Surfmats completely shifted my ideas about riding waves. I’ve ridden all sorts of craft but the surfmat was is in a dimension of it’s own in terms of speed, versatility and just pure fun – whatever the conditions.
Riding waves has always been about going into the sea for fun – for the craic. Any deviation from this base idea is simply delusional. It’s about fun – whatever you’re riding, regardless of your experience, regardless of who or what you think you are or what you think you’re capable of. Whatever the conditions, when you go out you feel good.
For me, the biggest mind-shift for me about the surfmats was that I was that it no longer felt like I was being judged for what I was riding or how I was riding it. People often see the surfmat and have no frame of reference for judging it. Where ever I took my surfmat into the waves in Ireland, and now here in Australia, few people have a clue what I’m on or what I’m going to do with it.
From the spectator’s point of view it mightn’t look like I’m doing much on the wave. Compared to other wave-riders there no big moves, crazy tricks or super-styling. No performance, just pure ride. You lie down, you go fast! Ahh now sure, there’s more. Whatever is going on with that guy lying on the funny-looking lilo/pool toy/camp-mattress, he mightn’t be doing that much but by crikey, he looks like he’s having the time of his life…