As many of you know, we've lost Rob Pollard. His mother Willow has graciously sent packets of his ashes to mat surfers in the US and Australia, and there will be paddle outs in his honor in both countries.
Two memorials are taking place in the US this Monday, October 11th. This is Willow's birthday, so with her blessing, we chose it as the date for our events.
One paddle out will be at Steamer Lane at 9AM. Meet up at the statue.
The second will be at Refugio State Park, north of Santa Barbara. We will begin gathering around 2PM, but the paddle out won't be until 4PM. Meet up in the public lot along the shore.
If you're familiar with Rob via Surfmatters and other social media, but can't make it, please keep him in your heart next Monday. It will mean the world to his friends and family.
As you may know, we've been off for the last couple of months. We had a long production delay in the spring due to supply chain issues, followed by a massive number of orders in the early summer after our long-awaited fabric order finally arrived. I can only build 2 or maybe 3 mats a day, so when we got over 80 mats behind, we decided to stop accepting new orders, and concentrate on filling our outstanding orders.
As of today, October 1st, we're caught up and will begin to take orders again....
For the next three weeks, while Dirk Brandts is finishing our now home page, we're going to take orders via email. Contact us at fourthgearflyer at yahoo dot com and let us know which model or models you want. We'll email you an invoice from PayPal. (You don't need a PP account, just a credit or debit card.)
A note on future pricing...
Over the past few years, we've received a number of minor price increases on our building material, but we've held our model prices steady. A few weeks ago, we received a much larger price increase, and as a result we're going to have to raise our own prices as of October 15th. We just can't stay in business if we don't.
In order to ease the sticker shock for the mat riding community, we're going to sell mats at our current prices through October 14th. ($260 plus shipping for all models, except the XL and UDT, which are $270 plus shipping.) When the new home page comes on-line on or about October 21st, the prices will be significantly higher for all models
Delivery times for the orders we get over the next 3 weeks will vary. The earliest orders will go out within a few days. The orders that come in towards the end of this period will take two-plus weeks to ship. So plan accordingly, especially if you have a trip coming up.
Unfortunately, we have to suspend foreign orders for the foreseeable future. We're still losing mats during the shipping process, and can't afford to continue selling overseas. This is more than likely Covid related, so hopefully we'll be able to resume taking foreign orders by this time next year.
Gloria and I can't thank you enough for all the support you've given us over the years, and all the wonderful friendships that have come from this experience.
"The shot with the astronauts is fun. Most are NOT Team guys. You can
tell by their swimsuits. UDT swim trunks are all we ever wore. The guy
in the front row on the left definitely IS. He’s wearing UDT swim
trunks with web belt and K-Bar knife. We always wore our watches on our
right wrist, because we didn’t want the snare to catch our watch during
cast and recovery ops. On his left wrist he’s wearing a compass and
depth gauge. He recently got out of the water since his trunks are
still wet. I don’t know his name, but it’s likely he’s East Coast, UDT
The dark haired guy on the far left in the wetsuit top is Corney Leyden. He was a master chief in UDT 22 when I was there from ‘67-71. He was our diving Department chief and knew tons about all three of our diving rigs and kept us all current. Corney is wearing issue booties that we’re a MUST with Duck Feet, because the fins would tear up your feet without them."
Riding a 4thGearFlyer in overhead waves. This was my first session riding the Lotus model. The handmade surf mat by Paul Gross is narrower & has less volume so the idea is you'd want to ride it in bigger surf or smaller waves with power. This particular day in Hawaii had some size, but also had a little wind which created some bump. The Lotus felt more responsive and easier to turn. Glad to have this model in the quiver.
Lou G. put me on to a really good website, "The Surf Film Archives." It's free to join, and there's a treasure trove of old surf films that haven't been seen for decades.
Here are some frame grabs of George G ripping on a Converse Hodgman mat in the early 70's...