So, Phileas has had a long ol’ stint in Australia, finishing up with Robin Thomson over in Denmark. Robin sent the following words:
It’s been awhile since I wrote anything at all about surfmats and riding them because, to be
honest, it has been a long time since I was last on one. I have been revisiting the boogie
board and riding stand up experience mostly in the last couple of years.
But…as most of you would already know…….Phileas finally made it to where I live in
Denmark way, way down on the south coast of Western Australia a couple of weeks ago.
Phileas is certainly a quality piece of kit. Reminds me very much of the 200/70 Dale
Solomonson I used to own but maybe even a little more sturdy which is probably down to
the large areas of grip as well from the quality of material used.
Phileas is far bigger and heavier mat than my usual go to mats, a Krypt MT5 and 4GF
Standard. I am a bit of a less is more man. I remember giving up on the 4GF UDT, a monster of a mat, and giving it a way as a prize in a competition I ran a few years ago.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how I go wrestling with Phileas.
Phileas and I finally managed to become acquainted this week when in desperation, the
opportunity to surf having been very limited of late, I got a session round the bay in a lumpy
So I trudged nearly kilometre around the bay sat down and blew Phileas up to a 90 degree
level of inflation for starters. I was surprised how quickly that occurred as Phileas is a big
I did actually feel pretty comfortable on Phileas as soon as I hit the water paddling
effortlessly out to the the sparsely populated line up. She certainly helps here. There is
possibly a little more grip on Phileas than I normally like as I was not able to adjust position
on it as easily as usual, but it was certainly manageable. The waves were not that flash I
have to say but they were, at least, sitting up enough for a mat and although I never got out
first or second gear I was impressed with the performance on reforms.
I like the valve on G-mats. Especially being able to loosen the bottom section to accurately
release air. I did find screwing on the top of the valve fiddly as you have to get it on squarely
which can be problematic whilst bobbing around out there. But once you get it screwed
down properly, it appears to be very secure. No likelihood of an unexpected 4GF deflation
episode then! So I came away from that first session having quite enjoyed being on a mat again after so long and looking forward to how Phileas performs on a better wave.
Got another session on Philleas round the bay in the same spot but a cleaner side shore
and more crowded. Really only got on to one reasonable wave and had to get out of that as
I dropped in on an acquaintance visiting from a neighbouring town. That’s alright then eh!
Got a couple of others but was getting caught up behind the face of the wave as they were
breaking pretty quick and Phileas is a bit more of a handful that I am used to.
So still didn’t really find out what Phileas can do as the waves weren’t that flash for a mat
and I would have to spend a lot more time back on a mat to regain the skills I use to have.
But, very strangely, considering how much fun I use to have riding one for quite a number
of years, I don’t really have any great desire to do so but will always maintain a surf mat or
two in my quiver just in case I do feel like a session on one.
Thanks to G for sending one of his beautifully made mats over here but now Phileas moves
on to Ian Wraith in Japan. Unfortunately Phileas arrived in a particularly bad off season for
surfing here, Autumn and Winter being a better time, so I hope Ian gets a more of an
opportunity to find some good waves than what I did.”
Thanks to Robin for taking care of our girl. The final Oz video will be along Dreckly (that’s Cornish for whenever I get on it… We have good waves right now!).
She heads back to Japan to catch the tail end of the Cyclones with Ian Wraith.