Apr 14, 2019

From The Past

 Eastern Seaboard, 1960's


 West Side, 1950's

Sydney, 1969

Apr 11, 2019

From Rob

 @edwardreyesphotography

Hello 4GF Family,

The thing about mat surfing is it’s not about being flashy. Mat surfing is not, as Kirk Putnam has said about riding hulls, “a spectator sport”. We do it for the feel of the experience, and the love of the art, and the Ocean. It’s about letting go of everything and living in pure presence. Letting the wave lead and enjoying what we are given. It’s a dance of love not a sport of domination.

Super Stoked,
Rob

Apr 10, 2019

From KP



Hey Paul and Gloria,

How you doing ?

Found this in old Tracks George gave me years ago!

Kirk

Apr 9, 2019

Tail Punch Takeoffs, Part 2


I got a few waves last night down in the Shell Beach area, and the local beach cam captured this clip.

(Full disclosure...yes, I looked it up on Surfline when I got home.)

Anyway, there was a tail punch takeoff that I wanted to share, because it's a great way to slip into weak waves on a mat.

There are more details from an earlier post on the subject here...

Apr 5, 2019

From Rob

 
 
 
 
 

Fourth Gear Flyer Family,

From the past weekend. I think it was Saturday. Shot by Chris! Yeeeewwwww!

I have been on a rather long hiatus from posting here on Surfmatters. I hurt my back last March and soon after that my 15 year marriage fell apart. I’ve seen many challenges over the last year both physical and emotional but through it all Family, Prayer, Meditation, and Mat Surfing have been there for me. I’m still healing physically and emotionally, but I believe we are only given what we can handle and that this path is what’s best for my family. 

I have enjoyed connecting with so many of you and drawn strength from the Joy you share here. Let’s lift each other up when we are down. Let’s Love each other through challenges. Let’s use the presence we are blessed with through this Art we share to Change this World one heart and mind at a time. Love is Medicine, and the Love I have received here has been extremely helpful in my Journey to become a better human. Positive Vibes and Much Love from Florida! 

I see sunrises and set waves in our futures! 

Super Stoked,
Rob


Stoked,
Rob

Apr 4, 2019

George Greenough From Surfer Magazine



Today's on-line edition of Surfer Magazine has a nice write up on Echoes, and George's ground breaking in-the-tube photography.

The info in the article is largely accurate...save for the fact that a lot of the tube shots from that era were photographed while he was riding a surfmat!

Apr 2, 2019

From Jonathan

 
 
 
 

Hi Paul!

Greetings from New Zealand! How are you? Well and happy, I hope :)

I'll write a properly plumped-up account of the surf action here when I've had a few more sessions.

First one was pretty epic though... until the weekend before I left, I hadn't surfed in maybe five weeks- stormy weather and work...and thought of your post-surgery efforts when I slipped out at OB. I could barely surf! And my session was cut short because I ate shit on a head-high wave, slapped the surface hard, and surfaced with violent vertigo, I could barely keep above water! I had to call for help (further humiliation, but this was no joke), got paddled in by a kid, thank god... I'd ruptured my goddam ear drum!

But that wasn't the epic one. First day here in NZ I was greenlighted to get back in the water was double overhead and short period. Big whitewash slamming into the lava rocks, crazy currents. I waited for over 20 minutes for a lull, and jumped in, completely UNconfident in my capabilities! And first thing I did when I started the adrenilized sprint-paddle was karate-chop the valve open!! I just stuck it back and bloobled along with a squirming uninflated baggy under me :) But it was epic, and great to be in the warm water and pumping surf. All things considered (age and infirmity!) I had a blast on the Lotus, and look forward to the high-performance difference of that mat in these wonderful waves.

Things here are perfect- the little "batch" I'm living in is magical. I have internet at home so doing my online courses is 1,000 times easier than I'd anticipated. I'm working in the little town bookstore, volunteering in the library and gardening around my new home. It's so peaceful... I'm going to savor every second :)

Didn't mean to write so much! Really hope things are good with you. Best wishes to you and Gloria :)

Jonathan

Mar 22, 2019

From Scumm



Howdy mate,

Hope all is well and you are sharing a few waves.

A few weekends back we ( SCUMM ) decided to have a weekend away camping and surfing, and retracing some of our old mate , Eric Bridges favorite waves in the Narooma area. He and his wife Faye would often travel down and stay at Dalmeny , and was one of his last stays before he passed away , having his son drive the both of us around and showing all his fav spots.

So with a nice pulse of NE swell and matching winds, we scored some fun waves retracing Eric's steps in that local area and will certainly return in the near future , such a beautiful, clean stretch of coastline!

All the Best from us at SCUMM central !

adam

Mar 21, 2019

From Bob

Matting at Richardson's in Hilo!


BL

Mar 20, 2019

From Frank

 
 
 

Frank, Lou and Warren pooled their 4gf quivers for AGM...a general meeting!

Mar 16, 2019

Spring Testamonials !!!

--------------------------------------

Hi Paul

Hope you’re having a good start to the New Year, and all’s good with you?

We’ve had plenty of weather and waves over the last month or so here in the UK, so I’ve used the Omni in earnest. 

Really pleased with the differences between my 2 mats. Use my Fatty as my ‘longboard’; great the way it means I can sit out back and get in early. Love the proportions of the Omni, feels quick, neat, self-contained - My instant pick for good waves.

Now thinking of adding a Tracker Roundtail? Had thought of Lotus, but Tracker seems like it’d give me the Fatty volume I prefer for hard beachbreak paddle outs/ins when it’s overhead+, but with the extra hold?

Best regards,

Patrick

------------------------------------------------

Hi Paul,

Your work and ethics seem to me to be top notch, and I have found that all of us here are grateful and elevated by your commitment in keeping this thing going. I will be soliciting new orders for mats from you this week among the crew, so may soon add to this order (will let you know ASAP after Friday's session), if that's okay with you. 

In appreciation,

-j

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-------------------------------------------------
 What a surprise! It was on my doorstep when I got home just a few minutes ago.  It must have taken the non-stop redeye back east. Looks good.  1'-3' swells forecast with light winds almost blowing offshore on Saturday.  If time allows I might play in the mush tomorrow and for sure on Saturday.

Thanks, Paul

Hal
-------------------------------------

Hi Paul,

The new mat came today- WOW, really excited about the narrow-ness, can't wait to try it out in juicier waves!!

Love that you personalized it with my Spirit Animal namesake :)

And love the sticker too! Nice!!

Hope you are well... Thank you for the hoodoo that you do so well!

(!!!!!!!!)

Jonathan (Tusked Beast)

------------------------------------


------------------------------------

Hi Paul,

Your website says, Most orders ship within 1-2 weeks. 

Talk about under an under promise and over deliver, I got mine today!

Order Wednesday afternoon, and in the house by Friday afternoon.  I'll have it in the water by Saturday morning, I hope the glue is dry enough.

I've been enjoying your blogs, Surfmatters and Dis place men tia for a few years now.

I would like to pick up an XL so I can introduce my grandchildren to mat riding (tandem with me at first), the same way that I started my surfing carer 57 years ago. 

Thank you for all the smiles you're putting on people's faces,

Ron

----------------------------------------------


-------------------------------------
Hi Paul,

Ever since I got my buddy Scott into matting, I think he's turned into your best salesman.  I find myself matting almost more than regular surfing anymore, every go-out is sheer joy, even if it's totally blown-out.  Those things are unbelievable.

Eric
--------------------------------------
 Just received the mat. Thank you so much, Paul. I could immediately tell how well built the mat is. I cant wait to try it out. 

Brandon

-----------------------------------

Hi Paul,

Mat arrived last week. I'm heading South to visit some friends and surf in the (chilly) Southern Ocean. Can't wait to give the mat a run! Will keep you posted.

Regards,

Laurie 

-----------------------------------------


 
-----------------------------------


Thanks Again, Paul!

I have no doubt that the mat will be awesome, especially considering the larger size. I rode the other one I was given used at many popular and not so crowded breaks here on what I like to call "7 miles of shattered egos and broken dreams". You get some looks, but once people see what you are up to, they express interest. That was some years ago and I am looking forward to having a brand new one.

One time out at 8-10 ft. Sunset, Owl made the rather rude comment that with all the Brewers, Sammys, and Owls I had that my ignorance had reached a new level. So, I took off behind him on a good one (West Peak Gaping) and verbally abused him rather loudly from behind him in the tube until he got waxed by it and I came out the end (lucky his board didn't nail me!) where it tends to clam and you have to escape through a severely smaller hole than what you started with... WOW!

Later that day, he showed up at JR's shop to return some abuse and to ask me if I would cut him a decent deal putting that broken board back together (a 10-2). Of course I he got the bro deal.

None of this probably means much to you, however MY experience over here started in '99 and I never gave a shit what anyone thought as long as they new I was a craftsman. I was taught by some of the best (and most notorious) and it crushed my soul to have to quit doing it for a living 'cause I couldn't make a decent one doing it. I became Jaded, Cynical, and Disillusioned, amongst some other darker things.

When my wife asked me the other day if I would be taking boards with me to my new job, I laughed. I have only been swimming and bodysufing for quite some time. Then, it came back to me that I constantly was smiling and laughing when I rode that old mat-no matter what the location, crowd, or conditions were at any given time. So, I got a new one. THANK YOU!

Huxley Quote, "The one essential modern convenience is speed"- spoken a long time ago and still true. By the way, why do I have the feeling you already are dialed in on uncrowded Kauai because you were already over there before the massive influx of lemmings to the Island Chain?

THANKS AGAIN! -Robert.
----------------------------------------
 Paul,

I was told I was levitating at one point on my wave at Sharks Cove! The Round Tail Tracker had just the extra float to get into some of the bigger waves that tended to roll under on most people. 
Thanks again for the prompt delivery! 

-Anthony
--------------------------------------


Morning Paul,

Just back from my second flight to Tel Aviv and another epic mat session. I got Hilton Beach 2-4 ft and the Fatty performed! The locals are blown away. 
Locally, I’ve been riding the SS Standard in the bigger surf and loving its speed and the ability to hold a line.

Thanks again,

Scott

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-----------------------------------------

The XL is a supreme craft. But the Fatty handles way more size. I love them both like they are my children.

No favorite, both amazing.

Aaron
----------------------------------------
 Hi Paul,

I wanted to let you know that I received my XL surf mat yesterday.

I checked between the flanges, and I find "For Ron & Family." You even remembered that my grandchildren would be riding with me. 

It was a really nice touch, and is much appreciated.

Thank you very much,

Ron
----------------------------------------
Hello Paul,

The mat arrived safe home in France, I think its is looking forward to be in the surf, just like I am ☺
At the first look it seems very strong, and I like the dimensions.
Thanks !

Benoît
-------------------------------------- 

Hi Paul!

SurfMats were received really fast!  Thank YOU!

Journey and I will get out in the water in SLO on the 3rd or 4th!

Many Smiles!

Thanks and Best Regards,

Michael

-----------------------------


 --------------------------------
 Aloha Paul!!!

Omg! I had no idea what u were saying about the model info between the flap thing?? Just freaking saw it!! Awesome awesome awesome! You rock!! Garrett had to open before his birthday!! You’re extraordinary!! Over the top cool!! Thank u!!! I’m so excited and so is he...

Mahalo my friend!!!
Jenna
-----------------------------
 Hi Paul!

Just wanted to say THANKS from Journey, myself and George for your Rapid Response that made our holiday fun possible!  Now we just have to experiment a lot to understand how to use the mat better and be STOKED!!

Michael


-----------------------------------------

 Paul,

Thank you for the mats.  
My daughters loved them today.  We had good surf at Huntington and they got great rides.  My daughter commented that they are the funnest toys that she ever bought.

Steve
-------------------------------------------
 Seriously Paul! I ordered this thing on Friday and received it x-country on Monday?

Well done. Very well done!

Best wishes,


Bill
----------------------------------------

Paul-

The omni is so much fun!

Waves were mushy but still got a few.

I was amazed at how this thing can work in the smaller stuff.

I need to experiment more with inflation levels.  I had it so i could bend it in half to 90 degrees.

Thanks again for making these.

Can’t wait to get back out there.

Best,
DAN
--------------------------------------- 

Paul,

I  received the Vespa surf mat and am looking forward to giving it a go.

By way of disclosure. the last time I surfed on a mat was at Rincon in the Winter of 1968-69.  My tutor was George Greenough on a spare that he had in his car.  My Wilderness stubby hull had been stolen off the roof racks of my VW bug while surf checking Hammond's Reef.  If you recall, there was no "stock" in the "showroom" of the old Wilderness shop down in the old ice house.  Every board was made to order.  So, George suggested I make the best of the situation (maybe the best Winter of all time on the Santa Barbara/Ventura coast) and learn to surf a surf mat in legitimate swell.

He loaned me a spare mat, schooled me about inflation, stretching opposite corners, etc.  As you well know, he is as quirky as they get but also as generous and open with his vast storehouse of knowledge as possible.

Ben

-----------------------------------


 -----------------------------------------
I have a UDT and love it. Didn’t know how much fun, along with speed. I’m hooked. 

Jon

-------------------------------------

Hi Paul,

Mat arrived yesterday evening. The most efficient business web-transaction I've experienced. 

Surfed it today in wind-blown, high tide, bumpy south swell but its never not fun on a mat.
Thanks again, 

Roger
-------------------------------


Thanks Heaps Paul

Been looking forward to it. I can’t surf for a while due to knee surgery and I see it a potential blessing in disguise because I wouldn’t have looked into Mat riding if it wasn’t for the knee.

Yew!
Kyle
--------------------------------

 That is fantastic news. We are expecting an 8 foot swell on the weekend – perfect timing . 
Thank you for working to provide mats for people – neither of my sons will surf on a traditional board any longer – we were down in Mexico last year and I asked my oldest son with boards to bring and he said... “why bother with bring me two matt’s  and repair kit” 

Daniel 

-----------------------------------

Hi

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 mat and after 5 minutes she is calm and singing in the water.
I just wanted you to know

Cheers

Guy


 ------------------------------------


Hi Paul,

Just wanted to drop a short note that I took the Lotus out and was really impressed (ie., crazy stoked, full of joy)!

The waves were small, steep, fast, well-shaped and glassy OB. The feeling was like your description in your rider's guide of how mats handle tubes- like I was on "the right line every time". No drifting (which I like but didn't need today!), very focused, and FAST! It was a great call to choose the Lotus. I'm really looking forward to using it in more crucial surf.

Best wishes,
Jonathan
--------------------------------------
Hi Paul

I just wanted to let you know that I am very satisfied with the Omni I bought a few months ago. I really like the deck material, soft and grippy at the same time.
 
Benoît
-----------------------------------------


Hi Paul,

I live in the Great Lakes, where I fell in love with my first Vespa. It truly is a ride-anything machine, bringing so much fun to sub-par conditions, but also ripping when the swell is up. 

The Vespa has been in my carry-on for many a trip, allowing for many spontaneous sessions that couldn’t have otherwise happened. It never made it back from the last trip to Costa Rica, however.

 It did get a ton of use by my partner during its last days with us there, and the mat was instrumental in helping her get over a fear of surfing. Apprehension turned to confidence as she learned how to control the mat, dropping in all smiles and bliss. 

All that to say, I’m very much looking forward to trying out the new Vespa. Many thanks for making these killer mats, and for keeping this  passion alive!

-Steve
---------------------------------------------
 Hey Paul,

I just wanted to touch base and tell you I LOVE the Omni. It grips to my wetty so well I’ve been riding some waves with my arms extended out to the side like I’m flying hahaha! What a wonderful piece of surf gear you’ve created. Stoked with my Omni and I ride it every chance I get. I’ve still got so much to learn about matting and absolutely thrilled every time I hit the water with my Omni 😁👌


Micah

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---------------------------------------------

 Insane user's guide.

Daniel
--------------------------------------------
 Dear Mr Gross,

I am 72 years old and weigh 170 lbs.  I live on the west end of the north shore of Oahu, where the waves are smaller than they are east of Haleiwa, because of the direction that our shoreline faces (more north).  I have not surfed in over a year and probably will never ride a board again, because of a broken hip I suffered in a bad bicycle crash last May.  I am not in surfing shape now.  I went swimming with my fins today near my house for about an hour, and the leg felt ok.  I was pretty tired.  I just placed my order for the Roundtail.

I am ordering the mat because there was a guy riding one of yours today where I went out.  He said it is a blast and it brought back memories of my childhood and mat surfing  in Manhattan Beach CA.

Thank you,
Forrest
---------------------------------------- 



Hi Paul,

  I’ve had my mat for a few years now.  My first session was mediocre in sloppy small Hope Ranch Beach waves.  I put it in the garage for months.  Then, I received a call that we had to go to Hawaii for one night (I’m a pilot).  Not checking the report, I decided to throw the Tracker on as crew baggage.  We got to the hotel, which was on the Lahaina side, and there was a full moon.  I could see through the keave trees a small, clean white triangle.  Hmmm. 

Next morning I paddled out on the mat at sunrise.  First wave was thigh high, lippy, and I felt the mat in its element for the first time.  2 hours and many waves later I got out of the water thinking, “This thing has potential.”

The next week we went to Cabo.  Checking the forecast, I rented a car and drove to Todos Santos to meet a friend.  Upon arrival at La Pastora, I saw a well overhead swell lining up quite nice but peeling close to the shore.  I paddled for my first wave, was early and pushed on the nose, reversing the rocker to conform to the wave, and felt acceleration.  Dropping in, I saw the wave start to go and thought about setting a high line.  As soon as I thought this, the mat hooked 30˚ right, slid into the pocket and I was looking through a translucent curtain of water.  I came out, kicked out and thought, “ Damn, this thing is REALLY FUN!”  My buddy’s wife had finished surfing and offered me her board.  I politely declined.

  Coming from 35+ years of surfing, I am bored with my surfboards. The mat is a way to have a different experience, and has brought so much surf stoke to an otherwise ho-hum water experience.  This summer I surfed the Jersey Shore twice during overhead hurricane swells, got some ridiculous waves and met some neat people who were stoked to see the mat.  Now I keep it always on the private jet I fly, and take it home when we are at base. Just a few days ago I went to Swami’s and met 2 other mat people, Ken and Tom. 
I feel blessed to be able to go amazing places and have such a fun time. 

Thank you Paul!!

Cheers,

Grant
-----------------------------------
 Gday Paul, how you travelling mate?

Just wanted to say thanks again for the tracker mate, I’m over the moon with how it goes. So much so I’ve brushed my other boards and have been only heading out on the mat ever since it arrived. I’m getting right into it and loving the challenge of learning to ride it better each surf.

Swell ,size wise over here of late has been nothing to right home about but that’s the beauty of the mat it doesn’t matter. Blokes have been out there on their boards and boogs catching what they can and I’m out there catching anything that moves, loving life.

Hope your well, thanks mate!

Frank
----------------------------------------
 Thank you so much, we're both so excited to take them out! 

Appreciate your great customer service, proactive care instructions, and your focus on a great product.  I'll be singing your praises to everyone I know who likes to get in the water.

Thanks again.

Katy
------------------------------------
 I rode the new Omni at indicators today. First surf in five weeks after my surgery. It hurt a bit, but it was wonderful. The Omni is excellent... very comfy and fast.  Nice hold and highline tracking. Super stoked. My other mats might get jealous. 
Thanks! 

Steiny

-----------------------------

Mar 13, 2019

From Mike

Hello,

Just got back from the Mentawais. Went well, and you have to be careful on shallow breaking coral...but flat reefs really safe.

I've got to master those bottom turns so you can get into position and then hit 4th gear! 🤗 🤗

brgs Mike

Mar 12, 2019

From Mr. Newman



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Hey Paul,

Hope you're well mate!

The Omni ( Dabolt) just continues to justify its existence in my quiver of surf craft...

We were lucky to score Gilligan's Island the other morning all to ourselves just three crusty 4GF addicts, albeit before sunrise. The swell was minimal and weak one at that, but the 4GF’s lapped it up and we had a blast as usual.

Here are some happy snaps and a short video for your perusal.

Stay safe mate,

Oily
SFFS

Mar 9, 2019

From Adam




How's it going mate?

I was winging it solo yesterday as the boy's had other duties to attend to, so with a predicted south change and NE swell direction, I slipped down to one of our favorite slide spots and scored some fun, shallow little runners down the reef.

We had a great pod of dolphins run thru the break and well as a seal rearing its head at one stage, with the odd salmon doing a bounce as well, I dropped my camera underwater to film, so when I viewed the vision later I was blown away by how many fish (salmon) were actually swimming just under us!

Hope all is well, keep on sliding brother.

AW

 
 

Mar 5, 2019

From Alex

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Photos of my Omni and Vespa over the last year!

Alex