Mat surfing in the waves of Ireland

September 22, 2016 | Bodyboarding
Ian Jermyn: an Australian surf mat enthusiast taking on the waves of Ireland

Ian Jermyn is an Australian illustrator with a degree in marine science, and he loves riding waves with mats. Even if it means paddling out in the cold dark waters of Ireland.

It's an inflatable wave riding craft, and nowadays it is only ridden by an elite group of water sports enthusiasts.

Jermyn is a member of the mat club, and he has been exploring a few opportunities along the Irish coastline.

The art of mat surfing was born in the early 1960s when George Greenough rode his first waves on a small air mattress.

Back then, he didn't realize he was opening the way for the "invention" of bodyboarding.

Ian Jermyn rides hand-made MC Surf Mats by Matt Fedden. His recent video clips reveal how fast a semi-inflated mat can go down the line in clean chest-high conditions.

"This day wasn't that big, but by crikey was it fast, providing you were on the right equipment," explained Jermyn.

I've still got a little idea about what is going on in that bubble between my belly and the wave. It's like you're flying a soap bubble across a razor's edge - any moment it could all go wrong."