Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mat Meet...

None of the above miscreants will likely be attending. Will you?

The date and location for a San Diego/ Southern California meeting of the mat-minded is just about finalized. May 3rd, early until the wind kills it at North Torrey Pines Beach. Location chosen in order to have multiple options for waves without obtrusively horning in on locals at their spots. All interested are welcome as there likely will be mats to try out. Should be a touch of swell as well.

North Torrey Pines:
Exit carmel valley road (in Del Mar, just North of San Diego) off of the 5
Head west (surprise!)

Three parking options-
1- Park in the state beach lot, far north end and walk under the bridge to the beachbreak. I think, but am not sure, that if you arrive before the state employees then you don't have to pay. I would double check.
2- Head farther up carmel valley road and park on the west side by all the chaparal and the auto repair place. Take the trail just north of the auto place down, under the bridge, and to the beachbreak.
3- Head still farther up carmel valley road and merge right onto torrey pines road. park on the west side of torrey pines road and walk down the cliff on the trail to the south end- emerging next to the bridge and the beachbreak.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


A little awkward, but I have to have this recorded for posterity. I have been selected as the teacher of the year at my school. Honored, encouraged, proud. Now I'm just waiting for that big bonus check to come in...

Also, I've not used a key pocket in over three months. A string around the neck works well and allows more ease of access to my car while my hands are crab-clawed with cold.

Like I said, epiphanies.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Question- answer...

Tiny little barreling shorebreak section after a nice speed run through the outside. I feel the mat flutter beneath me. I adjust the air and tuck into a junior tube. The rail holds, the mat is sucked up and through the section. I emerge, grinning. But how does the mat do it? How does it function so ideally in both flat sections, where ultimate planing is required and in hollower sections, where hold and lateral stability are required? I like Dale's comment:

"Drag is what holds. Fins are drag, V is drag, etc. Those big soft rails on > a mat are great for neutral handling. Suction on a big convex surface. > Water is able to wrap around the rails rather than be released too early.>>> aloha Tom, Yes, drag is what holds, but how that song is played is what really counts... Unlike all other surfcraft, in the esoteric world of modern, ultralight surfmats, there are very few design compromises that relate to precise contours, simply because the wave itself... is always the shaper! To be specific, modern high performance surfmats (since 1982) with their very thin and supple, nylon fabric running surfaces need only the minimum drag to provide control. Close observation of these surfmats accelerating across a wave at trim speed most often reveals the tell-tale, low wake, with water peeling off the exposed bottom and outside rails, rather than wrapping around them... a clear indication of efficiency. Skilled mat riders never inflate their craft anywhere near full air capacity, and instead fine-tune the mat`s volume, flotation, control and speed by subtle manipulation of the internal air pressure between waves (with the deck valve), as well as while riding, by increasing or decreasing their hand/arm grip. In turn, this causes significant changes in internal pressure, making the inside rail and thickness flow either fuller, or flatter. The result, at velocity, is a surfcraft which is always changing its template, rocker/torque, thickness flow and rail contours in direct response to the continually changing curves, and even the textures of the wave face. When necessary, the inside rail tapers back to the tail, forming a natural, thin and flexible foil, with an absolute minimum of drag. Far closer to "jet-propelled bodysurfing" than bodyboarding, playing the intimate song of ever-changing balance between maximum speed and control, is much of what modern, high performance surfmat riding is all about."
This in response to a similar question asked on Sway's.

By the way, I am trying to collaborate on a Mat rider's gathering sometime this spring. Work is in progress to hash out a location and date. Interested parties please let me know or post at Surfmatz.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Trans sport nation...

Not my actual car. Replace lumber with two fishies, an egg and a mat and it would be.  

So, my new car can fit a lot of boards inside and averaged over fifty miles per gallon of gasoline during my first tank of gas. Same purchase cost as my last car, but saving money on gas. It also legitimately reduces my Carbon Guilt (I coined this term over two years ago- I have witnesses and I demand royalties for its use).

Of course, nothing beats two wheels and a Frye for the environmentally conscious surfer. Hey Skip, can I borrow your boar...er, I mean bike. 

Three days...

Will trade these^^^^ for these\/\/\/\/

Teaching is a tornado, managed. The storm has passed for a springtime week. Three of my five free days GG is covered by my dad (grandpa) for a few hours in the morning.

Day one: The fish is flying on some lined up civil rights and a few of Archie's lefts. The top end on the jhall is unbelievable. I am not the archer for the arrow-yet. The Bamboo fins have twang and look nice but they are just too tracky on the board. Slide them up and lose drive, slide them back and it gets too stiff. I meet a last left and let my board take the wave to the shore. A bodysurf exit is cleansing. Free t-shirt in the parking lot stokes me out for the day.

Day two: South wind and lumpy shoulder-high destroyers. The mat is the call. The short period beachbreak has me bouncing like a rubber ducky. I deflate and swim to the outside. I inflate and surf to the inside. Rinse, repeat. The mat is replaced by a pair of fins and a body. So pure, so intimate. The lineup is mine alone, until dolphins, my aquatic superior (only aquatic?) join me. Seven feet of torpedo on a wave next to you while bodysurfing really makes you giggle. Talking to dolphins while bodysurfing with them is not strange. Not talking to dolphins while bodysurfing with them is strange.

Day Three: Put on the turbo canards. Oh. My. Gard. The lift generated by those fins is unbelievable. Swoops and cutbacks, outruns the section... These fins are staying on the fishy for a while. I will trade you my bamboo lb1/4 for your glass turbo canard quad cutaways? Killer session. So killer I ride only one surf vehicle. Unfortunately, no surf tomorrow. Being a dad, however, is a great ride in it's own right.

Days one and three saw RK ripping Civil Rights on what appeared to be a Lis Twin. Hey RK, when should we plan on the premier of Hydrodynamica? I know, "when it's done".