Oct 18, 2018

From Tom

Hi Paul,

Sending you very good vibes from the dependable river-fed-sandbars of Camburi, SP. We're down here for a week of chillaxing before, we have to switch into "autumn-mode" back home in Germany.

Been using a Vespa and a Tracker (first mat!) and getting some very nice slides.

Get well and fit soon!

Oct 17, 2018

From Charles Price

Here is a short vid of me on my Omni. It’s the only video I have. Thanks for the stoke!


Oct 16, 2018

From Tom

Hi Paul,
I couldn't figure out how to download pics on the surf matters blog, but, pics on October 14 Sunday epic. Plenty of waves to go around, more waves than takers.
My God the Lotus is just fast, esp. with new super XL duck feet to launch into the abyss, SCORE!!

Tom Riley

5 Month's Worth Of Comments...Now Posted !!!

The comments that have been sent our way have somehow gotten sidetrack away from our email for approval. I just put most of them up...all 5 month's worth.

So, if you have time to kill  -- HA HA HA -- you can scroll back through the posts to read a number of erudite comments from our readers.

My apologies for the screw-up! Technology and I have a tumultuous relationship...

Oct 15, 2018

From Josh and Matthew

Some nice footage of Matthew Crowe, shot by Josh Simpson Films...video here.

Oct 14, 2018

From Adam and Paul, Who Are Solely Responsible For Its Content...

Hey Paul

I just read your update concerning your health, so pleased that you got back into the water for a splash, baby steps for the time being and be assured your strength will return , your body just needs time to heal! 

We have been catching plenty, with this little edit from yesterday morning, surfing with Paul. I really love the Lotus model, smaller mats are great to wrangle , and I can only babble on how good these mats fly in all conditions, big or small!

Take care mate and look forward to reading more on your recovery.

10 Quackers from OZ


Oct 13, 2018

4GF Update

As many of you know, I underwent heart valve replacement surgery in July. I'd been putting it off for
a year and half...ostensibly waiting for medicare to kick in. But, in reality, dread was my prime motivating factor in stalling. I've had very few medical issues in my life, and wasn't ready to roll with the punches when I was informed I had congenital aortic stenosis and need open heart surgery.

Around mid-May, my doctors finally said, collectively, "Sack it up cowboy, we need to open you up."

The medical rogue's gallery...

 Primary Care and George's Niece: Dr. Margret Greenough

 Cardiologist and Bottomless Pit Of Good Humor: Dr. Lawrence Von Dollen

 Surgeon and Scratch Golfer: Dr. Luke Faber

The procedure went to plan, and I was only in the hospital for 4 days! I even got to stay in ICU the whole time, as the main wing of French Hospital in San Luis Obispo was full up.

One of my rehab therapists was an old surfer from Santa Barbara, Tom McLaughlin. We started talking about surfing, and he broached the subject of George and surfmats.

Me:   "Do you know Dr. Margret Greenough?"

Tom: "Sure, she's my primary care physician."

Me:  ''You know she's George's niece, right?''

The look on his face was priceless. He had no idea.

When I got home, I couldn't believe I was still alive and already on the road to recovery. There was some discomfort in my chest at first, but no serious pain. I only needed 3 pain pills over the first few days at home, and that was a big relief, as obviously I didn't want to start taking opioids on a regular basis.

I had prepped for the heart procedure by building 40 extra mats in advance, so we could fill orders during the first month of my recovery. (And, to keep my mind from wandering to dark places.) As it turned out, we ran out of inventory just as I was ready to build mats again...so for once, one of my half-baked business plans worked out!

A number of people have asked if I'm building mats, and the answer is yes. Things have been back to normal for over a month, and orders are getting filled at our usual astonishing rate.

Surfing has been off the table, not due to my heart, but in deference to my sternum which is still healing. But recently, I started having persistent dreams about being in the water, then the other day I had a violent sneeze, and my chest didn't hurt at all. So, I decided it was time to get back in the water...not to ride waves, but to just float around and get some paddling in.

I went over to Morro Strand midday yesterday. It was small, overcast, and the water was brown. Not appealing at all.

 Frame grab from around noon...
I suited up and went out anyway. Getting into my 5/4 wetsuit was a hassle, because I didn't want to strain my chest area. (I thought ahead on that point, and rinsed my full suit before I left home, to loosen it up after 4 months in dry dock.) It actually felt good to have my chest compressed by the wetsuit. It felt secure.

I even took my first, and last, selfie ever...big mistake!

I waded out as far as I could, then waited for a lull, and gingerly slid onto my mat and started kicking. About 10 kicks into it, the back of my left thigh locked up. That's when I realized the toll the operation had taken on me. I let my leg relax, then paddled some more.

 That's me, floating around, courtesy of Surfline.

Soon, both feet and calfs were cramping up. I managed to stay out about 20 minutes, then I caught a tiny wave and came in. I couldn't believe how good it felt, just going straight off. Much better than I could have ever imagined. I immediately flashed back to the first wave I ever rode. I still remember it vividly. Same thing...straight off on a 2 foot wave on a mat. I was hooked after one wave!
I felt pretty good when I got home. But this morning, when I woke up, my entire body felt like a wet noodle. I could barely stand up. It was a real eye opener to realize I'm starting from scratch, fitness-wise. This is new territory for me, but in some ways, it's going to be fun. How long it will take to reconfigure myself? Many, many months. Maybe a year. Will I be stronger than before? Could be. Fitness often improves after heart valve replacement. (My old aortic valve was the size of a pencil eraser. The new one is the size of a quarter. The blood flow out of my heart now has 300 times less resistance.)

I can't thank the doctors and nurses enough, along with all of the people who have given us their support over the past few months. It's more that I deserve, especially in light of all the people suffering far worse fates in the world these days. My problems don't add up to Bogart's proverbial "hill of beans."

"Quit whining and get back in the shop and make some mats..."


Guerdon Smith wants to start a "Zipper Club," made up of mat surfers who have had open heart surgery.  Since George G had his in 1952, he will, as usual, be the patriarch. Let us know if you qualify!

Oct 12, 2018

From Nolan

Hi Paul,

Here's one of the clips of me and Jack Lynch. I fall out the back, but Jack got a rad inside section.

This is at Alex Knost's house. He doesn't have a tv, just a little projector that hooks into laptops. Gotta share the footage with the shaper right?!?

Thanks again Paul!

Nolan Hall

Oct 8, 2018

From Matt

Hey gang!!!

The 2018 mat meet is on for next weekend at 7am-1pm at Rockaway 77th.  There should be fun waves in the morn with the lower tide and leftover swell from the night before. We will be out there till at least 1pm so feel free to show up late if you wanna sleep in. Bring all the mats and fins you got! Paipos/boogies/handplanes welcome. We'll have several mats for ppl to try out! Hope to see you there! Feel free to share with anyone who might be interested.



Oct 7, 2018

SCUMM Mashup From Oily and Adam

 The mini Duckfoot flipper, hand carved by Rob Pollard, hangs proudly on the van mirror.

Neal Cameron...two new hips, same cranky attitude.

Hey Paul, 

Hope this finds you healthy and happy. Been a while  thought i'd drop a line say Gday...well we hope that spring has sprung and we’ve had some glorious weather of late.. but in dire need of rain the drought is really testing the Australian community. Anyways haven’t had much to rave about lately surf wise on my behalf anyways .. The SCUMM crew have had some mid week specials of late. 

Neal Cameron and I had a sneaky mid week Gilligan’s the other day here's some happy snaps and a short video for your perusal. 

The Omni is hanging in there just and still my weapon of choice...haha …I noted another small pinhole the during this season with Neal whilst i was sitting a top of it, nothing a dob of the black elixir won’t fix..

Anyways mate, keep on smiling,  you make the stoke we share.

Cheers Oily

Oct 5, 2018

From Nolan Hall

Alex Knost

Out here in France! Mat’n & Wine’n !!!

Oct 2, 2018

From Mister Dirk

Architecture firms selgascano and FRPO have unveiled their proposed design for the Spanish pavilion at expo 2020 Dubai.

The roof canopy of the temporary structure comprises nine yellow cylinders made from recycled ETFE. these lightweight inflatables are supported by a steel framework.

The entire scheme has been conceived as an interpretation of a typical Spanish plaza, a welcoming public square that visitors can occupy in a variety of ways.

From Lou

Hey Paul...

Here in Lanka for a couple of months and brought all 3 styles with me ,best move i have ever made,having a blast and couple of breaks here just Purrrrrfect for the Mats and getting them worked out...

Frank my mate just got one from you back in Aust and is Stoked....

Tracker my favourite for all round surfing...loose .

Standard my close second favourite.

Xl has a lot of Volume and nice to paddle but only use it in Fat small waves...

I note Volume makes a big difference i think ..eg less air / more easy to turn etc but hey lots of variables...wave size and conditions come into play...

Am using all 3 at present and just mixing my sessions up...its the first time i have been able to ride all 3 and get them slowly worked out.

Nice right hander here with walls,coming off a sucky boulder point with sandy bottom...lot of fun..2 to 5ft size range.

OK take it easy.

Sep 29, 2018

North Florida

Rob, enjoying the effluent of hurricane season...
Photo: Chris

Sep 25, 2018

From Guy

Hi Paul,

A couple of years ago you made a mat to help my autistic daughter be able to ride waves comfortably. I just wanted to say a massive thank you from us, she loves that thing! She rides waves on it, uses it in rivers, floats in the sea and snorkels from it. The sensory feedback it gives her is amazing. If she is stressed out she can use the board and after 5 minutes she is calm and singing in the water.
I just wanted you to know!

Guy Higgins

Sep 23, 2018

From Surf Sister

Right hander action in LA County!!!

Sep 16, 2018

From Rob


I continue to Pray for all those effected by the Storm. This looks to be a very active Storm Season. Much Love and Healing Energy to all our Brothers and Sisters who are in the path.

In Jax, Florence created solid head high plus surf. I am far more Present these days and felt like a better Dance partner on these powerful waves! Chris is still working on the shots but he gave me a couple to keep me Frothin. More to come....

I’ve been Spreading a lot of Stoke though in and out of the water and more people are beginning to approach me about mat surfing!

Chris Shultz shot these last two from land. This is the first time I’ve ever straightened off on a closeout ;), I think it was the right call...my spidey sense was tingling and I auto straightened!


That’s definitely the biggest clean wave that I have a picture of! This day will Live in my memory Forever. I just paddled outside of everyone, sat up on my mat, and picked off the biggest waves in the sets. Surfers watched from the shoulder, but nobody ever dropped in on me. It was Magical!

I can only remember one swell that was bigger last year. It was during a Nor’easter that mixed with some Hurricane generated ground swell and from the beach you couldn’t see the outside. Chris and I caught only a couple rides that day because it just felt dangerous to be out, but they where 150+ yard screamers. It had to be 10’ that day because as I held a high line it felt like I was sliding across the top of a moving building made of windswept water. Lots of texture but that didn’t stop the mat from making vapor trails. It also felt far more dangerous getting outside that day because of wind-swell mixed in. We are so Fortunate to have these Experiences! I wouldn’t trade them for anything. 

Positive Vibes and Healing Energy my Friend! Much Love from Florida! I’m off to Chase and Spread more Stoke this morning!

Super Stoked,

Sep 14, 2018

From Cher and Steve

Hi, Paul,

Here is a clip that we captured of Captain Dave on a fun left! We hope that you enjoy it! Whoo hoo!
He’s ripping!

The last couple of weeks, we’ve enjoyed fun swell mixes, surfing daily. We love our 4GF mats!
Thank you, Paul. We’re riding, thinking of you.

Yesterday, I had a mind blowing set wave. After a steep takeoff and turn, I pulled up into the curl, doing down the line. A bit later, the lip hit me and knocked my mat out from under me. I ended up with my hands on the mat like a hand plane, and my body planning higher across the wall. The feeling was amazing! This was a fast, long, curling right all the way to the beach. If I’d tried to pull my mat back underneath me, I may have lost the line and not made the wave, so I went with it! So stoked, such an other worldly experience to navigate the spinning trim like that for so long.

Take good care. Looking forward to keeping in touch.

Cher and Steve

Sep 13, 2018

From Erik

Hi Paul,
Saw this on Instagram. Australian modernist design!

Sep 12, 2018

From Hugh

Hey Paul,

I’ve had the Vespa out everyday since it arrived to try it out in different conditions and it’s been magic all around.

Here are a few clips of the Vespa in action from Surfline cam rewind from the last 2 days. Pretty amazing how fast and smooth it runs on a good wall and still glides through flat sections.

Flying all the way through and into that close out section at the end. I'm claiming it was a rooster tail coming off the mat rather than off shores.

The wave doesn't even need to break!
Thanks again for the awesome craft. 


Sep 11, 2018

Traveling Scumm Update

King Waka, surfmats, jokes and ticks...an unbeatable, 21st century media combination!

Sep 10, 2018

Waco Inflatables

It looks like the Waco Wave Puddle is allowing inflatables in their lineup...chalk one up for the All American freedom fighters of the Lone Star State. Are you listening, Lemoore honchos?

The fun starts at 1:05 ...

Sep 6, 2018

From Bryce

Hey Paul,

Here is a little clip of me yesterday at San Onofre on my 4GF. So much fun! Thought you'd enjoy this.


Aug 30, 2018

From Matt

Hi Paul,

I hope you are well. Here is a vid of me getting a little tube in the winter at Rockaway Beach, and a pic at a fun point in Central America. Thanks for making radical toys!



Aug 29, 2018

From Sam

Hey Paul! Quinn Kasbar rides an Air Mattress at The Wedge. Apparently(!) Mike Jennings (Senior Writer) posted this on CoastalWatch dot com 24 August 2018.


Aug 28, 2018

From Mark


I would like to share with you that, after all these years, a new generation of kids from the orphanage in Roman, Bulgaria are having a blast with the surf mats that you donated! Thanks again!
Cheers! Blessings!
Mark Stadler

From Michael

Hi Paul,

I know some consider mat surfers to be a lower life form.... who cares?  Not me. I am proud to be part of a fiercely committed and addicted crew of those who have discovered the pure joy of riding a surf mat. Thank you for keeping us stoked. 
Having a blast on my Fatty, and look forward to picking up the Tracker next weekend at Mitch's.


Mikey J

Aug 27, 2018

Slater Surf Ranch Update

Nolan Hall -- who is obviously well-connected in the surfing world -- got a chance to surf the artificial wave in Lemoore, CA over the weekend. Nolan's a mat rider, so naturally I was curious how a mat would go in that kind of wave. (Frankly, I'm skeptical due to the odd energy disbursement of the wave. This video shows the odd currents going up the face...)

As it turns out, he got skunked!  Details here...

The lifeguard dudes that work it said someone rode a mat there once and slid into a big pipe on the side of the wave. So they haven’t let people ride em since that. 

There was also 4 people in my group, and we only got to surf it for an hour. So it was tough to get in to swap out gear without losing waves. I think we might get to go out for a whole day towards the end of the year. I wanna try it on a mat, tho. 

The wave is super tricky, it’s pretty flat, and then when it barrels, it goes mega fast. But hopefully by the time we get to go for the whole day, I can kick into one!

I don’t know who the other mat rider was, but it seems like they weren’t smart enough to bail their mat. It’s hard to explain the set up of the wave pool. But they must have gotten caught behind the whitewash, and then blasted up on the the side bank, and just kept holding on, and slide into the poll. I don’t know why they wouldn’t have just let go of the mat. It’s strange



I passed along this report to a number of our good friends, and this is what they said...


Hmmmmm....so the person who hit the pipe ruined it for everyone who rides a mat? If the waiver is signed, and money is exchanged, what’s the big deal? I feel it comes down to knowledge of the craft your riding, and your ability, no different than riding a board. Fins must be used on a wave like that! UDT’s would be my choice for getting in early and sticking my stalls and turns. There are lots of standup surfers who ride mats as a second craft, and I feel mats take at least as much (I feel more) wave knowledge and dedication to ride competently in big surf. It does look like a really technical wave, and it’s hard to tell how long the sections are when watching it on TV.

Rob Pollard 


I would love to "slide into a big pipe on the side of the wave".  Remember the other Ranch had pipes.  It had walls. Now it has lawyers and Producers.  Maybe they can buy Kelly's Surf Ranch, and leave us the old waves.

Aloha, Guerdon Smith


Sliding into a big pipe doesn’t sound so bad… ;)

Glenn Sakamoto


Howzit? Could that report be another symptom of the whole world going mad? I want to teleport back to 1972 when a $40 board, a $5 bike and bare feet was more than enough to be fully satisfied. (At least I'm still taking the bus or hitch hiking.) 
Have A Happy Day, Pahl Dixon


I saw some bodysurf footage that was good too. 
I think on "soft" mode it would be doable on mat.


I’m sure the mats would keep up once the gears were shifted.  Sometimes you get hammered when it barrels right off the bat.  If you got your initial turn in, I think you’d make it.  I’d love to give it a try.  

Kenneth Hughes


What stops you from just telling lifeguards to fuck off? 

Doesn't motivate me too want to do it though. But, if they keep wannabe Slaters out of my way then I'm happy 😂

Graeme Webster


SURF MATTS: super fast.  "slid into a big pipe on the side of the wave." rad

Jeremy Grosvenor


 It makes me feel better if we don't call the pools "surfing," rather a ''surfing-like product.''



Big imagination here. ‘Haunted by the “vision” of "someone rode a mat there once and slid into a big pipe on the side of the wave.

Nolan’s description of the wave is very interesting. Possibly more accurate than many have written.
We love and dream of natural waves. While this concept is certainly fascinating, I’d rather paddle out into the wild, free ocean to surf than ride in a wave pool.

Cher Pendarvis


To Cher's point, about the various descriptions of this "wave," here's a good perspective from Nick Carroll...

Aug 23, 2018

From Rob


Our own Rob Pollard, landlocked some 500 miles from the ocean, has replaced carving turns on his mat with carving wood.


I spend my days, in meditation, art, and working out mostly.

I’ve been reading a ton of self help books :). I am Striving to Become more Conscious. I’ve Learned so much just this month and I’m Striving to Implement what I’ve Learned. For me all Spirituality has something to give, but in everything I’ve read, it all leads back to Living in the Present Moment. That’s why mat surfing Helped me to Awaken Spirituality. It shuts off the tool between my ears, and forces me to be in the Present Moment! It’s a work in progress, but I Feel the work will be well worth the Effort! 

I’m really enjoying wood carving...including a swim fin!

I got bite by a spider and a tick, so I haven’t been swimming in a week or so. 


Aug 21, 2018

From Spence

From the Daily Mail...

"One guy took surfing to another level of cool after beachgoers spotted him catching a huge wave on an inflatable mattress in California. 

In a video, the man is seen paddling in the water on the mattress at Newport Beach as a massive wave approaches.

'Oh my goodness,' one beachgoer is heard in the video shouting." 

Aug 20, 2018

From Steiny

Yesterday at Lane. Super fun. Light crowd for weekend.