May 22, 2013

Tips From The Pros ... Hyper Inflation !!!

 
(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.
 
Cheers M8s!
 
Max

8 comments:

PG said...

Well stated, Max.

I was in some dumpy windswell just yesterday, and ended up riding a much hard mat than normal. It was a nice revelation!

Grayman said...

Interesting, although on a small mat I'm not sure I'd consider 90 degrees to be particularly low inflation.

That said... Degrees schegrees because the right inflation is the one that works.

:)

G

Quiver said...

My approach is to inflate as full as I reasonably can. When the hot air from my lungs cools down to ocean temperature (55deg F in San Francisco) it reduces in volume and I end up with a looser mat, but still more ridged than floppy. After a few waves I decide if I need to top off, or roll with it.

Jeff said...

Good info here!!!

PG said...

Another situation that calls for a firmer mat is in crowds. You want to be able to take off late and deep, if needed, with confidence.

The delicacy of a flat mat is for a more controlled, more private environment.

pranaglider said...

"The delicacy of a flat mat..." is a masters class in 9 syllables

GRAYMAN said...

I hog the inside whatever. Love late drops. Piskian sits way outside. I go for 100 mile round trips to surf with Piskian and we spend the session at 20 yards away from each other.

:D

G

Henry Hester said...

Stole my words PG. Crowds are also a good reason to use a canvas top instead of a wiggle worm. Definitely learned a trick here with higher inflation in heavy conditions. Caught one big wave in Cabo with a 180 fold and realized, while in 4th gear, a little more inflation would have been appropriate.

I also like the delicacy reference.