Nov 15, 2011

True (Mat Surfing) Confessions!


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I finally got out on the mat this weekend and I am still grinning!!! Unreal...I just had so much fun!!! Got some smaller, mushy swell on Sat and headed to the beach. A solid hour into the session I was still flopping around and beginning to wonder if it would even work but then I snagged a solid right and it all came together! I managed to pull off a solid bottom turn and then set up for a 60 yard drainer! I was most surprised by the speed and how well she tracked in the face; I'm not sure if I've ever been so close to the curl for so long! After 3 hrs in the water I was exhausted but the mat made for a nice spot to take a quick nap as well!!!!   Keep up the great work PG, I look forward to catching up soon mate.

- Collin

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Thanks Paul the standard mat is jammin so stoked!!!!!!

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Hello Paul thanks for the tshirts. They are super nice. My daughter is stoked and will represent it at school. I'm sure the only 4th grade mat surfer in santa cruz. My buddy ordered a mat his name is Sylvio he rode our classic and was hooked.you should wax his with soap!!!!!

Looking forward to the vespa rt. The waves have been great and the standard mat is a jammer. I havent rode my surfboards in 2 months since i got the mat. Is this normal? Keep well and stay blessed.

Daniel

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Hi Paul,

Just a quick note to say that we've had a few days of decent swell here in the last week so i've finally had a chance to get out with the Vespa. It took a while to get used to as it felt huge compared to the fatty, but i'm loving it now.

Viva la mat!

- Neil

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Hi Paul,

Just want you to know that I picked up the mats from Craig and they are with me here in Bulgaria. Some of the kids have already had the opportunity to use them and I will pass some pics along for you. We will be at the seaside with all of the kids the last 2 weeks in August. Craig and Cathy will join me then.

Just know this; you have helped put smiles on a lot of the faces of the disenfranchised children from the home in Roman, Bulgaria. ;)

With the warmest regards,

Mark

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Hi Paul

I received the 4GF T-shirt a couple of days ago. Very quick too, thank you.

I had an awesome June/July on the Atlantic coast of France. for over 2 weeks in June the surf was outstanding especially at Capbreton, & this is my favorite spot a very consistent left off the jetty, holds up even with onshore winds & a right from the other side of the beach, smaller but still fast. (photos attached) Most days it was early morning glass & late afternoon juice when the sea breeze kicked in. The "Standard" was perfect. I was getting longer rides then either the board riders or the bodyboard crew. I had arms & legs like noodles at the end of the day. It was "surf, eat, sleep, repeat" for 16 consecutive days, with wave sizes from shoulder high to near double overhead. Tired but stoked every day :))

I got lots of very strange looks, comments, a few laughs, but that usually changed when folk saw how fast these mats go & how they track. Only once as I was walking up the beach at the end of an early morning session a long boarder, commented "Ah just like George Grenough!" I nodded & said "That's right, your the first one in 5 weeks who knows!"

What struck me too was how little fun most of the short boarders & a good proportion for the body-boarders were having. But then I am 63 with nothing to prove & grateful to still be able to do this. I have been back in the water these last 3 years after what must be a 30 year break, its taken some training, but this year I surfed the biggest & best I can remember. I find the mats perfect for me, though I still sometimes use a kneeboard, that feels stiff & unresponsive in comparison. I remember a quote from the "short board revolution" in the early 70's "reduce the medium" mats are the ultimate reduction of the medium between rider & wave! Thanks for a couple of amazing surf craft. I'm going back at the end of August for another go :))

Peter

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Hi Paul,

We went matting twice this weekend, and even though it was pretty cold, Fiona had a ton of fun plowing around in the whitewash. Given the smiles I saw after each ride, I think this will be a gateway to paddling outside and getting some clean faces before the Summer is out. Thanks so much for helping us with the quick delivery. I tried to get some pics to send with my cell phone, but they didn't really come out too well. Hopefully I can talk my wide into bringing the real camera one day soon so we can send something in for your website...

All the best,
Peter

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Hello Paul

Thank you for sending out the commodity.

I looks forward to the arrival.

I want to try early because of the wave of Japan.
I'm exciting since now.

I report for you.

Takashi

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Hi Paul,

Here's a brief update on my first mat-experience...

First surf was in June in Dubai !! Freaking hot and 32 degr. C water !! Waves were mushy shoulder high. I had a blast and felt a lot less silly than the regular guys in the line-up.

The mat feels really good ; I like the grip the top layer gives. This summer I had some more sessions in France. It was fun so I'm stoked !!

I think you make a nice product Paul, thanks !

Sandor

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HELL YEAH!! I just got my fins and can't wait to ride it!

My first surfmat! Thanks to Surfsister!

-Marvin

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Hey Paul, the UDT arrived and it's a thing of beauty! I can't thank you enough... I'm under deadline right now, but I'm gonna try to sneak in a session this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers, Tremor

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Thanks, Paul! Got my mat! So excited! I know what I'm doing this weekend...

Grace

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I took my mat out on her maiden voyage today and had a blast! Rode one wave to the inside and was trying to stop so I wouldn't have to paddle ALL the way back out, but what happened instead was I folded the mat, and it took me for a very graceful somersault. I surface and tried to pass it off like "I meant to do that!" Too much fun!

Grace

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Hi Paul,

I got the mat last week. Thanks for the fast turnaround. It's a beautiful piece of work.

Just wanted to say that I tried it out today and was blown away. I admit I was thinking of the mat as a novelty to round out my wave riding experience and that I would catch a few waves and then go grab my board, but after one wave I did not want to get my board! The speed was eye-popping. I realize now you are not so much planing across the water on a mat but literally flying.

I've read the rider's guide and have a couple of questions:

1) I found myself clenching the mat in my fingers to hold onto it in the soup. Is it ok to do this (so long as fingernails aren't too long) or do I risk ripping or puncturing the mat? If so what else should I do (always a bear hug?)

2) Do you have any further advice on duckdiving than what is found in the rider's guide? Is there for instance some trick you do with squeezing the air through the mat to make it go under the wave and then pop up?

- Ron

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Hi Paul,

Just wanted to let you know that I am very much enjoying riding my mat! It's a quality surfing experience. I have ridden it so far in mainly weak onshore summer slop (that's what we get here in August) and the lack of friction is quite a feeling. Many thanks,

regards and best wishes, Dave Mc

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Hi Paul got the fatty mat and i love it. The glide and turning is so smooth. Thank you

Daniel

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Hi Paul,

Bless you for moving my order ahead. I really appreciate it.

I am happy to hear you have so many orders to fill. I rode the waves on the old canvas/rubber mats in the sixties and wanted to experience that again, and in my childhood favorite spot - LaJolla. I am so glad I found your website.

The classic is just what I'm looking for.

I'm putting my daughter on the standard.

Thanks again,

Christi

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Paul,

It's Wednesday and I got the mat with today's mail. STOKED. Surprised it only takes 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to inflate (to the 90 degree inflation).

I hope to use it in some good surf this week/weekend.

A bunch of mat people are meeting at Cottons on Sunday...that will be crazy with this swell.

Thanks again for getting it out to me a little earlier than expected.

Craig F

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Thank you Paul,

You actually have a picture of me on your blog. im the guy on the mat high fiving my mate Andrew in the brotherly love post. I'm good friends with Jamie too. I stayed with him and Tatum in Australia and OBX. Each time getting some amazing waves. Rode the tracker at the cliffs a few weeks ago and loved the feel. The waxed deck canvas feels just right!

Beyond that the pocket stability was instantly obvious with the tracker. Pendo likens the round tail to a single fin. After riding it I understand his point. Very different than the square tails. Blah blah blah stoked!!

Mark M

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Paul -- Got out before and after the storm on the mat. It took a little practice, but I'm getting the hang of it. It's not physically as easy as I thought it would be. On a paddle out, a fellow surfer asked me if it was a Paul Gross mat. He seemed to know who you were, but I don't know his name. Thought you might like to read a report of the hurricane's affect on the local scene. Skip W

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Got it, tried it, think surfing is easier, but I'm digging it. Thanks

Michael Y

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My mat came today... cant tell you how fired up I am. Thank you!

Graham

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Hi Paul,

It's Thomas again, here are some feeling's of a Mat's rookie rider on the atlantic coast of France (summer sessions).

Mattsurfing is so different than bodyboarding or surfing or bodysurfing. It's a diferent way.

Maybe because i am a light weight rider I really find myself confortable with a very underpressure mat (for both duckdiving and surfing).

The feeling on the wave is unique, and I really understand why you speak of year's of experiences to became a good mattsurfer.

I am so impress by the tool that I want a big matt to go in the water with my 6 year's old son to catch waves in tandem (we already test prone surfing together on a special "father and son" bodyboard).

Next surf will be on the "mediterranée sea" next month were Matt's should really fit.

Kind regard's

Thomas

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Hi

I just got my first chance to take out the XL I bought, for the first time in a perfect 4 - 5 South Swell here in Sydney yesterday WOW

I was blown away, I got into the waves much earlier than my other mat, and the speed and flow was incredible

I found the canvas very grippy too, much easier to paddle if need be, and my body wasn't slipping around in critical sections

Brilliant!

Thank you sooooo much, Bart

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Hey Paul,

I just received my Tracker this morning! It arrived in one piece and the mat looks great! So stoked on testing it out in the Atlantic. Thanks for overall perfect buyer experience, I'll let you know how it performs and I'll try to send some action photos your way in the future!

Thanks again!

Sincerely,

Erik S

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Hey Paul

Thanks for getting those mats out to us so quickly! Looking forward to getting on some waves- the difference between the tracker & standard seems very subtle, though I haven't inflated either one yet.

-Sean

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NO WAY! I always thought that would be fun -- but it was just....FUN!

Nope, couldn't wait until Monday! That did put me in my own race with the lifeguard. They are active at our beach. And there were groups of kids doing a clean-up. I knew the lifeguards would be extra vigilant.

My rush made the paddle out even funnier. Struggled out there, caught my breath. Shrieked over to Kwin, who was just laauuughing. Set wave rose up, I struggled to position, but the wave and mat ignored me and took over, and I was flying! Reforms took me to the sand!

Good thing I set my expectations at one ride. Because every lifeguard in a 3-mile radius probably could hear me on that first ride hooting like a crazy person! I got out of there!

Ha ha, I believe I inflated the mat a tad too much. AND STILL IT WAS AWESOME.

Out of the water tomorrow. Can't wait until Monday! Big thanks for sharing the mat stoke with everyone!

Nina

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Hi Mary and Paul,
(what about Peter?-)

anyway... just wanted to let you know that a had a great two mornings at County Line.

Despite the bad forecast I was up a Leo´s at dawn yesterday. It was glassy and the shape from the tiny swell was perfect (Now I understand, Mary!), but the place was occupied by a menacing sea lion (not a seal) who drove away the lonely longboarder that had just gotten in. We went up to County Line which was looking better/larger anyway and had a good time in the glassy beachbreak.

(It´s funny, too, how the mat seems mellow out people.)

Today I went to CL again. 3,5 hrs of nonstop watertime with the most fun, cleanest and longest rides I´ve had so far (in beteween long lulls) and a huge dolphin sharing one of those waves.

Now back to reality...

Hope all is well!

Tom

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Picked it up yesterday, hopefully break it in this weekend! Seems to have arrived unscathed from the post, looks great.

Just wish we were able to get a better selection of fins over here… Can’t find Vipers anywhere at the moment, and duck feet cost about $90-95 after postage from the US.

Anyway thanks for the mat, will give you a report after a few sessions, Mitch.

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Hi Paul

Tracker round tail arrived safely in Brisbane this morning.

Surf’s flat at the moment, but can’t wait to begin the learning process when conditions improve.

Regards

David B

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Hi I have used one of your mats before (tried a friends) and was jazzed by the speed and responsiveness. Am excited to get my own..Donna Z

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Aloha Paul,

Just wanted to let you know I got the Tracker today and got to give it a quick test run this evening...So much fun and I'm sure I've only experienced the 'tip of the iceberg!'

Mahalo, Anthony

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Just had my first session on the new mat! Sunset surfin at Pleasure Point.

An evening to remember! Nice big glassy swell, warm water - stunning sunset colors.

Oh and the mat was pretty sweet too! Getting used to the smaller size- handles like a sports car, but you were right... It's going to take a little more effort to get into waves.

Having fun so far :)

-Sean

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Hey Paul,

Rode the mat for the first time this evening, 3-5' beach break. Man, it's a lot of work! Had a great time getting worked over, got a few decent waves but not sure I ever got it out of first gear. Got a few shoulders where I could experiment with body positioning and weight control, but it's a whole new learning curve. I mostly just sideslipped around until I started figuring out how to apply pressure here and there. All in all I was laughing all the time and had a blast. Thanks for the mat.

Eric

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Tracker goes great! Got it yesterday, but surfed instead. Wife got the mail then called me, "did you get another mat?" Price is so reasonable, no trouble there.

Today we went to the seawall/reef down past Tropics where we had a super fun session. Waves were glassy and overhead (for my daughter) and she's starting to pull some real bottom turns. She's so stoked out there, just a chatterbox, it's fun to be out with her.

The tracker gets down the line for me way better than the vespa. Got a handful of great rides, pretty fast waves down the line and I was staying ahead of it without the side slip I was struggling with on the Vespa. Not in quite as early but with the better hold/projection I'm really happy with the tracker. Another mat session where I got more good rides than any of the surfers out there.

Yeah, really amazing.

Had another fun one last night at the point. Small, neg tide and windy, a couple little corners but pretty poor conditions. She rode her classic and we had plenty of fun.

We were changing at my van and a lady comes up and asks "where do you get those things? They look like a lot of fun.. are they better than a boogie board?"

WAY BETTER! I told her how to find you.

Cheers-

Dan

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hey Paul just thought I'd let you know, got the mat in the water yesterday on the dropping swell. Never had so much fun on the inside 3ft over head. but by the shape of my ankle today I can appreciate the learning curve.

cool... not a toy

willy

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Hi Paul,

Got the mat as promised on Wednesday. Took it out to Bolsa Chica this morning and got a couple of good rides. I've got a way to go to get where I need to go on the mat, but I certainly have the right tools. Thanks, and best...

Brett

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Thanks Paul,

Just wanted to say that riding my mats, made what would of been a crappy summer up here lots of fun.

Thanks again,

Mark

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Hi Paul,

Had my first tryout on the tracker this sunday morning in a clean 4ft offshore swell. The tracker works great. Easy to catch waves and quick making speed. A few times i skimmed out of the wave because of the speed so i have to work on that. The deck is great! Good traction, but still easy to replace yourself on the mat.

Making turns is smooth so i'm very stoked to have this mat in my quiver. For Holland it's a great mat!

Speak to you soon.

Marc

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Thank you for making the mat for me Paul. It is very different than the other mats ive ridden. More versatile.

Enjoying the ride

Mark

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Hi Paul

David here from Sunshine Coast Queensland.

The surf has not been ideal for the round tail tracker since it arrived.

I took it out though yesterday and today in less than ideal conditions, 1 – 2 foot crumbly.

It was my first go out and I’m aware I broke the ‘3 foot or bigger’ rule.

Consequently nothing to report except I’ve got a long way to go to learn how to handle this mystery machine.

I’ll keep plugging away and let you know as soon as I have the first magic session.

In the mean time I’m a much more attentive studier of the Rider’s Guide and any other printed or video material I can find.

I even watched Crystal Voyager again last night with the mat bits of special interest.

Regards

David

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Paul,

Finally got out on the mats yesterday. Surfed mid to low tide on it. I had a blast the lack of fins to drag through the kelp. Rode the Vespa and then switched to the fatty, which was great on the smaller waves we were getting by the end of the day.

Ed

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Paul,

We received it today! Oh my goodness... so exciting.
In perfect time for our gathering of kneeboarders this weekend.

Can't wait to give it a ride.

Thanks a ton!

Amanda

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G'day Paul,

thanks for the quick delivery of the RT tracker. Unfortunately I busted my ankle just after I got it, so it's mostly been in the pool for ankle rehab.

I showed my dad, he told me about the surf-o-plane he used to ride at Nth Avalon, NSW. He said surf-mats went out of fashion when this american turned up in the mid 60's with a fast hollowed out, thing and a new fin, George Greenough. ("nice fella, always happy to talk surf, his sharp fin was the one that stabbed your uncle Patrick, you'de see him at NthAv, go up to Byron and he'd be there too, all the guy did was surf" ).

I guess things go in circles.

Thanks again

Mike W

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hey paul, I got my mat today. it looks awesome! cant wait to get it in the water.

thanks heaps!

Dustin

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Hi Paul,

The Mat arrived this morning, 25/10/11 - only 8 days to Newcastle Australia! I can see why you can hit 4th gear on these mats, it's as light as a feather!! No swell at the moment, can't wait!! I was at Merewether on the weekend telling everyone about the mat. I think you might get some more orders once I start using it around Newcastle's different beaches!

got the Mat inflated first go to George's recommendation for 5ft waves! I already had a pair of Flippers but I've also bought some 3/4 webbed paddle gloves, at 6' 1" and 240lbs I figure I need every advantage I can get in the line-up!! Can wait for the swell!!!!

Dave

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Hi Paul - I got a standard from you a few years back and now my wife wants to get into matting so I have an excuse to get a new mat! Anyway I am friends with Steiny and he really liked the Fatty so I think I would like to order one of those - I am 6'1" and 175lbs and I surf beachbreaks in SF and also go to SC for pointbreaks and ride small surf
Thanks

Rob

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hope you are well! I purchased a mat off you last year. its going amazing! im currently on a cycling trip through south america and have been carrying it through these huge mountains for the last 3 months in anticipation for the waves in northern peru.

Im emailing though to order another mat for my girlfriend. she is 161cm tall and her weigh is around 45 - 50kg. the waves she would be riding on the mat would range from 1-3foot, in all conditions. let me know what you suggest and ill send the money through! thanks again paul! I cant explain how much joy matting brings my way!

hope your well! speak soon

angus

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Thanks for the Fatty Paul. Seeing more mats in the water in Santa Cruz. Lotsa surfers. I've seen the youtube vids and I'd love a new stoke. Well, just to let you know, I'm 51 and I'm a retired lawyer and full time surfer now and I remember a time when mats were all we rode. :)

Tim

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Thanks a lot for my Fatty, steiny got me hooked last Sunday.

Jed

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Hello Paul,

the mats arrived yesterday afternoon in good order.Am very pleased with them. I was able to surf the xl this evening in 3 to 4 foot mediocre waves. How good is that deck canvas,so grippy and an apparent firmness to it.Some good pace when able to run, given that the waves were not great. Thanks again! Shall keep you posted, Kind regards, Wes, Annette and Stephen.


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Hi Paul

Got the mats out today for their first session. Unreal! Less seems to be more and more seems to be less? Can't imagine how these things will rip in bigger surf cos they really kind of take off once you get em in the right spot.

Anyway they are the business, we are really happy with them and would like to thank you for your service.

Best Regards

Sam & Aniko

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hope you are well

my 2 year old brags about how his papa rides mats at rincon

i caught so many waves to the call box and it was so uncrowded for some reason

he said he wants to pop rickys mat with his drill

as much as stand up surfing is fun i am feeling mat riding is more fun

RC

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My name's Blake and I bought a mat from you a few weeks ago.

I took it out for the 4th time yesterday, in the best conditions I rode it yet. 2-3ft and steep, low tide beach breaks. I had some good rides in my first three sessions but I had yet to hit this "fourth gear". Yesterday, I was having a tough time getting to go down the line until my last wave, which was a flying, low-line barrel festival where I was screaming the whole way. I went from frustration to girlish glee in one wave.

Lovin' it.

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Hey Paul,

Thanks! Very excited to try them out, will send pics for sure!

We leave for Costa Rica in 25 days… not that I’m counting! Can’t wait to try mine out.

Thanks again!!

Jenny/Toronto

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Hey paul just wanted 2 let you know I used the round tail tracker today while doing step off's from A PWC thing worked way better then I thought. matching the speed of the swell on the ski then jump landing on the mat was really cool. I got some pretty cool hel-cam footage that I'll throw up later tonight. Thought you might trip out on this. Talk to you later.

Chad

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Thanks Paul I'm currently can't paddle a board due to a shoulder injury so hopefully this will help me catch a few waves until it repairs. I'm sure I will get a few comments from the locals down here but will let you know how it goes.....best regards bill

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Hi Paul,

Thank you for shipping this out so quickly. I've been a stand up surfer for the past .. Oh .. 35 years, going from short boards to ever longer long boards. I was born with a lot of birth defects that made my learning how to surf more difficult than all of my friends but not impossible. Over the years as my body aged (I'm 53 now) my boards have gotten longer to accommodate (compensate really) how ever more slowly I got to my feet.

Well, it so happens that over the past two years I've surfed maybe a handful of times with very limited success at getting to my feet. While sitting on the balcony of Hubb's Hall at Scripps Institute, I watched someone paddle out on a small mat (possibly one of yours) and I was suddenly inspired to check into them. I've been out of the water for way too long and I believe that this will get me back out in the lineup and enjoying myself in the surf again.

I've watched some videos of surf mats and I'm convinced that it will work quite well where I lease property in Baja. It's a little point set up and I'm stoked to get it into the lineup there.

I am grateful that you have created and perfected such a vehicle that will keep my back salty and a smile on my face. I'm looking forward to learning something new and gaining a different perspective on the many waves this will get me into. Who knows, maybe all the kicking in the lineup will strengthen my legs enough that I'll be able to grab my longboard and paddle into a few on the smaller days. Mahalo.

In peaceful rhythms,
Jeffrey

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3 comments:

Robin Thomson said...

I look forward to these posts Paul and read them with relish and excitement as I learn of other peoples first experiences with mats. Awesome!

GRAYMAN said...

Seconded.

I always like that "... and then I got it" moment. :-)

FAO: Ron, you might find some useful info HERE

Cheers

G

daniel said...

these are the posts that first got me into surf mats i stocked and studied these they are so helpful. its all about fun and the stoke of the unlimited learning experience