Jan 6, 2017

From Mat Max ...

In addition to being the originator this blog, Mat Max (Pahl Dixon) also lays claim to being the young mat rider featured in The Complete Book Of Surfing... 

Pahl was  also the very first customer of 4th Gear Flyer back in the summer of 1984! (He bought a Standard from me out of the trunk of my car...in the parking lot at the Ventura Raceway.)

His free-spirit takes him all over the globe as mat riding's numero uno worldwide ambassador.

A while back, he imposed his minimalist lifestyle on his mat model selection. I built him what he calls his ''Mini-Mat," which is essentially a 4GF Lotus that's been shortened a couple of inches. And that's pretty damn small!

Pahl is our most articulate mat tester, and this is the bi-annual report he filed a few days ago, via the World Wide Web Electronic Mail Service...



Howzit Paul and Gloria?

The 4GF Mini-Mat that I’ve been exclusively riding turns two years old this month. It now feels normal and just right. The aspect of change that has not worn off is increased excitement. It's a minimal platform that’s easy to duck dive and ride in wild surf. It also promotes an uncanny impression of flying across the water. I find that less volume requires more attention to positioning and increased overall effort. The payoff is a mat that does more of what I want with a few minor drawbacks.

Going smaller requires extra energy to tap into increased performance potential. Catching waves on a Mini is a bit more demanding. Finding the fore-aft sweet spot is somewhat trickier. Contrast unique thrills, secure handling, easy maneuvering… and these trade offs equate positively. Balancing precariously on a personal hovercraft that feels like an inflatable postage stamp is next level fun. Like transitioning from a sports car to a go kart. And after two years of traveling, the Mini going super-strong.

I weigh 175 pounds and have no issues with the Mini even when wearing a full suit. From New Zealand to Australia to Hawaii and back in NZ this micro-mat has dished out ample speed and reliability in all conditions. The Mini’s main advantage is being able to utilize significantly more inflation, due to its minimal wetted area, in order to very confidently fast-track across gnarly waves with amazingly little surface drag.

The Mini is a step-up mat that experienced riders might want to invest in for intense conditions and fresh sensations. It’s also a clever choice for small people and kids.

The venerable oxymoron “less is more” aptly applies to the Fourth Gear Flyer Mini-Mat!

Cheers Mates,

Mat Max
January 4, 2017

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