mats and the young'ns

today rode my mat in total slop -had a blast!anyway, at work tonight a couple of the youngsters (26 years of age) asked me if i got surf.i said yeah, went out on my mat! the response was’what’s a surf mat?" after a brief explanation, they still were a little perplexed, so tomorrow they get to feel what it’s like to ride a mat. expanding the horizons…

Matt you spell better when you get home from bar tending.

What could you possibly do surfing an air mat in “total slop” that would be a “blast”? “expanding the horizons”? WHAT “horizons”?

It is not about what you know or what you don’t know…It is about what you don’t know that you don’t know. That is maybe where the new horizons are!!


So if you dont know that you dont know, then how did you come to that conclusion? Surfing`s new horizons are in total slop?

What could you possibly do surfing an air mat in "total slop" that would be a "blast"? "expanding the horizons"? WHAT "horizons"?

Get lost, Bruce…


what did you ride today? i had my wegener 9’10", then my Brom Fish, then my Neumatic – all were incredibly fun!


Hey Tim, I saw you at Lincoln, but I had to meet some friends down West. Started off on the Nuuhiwa and later the twin keel. Almost took the mat out, but had someone stop by about old boards and I lost the sun. Hoping I can get the mat in tomorrow…

Friday night was great! Did you get it?

dubster I was just playing the devils advocate. I thought it might be interesting to hear more about those “expanding horizons”. How a mat + sloppy surf can equate with having fun for an adult surfer. I have no interest in going back to my youth riding the soup. Most of us associate our best surfing with our best waves. Can you answer those questions intelligently? There’s no need to be a goon.

I’m the guy who wrote in the recent thread about the young kid who had some interest in my mat. I wrote a reply to your response to my post but decided to just let it alone. In short, I didn’t think you had a very good attitude about a positive encounter. So I’ll reply to this one.That day was fair to poor conditions and, believe it or not, I was having a lot of fun. That’s what it’s all about, eh? I was catching lots of waves, riding the whole length of the wave, challenging myself with learing how to steer a craft I have growing respect for. I’m looking forward to winter days around here when a little south wind ruins it for board surfers (I’m also one of them) and leaves it wide open for those of us who have figured out how to stretch out the fun. So, please don’t tell me I can’t possibly be having a good time when I’m telling you I am. Simple.

Braddah Bruce - apparently one of the advantages of the surf mat is to be able to go out in conditions that aren’t the ideal for standup surfing and have a blast. Greenough still rides mats for that specific reason. Looks crap to the standup guys, but he’s flying out there. Check out Dale’s page for his mats and spock some of the pictures at the bottom. I saw a couple of Swaylockians on their mats just in the ones I happened to click on. Sure makes me want to get one…


Without knowing the motives behind it, your post would appear to have been written by a “goon”. A knee jerk negative reation to someone’s legitimate interest in an alternate form of wave riding. As for your comment:

“How a mat + sloppy surf can equate with having fun for an adult surfer”

Perhaps you need to revaluate the reasons why you surf in the first place.

We had some seriously sloppy surf here in south FL over the weekend. I took it one step more minimal than the mat and, inspired by Mark Cunningham’s performance in Sprout, went body surfing. Just me and my fins - had a blast in the shorepound.

Hi Peter,

Well said. Isn’t it amazing how the topic of matt riding brings out the narrow minded sceptics that need someone to explain to them how to have fun!!!

See ya’ in Big Sur. Looking forward to sharing some waves with you, Dirk, Ambrose, Paul J. and the rest of the matt riders.



What could you possibly do surfing an air mat in “total slop” that would be a “blast”? “expanding the horizons”? WHAT “horizons”?

That would be “personal horizons”, I believe. Certainly it was in my case. Goofing around in total slop on something new and fun can indeed be a blast, especially considering one might not even go out on a board in some conditions. Surf mats just add time in the water, can jump start your interest when it flags…when you get bored with the board. It happens, more so the longer you surf, which is probably why so many mat riders are older and have decades of experience. There aren’t too many options out there that let you go back to the beginning knowing what you already learned through hard experience (and that becomes one of the mat “tricks” - Dale calls it “unlearning”).

Tabula rasa. Riding a mat is more fun on better waves, though…

Hey. I’d rather hang out with somebody having fun, in crappy waves, than be out surfing with people who arent’ enjoying themselves in excellent waves.

For what that’s worth.

See ya at SA’04…

Keith, with that said. What ever you do don’t paddle out at rockslides this winter,

because NoBody will having any fun and everyone will be pissed off out there ;>


ya… and it’s not even an “excellent” wave.

There are only crappy waves where we surf.

Make sure you tell everybody that!!

If the point of surfing is to have fun, then mats can certainly accomplish this. But come on guys, you have to admit that “fun” is not much of a horizon to expand upon.

If one views surfing as somewhat of an art form and values beautiful lines drawn on the best mother nature has to offer, then playing in the slop is just not going to be interesting. It’d be like telling a fine artist to draw with sticks on the sand - fun maybe, but not the kind of thing they are going to view as serious art practice.

Me? I can take it either way and so I’ve got Dale’s surfmat page bookmarked and hope to order one soon!

Oh, I disagree. A lot of surfers don’t appear to have fun at all anymore, it’s all hostility, aggression, and aggravation. I think for a lot of them, “fun” is way OVER the horizon, to the point where they don’t even remember that fun is what it’s all about.

I don’t think of surfing as an art form, and I even think that’s a bit pretentious. Ok, if someone thinks that they are “Picasso on a surfboard” then surfing in slop is beneath them… But I find myself willing to go out on days when the wind is howling, whitecaps are spitting foam, the rain is coming down – and even those days are fun. Who cares if you can’t draw a nice line on those days? What difference does that make??? I like the fact that I can still be in the ocean, and if my friends come out to join me, so much the better. I don’t care if they are on a longboard, shortboard, kneeboard, boogie board, paipo, mat, or body surfing. We’re all out there to have a good time, not to put pictures on a gallery wall…