stand-up surfing and 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

Misc shot of the rafters (Is that a raccoon?)

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

Photo by Mom

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 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.

I think I am going to devote more time to the finned water sports,

So mats, hand planes, Paipos, body boards, serving trays and just plain ole vanilla, ultra groovy

body surfing.

There is something about the glide,

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

poly foam and glass

but in the water,

every inch of my body

contributing in some way to

being the glide.

the first and last photographs by Jason Hall at Daily Bread


LESider said…
This comment was actually a private message to Bruce and he thought I should post here.

Hey Bruce,
I really liked your blog post today, echos my feelings exactly. I have one question, why did you leave out bodyboards? If I had written that post I would have too and I feel a bit of guilt just thinking I would do that. I've told myself that I'm going to make a paipo for those small dredging days that I know will kick my ass on a mat but in reality I think a booger would be the best tool for the job. you know I'm writing this for myself and not really you, I just needed to put it in words that I'm a "Boogist", didn't really realize it until I read your post. I think I'm going to have to borrow Justins one of these days so I can see what I'm missing...
pranaglider said…
Good point and thanks for your comment. I have nothing against sponges, it's a fine planing device indeed. I just don't have a good one. I kind of reverse inherited mine from my kids and with the ones I have I don't like the way they flex off the bottom. If I had a good one I would love it. That weird yellow hand plane / Paipo thing sort of fits in the bodyboard space of my quiver.
joe said…
their called boogie boards.
Matt23 said…
Can a post be effervescent?
pranaglider said…
Joe - call them what you will just don't call me "late-for-dinner"

Matt23 - Yes. Fizzy sometimes but you have to hold your head up to the screen to hear it!

Dr. Lang said…
I enjoyed the post very much.I decided to get out Friday morning and did my check list and hit it.
Got to the beach and suited up.Ok where did I put my mat.Didn't lose it
I forgot it.Instead of getting mad I thought of your post and hat a great body surfing session.Always enjoy reading.Thanks
pranaglider said…
Dr. - Who is the glide? You are the glide!

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