Feb 26, 2009

"Try to Get Out Into Some Head High or Bigger Waves"

Tell me why I was looking right when that is clearly a left?

Easier said than done!

My third session on the mat came after an hour and a half on the surfboard. It's becoming clear to me now that matting is a hell of a good full body workout. You've got to have some gas in the tank in order to get the most out of a mat session. I'd say my tank was only half full when I went out today. And yes, the waves, the set waves, were head high. Paddling out was, in a word, brutal. I had no idea how to get to the outside with all of these head high waves coming at me. I couldn't kick hard enough to get past them before they broke. I couldn't really duck dive them. All I could do was try to dive under them while leaving my arm outstretched in an attempt to let the mat pass over the waves. When I did get outside, I was tired, almost too tired to try for waves. This session presented me with more variables than I could process at one time.

I'd put less air in the mat this time. That in itself presented me with challenges I hadn't anticipated. It was harder to stay on the mat with less air. And as I'd get into a wave, the front of the mat would curl under before I pulled it up to start the ride. It was all so very confusing. I can also say it was also very enjoyable.

Now, help me here. Somebody say something about paddling out. Say anything. I don't have anyone I mat with and I'm learning this on my own. What are some of the techniques you use to paddle out?

Prana, I'm officially calling you out. I need a session with you, please. I'm willing to come down to where you are. It's time for some coaching. I'm definitely a visual learner. I need to see someone who knows what he's doing. I nominate you.


borntoloser said...

Hey Sis, I think it would be really good if you could get out at a reef/point- something with a defined channel so you could focus more of waves and less on the paddle. One session at a good reef will flatten the learning curve.

Beachbreaks are tough to paddle out in but here's how I do it:
1. use the rips.
2. don't really duck dive with a knee or foot on the mat like you would on a surfboard. Rather, bend at the waist and pull the mat under like a duck dive using only your upper body. Use your elbows to control the mat underwater and use your legs to propel you deeper. Then let the inflation pull you up on the other side of the turbulence.
3. lots of whitewash can just be floated/bounced over.
4. when it's really big swim out uninflated and inflate in the lineup. Granted, I'm not a truly experienced mat rider but I'm an enthusiastic learner and have surfed the mat in some beachbreak. Hopefully we'll do a socal mat meet come spring/summer.

Surfsister said...

Thanks, BTL. You know, the crowds here in L.A. are such that I don't know that I can safely take a mat to a point.

Thanks for the advice on paddling out.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, you're a "regular fin," and that's why you're instinctively going right.

The photo looks good, BTW. Nice form, etc.

My Word Verification is "dingsy."

Pahl Dixon said...

When I first got onto nylon mats it was a struggle to work out what to do. And twenty year later it's still challenging. So be patient and think it through. This is what makes matting so great. When it all comes together, you've earned it.

Anonymous said...

how do you duckdive your log surfsis?

I was in some HH stuff my last sesh and tried a couple new things......

1: rolling over on my back like a logger.. kinda worked but not the best... or

2: get the mat to fold like a towel over your fore arm and swim through the face... , kinda gnarly but at least it gave my fingers a break..

riding with a low low inflation level, about 1inch gap from the nose/tail touching echother...

what i usually do is aim for the base of the wave before it breaks, if you can get the mat to penatrate through with a couple kicks, youll rocket out the back!

if its whitewash coming at you just fold up some rocker and swim over!

youl be suprised at how well this works....


pranaglider said...

SS, All good advice above.
In addition we will be having a mat meet that coincides with the Anything but Three gathering on March 29 in Oceanside. JP has given us the official okey-dokey to show up and surf our collective brains out! Until then keep getting in the water with the mat. The full body workout is an added plus!

borntoloser said...

Good news Prana- I'm going to try to make it to AB3. Bt how about a little mat session in the trestes area pre-AB3? Maybe the evening before we might get to something more suitable than dumpy Oside shorebreak?