Oct 25, 2008

Fin Dipping -- Part II

Controlling lateral drift with one fin...

Photo sequence from Greg Huglin's Fantasea
Using the inside fin for directional stability.

Lifting the inside fin to allow the tail to slide out.

Both fins are out of the water... and the mat is in full side slip.

The inside fin is lowered back into the water to check the tail slide.


bongoman said...

Interesting post.

As a new mat surfer coming from surfing finned craft, the thing I still find disconcerting is when the tail starts to slide. It still feels very much 'out of control' when it starts to happen.

bongoman said...

I wanted to add that I'm still not sure how to work with the lateral movement that the mat is capable of. Is it always something you try and counteract, through dipping a fin etc, or you just go with it?

I suppose black-belt mat riders use the slide in a controlled manner as one of the unique movements that a mat is capable of - there's the scene in one of the GG films where George pulls of a beautiful controlled lateral slide.

MAT MAX said...

Mat riding is somewhat akin to rally driving, in that both sports involve highly variable surface condtions, random camber changes, curving tracks, crosswinds... Mats feature similar chassis dynamics to dirt cars, and so slipping and sliding are just part of the deal.

Of course, dirt track racers go much faster by sliding than by railing through corners and long bends. Mats free up and utilize side-thrust out the channels in much the same way as crossing it up with the hammer down in a racecar.

So, work with moderate slippage and dance on the edge for super-speed. I reckon that riding the line between hooking up and spinning out is one of the funnest things ever, in or on any type of vehicle, especially surfmats!