Jun 21, 2019

From Benoit

Hello Paul,

I ordered a 4th Gear flyer's Omni surfmat last year, just wanted to write down a little feedback.

First, I think I might be the only guy using a surf mat in France SW coast, I have never seen any other mat in the water here. And it is a shame, since it is such a great surfcraft !

It took me a few sessions to get used to the mat dimensions and to find the right degree of inflatation (looow) but now it is 100% fun. It is fast, it is safe, I can "charge" waves that I wouldn't dare to charge on a paipo, I can slot myself into some fun micro barrels....

Here is a video of my latest session, a little shaky cause the gopro was attached to my hand, but I guarantee the rides were smooth :)

Thanks again for making these mats,


Jun 18, 2019

Tips From The Pros: Spotting A ''Deep Fake" 4GF Knockoff !!!

As trade tensions rise between the USA and China (which is all Obama's fault, BTW), it stands to reason that Australia would somehow weasel their way into the melee. As a country said to be, "A sunny place for shady people," Australians have attracted an increasing number of fake 4GF surfmats to their shores. The collapsing economy (which is all Labor's fault, BTW) combined with the unprincipled beach-going population is a petrie dish of corruption.

Initially, Mexico answered the siren call of the Australian market, producing crummy knockoffs under the revered, time-honored 4th Gear Flyer label. Seeing a gold mine, China then got into the act, knocking off the Mexican knock-offs...in effect creating the first "Deep Fake" surf mats.

So how do you, one of the 3 or 4 honest surfmatters left Down Under, spot a deep fake?

Let's look at the simplest approach, shall we?

Study a real 4GF Surfmat. Note the deft hand used to inscribe the flange. Note the high quality silver ink used in said inscription. Note the proper spelling...

Now analyze a deep fake, Chinese 4GF. Of course, the handwriting is sloppy, the ink is splotchy, and the alleged builder is one "P. Gonzales." But more importantly, the phrase "Made In The Mexico" is a dead giveaway that, not only is it a fake, it's a deep fake...translating Spanish into English, by way of Mandarin!

One last thought...

Any import routed through, around, over, or under the SCUMM crime family is a sure tip off!

Jun 17, 2019

With Old Age Comes Regret ...


Hi Paul,

My mate Mason just ordered a mat not to long ago and I tried it at 3 foot table tops in Solana Beach. I’m Hooked!

I’m 17 years old but I wish I would’ve started earlier. They’re unreal!

Thanks again.


Jun 13, 2019

From Oily ...

Gday Paul,

Well here I was rummaging in my desk the other day and came across a blast from the past.  Shortly after the legend that is SCUMM evolved  (circa 2011) Eric ‘Matman’ Bridges (RIP) had conjured up an application form to join the  realms of the SCUMM fraternity. This   was when he was still working and running under the radar as a mild mannered insurance salesman by day. I thought knowing your soft spot for him you may get a laugh out of the application all in jest of course. 

On another note here is a short sharp  video taken on  the first day of winter as usual Adam and I had a blast this morning.

Take care , be safe and keep on sliding..


Jun 11, 2019

Seventh. Best. Scumm. Video. Ever.

This is from Monday at Salmon Bay, shared a few with Neal and bumped into Peter Horton ( riding the green mat).
Before we went out I noticed a foil stand up rider in the lineup, zooming around etc , and by the time we got changed and down to the beach he came in , I overheard later that Horto gave him a mouthful about riding thru the pack, and ordered him to the beach! funny considering it came from a big guy riding a blow up green air mattress!!
I film everything in 2.7k , check out all the salmon swimming underneath us, such a great morning!

Jun 9, 2019

Best. Scumm. Video. Ever.

Howdy mate

Its the Queens Birthday long weekend down here, so Happy Birthday to her and my Mother who turns 93 today!

After surfing some nice waves on the Friday , Saturday turned out to be a alltime cracker, solid 6ft + swell and offshore winds all day. I started at Gilligans at 6am, paddled out in the dark and surfed for over a hour before the crowd became crazy, jumped into my car and drove bush to another favorite reef , with just 4 other mates out, surfed there for over 2.5 hours , big long loopy lefts and plenty of smiles.

Back down the bush track again for a quick food recharge and surf check, paddled out at another favorite right hand point break with just one other and surf for over 2 hours again, landed back on the beach at 4pm , sore all over and feeling my 57 years.

Home time and cold beers

Good to be alive!


Jun 4, 2019

Blown I-Beam Blues!!!

Nothing used to bum us out more than blowing out the I-Beam of our surfmat, especially if summer wasn't over, and we knew Mom and Dad wouldn't hear of a new one before next year. ("The surfing season is almost over, son. Why don't we wait 'till next spring?")

The only solution was to carry on with our busted mat as those miserable "Back To School Sale!" signs started appearing around town.

But, personally, I never recall being all that unhappy with a damaged mat...if it still held air. As evidenced by these kids! Both are riding their bloated mats with aplomb...

Jun 1, 2019

Proof There's Nothing New Under The Sun ...

 Selfie stick, 1925

 Flat screen TV with video recorder, 1961.

 Electric car and home charger, 1912.

Buster Keaton with early Segway, 1920's.

Working car phone, 1924

Shipboard gymnasium, 1912

 Battery operated mobile radio, 1931

Fax machine, 1938 

 Svante Arrhenius, who claimed that burning fossil fuels may lead to global warming, 1896.

 Winged suit, 1938

SUP, 1960
Virtual reality machine, 1967

Surfing specific air mat, 1925

Warm, welcoming Oxnard locals, c. 1930

Depiction of Assyrian river crossing on an inflated animal belly, c. 750 BC

May 30, 2019

Link From Spence

With the occasional mat rider giving waves pools a try -- much to the consternation of some -- we now present another slice of the same perverse spectrum.

(And wave pool haters, take heart...demons are starting to haunt the dystopian dreams of the WSL.)

May 29, 2019

From Christine

Like a lot of mat surfers 'round the world, Christine began mat surfing out of necessity...then got hooked!

May 27, 2019

Memorial Day Mat Riding Bonanza !!!

Adrian Siebert Pic: Yves Schuhmann

From the SCUMM boys down unda...

May 19, 2019

Philippe Cracks UAE Wave Pool ...

Hi Paul,

I hope all is well. You’re mat is still going places!

This time I tested the waters in UAE in a wave pool… Unfortunately I got to go on only one wave but it was a blast! 


May 18, 2019

Taco Bell Resort !!!

(No word yet on the performance of their inflatable pool taco.)

From Raw Story...

"In a state known for fresh vegetables and real Mexican, the fast food company Taco Bell is opening its own resort. The food site Delish reported Thursday that Palm Springs will be the location for the company’s latest project.

The company is calling it the “biggest expression of the Taco Bell lifestyle to date,” though it doesn’t clarify what exactly the Taco Bell lifestyle means. It can be reasonably assumed it involves a lot of cheese, however.

The resort will have a pool filled with Taco Bell swag, floaties, fluffy bathrobes, and plenty of food. The resort also plans on offering food that will only be available at the resort.

Aside from possible floating tostadas, the hotel and resort will offer a salon that can do “Taco Bell-inspired nail art” as well as fades and a braid bar. They’ll also have a gift shop that will be decked out in Taco Bell brand apparel.

The resort doesn’t include how many rooms will be available but they are slated to open in June and all vacationers must be 18 or older to stay.

Earlier this year, Taco Bell began the lifestyle experiment with a Slide-Thru ski resort in Ontario Canada and a Las Vegas Taco Bell chapel. They also began a partnership with GrubHub to ensure Taco Bell can be delivered to inebriated customers and others uninterested or unable to drive to the establishment."

From Sam

Hello again, Paul & all...

Photo was tagged as Huntington Beach, 1960s. Confirmation or correction welcome. Any of your readers know what brand those mats are?


May 16, 2019

Redux'd Crystal Voyager -- May 30th, UCSB

"David Elfick’s cult classic Crystal Voyager (1973) is a love letter to surf in the Santa Barbara Channel and a portrait of George Greenough, one of the sport’s great innovators. Written and narrated by Greenough and filmed at the height of surfing’s transition era, when riders and shapers were experimenting with new kinds of board design, the film chronicles the construction of a sailboat capable of reaching the uncrowded breaks of the Channel Islands. Along the way, Elfick and Greenough document surf from Rincon to The Ranch in the company of World Champion Nat Young and local shaper/surfer Richie West. The Pollock Theater is proud to present a newly restored digital version of this pioneering example of surf filmmaking. Crystal Voyager transcends the travelogue, as it sets out to capture the embodied experience and ecological intimacy that make the sport so captivating.

Director David Elfick and author Garth Murphy will join moderator Alexander Champlin (Film and Media Studies, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion."

Details here...

May 15, 2019

From @rowe

 Photo: "Rage"
Hey Paul!

Just forwarding you a new shot...The standard held well in the conditions!
Thank you for the joys.

May 13, 2019

May 10, 2019

Early Inflatable Surf Mat

This is from a beachwear fashion shoot, 1925. Mat appears to be a thin, 7 pontoon, round nose design.

The photo is by Edward Steichen. Steichen (1879-1973) was a Luxembourgian American photographer, painter, and art gallery and museum curator. He began by studying pictorialist photography and his early work expressed the romanticism of the early 20th century with artful, dark, and foggy images of the countryside.