Paul, I can understand your frustration with the Dave Rastovich video. When I watched the last interview with Rasta about Proximity I was so excited, and then he made the pool toy, ball dragging statement while smiling from ear to ear. I thought to myself, all this amazing surfer had to do was tell people that riding a mat is technical and fun and it may have opened a few eyes.
Recently, I was talking to a local 60-something surf reporter, who will remain nameless, and told him I had been surfing for almost a year and a half. He quickly corrected me and told me RAFTING is not surfing. I did not argue, what’s the point? The guy is in his 60’s and still trying to rip away at people’s self esteem to make himself feel better.
What I like about mat surfing is the mat weeds out most of the assholes. I’ve paddled out to the lineup and said hello only to be met by blank stares, no problem, these are assholes, I’ll paddle away.
I’ve followed Rasta since I started Surfing and his Love for the Ocean and ability to ride anything amaze me. In his interviews about mat surfing Rasta always down plays it while tittering about it like a Child! How can you go on a rant that gets your heart racing only to call it glorified ball dragging to finish your statement? Rasta kills me with that Shit!
The standup surfers I put on a mat assumed it would be easy. Most never rode one again. All floundered around even with it full inflated. The surfers that stuck with it and put in the time and effort it takes to learn mat surfing cherish their mat as one of jewels in their quiver! My point to this is that mat surfing is just as difficult as any other wave riding vehicle. It takes a person with a special set of characteristics to take on the challenge of learning this craft. We are a small community of thick skinned dreamers, riding shape shifting surfcraft, on an endless pursuit of Joy! Everyone else is on the outside looking in.
I think Rasta down plays it because he’s probably told a world champ or two how great mats are and got the ball dragging response he ushers up every interview. It’s like calling yourself fat before someone in the room can. Mat Surfing will always be for those who get it, that’s really the beauty of it. When we all lose our egos and embrace the moment people will find the beauty in mats. Much Love to those who don’t get it, I hope that one day they do!
Paul thank you so much for what you do, I do not take it for granted! Mat surfing has brought nothing but positive changes to my life, and I am forever grateful for it!
Keep Spreading the Stoke!