Surf Mats are a worthy addition to your wave riding tool box
Have you ever heard of "mat surfing"? If you grew up before the age of the bodyboard, you probably called it a "raft", or if you're REALLY vintage, you might recall an Australian invention dating way back to the early 1930s called a "Surfoplane".
These rectangular air-filled fun bags are making a comeback! They've enjoyed underground status since the 60s and 70s when legendary California wave rider George Greenough took mat riding to the next level in the point break waves of Santa Barbara and later, northern New South Wales in Australia.
Modern surf mats are a far cry in terms of design and construction to the Budweiser raft I rode in the late 70s.
Way more durable, designed specifically for wave riding, and available in multiple sizes, the mats of today will put another tool in the wave rider's tool box that will offer an experience that captures elements of bodysurfing, bodyboarding, and even longboarding. They're not the tool for launching airs and backflips, but they're the perfect tool for speed, cruising, carving, and experimentation.
Equipped with a pair of swimfins and your mat, simply blow up the mat to the desired inflation level and kick your way out into the lineup. Mat riders advise lower inflation for smaller waves as speed increases with less air in the mat. Bigger waves might call for higher inflation as control improves this way. Riding style is different than a bodyboard. Experienced mat riders keep their chest flat on the mat with the outside hand gripping the outside top corner rather than moving it down the side as you would on a bodyboard. Squeezing the mat with your hands and arms changes the shape/rocker/performance of the mat literally on the fly, and half the fun is experimenting with this while learning the fine points of riding on air. And choppy days are no longer an issue as your air-cushioned ride plows through the bumps like a foiler would.
One of the best things about mat riding is ease of travel! It fits into a small sleeve that can easily be packed into a carry on bag. Once at your destination, just pull it out, unroll it, and start blowing.
So, in this era of watermen like Kai Lenny pushing the #rideanything ethos, having a mat in the quiver is a no-brainer!
eBodyboarding is proudly carrying Krypt Surf Mats. Designed by Australian surf mat legend Mark Thomson. These high performance surf mats are made with military grade fabrics and self-sealing one-way valves that are unique to the Krypt Surf brand. Available in adult MT5, Junior JT5 and Slim. Pick one up today here at eBodyboarding.com!