It's been a quite while since I've posted on Surfmatters. Close to a year has flown by since heading back down under after a year of exile from NZ in Hawaii due to an immigration department mixup. The past ten months have featured exclusively matting in mostly junk surf in New Zealand and Australia with the occasional decent session and very occasional classic days (Snapper Rocks!). Hawaii was amazing, with universally friendly people everywhere, adventures of total freedom to explore realms of untrammeled nature, and overflowing ultimate aloha! I miss Hawaii dearly, but would selfishly rather be in Aotearoa (Land of the Long White Cloud) at the moment due to lack of population, minimal authority and distance from radiation, among other things. Plus Mum and Dad and Angie, the best girl ever, are here.
One of the recent highlights is learning that mats can be turned down the face of the wave for more speed by unweighting and skidding the tail in order to avoid the drag caused by leaning over to change rails. This way the inside rail remains engaged so as to carry more energy forward to scoot around sections while preserving precious momentum. Turning by drifting is is basic to dirt biking and rally driving, which are very similar to surfmatting, with water being similar to soft soil. One really cool thing about matting is that your body can remain driving down the line while the mat is angling down the face to gather momentum. Keeping your body hurtling ahead while the mat angles downward allows gaining velocity while conserving energy so as to carry speed around whitewater. (Along this line I've found that concentrating on the totem of the flying squirrel in flight facilitates skimming across flat spots and and around foamy sections.)
Also, Mister Dirk recently commented on Dad's Flipper connection and my own delphine interactions. Mats have played a central role in these interspecies contacts due to the ability to rub the fabric of a mat to produce sounds that intrigue Dolphins, Orcas, Otters, Peguins... who then come around to say hello.
Right, well life carries on, and matting is an enduring pleasure. Needless to say I am super-stoked wishing that everyone out there is regularly getting fired up on mat surfing!!!
Cheers Mates, Mat Max