BJ, posting over at Billy Boarder...
"Today I hit the fabled "4th Gear" for the first time! The mat has always felt fast, but on one bigger set, the right hander looked like closing out, so I resisted the urge to straighten out, or pull out through the back. Instead I tried to be as neutral as possible, I loosened my grip on the front corners and wooosh.....it felt like an invisible hand had given me a gentle but powerful shove! The water passing under the mat was making a light fluttering sound and the Fatty seemed to know where it was going, holding an impossibly high line and shooting through the almost closing out section. I flew out onto the shoulder and with a subtle body roll I carved a smooth line back into the pocket.
I was speechless! I paddled back out with a new confidence for approaching sections that looked unmake able. After four or five more of these, I started to get it dialled. I was lucky to have a peak where each wave was almost identical to the one before, so I could practise and refine my technique.
I see now why people end up riding mats exclusively!!!!!"