Jan 29, 2012

A Surfmatters Contest For The Guys...

The legendary BBC Radio program "Desert Island Discs" turned 70 years old today!

The subject of desert islands brings up an interesting question:

If you're a pudgy, near-sighted mat geek...

...and you're stranded on an island with perfect surf...

...who would you rather be stuck with?

A guy named Gunther with an unlimited brewing capacity...

...or Brigitte Bardot (1960's era) and a surf mat?

Submit your answer in the Comments Section.

The winner will be chosen based on humor and originality...and I'm not going to lose any sleep if no one else agrees with my choice! The point is to generate some laughs, and give Surf Sister another 20 bucks. The winner gets bragging rights to the donation.

(And yes, that really is Brigitte Bardot on a surf mat!)

Jan 28, 2012

Tips From The Pros: Breaking Up The Pack!

Back in the early 70's, George and his Hodgman were out at Lennox Head on a pretty good day. A long lull let everyone filter back into position (no leashes yet, so that wasn't as easy or as common as it is today), and a good sized cluster of surfers was sitting on the peak towards the top of the point. After a few frustrating minutes, George decided that he'd had enough. He left the primary peak, and paddled up towards the top of the point.

"I really wanted to pick off a big one way out there!" George said at the time.

Paul Witzig was on the point shooting, and right on cue, the set George had summoned punched him square in the nose. I've never seen the footage of that ride, but this grab turned up in one of Nat Young's books back in the 80's. It's George, screaming across a wall, well outside the location where everyone else was sitting.

"That was the best wave I got out there that day," he recalled, "and everyone paddled up to where I was sitting when I caught it. By the time I paddled back, the main peak was almost empty. I broke up the pack with on an air mat!"

Jan 27, 2012

Chief Inspiration Officer

Ryan Levinson's story is here...it's well worth a look!

Jan 23, 2012

Co-Operative Fun!

This was pinched from Lloyd's Blog. It's well worth a daily click!

Jan 22, 2012

A Pendo For Archbishop Tutu

Steve and Cher Pendarvis were commissioned to create a board for Archbishop Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday. Details of the amazing experience are here.

Jan 21, 2012

From Kendog...


We should do a mat one!


(Use comments sections for ideas on "Shit Mat Surfers Say.")

Jan 19, 2012

Noted Mat Rider Closes Family Surf Shop

Mark Richards, a mat rider from Newcastle who later dabbled in professional contest surfing, has chosen to close his family's surf shop...which was opened by his parents in 1958. The shop initially began as a used car dealership. You can see their "transition era" in the photo below.

"I love shaping boards, it's what I'm good at, but I'm not so sure I'm so good at retailing," Richards said in the linked article.

More board building and less retail...Mark's a real surfer. Hat's off to him, and best of luck from Surfmatters!

Jan 18, 2012

From the Hodgman Files ...

Unearthed by JJ...a cool Hodgman ad from back in the day. Maybe the 50's???

Also, this tidbit turned up recently...dated 1873. Could it be the same Hodgman company that made our classic surf mats??? This reciept says they were established in 1840. (The current Hodgman home page says "Since 1838," so this probably is the same company!)

Jan 16, 2012

Waiting's Half The Fun!

Dirk and I were talking on the phone the other night, and he was commenting on how many hours we spend anticipating surf days, preparing our equipment, travelling to spots, etc, relative to how many minutes -- or even seconds -- we actually spend ride waves. The ratio is insane by any measure...other than that of a surfer.

Even the ratio of time-in-the-water compared to time-riding-waves seems nuts to most people. That said, time spent waiting for waves can be fun, especially on a mat. Bouncing around...feeling more of the swell and current and surface texture under us than on any other vehicle imaginable. No wonder we enjoy every moment!

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 ...

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

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.