Jan 15, 2012

"You Grab Two Fistfuls Of Fabric And Go!"

That's how Greenough once characterized the essence of mat riding. As to how and where the rider should grab his or her mat, well...that's up to them! Here just a few of the many variations...

John Severson's classic rendition of mat riding in the 60's revealed two basic approaches to hanging onto your mat...the nose grab and the rail grab.


Greenough is generally an advocate of the full rail grip...



A UKMS alumni carving with a full, sweaty palm caressing the bottom of his pontoon...


...while Mattitude carves with a hybrid approach.



Mat Max was a rail gripper early on...

...but evolved into the "hands-on-deck" approach.


The hands-on-deck style nets trim sensitivity. Like many accomplished mat riders, Greenough uses it in low power situations.



Another small wave effectively ridden with hands-on-deck. Chiledub.


There's a great shot of Matt P using the hands-on-deck style on a smaller wave starting at :18 ...




At 7:23 Mike Cundith transitions from a full rail grip on a bottom turn, to a hands-on-deck trim mode, back to a full grip. Very sophisticated mat riding!




Pranaglider with his inside arm extended into the wave. One hand grip.


George utilizing a one hand grip while his inside arm sweeps back as he enters the tube, at 9:28





Another classic image of George, early 70's. Inside arm swept back, one hand grip.



Last but not least, Tom A with what appears to be a "head first, no grip, two arms swept back" mode. Hope he isn't this casual when he lands his Lufthansa jumbo jet!!!

What's amazing is that every mat photo reveals something interesting about how the rider approaches their grip on the mat.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
I actually do hold onto the back of the outside rail and use the inside hand on the wave when I have to. This position keeps my head down low and forces me to arch my back less.
Cheers
T

Anonymous said...

that footage isn't in mmy copy of voyager. was it edited ouut and you have the footage or is it included in the newer release of CV?
el vaquero

Anonymous said...

the section i am talking about is the commercial shoot for hollywood. it definitely isn't in my vhs version of cv.
el vaquero

PG said...

I've never seen a version of CV that didn't have this sequence in it... Hmmm ...

By any chance, did you get your copy of CV at Our Blue Planet surf shop in Ventura back in the 90's? I heard those guys sold some pretty sketchy stuff back then...