Jun 30, 2009

Yeah Sure, Ricky...

Hey Paul,

It was maybe the best matting day at *** today. The waves got much bigger after the camera went home... seriously!

Ricky S

Hi Paul,

Here are some pictures of Ricky this morning at *** on Steve's blog. About an hour after this, it was nonstop for an hour of waves on the farthest out boil past the rocks connecting all the way across. For a guy who never surfed, he sure is getting good quick. I saw him going as fast as possible in full trim going all the way across the point today.

*** has its moments in the mornings and way less crowded. All the surfers think of it as afternoon spot, but as long as there is 2 feet of water it's fine.

Hope you are well. I haven't tried my new 9 Inch Nail Fin yet as my Liddle sat on the beach all morning. Too much fun running over kelp on a mat!

Ryan C

UDT #1 Survives Terrorist Attack!!!


a guy saw the mat on the beach right before i went in and he flew thru the air and jumped on it. i was beyond pissed, but alas it did not pop and the ibeams and innards held together (its still 3-pontooned, not 1!) despite the not so funny joke, a testament to how well built and strong the mat is.


Jun 25, 2009

Early UDT Returns....

John M was the proud recipient of 4GF UDT #2, and weighed in with the following report...

(John, somewhere in Southern California. Photo: One of two guys using Jeff's camera.)

Hi Paul -

Jeff C wrote out a full photo essay on yesterday's trip. I won't bore you with the whole 4 part shebang, but here is a pic showing how the minimum threshold for me to ride an air mat has been lowered with the UDT. I was stoked to be able to actually get in to waves that would have been hopeless on a smaller mat. It was basically flat with inconsistent sets that were at least quadruple overhead...for me(!)

The location is, uh, "Southern California."

I'm not sure on photo credit. Two different guys took shots using Jeff's camera.


PS - I have no idea why I look so serious. LOL. Sometimes it's harder to ride small waves than big waves. I also just noticed that my hair looks like one of those plastic toupees the guys in Devo might have worn. That, or I'm working on an early Clark Kent look-a-like.

Jun 22, 2009

From JJ ...

Hello Paul!

I thought I'd give you an early report regarding the "Classic" mat. I was stoked it arrived as quick as it did.....you must've been moving pretty fast in your shop!

First off, I had an opportunity to ride my black/blue Fatty last Monday and Tuesday at the Corona Del Mar Jetty, when a good sized southern hemi rolled through. As expected, the Fatty excelled.... with speed to burn on the inside section! I got some great roundhouse cutbacks off those giant "foamers".

CDM Jetty is a very esoteric spot at best, usually showing up around 6-8 feet...requiring a dead-on 180 degree South swell. It's also a spot that's steeped in mat history. With the invention of the blackball flag, mats could be seen littered along the jetty for the flag's duration, during the summer months of the late 60's/70's.

Perhaps we should give a nod here to photographer Woody Woodworth, who penned the article "Rubber Duck" for Surfer magazine.The volume/issue # escapes me at the moment....but it's the one with the "Santosha" cover. This groundbreaking article chronicled the inflatable experience in Orange County at that time. Woody and fellow cohort John Parks would modify their "stripes down" Converse/Hodgman mats, armored with extra canvas and small fins for stability...necessary for when the "big ones" came through!

I made it down to my local beachbreak to try the Classic this morning, and I was stoked to see a couple of things...clear blue sky (in spots)light offshores (didn't last too long)2 - 4 ft. mix of S/SW/W swells, with a low-going-to-high tide. Easy crowd...maybe 4 to 5 people early on (whuuuuut?). So I'm huffin' the Classic, fins on, and out in a blink! I caught some smaller fun ones early for warm ups, then tackled a steep, head-high left that I'll admit I ate it on, horribly! You know the drill...a little too late on your takeoff, and next your staring down this ultra-steep drop, where you haven't quite set up your "edge"...and you wind up coming in straight! (Booooo!!!)

It ends on a much better note. Another set rolls in, I'm sitting a little further out this time around, and I'm paddling towards another head-high peak. Another guy sees it too, and we're both gunning for position. We wound up crossing each other prior to takeoff. He really wanted that right, so we switched and I went for the left. I think I got the better half but, I couldn't see him once I made the drop. This time I gave it much more tweak (body torque) to maintain some virtual rail...HUGE difference! The Classic took the "sweet line" and stayed put...allowing me to set up (stall) a juicy, sustained, barrel! I was already calling it a "camera wave" before the ride was over. It finished with a nice little floater over the oncoming right hand soup...bitchin'!!!

In one 1 hour session, I deem The "Classic" totally worthy...whether it be your back-up mat, or an affordable, high performance first-timer! Thanks again for the stoke Paul! Keep up the good work!


Jun 20, 2009

Surf In Space

Check this shuttle photo of a bowling right in the Aurora Borealis!!!
(Bring a titanium mat, rocket flippers, a space wetsuit and oxygen.)
If you look very closely you can see someone standing in the barrel.
What's up with that? Did someone edit pixels? Is it Silver Surfer???

Jun 16, 2009

From Steve H ...


I thought you may enjoy these pics of an early Aussie mat.

Dig the "swallow tail"!

Steve H.

From Robert T ...

(Artist's rendition of Robert, by Tom T.)

Hi Paul,

I wanted to touch base with and tell you how well the 4th Gear Flyer has performed for me.

During our last small SW swell I caught a couple of days at a little spot I like to check from time to time. It was 2-4 foot, but it was breaking hard in just a few inches of water right on the beach. I managed to catch some great rides and a couple of beautiful tube rides in all of maybe at the most 6 inches of water. I have never experienced riding a wave under those conditions before, but it was unbelievable gliding across a thin sheet of water on a mat like that.

Needless to say I rolled up on the beach like a rug twice that I remember and stood up after my ride laughing my butt off, and went right back out to do it again. I just can't thank you enough. The way the mat rides is way beyond my expectations. It is so easy to catch waves on.

Thanks again Paul...

Peace and good waves, Robert

Jun 14, 2009

Surf Widow...Mat Riding Style!


This is my wife's license plate. She has been completely tolerant of my addiction for almost four decades, but she apparently wants it known just how much she puts up with.

On the other hand, I don't golf!


Jun 7, 2009

Via Nathan Oldfield

From Nathan Oldfield's blog, found here...

"It's a bit of a dilemma being a surfing parent. You don't want to ram surfing down your children's throats, like some sports-crazed soccer-dad, but at the same time you don't want them to miss out on the gift of waveriding that has so blessed your own way of being for so long. It takes a lot of patience & a lot of restraint. Our little man Noa just turned five years old last month. Five years of sand eating, sandcastle building, paddles in the lagoon, swimming lessons at the local pool centre, ankle-deep wavelet jumping. Finally, we have graduated to surfmat riding & he is stoked on it. I am the proudest, most grateful father in the universe. I'm really, really excited that my beloved son is just now beginning to taste the joys of a surfing life. "

Jun 6, 2009

From Marc in The Netherlands...

Hi Paul,

Today i went out on my new mat.

We have a decent swell at the moment so it was a good try out. The mat suits me so good!!! I had really good rides.

For Dutch waves the new hybrid model is the best by far! So i'm very happy and very stoked! I'm really into mat surfing now, more then ever. I'm gonna sell one of my longboards! I think mat surfing is one of the purest forms of surfing.

The picture I send is our homespot called Scheveningen.

I'm gonna send you some dutch matsurfing pictures soon.



Jun 4, 2009

Propel Fins Anyone?

With SFR "Secret Floating Rubber"

Jun 2, 2009

Three Reasons French Surfing Rocks!

One is Catherine Deneuve...

Another is Brigitte Bardot...

And of course, French mat stoke from Stephane!
(mardi 2 juin 2009)