Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Kendog- one of the other mat-maestros I watch with a students' eye.

Nine days, no work. Nine days, time for surfing. My wife, sick with a little growing grom in her tummy, had the grace to allow me to feed my addiction. Alarm buzzes at 5:30. Out the door I go, boards packed, visions of cylindrical sublimity in my mind.

Each session was a lesson. Got donuts on an early barrel on Sunday and ended up with a nice shimmery patch in my vision, courtesy of a partially separated retina. Frontside cutbacks felt a bit stiff. Maybe that's because I don't know how to bend my knees. I'll have to work on that.

My last session I met with T. Inflate. He is my mat-riding hero. He is stylish and understated with a real stoke for the ocean. We hit a fantastic wave early and caught some head high bombers on the mats. I must say, I was quite rusty (first mat session in a couple months) but had a ball on the magic towel. My first wave, my fin got blown off. A few waves later, I am on a bucking bronco contorting under me as I try to control the mat. Then I remember- you don't control or steer the mat- you feel the mat and let it do it's frictionless glide uninhibited by your feeble mortal attempts at control. You see, the mat is a divine living entity. It will not be mastered. You must convince it that you care for it, then it will allow you to enjoy its company for a session or two. Once bravado and ego emerge, it will turn on you and humble you, usually in front of your friends on a perfect wave.

I'm working on holding a high line on the steepest of faces in order to use the unbelievable speed of the mat to its full extent. I found myself just behind the section on many of the steep runners I encountered. So easy to enjoy, so hard to master...

New Lis due this week!


Eef said...

kid on the way! congrats!!


Surfsister said...

Great post. I haven't been on my mat in awhile. The fact that they're not allowed in L.A. County makes it difficult to just go out and mat. But I'm dying to get back on mine. I'm just going to paddle out soon. If the lifeguard decides to once again try to get me out of the water, I may have to take a page out of PG's book (and stay in the lineup, daring them to come and get me). We shall see.

pranaglider said...

Great post!
Stoked you guys scored.
Take care of that eye.

Okemah said...

Such is the Tao of the Mat.

Keep it coming Andy!


Steve and Cher Pendo said...

Great post! So stoked that you and T had fun!
Congratulations on your new baby to come.
Aloha, Cher and Steve

borntoloser said...

Eef- Thanks. Hope your perpetual winter is treating you well!

SS- Get on the mat! It's so fun. Just go early. The lifeguards have no influence over you when they're at home in bed.

Thinkmat- so true, the Tao of the Mat is the name of my 400 page self help book.

Penduo- Thanks for the congrats. It is such a blessing to be a perpetually learning surfer!