Sep 21, 2021

From Bob


Hi Paul

A photo from Vermont by my friend Banjer Dan. Is it a screen door or a surf mat???
I have two new recruits, Damon and Paul.  They tried it at the Pit and one has already purchased a wetsuit.  

Bob aka Mat Man

Sep 13, 2021

More UDT Swim Fin History


This just came in from "Renbuild1" in response to an old Surfmatters post, here...

"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 22.

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."

Aug 29, 2021




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.


Aug 27, 2021

From Lou


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...

Thanks Lou!

Aug 23, 2021

Introducing Bobby


Hey Paul,

Meet BOBBY, first born son of Joshua Simpson and Bella Sykes. Like a boy to water. Favourable conditions in Australia. Cruising in first gear. Happy Floating. 

From Crowe

From John



Hello Paul- 

Here is a pic of me riding my other one at typhoon lagoon at Disney a few years ago. The mat was made for that place.


Aug 16, 2021

From Lloyd

 Hello there Paul

 thought you might like this shot  I like the unusual perspective of this screenshot from a video with the camera mounted on my helmet air mat surfing a few years ago when I was 65

Cheers Lloyd

Aug 10, 2021

From NY Matt


Hi Paul,

I made this vid in some shore pound this weekend!


From Mr. Wise



I just spent 2 weeks in Costa Rica visiting my son. Had the opportunity to ride my mat in some fun surf. Really having a great time learning how it works. 
Thank you!

Paul W. 

Aug 9, 2021

From Mark


 Surf matting swamp style...nobody drops in!

Hope you're well,
Mark P.

From Chris


Jul 31, 2021

From Jeremy


Hi Paul,

I hope all is well...

So the 4GF is like a friend that I always want to see and always take along when ever I go by the water.
Patrick, a friend, recently acquired a Holopuni sailing canoe OC3, we decided let’s take her on a shake down cruise from Mtk to Nantucket. On day two of the trip after we sailed to our ‘pirate camping’ ground, it was a total hoot to inflate and chase waves on  4GF at Goose wing beach in RI. The foilboard and long boards were to much mass so they didn’t come on the trip. 

Go minimal have fun!


Jul 29, 2021

From Tom


Hi Paul,

I joined a Facebook group “Surfers 70 and over”, and the vibe is, understandably, “decline”! 

Can’t pop up, so 10’ longboards and SUPs are the answers. Well, obviously I don’t feel that way, so as a public service I’ve been, from time to time, proposing the surf mat as an alternative. Maybe you will see an uptick in your website traffic, because this post finally got some reactions.

I don’t want to oversell the mat, and I talk about the learning curve. Really, I’m just so grateful for my late in life years of surfing on your mats (the best years, too) that I feel that I have to say something to these people!



Jul 26, 2021

From Dave


The wave might be small but the stoke is large and you can surf this standing wave on your mat literally endlessly near Denver, ColoRADo.  


Jul 24, 2021






Jul 23, 2021

From ACE


Hey Paul been just checking in. 
There was a paddle out in Ocean Beach San Diego this morning for Jim "Mouse" Robb. A true legend in surfing. I am in Hawaii visiting my daughter and was not able to attend... So we did our own thing...

 My daughter is teaching school in Waikiki and I am here on a visit. First time here in over 60 years surfing. It has been an "interesting" surf adventure..Been riding a to small 9'er. The airline would not let me take my 10'2" weird twin fin that would have been perfect for waist high Waikiki. So had a plan B and the mat the guys got me after the fire..Only problem, besides the insane crowds, is the good waves are WAY out there. Best wave of the trip.

The universe is strange..Mara and I went out at a pretty schetchy coral reef claws break this morning.. Said a couple words to Mouse paddling out..I took my mat out for it's maiden voyage in Hawaii. Couple local guys noticed my "floatation device" after I caught a couple off the side ones. told them I was trying to catch a good one for my friend Mouse. Told them his story. I had to wait a pretty long time to get a good one but I was gonna do it. I said come on Mouse send me one...A frikkin bomb starts heading my way. I was outside of everyone turned and went.. Nothing but hoots from the guys inside...Best wave of the whole trip... Good thing about being old is sometimes it just takes one good one!

Aloha Mouse...THANKS Paul for all the stoke that riding a mat adds to the surfing experience.





Jul 20, 2021

From David


Quick birthday trip for my wife out to New Smyrna Beach, Fla for a few days this past weekend from our home near Denver, ColoRADo….    

Brought my Fatty 4thGF, first time trying it in the ocean; I have surfed The Fatty a bunch but only on stationary river waves.... It was a blast being that tourist kook in the Florida surf sporting pasty white skin, a hat, fins (booties duct taped on since my Yucca fins are size XXL my for cold water booties), and a ton of sunblock.... 

Photos are of me the next to last day of the trip taken by my wife….  The last day of the trip, I was mat surfing the outside sandbar in better conditions mixing it up in the lineup with the locals by the NSB inlet and getting my fair share of rides on the 4thGF half-inflated bag... So incredibly fun to actually to get The Fatty surfmat into ocean waves!!!….  PS, I hear that another one of my river surfing buddies just ordered a Fourth Gear Flyer (The Fatty) to river surf with as well….  


Jul 17, 2021

Latest From Scumm


Hi Paul

Hope all is well mate!
SCUMM scored some uncrowded small clean long running offshore picturesque waves yesterday!
Your mats are still holding air , producing the goods, putting smiles on faces 

Aloha from OZ

Jul 6, 2021

From Vogue


Some stuff about Margot Robbie here, but alas, nothing about her lateral-pontoon raft...

Jun 24, 2021

From Chad


 Hey Paul hope all is well!

Just wanted to share some footage of myself on a recent trip down in baja riding a 9" nail fin in a 7' hull my friend zak klein made for me. The board is stringerless eps, extremely flat rocker and convex through the tail. I loved the way the nail fin felt. I'm short and sturdy and it never felt over flexed when pushing hard like some other fins I have used.

At the end of the video I am riding a 4th gear flyer standard mat.

Hope you enjoy and feel free to post anywhere if you want to

-Chad Greenberg