Nov 30, 2009

Stylish Matting?

Do you reckon this would be an example of stylish matting form?


Lately, I've been thinking about how to appear aesthetically correct while riding a mat. You've got to figure that heaps of discerning surfmatters out there in blogland would have some tips and opinions on what constitutes stylish matting. Stuff like arm placement, whether hanging on or casually appearing to just rest one's hands on the pontoons is more cool, elbows in or out, laying low or upright in the Sphinx position...?

Some folks say style is everything. Others claim that form follows function. Anyway, I thought that this vitally important and highly debatable subject might be fun to post about and comment on. Maybe we can work out what's what in the style department so we can all look really posh when we go matting...

(I tend to think the following looks pretty good: Forearms and hands resting on top of the outer pontoons, elbows in, no deathgrip [until the moment it's needed], lightly perched, head not too high or low, relaxed big smile. But that's just one matter's opinion, and you'll see me violating these self-imposed fashion rules quite often, however I really try to keep up the goofy smile!)

11 comments:

pranaglider said...

Great post Max! For me, style follows function Currently I am working on keeping my right elbow in during the drop and bottom turn on the rights. If I don't it drags and thats not good. It will be interesting to read what others say.

Anonymous said...

what IF and i'm just saying, you surfed the mat the way its supposed to be surfed and let your individual "style" come through. why are we so caught up with the way things look? what if you just surfed for yourself, the feeling YOU get and just blew off the desire to have folks think, wow, that guy is soooo cool, did you see the way he looked on that wave? that kinda mentality has gotten surfing to where we are today, CROWDS! whats cool is the feeling not the looking. soulglider

MAT MAX said...

True, if it works it's valid. Doesn't matter so much what others think, does it? Still though, I'd like to know how to do what's easiest on the eyes, even if there's no one watching.

GRAYMAN said...

I'm with both of the above. When it's feels right, it is right. Given the nature of mats (ie floppy) I think you get forced into a half decent technique otherwise you just stall.

G

Skyler said...

To forget oneself is to be enlightened.

GRAYMAN said...

To forget one's self is to be phenomenally absent minded! ;)

G

misterdirk said...

I have a hard time keeping my elbows in, and I think I tend to ride a bit too far forward. I do the same thing on hard boards, trim from center forward a lot. But as I keep practicing and improving, my responses to the wave are becoming more adept, and I assume that some style will start to emerge eventually.

When I first started I consciously strove to remain quiet on the mat, and flow smoothly. Now that I have a little more muscle memory in place, my body can loosen up more and maybe tap in to some of that "body English" that Greenough mentions in the explanatory video on YouTube.

pranaglider said...

I think Skyler is on to something.

The best times are when you forget the mat and just "surf the wave"

Anonymous said...

prana-i agree with skyler too, if i can remember correctly. i remeber greenough saying to keep your chin down on the front of the mat, this really makes it fly! it does work but it looks goofy. i'm just sayin...soulglider

Jamie said...

For me, my style is a function of what I want to experience on the wave. I keep my head as low and close to the water as possible, which makes the experience more visually intense. I like to keep the inflation low so that I feel every little ripple, and I love taking my hands off the mat and sweeping them back against my sides. I think any given wave is most fun when I am just on the verge of losing all control and spinning out. All these together add up to the fastest way to travel across the wave's surface, which i suppose is my ultimate goal, just to go as fast as possible for as long as possible.

nathanoj said...

What is judged as unattractive may partly stem from what people are used to seeing. The rarity of mat riders may make the 'head low and go' minimalist stream-lined style unusual, odd, or even unattractive, to surf watchers accustomed to seeing prone riders (boogers) demonstrate a more sphinx-like posture.
I detest the look of board riders who 'hop' of flap across flat spots. Functional perhaps...but DAMN ugly :-)