probably the ‘facelevel’ sport i am most looking forward to doing is mat surfing. i hold a long fascination for these flimsy air-filled surfcraft which probably dates back to the days when I was a nipper at the local surf lifesaving club, riding waves on those inflatable thick rubber mats.
that was the 1970’s though… fast-forward to the 21st century and you’ll find that surfmats have come a long way. nowadays, the best surfmats weigh nexto nothing, are made of space-age materials and are contoured… even to the point of having bottom curve.
there are some fascinating pieces of writing on the modern surfmat and by all accounts the ability to ride a mat well is something that is cultivated over many years and according to some, more difficult to master than some of the more vertical forms of wave-riding.
an interesting piece to read on matsurfing is the Matafesto, published a while back in the allaboutsurf.com online magazine. another good read is an interview with Dale Solomonson. dale is a man with considerable standing in the surfing industry and his brand Neumatic are said to make some of the finest surf mats available.
another man who needs no introduction to those in the know in the surf industry is Paul Gross. Paul is the guy featured alongside George Greenough in the video I pasted in below. Paul manufactures fourthgearflyer surfmats which are also regarded as excellent mats. the other video I’ve pasted in is of George Greenough going into some detail regarding what it is about the surfmats that make them so much fun and technical to ride.
gotta get me one of these sometime. . .