Krypt Surf Technology

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Riding a Surfmat 

The Closest Thing to being a Dolphin!

By Robin Thomson

Back in August 2010,           23 Breaths posted about Krypt Surf Mat designer Mark Thomson's son Daniel aka TOMO  finally getting around to exploring his old man's obsession with surf mats. I can only imagine how Daniel might have really resisted doing so as a young guy as the last thing you want to do at that age is something your parents are in to. Anyway, having established his own identity as a shaper he obviously now felt comfortable about trying out a mat and indeed may have done so to inform his board shaping I suspect. As the original post mentioned, Dan was stoked at the mat riding experience and spent the next few days exploring it further. Interestingly, in the comments on that original post, Mattitude commented on how inflated Dan has the mat as he enters the water in the first pic above. There are two reasons for this. One, your breath is hot and the water is cold and she,ll be right by the time you get out there. Two, I remember MT commenting that he is in the habit of adding air to his mat when coming in at Lennox across the rocks and I imagine Dan has taken MT's advice to do something similar on the way out! It certainly looks like he has dropped the inflation level in next pic.

 Now based in Southern California, Dan has continued to ride mats whilst shaping the most extraordinary looking boards. He has enjoying great success there as he has won 2 prestigious Scared Craft best of show awards for a 5'3" freestyle planning hull and a 4ft 11 inch diamond nose diamond tail with a very parallel outline. He has also became increasingly interested in whether a board could be as fast as a surf mat having been inspired by the seemingly limitless top end speed potential that surf mats possesses. Incidentally, he is not the only notable board rider to take up mat riding as the list now also includes Chris Delmoro, Rob Machado, Tom Curren, Joel Parkinson, Wayne Lynch, Wade Goodall, Mick Fanning, Dean Morrison and of course Dave Rastovich.

Images by Hilton Dawe

As I mentioned in this post, Dan had apparently developed his own unique style of mat riding using a unique minimal use of hands technique. Dubbed the Ironman, it utilises riding way forward, head down for maximum speed potential and squeezing the rear corners of the mat to provide some degree of control.

Daniel Thomson Warp Drive

 I have played around here and there on dads airmats in the past, but never really had the motivation to learn how to ride them properly because of my continued focus on pushing the limits of performance surfing equipment , however when I finally gave Dads Krypt super mat my full focus of attention I was really surprised. Firstly, its nothing like a body board whatsoever, its more of a pure speed experience. tricks or spins aren't even part of the equation. Its more about high line trim and harnessing the invisible pressure waves and power pockets. Now a mat is a permanent part of my quiver. 
Your tapping into the source at a higher level than surfing and that is something very rewarding and exciting because it is an egoless experience, just you and the ocean and frictionless speed.
The closest thing to being a dolphin.


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