May 27, 2013
I wanted to thank you for my first true love the Tracker RT! She has been the perfect traveling companion for my adventures splashing around the globe. We have caught many a fun wave at home and abroad whether it be a sloppy beach break or perfect long barreling points she has been there for me and continues to teach me every time we hit it.
Apparently now my old RT mat is lonely and would be much happier with a new sexy "Omni" stored alongside her. Coming from a conservative up-bringing I would never have guessed I could love 2 at the same time, but after mat sliding now going on 3 years my mind has burst wide to all possibilities. I am open to this ménage-a-trois arrangement and hope we will all live in harmony. If not there is always the wife to fall back on!
My weight is still fluctuating between 211-225 depending on whether out at sea (dry) or home(wet/beer)! Staying in reasonable shape although my last go out during a port call in Honolulu left my ankles and knees hurting from all the kicking I did. Nothing like using fins 3 days straight after 3 months of inactivity.
I'll put in the order on the web site. I pull back into home port (San Diego) next week, looking forward to a long summer of fun with family, friends and my mats! Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
A couple of fotos from the latest session. We surf a boat accessible spot off the harbor when we moor at the University facility. Just my crew and I surfing fun 1 footers!
Master, R/V Melville
May 25, 2013
May 22, 2013
I ran across a collection of old Go Karting images -- including an advert for the first kart I had back in the early 60's -- and sent it on to my old karting/matting/surfing buddy, Mat Max...
The simplicity of 60s karts is really attractive. Just google karting images for a comparison to now.
I recently had an old rigid bicycle with well-worn fat mtb tires in Byron (until it got stolen) and so much enjoyed the essential "bikeness" compared to my 6" travel full-suspension all-mountain rig here in NZ.
Of course, this is also an homage to the purity of surfing with mat and flippers. Now that a 4GF has replaced boards for a couple of years straight (plus Mini Mat when the surf is 6'+), and with nearly thirty years of modern mat experience, mat riding has actually started to feel normal rather than off center. What this points out is the strength of the binding forces of modernity.
Which is actually more fun? A $15,000 racing kart at a 100mph racetrack, or some 5hp retro carts and a box of beer in a big backyard? Has the mainstream pursuit of fun lost it's way? Thankfully, surfmatters are conscious counterpoints to modern seriousness and expense...
(Mat Max, Hard At Work)
The Virtues Of Hyperinflation
After months of weak waves that called for low inflation matting, the surf picked up today with powerful five foot tubes. A few sideslip wipeouts prompted me to puff up my 5GF so that it was full but not quite rigid. The squishy, slippy mat was transformed to a form more akin to a rigid bodyboard. Tracking across steep walls and through pitching sections became much easier.
There's a comfortable inflation that allows my abdomen to settle slightly between the fully inflated outer pontoons for a locked-in feeling. This is my starting point for high volume settings. I reckon that the amount of bend is about fifteen degrees. Then I fine tune from there depending on how much traction on the waves is needed. After a few adjustments I find an air volume that suits the conditions and then enjoy greater control.
I often forget to pump up the volume because of being fixated on glide. One factor is that the inflation zone between ninety degrees bend and twenty degrees bend is pretty much useless for my purposes. So, I often put off pumping up, and suffer needless lack of handling. Then I'll inflate to nearly full volume and rediscover that in powerful waves the drag is not all that severe, good speed is still attainable, and negotiating gnarly surf becomes much more fun.
The moral of this story is that utilizing high inflation is a great opportunity to transform your personal hovercraft into a more board-like perch for negotiating steeps and deeps.
May 21, 2013
Matt Pierce, JJ and I scored an epic Midnight Malibu session last night! 3-5ft, with occasional 6ft sets. Big, bright moon and clear skies. The waves started out kinda chunky, but grew faster as the tide pulled out, and all three of us were streaking on our 4GFs! Matt on his Omni, JJ on his Tracker RT, and me on the Greeno-Spec UDT. Matt and I played bumper cars on one set wave, blasting down the line and bouncing off each other, hooting the whole way (like GG and Michael Cundith in Crystal Voyager)!
Sadly, not enough light to document anything last night...but I've attached a few pics from my recent GoPro outings. I'm putting together a top-secret movie starring Mary. Shhhh... Don't tell her.
Also, I saw this, but sadly, I can't afford it at the moment:
Hope all is well with you!
May 16, 2013
Michelle got some shots the other day when George was riding one of the new 4GF Prototype when it was big and clean! Ive asked George if I could send them to you straight away but he wants to have a look at them first to make sure the mats working properly ..... he'll get them today or tomorrow.
I have include some footage Wardy shot last summer, its in slow motion on the 5gf at an unknown location, I hope you like it.
May 14, 2013
May 12, 2013
I'm very happy with the OMNI. I was using it on the first wave I caught on the Maldives and thought "wow". I also had the STANDARD and VESPA with me and I surfed all of them. They are truly different. I must admit though that when the conditions are right I enjoy the Standard the most. It seems like it provides the best hold in a waves face of all my surfmats.
Now it is almost two months ago since I returned from the tropics and I had time to reflect about my visit to the Maldives. It was great, the water so clear and overall an amazing experience. I took my longboard with me but ended up using my surfmats 95% of the time. Personally I have had some issues with the warm water there. To avoid rash I had to always wear a long sleeve rash shirt over my thin neoprene short john. It wasn't as comfortable as wearing a wetsuit and I felt too hot most of the time. That probably makes me a cold water surfer ;-)
Apropos cold water: Last week I was in the north of Denmark and had the opportunity to put on my thickest rubber and to test the OMNI in entirely different conditions. I also ended up making a little video about it https://vimeo.com/65956510
You where right about the hot wax finish. It really works regardless of the water temperature. Great job!
Thanks again for your fantastic surfmats and all your support.
May 10, 2013
All in all a great trip to mat island. Surfed 22 different waves all good for matting, some big, some small, some heavy, some perfect, and all super fun. No mat carnage or losses except I dinged up my good standard a little on the reef but it still goes great no need for a repair.
I hope these photos show a little bit of how good mat island was, I can't wait to return
May 8, 2013
This was a great mat wave, high speed runs into an inside barrel again. Hold on tight the shoreline looked heavy.
Thats what the inside section looks like...
May 6, 2013
I have a few more photos. There was no one to take photos except our decky who did a good job while trying not to get cleaned up in the boat !
The 5gf which went fantastic, but at times I felt I could have gone even narrower!
Loving the Vespa and I'm so glad I've got a mat! I had hip surgery and then 2 1/2 weeks later one of my all time favorite waves was breaking! But the surgeon said no stand up surfing. So I tried the mat with one fin, and it worked great! Possibly better than two, easier not to drag. So thanks to you, 2 1/2 weeks after hip surgery I was getting barreled at Ma'alaea!
:) Matt on a Mat
P.S. the picture is by Jason Hall
May 5, 2013
Just a quick update..... waves everyday 2 -8 feet, 2 or 3 surfs a day. Hard to get any photos because theres only me and my buddy in the surf but our indo decky has managed to get a few shots for me...
So far have surfed 12 different locations all good some really heavy spots and some spots never surfed by anyone..... predominately riding the 5gf going good in everything and a few small days on the standard. No one has ever seen a surf mat here and the waves are so good for matting its crazy!