SS,Do you have any preference -- going right or left -- on the mat yet?
No preference yet. I guess the fact that I'm a goofy foot means nothing on a mat. I like going where the shoulder is when I"m on the mat!
Surfsister,Thanks for posting this. Kaser (Daily Bread) and I surf the same polluted river mouth and he has a way of making average waves look good. This day I was wearing my hood and hoping for offshore winds (they didn't show up). I also am wearing a pair of unaltered UDT's and the extra weight aft let me move a few inches more forward on the mat. Regarding backside / front side on the mat. I was surprised that my it made so much difference in the way I approached the waves and the “body english” I used.
If you think about Frontside and Backside when standing up, you're still surfing off the same back foot. They're two completely different experiences, as your vision is altered, and you're riding off your heels backside and toes frontside, etc.However, riding "straight ahead"(when body surfing, kneeboarding, body boarding, mat riding, etc.) brings a complete reversal of which side of your body you use to accomplish each task and feel each experience. In these forms of wave riding, going right or left are more like switching stance on a board.I was much more comfortable going right as a little kid on a mat. When I started to surf standing up, I was a regular foot. Plus I learned to stand up surf in mostly small right point surf. So, going right has always felt best by a wide margin.I kind of wish I had the reverse directional tendacy between the mat and a board...so that mat riding and board riding would fulfill a different place in my surfing experience. My advice for SS, and anyone starting out, is to concentrate on going the "other way" on a mat. Make going right your preferred mat direction, to compliment going left as your board riding direction.One hysterical (to me) story...We were surfing at "The Left" out at the S.B. Channel Islands, and I was paddling back after yet another struggling left slide on my mat. George came blazing through on the next wave, taking off way behind the peak and rocketing through. Even for him, it was amazing. I said something to that effect as we were paddling back. He replied, "Yeah, well, going left is more natural for me. If I went left all the time, I'd be a much better mat rider..."
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