The lift arrived at 7am. My mate still looked a little bewildered when he sees my backpack. We’re heading two hours east to a break I’ve not surfed before. “Ah, you got everything you need?” Hmmm… snacks, thermos, water, two-piece dive suit, two sets of fins and three mats, “I’m all good.”
I scored from a thrift shop a new/secondhand set of fins I wanted to try out and had the duckfeet for backup. Three mats? Why not – it’s good to have options. Sure, today is overkill. It’s usually just wetsuit, fins and mat – unless you’re living somewhere warm where a suit would be ridiculous. But then again, riding a mat is a bit ridiculous. Everything fits into a backpack. A delightful concept. In three mats I cover conditions from one to ten feet. Ten feet? Ok, so I should’ve packed some toilet paper too. Regardless, the logistics have become far less complex.
A friendly vibe in the water goes a long way. It’s two sided too – you’re a bit part. The confused looks from those who have no idea what you’re on or how it might be possible to catch a wave on it. The sideways looks are always turned to open smiles when you rocket past, fins up and hands behind you. Seriously though, there’s probably some really serious surfmat riders out there who are seriously trying to be taken seriously. Seriously? It’s hard to hold you composure when you’re drifting out of control sideways…
The sheer delight that leaches from your features whether its one foot (double-overhead on a mat) to ten-times overhead and up is the same. This is about fun – get on the wave, go fast, go faster… Every session I’ve had riding a surfmat throws me back to my youth – it didn’t take much to get you excitable back then. I wonder about that now – losing myself in the joy of the moment is reconnecting me with my youth. Good time, smiles, freedom. Lose yourself, find yourself.