Apr 3, 2020

On The Fear Of Missing Out

From Becoming Minimalist ...

By Seth Riley

Up until a month ago, it seemed like everyone else in the world was getting what we’ve always wanted.

Every time we opened social media, there they were: taking some awesome trip, fielding the opportunities we ought to have gotten, achieving what we only dream of.

Meanwhile, we sat on our couches, missing out on everything. Even worse, it felt as if this cycle would continue forever. Given the constant advance of technology, it seemed pretty impossible that any of this overwhelm would lessen anytime soon.

But these days, there is a lot less to miss out on. Everything has been cancelled and, for a while, we’re all living the same shut-in life.

It’s hard, in the thick of this global tragedy, to see many positives. So many people are horrifically sick, and so many others are reeling from the sudden loss of their livelihoods. Despite the many encouraging shifts in society—the refocus on community, the renewed sense of our shared humanity—this is just a tough, scary time.

Yet, as with any sort of catastrophic event, there are small mercies even in the midst of the anxiety and loss. And, to me, one of the most life-giving positives emerging from this disaster is that we have been given a break from the constant sense that we’re missing out on life.

Now that our digital feeds are quieting down from the constant barrage of “everyone’s eating at cool restaurants, attending events, sitting on the beach, having the time of their lives, or buying that thing we’ve always wanted,” we’ve been given a precious opportunity.

We suddenly have the freedom to evaluate our lives with almost no external pressure to keep up.
All of the voices that tell us, 24/7, that we are not enough are, to a large extent, gone.

For right now, we’re all relative equals living very similar lives. The celebrities we spend our days idolizing are stuck in their houses too. They are in their living rooms as we are in ours. Maybe we go out for a walk. Maybe we have to run out to Trader Joe’s. But, the rest of the time, we’re all just at home.

For the next while, there’s nothing we’re missing out on. If you have your health, if you have a roof, and if you have people to love, you are incredibly blessed.

This is a rare chance to take stock. Through all of the anxiety, we still have the option to start practicing those values we usually ignore and, with all of the closures and cancellations, we have been given the blankest slate we can ever expect to receive.

Given the opportunity to clear the decks, to perform a hard reset on our lives, we can emerge from this tragic historical moment as better versions of ourselves.

But, to do this, we have to use this interim time well. We have to be willing to truly cut ties with our unhealthy patterns and to replace our taste for FOMO-driven distraction with something better. And, most important, we need to take a deep—and probably uncomfortable—dive into ourselves to root out those things holding us back from being who we are truly meant to be.

It’s often hard to make changes in our lives because we usually have the option not to. But, tragedy has a way of jarring us toward clarity. Now that everything has been paused, we have a chance to re-align our actions with our values.

So, what will we do?

We could begin with our families. We always claim that our families are our number one priority. Yet, how often do we put them on the back burner?

We could refocus on our creativity, finding ways to use our talents to bring life to the people around us.

We could make time to slow down, to enjoy the many blessings in our lives, to spend less time looking at the horizon and more time enjoying the things immediately around us.
Only you can know the right answer.

Life is precious, beautiful, and limited.

Start being the you that you have been missing out on.

Apr 1, 2020

Matters Fashion Week !!!

                    Last season's shindig in Bangkok. The things one can do with recycled neoprene! 

Matters Fashion Week has been the cornerstone of our culture since the first ''MFW'' was held in the south of France back in 1971...coinciding with the Cann Film Festival premier of Rubber Duck Riders.

Since then, the perennial spring event has served as an annual touch point for Surfmat fashion. Designers of mat-wear, their fans, and their critics have congregated -- and raged until the wee hours -- in such exotic venues as Honolulu, New York, London, Paris, Dubai, Tokyo, and Byron Bay.

Of course, health and safety concerns this season demand a different approach. A "Virtual Matters Fashion Week" is taking place on-line as we speak...and the only glimpse of what those-in-the-know are wearing is right here at Surfmatters!

Let's dig in, matfashionistas...

While neoprene wet-wear is usually left to the practical discretion of the matter, the press simply cannot overlook this stunning trio of Santa Cruz hipsters! Note the chivalrous touch added by the gentleman in the middle...carrying his paramour's rolled up mat under his armpit. A simple task when one is appropriately appointed in a faded blue/black motif! Pro tip, ladies...black rubber galoshes go with anything!

The tropics have never been so alluring! The matching red fins and rashguard -- capped by a pair of brightly colored boardshorts straight out of Miami spring break, 1987 -- is an all time classic!

This young gentleman is in the know, sporting a powder blue tank top -- this year's hottest ticket -- highlighted by a classic white diaper bottom. With a look this bold, no one will ever notice the occasional "brown accent" south of the border!

No surf? No problem! Be it flat or ten feet, you'll always be in the cultural tube with this far-sighted, works-anywhere get up. Well done, sir!

Leave it to those stylish Europeans to combine a beret with an over-the-should mat tote! Throw in a
faded green undergarment, and you have a winner on any continent!

Mr. George Bernard Shaw took a vacation from writing to take a crack at the Cornish shorey on a wooden bellyboard...but he didn't take a vacation from style! The one piece bathing/surf look serves as both a fashion statement and a great way to avoid raw titties! Eat your heart out, Oscar Wilde!

This gentleman boasts one dog, two mats, and a ton of taste! Stripes across do indeed work...when combined with frumpy slacks and a custom painted VW bus with 4 leaky tires!

Mr. Greenough, long a maven of mat riding style, maintains his iconoclastic image with a new age mat combined with an old school Yater long sleeve. Good luck pulling this look off if you're under 75!

Only in Australia would the natives have the panache to wear a Cheech and Chong T, while echoing the graphic imagery with a fedora Philip Marlowe would kill for! Double-duty eyewear tops off this sassy approach to southern hemisphere hospitality.

Still Down Under, the juxtaposition of safety-pin diapers and a cold brew screams out, "Fuck with me, mate, and I'll feed your arse into my next meat pie!"

Some matting looks are too bold for the runway! Only a designer's mannequin can do justice to this come-hither look for the progressive matter/damsel!

A $10,000 Rolex sets off this pair of sandals much the same way Dom Perignon compliments a Big Mac! (It shouldn't go unnoticed, either, that leashes are, in fact, for dogs!)

A peek at the "now" fashion of surfmatting college brats...the apres surf look has never been bolder among the young, broke cognoscenti!

We can't leave without a nod to Soviet-era machismo. Even on flat days along the Baltic, suiting up in a logo-centric 3/4 is a shot-on-goal at the hearts of dictator-loving ladies the world over!

Mar 28, 2020

From Meredith


I was so tired coming home last night I walked right past the package of my surf mat! What a great way to start the day though;) 

Looking forward to take it for a spin!

:) thanks Paul and Gloria, 


Mar 24, 2020

Finally, Some Nice News

Dear Paul,

As you can see by the picture Kaylee loves her surf mat!! She actually squealed when she opened it!
Thank you so much for helping her grandpa make her birthday such a happy one!  AND for making sure it arrived on time!!  When the time comes, and all three grandkids are on them at the Point I will send another picture!

Thank you and all the best to you!


Mar 21, 2020

Corona Virus Lockdown: 4 Mat Go Outs Across The Globe

On the North Shore, Andre cracked early morning Velzyland on his Standard. These kinds of rollers are a lot more fun to ride than they look. The end of the last ride, where he negotiates some cris-cross backwash, is a mat surfing classic that only the cognoscenti will appreciate...

Andre wrties:

"My friend Skie Facer shot the footage. 

His wife is a professional videographer for all the upcoming Surfers and companies around the world and he just shoots for fun on the side so he hooked me up. 

He has a lot of respect for the old school roots and we surf V land together regularly and share waves.

(We will film more tomorrow, hopefully.)"


The Queensland Superbank was pumping, and this image snuck into the Surfer Magazine home page...with an anonymous matter dropping in on what had to be an all time ride...


The Central California mat-mob had a session at Morro Rock...


And of course, Adam and the SCUMM crowd got their usual unreal go out at Gilligan's Island...along with some mushy sentiment that's WAYYYYY beyond their usual emotional IQ. Disturbing, to say the least!

To wit:

"We had a super session with the SCUMM & SUB SCUMM crew yesterday morning, a total of 8 mat riders in the water, we outnumbered the board riders for a few moments !

All the World needs is some LOVE at the moment considering whats happening with this covid virus!

Our Pool Party was officially cancelled yesterday and money refunded back into our accounts...bummer!

Take Care !!


From Proneman

Mar 17, 2020

From The Inimitable Adam

Hope all is well over on your side of the world , all considering the present circumstances!

 Sending you this link from Swellnet ...
One of Lloyd Godman's temporary art installations

I noticed that Lloyd has been down to the https://urbnsurf.com/ and has enjoyed some fun mat waves. Our mate Justin Spittle has also sampled this wave puddle with the Ecto Hand Plane Crew and has planed a pool party in May which I am attending with the other 59 alternative surfer.

Yes , I know its going to be madness with 60 guys split onto the left and right , but what the heck, you only live once! I am planning on surfing it either side of the Saturday night, so taking down all my surf mats, hand planes & soft boards to give them a whirl ! Check out Justin from their trip down earlier this year...

Should be a fun night at the Puddle! May your Toilet Roll stay full!!


Mar 11, 2020

Mar 10, 2020

From Nolan


Legendary surf-globetrotter Nolan H. made a pilgrimage to Africa, and sampled the offshore island of N'Gor, which started Mike and Robert's Endless Summer adventure. Of course, he rode the rights on a surfmat...


Here's the the island today...

Mar 7, 2020

Cristina Matting Attempt #1 ...

Hi Paul,
Took it into the sea. Realized its a LOT of work in small surf. Shall attempt bigger waves soon 😂
Didn’t crash it or break it though. Hahaha.
Will update as I go!

Feb 22, 2020

Another One From Lloyd

 Hi Paul

Second surf on the air mat at urbansurf Melbourne on Wed night - advanced mode - 30kph onshore winds so not ideal but still lots of fun and more powered up than intermediate mode - again the oldest in the water by at least 15 years. As we entered the the water an ace surfer stepped up indicated towards me and said to everyone " respect your elders, let the guy on the mat lead us out and get the first wave - we follow him" Thanks for that! The facilities and staff are fantastic also, Andrew Ross is creating a great venue and the fact one has to book a few weeks in advance is testimony to this. Thanks to Matt Blackwood for the video.  

 Cheers Lloyd


Feb 21, 2020

Link from Kendog

 Al Jardine, far left, always was my favorite Beach Boy!


Feb 17, 2020

From Lou

Kirra in the 1940s, with surfers riding the surf-o-planes they've hired from my Mum and Dad. As a little kid dad would send me to swim out to any people that had exceeded their hire time, to tell them they must come in. Courtesy of Toni Cameron.

1957 Surf O' plane championship that was then sponsored by Johnny Charlton who ran the kiosk. Courtesy Kirra Surf life Saving Club 100 Years

Feb 15, 2020

From Nolan

Hey Paul,

How are you man!? Haven’t spoken in a minute, just wanted to check in and send you this video of myself and Harry Bryant out at rock piles. Hope you dig it! It was for sure the biggest surf I’ve ever ridden a mat on.

Enjoy! Talk soon!!


Feb 12, 2020

From Capetown

Finally. Here. Thank you.

Will take it into the Atlantic tomorrow!!!!

And of course... will be in touch :)

From Jon


Here's two shots from my recent riding!


Feb 11, 2020

Happy Birthday Kaylee !!!

As you can see by the picture Kaylee loves her surf mat!! She actually squealed when she opened it!  Thank you so much for helping her grandpa make her birthday such a happy one!  AND for making sure it arrived on time!!  When the time comes, and all three grandkids are on them at the Point I will send another picture (might be awhile!)
The kids are loving these mats so much!  And Kaylee, not much of a swimmer yet, felt so confident using her brother’s in Hawaii. I’m sure it’s going to be a fun summer!

Thank you and all the best to you!

Feb 9, 2020

From JB ...



Saw these on Edhat this morning. Some fun photos, especially of the body surfing.
How about these for yet another non-advertisement for matting? 


Feb 3, 2020

From Tusked Beast

Dear Paul,

Really fun day, beautiful and warm, spent with Capt'n Thom, down at Mat Disneyland (where the rides are exciting but the queues are long)! With Steiny out it was a Momentary Mat Meetup :) No pics but Thom took this snippet of a video. Doesn't it look delectable?

Thanks as always for creating- what did Rob call them? Vehicles of Joy.... :)


Feb 1, 2020

From ACE

Just a little update from Ecuador..

Thank you for the mats they really helped me keep my sanity.. Waves looked small and a little mixed up this morning..A change from the BOMBS we have been having all week.. Good day for a mat..give it a go might get a couple little corners..As I am heading out the waves just keep getting bigger and further out.. I was making it through most of them.. Getting half way up the face and just punching through with all I had to not get sucked backwards over the fall.. The waves were a really pretty translucent blue color.. The water was warm.. But they were definitely more than I thought I was going to get into..Kind of had to wake up the serious side. Only me and one other guy up the beach aways ..

I finally got all the way outside.. Now what.. All I really saw were thick close outs on the race out.. Paddled to a landmark spot I have thinking this would be as good a spot as any for maybe making one.. Had to let a few go by and keep going further out.. Finally I see a peak in about the right spot.. It has a pretty good shoulder maybe.. I kick and paddle the mat as hard as I can not going to be a easy one to catch.. I got it.. But it is so big that any angle top turn for a easy set up is impossible.. We're going over with it.. I knew I had a shot at making it IF I could hit the bottom twist the mat into a turn and somhowe hold a line using everything I had to keep from sliding sideways and getting severely pummeled..

Somehow I came around the section thinking I have to get up the face some to find the slot.. DID IT.. Now off to the races down the line through several long arching tubing sections.. I ended up waist deep at the finish.. That was my first wave of the day.. For some reason I knew I was not going to be able to top that one.. I tried to get back out but the tide had shifted and all I was doing was diving under waves.. I caught a couple safe mid sized ones and called it a day.. I had watched the waves for at least 1/2 hour before heading out and saw nothing like those waves.. Frikin Mats are cool...


Jan 31, 2020

From Tusked Beast

Hey Paul,

I ran across this current New Zealand band, Tiny Ruins. The first line of the song is "On a lilo..." then it becomes irrelevant (or Hemmingwayesque, snort...).

It does have a wee surfy vibe though.

Going surfing with Captain Thom tomorrow! Maybe I'll take a few pics.

Hope you two are well!


Jan 26, 2020

Introducing "Essential Surfmatters"

We have an new ''distillation'' of Surfmatters for you to enjoy...now up at:


Jan 23, 2020

From Mat Max

Points me to appreciate my best matting moments and value the deepest core of surfmat philosophy.



Jan 21, 2020

From Jonathan

Hi Paul,

I've been meaning to write for Surfmatters on this topic for a while. You know that trope that mat surfers always have a huge grin on their faces (you should, since you invented it)? Well, it's true as we all know, we've indeed the anointed ones (heh heh), but I firmly believe that it's a sheepish grin because we're constantly subject to humiliating goofs due to the freaky "living" qualities of a mat, humiliating because most of the time they happen in front of our highly judgmental surfboard riding companions, all too ready to fold us to the bottom of the priority deck (beyond simply being on a mat in the first place).

I'd love to share a couple of personal highs masquerading as cretinous lows, illustrated by carefully-rendered illustrations. There's no point in trying to deconstruct how they happened. There was no lead up, the mat did it, not me!

Picture #1, "Sidesaddle", a wave where I slipped off the side of the mat, and bodysurfed the wave with my arm around the mat, effectively an inflatable outrigger. Or maybe more accurately like a drinking buddy, staggering out of the bar. If I remember it was a pretty good ride.

Picture #2, "Flip", was really weird. In a moment of flailing chaos, the mat dug a rail and turned completely upside down, in a clunky three-part movement. Somehow I kept going, riding the blue bottom side up. I can report that the traction was actually pretty decent.


Picture #3, "YeeeHaw!" ,wasn't on the mat, but it sure was... a situation. I was out with just one other guy (a wizened kneeboarder) at a B-grade spot just up the coast from an A-grade spot. Steiny's turf. Big south swell, easy double overhead. The wave was mushy and peeling, but it was STILL quite big and powerful, a senile elephant. I'd just gotten out and was making conversation with the other kneeboarder, two old salts at ease in the big stuff. Then a huge set came. We both took it on the head. He made it under. This old salt had that damned mat ripped out from his death grip! No problem, I relaxed, and started the long swim. In fact, as a new set approached, I casually set up to body surf the next wave, a big, glassy wall. A BIG wall. Jesus! I realized it was by far the biggest wave I had ever tried to body surf, as I got sucked up the face, and started to plane.... The whitewater explosion was huge, but some angel was looking after this fool and I was rocketed forward, feeling the power, adrenaline squirting, the whole time thinking what a fucking idiot I was and just how much more I had bitten off than I could chew!

Each time I had that shit-eating grin. Please let this be a clarification of that expression that all mat riders wear.

Thanks a lot, buddy!


Jan 20, 2020

From Frank

Hi Paul,

I found this on Facebook.


Jan 16, 2020

From Lloyd

 Hi Paul thought you would enjoy this one -

As a mat rider you get more than a few WTF looks in the lineup - and a few comments like "Oh dad an mum had one of those in the 1970s",  but as the oldest in the line up by about 10-15 years the looks become even more perplexed. Then when you stage the same thing at the Urbansurf  Park in Melbourne, the looks intensify even more. Is this old fart for real?

17 Jan 2020 (today) the first time a mat had been used at the park which opened 6th Jan 2020 and it was a real buzz to pull it off on my 68th Bday. Fantastic to have a 4th gear flyer to ride.The great thing about the Surf Park is along the wall where the waves are produced is a current that pulls one straight out to the line up, wait your turn and presto the wave is yours. Its a great little mat wave that breaks over a shallow concrete bottom. It is not the ocean, but once you are on a wave that fact quickly dissolves. Next time I will try it at a more intense setting and time it for an offshore wind.
Andrew Ross the creator of this dream has done a great job. 

Then after the surf I get back to the studio and Silvi Glattauer has another voucher for the surf park as a BD gift - How good is that - Great surfing with Matt Blackwood my surf buddy at the park and also to the team at Urban surf - very impressed - this is a sensational venue, staff are friendly and helpful. 
Thanks Paul  - the mat is still powering along  and I will be back to the Wave Park SOON!

Cheers Lloyd

Jan 12, 2020

From Adam

 New Year's Eve

 New Year's Day


Happy New Year !

Well, we have survived a few close calls over here the past few weeks and the cleanup continues for us here on the NSW South Coast , the water is just filthy with blacken leaves and ash with the air quality varying daily from putrid smoke ridden to partial clean sort of breathable air , but not complaining  too much as some communities south of us have been wiped out altogether and only just having power and other essential services restored , lots to be done in the coming 12 months!
Stay Safe
 Neal has been helping out heaps with the use of his buggy to run supplies along the beach to stranded communities and now is helping with food stations for the native wildlife.


Jan 10, 2020

Mat Tote Bags From Regi/Lou


Regi made some custom bags...lightweight and durable! If anyone in the matting community is interested in one, they can contact her at "masiyellough at gmail dot com."

We're in San Clemente, CA. She would be happy to make them for $30 + shipping. Just send her an email. She can do custom colors and patterns specifically made for protecting and carrying the 4GFs. 

See attached pictures. They're pretty great!

Bryce D


From Lou...

Bag with shoulder carry strap...4 Mats assorted models wrapped in a towel and taped..approx weight 4 kgs..purrrfect for travel and all good as on board luggage...

2 bags obtained from K Mart camping section...used for beach umbrella carry covers but some customers leave them in store..i got these 2 for nothing from one of the sales staff..used twice so far on overseas trips...

Worth checking the camping section for any excess or left over ones..😎

Lou G

Jan 9, 2020

4GF Cameo


One of the ubiquitous Jamie O'Brien videos captures a 4GF rider at the Waimea river...but only for a brief flash or two. Any ID of the mat rider???

Jan 2, 2020

Fun Floats!

Still renting surfmats after 60 years!  Details here...