May 30, 2017

From Rob


I had a great time Saturday morning with Chris, Ryan, and Khristian! We had a blast riding mats and sharing waves. Ryan is new to mats and had a great time. The waves where small and soft, but it was still a great morning. 1' to 1.5'

I learned a lot...I learned that I should only have a few people come to introductory mat meets at a time, because once someone gets a mat in their hand they don't want to give it up until you leave!

When I plan my next mat meet next month, I will get a sign up list and take alternates in case people don't show. Small waves are challenging for new mat surfers, but they are also fun enough to hold their attention. I'm going to try and nail down a date so you can post it, but it will be sometime after the 4th of July. I'm super excited!

It was a really good time surfing with a lot of my friends. I'm truly blessed to have found you and your mats, I am really enjoying this journey.

Thanks for all that you do Paul!



tuskedbeast said...

Great photos! Really dynamic.

Interesting that, about the optimal wave for first timers being something bigger than small.

Geoffrey Levens said...

And of course that's bigger to a degree. Beyond that, I found getting hammered and swirled to be the rule until I finally worked out how to "duck dive" a mat. And that only takes you so far as well and then you need to suck it up and dump air and re-inflate once outside.

tuskedbeast said...

Have you, or has anyone reading, really employed deflating the mat to get out the back? I've tried twice, early on in my mat time- once grasping the mat and swimming with one arm, once with the mat stuffed down the back of my wetsuit. Both times in bigger OB, cold water and no channels.
Both experiments were immediately rejected. Way too awkward, slow, and dangerous feeling. I'd want two arms to really be able to swim in big surf, and the wetsuit idea was just unfeasible.
Of course the ideal mat wave has a big channel, or is a pointbreak :) But in the beach surf I'm consigned to 95% of the time, I just accept the turtle-slowness, get walloped (which isn't so bad), and maintain a turtle-resolve.
Curious if anyone actually employs deflation to get out. How do you do it?

Geoffrey Levens said...

I tried it once at pretty big Salmon Creek, North of OB. I could hang on fine (nearly 100% deflation and rolled up) but once outside, treading water in the icy cold, contemplating Whitey, and still gasping to catch up on oxygen from the paddle out was not much fun.

Anonymous said...

When I got my Neumatic from Solomanson he mentioned that a guy in Santa Cruz used a body strap/harness thing to swim a rolled up mat out in big waves. Once outside he would inflate it. I never saw this person, and while I've given it thought I've never tried it myself. I've taken a mat out in waves up to 10' where there was a channel, and more like 8' at SFOB when it's clean enough to not do too much duck-diving. As the beast said, the wallop isn't that bad.

Geoffrey Levens said...

For me the biggest issue with "the wallop" was the tendency to lose a whole lot of ground and end up right where you started. Salmon Creek often had lines and lines of semi-closeouts with only very rare shifting channels. I had too many go-outs where I would put my head down and WORK for 30-45 minutes only to look up and find myself about 100 feet off the beach and several hundred yards down to one side or the other depending on the rips.