Sign up Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 2 of 4      Prev   1   2   3   4   Next
G

Avatar / Picture

Magic Towel Meister
Registered:
Posts: 4,408
Reply with quote  #16 
Interesting debate among some matters from across the pond on this event. The main concern being about competitive mat riding. Here are my thoughts as shared with them:

----------

I have a certain reticence about the whole deal. I can vouch for the organisers and their intentions are good. We've also had a lot of enquiries about out mats and, most encouragingly, hand built mats as the general vibe is an anti-popout one, certainly from the attendees, thank god.

I'll be going along with a pile of mats to try and sell as there seems to be some genuine interest from experienced and open minded surfers about getting into mats, but I won't be entering. Although it's a non serious format I don't personally dig the whole competition idea. It's counterintuitive to what mat riding is. I know my best ever mat rides and suspect they weren't the best looking. What's more, the Wave of the Day at our meets is a deliberately ironic ritual.

I'm also highly dubious about it suddenly becoming ''Reef Presents''... I understand the need for backing the event but I coined the phrase "vacuum packed soul" a while back and I am a little concerned that this could be more of that. There are enough crass attempts to bring competition and corporate hoo hah into mat surfing these days and it's ugly.

Anyway, like I say my general sense is that the intentions are well meaning so I'll give it a chance and will give my feedback to Chris and Co afterwards. They certainly come with good 'references' which I'm inclined to trust and have to be commended on what they are trying to do.

I don't personally see the need for the competition element but it is Newquay.

G

__________________
http://customsurfmats.com
Piskian

Floppy Joe
Registered:
Posts: 388
Reply with quote  #17 
A good move,mate.Though I won;t be surprised when I see you off on the Reef model tour bus as chief suntan lotion applicator.
I think the ethic that everything has to be competitive(life,jobs,sport) has to be countered by subtle education and full-on piss-taking.
G

Avatar / Picture

Magic Towel Meister
Registered:
Posts: 4,408
Reply with quote  #18 


Already sent my CV to the Director of Misogyny and Objectification at Reef International.

G

__________________
http://customsurfmats.com
James H

Avatar / Picture

Floppy Joe
Registered:
Posts: 492
Reply with quote  #19 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRAYMAN
I'll be going along with a pile of mats to try and sell as there seems to be some genuine interest from experienced and open minded surfers about getting into mats, but I won't be entering.


Can you really have it both ways? If these kind of events attract people selling mats and other hardware, making them a good opportunity for sales and market exchange, that interest alone gives sufficient reason to hold MORE of them and increases the attractiveness of alt. surfcraft as a market to be exploited.

You become part of the commercial structure behind the competition.

So it's fine to profit from it, but not to take part in it and enjoy competing? WTF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRAYMAN
It's counterintuitive to what mat riding is


Yes indeed

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRAYMAN
Anyway, like I say my general sense is that the intentions are well meaning so I'll give it a chance and will give my feedback to Chris and Co afterwards. They certainly come with good 'references' which I'm inclined to trust and have to be commended on what they are trying to do.


Please don't take offense G but I think profit-seeking at an event like this, whilst objecting to it on sufficient grounds to stop you entering, would have more than a faint whiff of hypocrisy about it.

G

Avatar / Picture

Magic Towel Meister
Registered:
Posts: 4,408
Reply with quote  #20 
James, no offense right back at you but if you think I do anything that I'm doing around mats in the name of profiteering then you have completely and utterly missed the point.  You are in the extremely lucky position of being new to surfing and coming straight into riding mats. That sounds condescending and I don't know how to make it not. So did that second sentence so I'll stop...

The point I'm trying to make is that you've only had the good bits and I'm genuinely stoked that you have. Many of us who have been surfing for decades have watched the purity of the art of wave riding (and the respect for the work of the craftsmen who build the things we ride) initially get eroded and more recently get completely demolished by quick-buck, packaged, multi-nationals churning out 'stoke' from Far East factories and under-cutting the surfer-shaper/builder to the point where they have to live on the bones of their arses just to get by. 

Essentially, we've watched what matting is today turn in to what stand-up surfing is today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by "James H

increases the attractiveness of alt. surfcraft as a market to be exploited.


 Tongues aside, you make a good point but it makes me feel a bit ill.  I sell mats because I want to make sure that people get on the right mats, ie. mats built with a sense of the individual in mind by a mat surfer who makes mat because he loves mats and the craft of building mats. For PG, the profit is the prize, not the point.  

I don't charge any postage in the UK despite the packaging and shipping coming to just shy of 20 quid.  What's more, I'm knocking the shipping off the price of mats and fins for this event so I'm still making cack-all! My profits above costs are minimal. If you actually take the the time takes me in terms of order, gripping, packaging, shipping, doing the site, etc then we really are looking at negative numbers.  

As I say, my motivation is partly about promoting mat surfing, but more importantly, preserving the true art of PROPER mat riding in the current climate of 'get a mat in the quiver, get it rock hard and get out there'! It's not just getting bums on seats. It's making sure they know how to sit on the feckin thing when they get there! 
I might be a sh*te businessman and would never get a job working for Reef but people are riding good mats and riding them properly so hopefully we're getting to them.  

Now, on to Blue Streaks. Doing them definitely isn't about making me money, it's about sustaining the availability of lightweight, hand built mats to the surfers who love them. If I had to make any kind of money out of them I would be charging more. What I do make goes into paying site fees. The rest funds (in part) my own mat builds. That might sound like I just get my mats bought for me by you suckers, and it kinda does, although those of us regularly building mats share our findings. There is a lot going on behind the scenes which ultimately finds it's way to you.  Also, all my spare mats seem to end up permanently in the hands of other people so I don't really hang on to them anyhow. Also, at the time of writing the UKMS coffers stand at -£42.73 so I'm not exactly Donald Trump.

Just on my point about being "anti-popout". I'm aware that most people don't give a f*ck about that. Many people just want to surf and couldn't care less what's underneath them but as someone who has been involved in the creation of various surfcraft over the years, it really matters to me. It's quick and easy to find a design that kinda works and then pay factories in the Far East a small fee to pay their workers even less to churn out pop-out mats, boards or whatever else, but you have to carry the weight of that with you. 

Anyway, enough of all that. That's a bit about why I'm coming from where I am. I'm all for getting along and having a look and, like I say, the people behind this are good eggs but the comp thing and the corporate thing don't sit well with me. 

That said,  I think your last question is a good one. However, I'm uncomfortably comfortable with where I am so if I'm being hypocritical then so be it.

G

PS Having been a competitive surfer in my distant past I'm fully aware that I don't enjoy competing.

PPS I'll have a hot mug of tea waiting for you between heats.



__________________
http://customsurfmats.com
PG

Avatar / Picture

Mat Boarder
Registered:
Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #21 
I've just skimmed this thread, so forgive me if I've missed any nuances. And, I have no intention of sounding condescending with my following remarks...

I was editor of Surfer Magazine in the mid-70's when the current cabal of clothing/lifestyle manufacturers was forged. In fact, I was the editor when the magazine went monthly, and that's one of the reasons I left what appeared to be a plum job (from a surfer's eccentric viewpoint.)

The reasons as to why Surfer went monthly back then are too many to delineate here, but the bottom line was that the mom and pop advertisers of the previous 15 years (traditional board builders, small boardshort makers, surf film makers, etc) were starting to sputter, and the newly-minted "big guys" were poised to take over the primary means of communication in the US surfing universe. Where the old guard could never afford to maintain a monthly advertising budget, the new era corporations could. So going monthly was a good business move for Surfer.

I was vehemently opposed to further commercializing surfing at that time, and nearly came to blows with several of the prime movers of the clothing/pro contest scene. Although that seems silly in retrospect, it was no laughing matter at the time. Leashes had really started to clog the lineups with beginners and intermediates -- very similar to the impact of SUPs today -- and things were reaching a breaking point...at least in So Cal. I believed that adding a mainstream, athletic, "competitive spirit" to the sport would be poison. As it turned out, that came to be true. At least, in my view. 

The 80's redefined surfing to the point where it took a different, more competitive personality type to negotiate the path from raw beginner to established surfer. Nooks and crannies of "soul" lurked about for sure, but the mainstream surfers at the mainstream spots became a different animal than in decades previous. Again, just my perspective.

Then, add the growing sophistication of swell prediction, and the widespread communication of spot locations around the globe, and we have what we have now...a very crowded, very aggressive, very frustrating sport. And a powerful reason to protect what precious little territory we have, whether it be a surf spot, or a means of riding waves that sings to us.

I got a lot of flak back in the 70's for even participating in the surf industry, modest as it was. At the time, my position was that contributing any "positive" influence to surfing's mainstream would be beneficial. Many of my peers felt that adding positive elements to the commercial movement would give it more credibility, thus be of harm. I saw their point then, and I see it now. But I still feel that in some small way, I helped stem the tide that was about to overwhelm surfing.

Back in the 70's, when many of the successful artists in the LA area were starting to invest in real estate, there was a line of rationalization that went, "When the artists become businessmen, the businessmen will become artists." Complete bullshit to be sure, but that's the same choice we're all now faced with. Do we participate and try to influence the commercial interests in surfing, or run and hide and hope for the best?

My feeling is that because the print medium is all but dead in surfing (save for The Journal, The Path, White Horses, and the like), the electronic/social media is going to continue to dissolve surfing back into the individual grains of sand that made it great in the first place...albeit with more surfers in the water than in the past. Corporations like Reef will try to hitch their wagon on the flavor of the month, and mat surfing might one day fit that description. Maybe that day is now. 

My own participation in the contemporary mat riding world is fairly significant...but nonexistent in the "real" surfing world. Most surfers I encounter in the water have never seen a mat -- and say as much. Very few surfers I end up conversing with have even heard of George Greenough. And some of these people are well into their 30's. So to think that "the mainstream" is going to wrest mat surfing from our grasp and turn it into something else in the next few weeks is absurd. By the same token, to think that it will never happen is equally absurd.

Whether or not we participate in events sponsored by surf corporations isn't that important. Ultimately, what matters is our behavior in the water, on the beach, and on-line. What kind of perspective of mat surfing do we project? And is it honest enough for like-minded people to be attracted to our example? We all know the feeling of being a young person without a clear path laid out for us....so path building is what it's all about. Whether one person or a million choose to take it is beyond our control.
G

Avatar / Picture

Magic Towel Meister
Registered:
Posts: 4,408
Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG
Ultimately, it boils down to our behavior in the water, on the beach, and on-line. What kind of perspective of mat surfing do we project? And is it honest enough for like-minded people to be attracted to our example? We all know the feeling of being a young person without a clear path laid out for us....so path building is what it's all about. Whether one person or a million choose to take it is beyond our control.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Piskian
I think the ethic that everything has to be competitive(life,jobs,sport) has to be countered by subtle education and full-on piss-taking.


Yeah...

Aside from anything else, I want to see what people bring and I want to hook up with matters who perhaps aren't currently in with UKMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRAYMAN
I'll be going along with a pile of mats to try and sell as there seems to be some genuine interest from experienced and open minded surfers about getting into mats


To clarify, when I said "try and sell" the "try" referred to loaning mats, not taking a stack to 'try and sell'.

G

__________________
http://customsurfmats.com
James H

Avatar / Picture

Floppy Joe
Registered:
Posts: 492
Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GRAYMAN
PPS I'll have a hot mug of tea waiting for you between heats.


I think you'll find I won't be going. If I was it would be milk with one sugar thanks.
surfempty

Avatar / Picture

Floppy Joe
Registered:
Posts: 289
Reply with quote  #24 
Interesting little thread this and great to read some heartfelt manifestos of soul.  

I'm going and I've entered.  Although similarly narked when I heard the "exciting" announcement of Reef's backing, I'm all for giving it a try in the spirit of adventure and trusting that these "good eggs" will find a way of negotiating the edge between authentic and "vacuum-packed" (well done G) soul.  I might be disappointed but can live with that.

I'm also keen to be a part of projecting a positive authentic symbol of mat-surfing at an event like this.  It's up to me to carry into the day a visible sign of what mat-surfing is to me and how it connects with personal depths untouched by commercial interests (and my egoic grasping of it).  That and my kids think I'm cool for entering a surf competition.

Milk and 2 sugars G.


matt23

Avatar / Picture

Floppy Joe
Registered:
Posts: 305
Reply with quote  #25 
Im not a competition kind of person, never have been so I wont be entering. I also dont like paying for things. This isnt a criticism of the event.

Paul makes an interesting point.

" mom and pop advertisers of the previous 15 years (traditional board builders, small boardshort makers, surf film makers, etc) were starting to sputter, and the newly-minted "big guys" were poised to take over the primary means of communication in the US surfing universe"

I think this is changing and reverting not just in the surf industry, in business and the way people are thinking (heading a bit off topic)

Ive had a look at the approaching lines site and I know Mark Leary hes a friend, I made him that handplane from a pallet last year. Lovely fella, dont know anything about the reef involvement but I think Ill be heading down. Will be Norfolk based so another 2+hrs on the journey!

If its early G Ill have it a milky coffee no sugar, after 10am black.




G

Avatar / Picture

Magic Towel Meister
Registered:
Posts: 4,408
Reply with quote  #26 
Looks like I've set myself the job of teas maid!

G

__________________
http://customsurfmats.com
Piskian

Floppy Joe
Registered:
Posts: 388
Reply with quote  #27 
Well,pop by Holywell NT carpark if you fancy a proper brew!I'll be surfing too before work if it's good.
ApproachingLines

Avatar / Picture

Mat Boarder
Registered:
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #28 
Hi Guys,

Been following this thread with interest and TBH I'm stoked to see such a healthy debate going on by people who really care about mat surfing, its image and its growth going forward. As one of the people putting on the event I just thought I'd let you know our thoughts behind it. 

Our original idea was to have a get together for 'alternative' wavesliders - body surfers, mat surfers, bellyboarders and alaia riders. We decided a fun competition would make sense. It complements the social element of the meet out of the water. Our emphasis has always been on simply having a good time - this is not in any way a high performance agro surf comp. 

We are also offering everyone an opportunity to come and showcase their wares and products. We're stoked to be able to give a platform to everyone to showcase their work, as well as to surfers to come and check out the craft on offer. We aren't charging any money for people to sell their craft - all we ask is that they have at least one available for people to loan and try. I'm sure many body surfers are 'mat-curious' and would love to know more about mat surfing and have an opportunity to try one out.

The reason we brought a sponsor onboard is that we believe surfing has benefited from the work of surfers and surf creatives for too long, making huge profits and giving little back. How many times have photographers been asked to donate images or illustrators been asked to supply designs because 'it'd be good for their portfolios'. We feel people who contribute their time to projects deserve recompense and by bringing onboard a sympathetic sponsor like Reef, it means we can pay those people that in the past were asked by events and brands to do things for free. We commissioned a designer to do us a great poster, he's also produced some awesome t's and prints. Our event has other fixed costs including lifeguards, insurance, printing etc - it's a surprisingly long the list is once you get started. Reef were stoked to get behind the event, they have been really supportive. They have a history in getting behind creative surfing such as their support for Cyrus Sutton and Korduroy. 

Our aim with the Slyder Cup is for it to be a gathering of the clans - the emphasis is on having a good time and sliding some waves. I'd be stoked to see more mat surfers sign up for the comp element, not because it's a contest, but simply so that people attending will get the opportunity to see mat surfers in action.

I'm hoping that everyone who attends will have the opportunity to meet new people and share the stoke. 

Cheers

Chris



G

Avatar / Picture

Magic Towel Meister
Registered:
Posts: 4,408
Reply with quote  #29 
Thanks for posting Chris. I'm certainly impressed by the work you've all put into this and am glad to see you getting something back. I'd prefer to just surf and will at some point on the day. All that getting in, getting out, getting cold just gets too uncomfortable! Brrrrr....

I'm planning to bring a couple of loaners. I'm sure any others off here will bring spare mats too. I'll bring some wood too. Hopefully these pumping swells will continue.

Unfortunately, I can't get too excited about Reef. They're just a multinational stoked to be exploiting new markets is all. Gives me a headache all that hullabaloo.

Are you able to share the surprise announcement mentioned elsewhere?

G

__________________
http://customsurfmats.com
G

Avatar / Picture

Magic Towel Meister
Registered:
Posts: 4,408
Reply with quote  #30 
Is there a contingency plan for if the swell doesn't get in to the Bay Chris?

G

__________________
http://customsurfmats.com
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:


Create your own forum with Website Toolbox!