Monday, October 25, 2010

Walking the board!

I have had the longboard out a fair bit lately due to a lack of swell mainly. As I mentioned in a previous post, I believe that my matting experience has quite markedly resulted in an improvement in my stand up board riding skills. For example, just in the last couple of sessions, I have pulled off some cranking bottom turns that I cannot remember having been able to complete so readily before and damn I am nailing the take off staying in the top of the wave, with plenty of time to leap gracefully (Ahem) to my feet more than I used to also.
Anyway, brimming with confidence, I have now started work on learning to properly cross step up and down the board rather than shuffling in my usual ungainly fashion. Ummm and  it is not as easy as it looks. When I first tried it I just attempted to walk up the board as one normally does and it was straight off the side I tumbled. Then I realised that I had to maintain the angle of my feet, in particular, the starting foot, being the right as I stand normally. I have a long way to go, particularly in actually remembering to do it, but I am encouraged by my progress so far.

A better longboarder?

The swell has been a little small in the last few days so I have had the 10' longboard out rather than a mat. I have been riding longboards for far longer than surf mats but the sessions this week have made me realise that mat riding has subtly contributed and, I believe, improved my longboarding in 3 specific ways.

1. I seem to be more highly sensitised to what the wave is doing and I think this is particularly to do with where the power is in the wave. Even though the board is hard and insensitive in comparison to a mat there is definitely an added awareness which is contributing to an even better longboarding experience with longer and more satisfying rides.

2. I have a new awareness of my positioning on the longboard and the effect this is having on it's interaction at any specific time with what the wave is doing again contributing to a better longboarding experience. Not surprising, I guess, as this is such a fundamental part of the mat riding experience.

3. Suddenly, I seem able to complete later take offs than I can remember being able to achieve before as mat riding seems to have taken my understanding of what is possible on the take off to a new level. For instance, I have really enjoyed gaining the confidence to delay the take off on a surf mat so as I am right at the top of the wave providing plenty of time to make the decision to either enjoy the rush of charging straight down or angling across high on the face of the wave. Now I knew of this already but I think it is my new awareness mentioned in points 1 & 2 that has allowed me to now apply that more successfully on a 10' single fin longboard.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I have always thought this..............

.......and now it is confirmed! On the south coast of Australia, the power of our waves is unmatched almost anywhere else in the world. This excerpt is from an article relating to the development of a technology by a West Australian company Carnegie to harness wave energy to power hydro-electric turbines that they are hoping to commence here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010