's a switch-a-roo I do quite a bit in real life

So now we have

The reason surf mats work so well lies in their being able to relax with their true condition, which is basically fleeting, dynamic, fluid, not in any way solid, not in any way permanent. It's transient by nature.

Thank you Pema!

The fleeting, dynamic, fluid, not in any way solid thing is working out just fine!

Monday, January 3, 2011

World Speed Surfing Record

This just in from Mark Thompson

Coming in 2011
Hi Bruce
I have 5 new and improved MT5 ultra mats with 10 micron bottoms ready to roll
My record to date is 48.3 and I burst the last white bottom ultra I had at possibly 3 Gs during a psycho speed burn so I’ve been back to the drawing board working out how to keep them together. I am at the physical limit of human engineering, physics, and construction but I am confident the new ones will be sick and I can bust the 50 kmph barrier.
More Info Soon

Krypt International is pleased to present

The Inaugural World Surfing Speed Record Attempt

Mark Thomson engaging the Warp Drive during Speed Trials

Coming Soon

Mats are fast, no doubt about that, I spend a lot of time trying to keep the mat from out running the wave in the shore break I frequently ride. How fast mats would go when pushed to the edge of  materials etc. I'm not sure but plenty fast.  Personally, I'm not sure I would even want to be around when the materials start to smoke and disintegrate.

But if just how fast, floats your boat, so to speak you might enjoy this

Personally I'm still waiting for the rain to stop and the conditions to clean up.
Happy New Year

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011 now with More Floyd!

Received this New Years gift from Mark Thompson the other day

"As we enter the second decade of the 21st century I offer you this gift to remind you, who you are, where you came from, why you are here and to where you will return."

Nice, thanks Mark!