Hope everything is fine and I hope your mom is happy and well.
I would like to apologize for being such a bad disciple, you responded very rapidly to my fin questions and even went out of your way and sent me illustrations and it is not until October that I look for the time to reply. Sorry!
I have been having too much fun with my "fatty", I carry it and my fins in the trunk all the time and since I got the mat it has been my surf vehicle about 90% of the time. I inserted some neoprene on my UDT's inside the heel strap and made a wrap around neoprene heel strap to go over it. The wrap around heel strap is removable (I sewed some velcro on the end).
Since scrap neoprene is hard to get in Puerto Rico I went to Walmart and bought one of those jogging fat burning girdles in the sports section along with some regular contact cement. BINGO! Perfect fit with my 2mm heel cut off sox. I glued some of the neoprene material on top of the sox because my deformed toes started to drill a hole on the sox. Ahh comfort... Attached are some pictures of the padding, feel free to post any of this on the blog as I think it may help some people with their feet jejeje. Thank you very much for your advice!
I am currently using my UDT's unmodified, I have strong legs, they only begin to hurt my ankles if I surf over 2 hrs or if I swim long distances with them. when my ankles hurt I think that maybe I will grind the top middle rib just a bit, but then when I get out of the water the discomfort stops and I say naaahhh. The next day I am fine.
By the way, it may sound weird but my surfboard design decisions are now largely based on my mat surfing. Glide and pocket surfing, just enjoying the ride. I rarely ride my 3 fin thruster anymore, mostly a mat, my keel fish and singlefin logs, therefore the big gun...
Thank you for helping me see a different approach to riding waves, I have learned a lot from the mat. I wish other people would let go of their judgement and try a mat, I have offered rides to many since I got my mat 2 summers ago. People I know and people I don't know. Of the 5 who have tried it, all ended up with smiles on their face.
One last question I got from a friend who surfed the mat on perfect 4' faces over a live coral reef with crystal clear water on one of our island's cays. She asked me if you can make a mat with a transparent window to see the reef while we glide over it. How about a transparent mat?
I bet that would be fun!