Aug 31, 2010

From the Bluebonnet State...


Sorry for the delay in feedback on the Tracker. Fall is just around the corner and I can't wait for the change in seasons. Too many 100+ degree days and scarce waves which is typical of July and August here.

Here are some shots of a small swell we got from the last Tropical Depression (TD-5), about 10 days ago. Winds were light with offshores late morning and into the afternoon. The Tracker was a joy to ride! Easy to get into waves, super responsive to direction changes and off the bottom. I found that this mat is exceptional for holding a high line - it can get down to business when it comes to speed! Another day with some memorable mat rides and some more insight into how much fun a mat can be. Thanks!

ps. I'm glad to hear that all is well with your mother, she is so lucky to have family around her to help with this change in her lifestyle.


Aug 28, 2010

Ned from The OC...

Hey Paul...

The mat worked out really fun in the South Pacific. I gotta work on my technique. This was only the 3rd time on the mat, 2nd on this flyer.

Thanks again!


Aug 26, 2010

Tale Of Two Oceans...

Hi PG,

Went matting again today and of course had way to much fun for a person my age. During a break in the session I offered a friend of mine a chance to ride a mat. Larry is
an excellent kneeboarder from La Jolla, Blacks early seventies and such. He's nuts for gnarly waves. I asked him to try the round tail he agreed and after an on the beach lesson we headed out for some waves.

The surf was fun south with overhead 6+ face waves hallow nice sunny no wind yeah buddy kind of a day. As the session progressed he began to understand what I have been telling him for the past year or so, that riding a mat is fun and a great whole body workout. He commented how he felt parts of his body he didn't notice ridding a kneeboard.

I watched him get pulled over the falls on a set wave and knew what was running through his head at that moment. Later I saw him take off in the barrel of a set wave and hang on through the lip and make it out!!!

He asked a lot of questions I just didn't have answers to technique and such. All I could come up with in the moment was to take off along the high line and don't go toward the beach.

Well as all sessions must come to an end this one ended on two high notes. My last wave was a long ride all the way to the beach. Larry dropped into a set wave and pulled into the barrel again. As he rode the white water in he he kept pointing at me and his eye. I asked him what the sign language was all about. He said "Did you see me on that wave???" stoked out of his mind.

O'Side, CA

Howdy Pard,

The spare Standard has now moved on to a previous non-matter named Damo. Good mate of mine and an experienced stand-up, kneelo, bodyboarder with a perfect attitude.

Took his new mat out in utter, utter, UTTER crap today and absolutely loved it! He'd spent a load of time reading yours and Dale's guides on how to ride and was really working hard at using the info. By the end of the session he had the mat at 100 degrees and was gliding like a pro. I've had a ton of texts since too telling me he's still beaming.



Aug 25, 2010

Video footage from the August 22 Mat Meet

Although it's a real pleasure to edit footage, I promised myself that I'd just get this sequence shipshape then let it go. I'll be wrangling many more hours of it if all goes well this year. So fly away, my dove, I'm back on the hunt again.

If you want to download and save it for yourself, click the movie and go to Vimeo. It will be available to dl for a little while. And it seems that you can only view it in HD from that site, so what the hey!, just go to Vimeo and savor all the gusto!

Side Slide

i love side slipping and facing the wave.  btw anyone want to come to a mat meet in queens ny? ;)

A few more snaps from the Cottons Mat Meet

I put a few snapshots up, taken now and then throughout the day last Sunday.

Aug 24, 2010

Chicks Ride Mats Too!!

Last Sunday's mat meet was just what I needed. Never having ridden a mat with anyone before—and never having ridden a mat more than a few times or in head high waves—I needed to see how it is you make these things go. I am, and have always been, an observational learner when it comes to athletic endeavors. You can describe a thing to me until you're blue in the face, but I can't mimic the action being explained if I don't see it . . . in action. The mat meet let me get up close and personal with fantastic mat riders in big waves.

After all was said and done on Sunday, Valerie and I decided we'd get together today to ride mats. My surf friends would have been shocked. I've got nine boards in my quiver, but I left the house without a surfboard. It was going to be all about the mat. Period.

It was decided we'd head to Newport as Val said some of the beaches are blackballed and would be perfect for mats since the bodyboarders usually filled those lineups.

I don't even know where to begin. I guess I should brag that I finally did something other than go straight. I am a goofy foot surfer, so I can spot a left before the left even forms. And I got it! And I actually went left!! I ended up far enough up the beach that I got out and walked back . . . beaming!

Because I'm a surfer first, there were many things about the mat that I just couldn't wrap my head around prior to the mat meet. Dropping in was confusing. For some reason, I thought and expected the mat to remain straight when one drops in. Thankfully, one of the images that stuck with me from Sunday was Mattitude dropping into a wave. I remember thinking, "Is he doing a dolphin kick or something?" It finally occurred to me that he was just following the mat. The mat was folding over for the drop in and his body followed. So today, when I went for waves, I followed the mat. (Note to self: it's not a surfboard! The mat will flex . . . a lot!)

What also helped today was that these waves were smaller than those at Cottons. Even though they seemed a bit daunting, I had little fear. I'd seen big waves on Sunday. I'd survived those waves. Therefore, the waves I saw today didn't faze me much. The crowd didn't either. I've slowly evolved into a bit of an aggressive surfer over the last year. While I don't snake people, I have no patience for those who drop in on me. And there was a snake out there today. In order to keep him from taking waves I felt were mine, I just went for it. Damn the scary drop in! Damn the fear about not knowing what to do once the mat took off! My wave! Back off, snake!!

Suffice it to say, I'm going to go out on a limb and say today's Women Only Mat Meet (WOMM) was a success. We were out there mixing it up with the spongers. Unfortunately, we didn't exactly mat together. I hate crowds and will always stay on a less populated peak. Val, on the other hand, saw how the main peak was breaking and put herself right in the thick of things.

Look!! I actually dropped in, didn't fall off the mat and had my eyes open! I am so stoked after today's session. There were many "a ha!!!" moments—duck diving, dropping in, realizing that kicking works*, etc. The only reason I got out of the water was because I got slammed to the sea floor headfirst. I'm not one to tempt fate. She who mats and runs away, lives to mat another day (sung to the tune of Bob Marley's song "Heathen").

* I realized, after the Cottons meet, that kicking is totally foreign to me. As a surfer, I only use my legs to steer the board. As a swimmer, I've adopted the swimming technique that involves little or no kicking. Therefore, kicking one's feet while in the water seemed wrong. That's one of the reasons I had trouble at Cottons. I was barely kicking. Today, however, was different. I put my legs to work. Eureka!!

Aug 21, 2010

More Tracker Roundtail Feedback...


hey, we've have had one hell of a good swell smashing us for the last few days.

anyway, yesterday i went up with my regular mat, and took the new tracker. so i surf this right-hand point that NO ONE ever surfs coz it only works on big swell... and other places are much bigger and more powerful... but this place has rides 3 -4 football fields in length... it's just beautiful... and i usually surf it alone. i had a friend with me and we got to trade on and off.

i was a little concerned with how narrow it was, but i think the added length made up for it. i enjoyed the piss out of the tracker. infact, i kinda like how she holds when you throw her into a cuttie.... just nice arcing swoops. no spinning out. ( unless ya want it).

really, i'd like to thank you to for the attentive and speedy service. i think i made a convert outta my pal yesta. may be placing some orders for ya.

day before yesta i surfed reef off this island ... about 6-8 with some 10ft sets. i rode standup.... all i could think of was " god, if i had a mat i'd be superman out here!"

Thanks, pal.



good morning. my computer was down since last weekend. i wanted to e-mail you about the surf mat, and tell you about how i feel ... could not connected internet for a while. now, my computer is back.

i have been riding tracker roundtail every day since i got ones. so happy... it rides so good. easy to turn.... i like it because of its size, too. i would like to practice more... and would like to learn more about how to ride the surf mat. pure fun... so stoked.

thank you for everything. much aloha,




Hi Paul,

Rode the RT today in some hallow shallow shifty glassy 4-6ft face waves at south Oceanside.

I had a feeling the RT would do well in hallow waves, yep it sure does I got so many barrels my brain almost exploded. I have a question for you , "do you know a way to keep the muscles in in the face from cramping up" I smile so dam much when matting my face hurts.




Hey there Pablito, Steve here,

Being the lady of houses b-day today I am home on duty! Sats are usually power work days for me. So I have a moment to Go Frickeeeeennnnnn off!

On July 2nd a package came in the mail while I was weed whipping the yard for the 4th, Holy cowabunga it's from Paul. I was like and still am like a twelve year at the christmas tree. That being said, on july fourth, I went tracking at Ablandia as the swell built from chest to 8-10 +, getting rides all the way to subleft bouncing off the right back towards ab paddling (kicking) ha! back out. There were only three of us out! And I ended up surfing from 2:30 to 7:30. Gee, wonder if I was able to feel the tracker out!? HA HA HAHA ! The thing is exactly like the difference between a square tail and a pin /round tail. Square for release, pin for the hold in the pocket. It climbs and drops with way more I want to here or there on the wave now, holding higher tighter longer and steeper and of course the point and shoot -tracker- being able to make way more waves with conviction. Absolutely totally Stoked!!! I could go on for hours about this. Lets put it this way, since I started counting back in late April there have been 42 mat sessions and 8standup surfs!!!!!!

Out for now Steve



Hello Paul,

I rode the TRT mat on Sunday and had so much fun! It was knee waist high onshore and I was not having fun on my surfboard, so I decided to switch to the mat. It turned to be a super fun session after I catch very first wave! Caches waves easy and go over flat section and made longer wave. I tried cut back and it went so smooth. So stoked! I will take the mat every time I go to beach!

Thank you for the great experience!




I'm mailing to say thanks for the Tracker round tail I purchased earlier in the year. I broke a rib surfing my kneeboard at Capbreton, France. I'd been planning a month there & I almost went home untill I found I could use the Tracker without much pain. The last 2 days it was overhead & hollow beack peak with a very fast shorebreak. The first time it freefell on takeoff I thought I'd eat it but when it hit the bottom it took off like a rocket!! This ship flies!! It saved my surfing holiday guys! I got some strange looks from the local bodyboard crew, paddling out, especially as I'm an old guy, 63. Got respect & questions after they saw how it surfed! So Thank, you I'll be back for a Fatty soon


P.S. George Greenough was always one of my surfing heroes but I never really took seriously his apparent obsession with mats, 40 years on I understand! Thanks again


Aug 14, 2010

From Marc in the Netherlands...

Hi Paul,

I hope that given the circumstances, your mother is doing fine.

I just returned from my honeymoon to Bali. The waves were great! I had very good and long rides. My cheeks are still hurting from the smile on my face!

My wife shot some mat pictures of me. They are not razor sharp, but it shows the good waves in Bali! I brought my XL and my standard model. The standard worked great!

Speak to you soon.



From Rennie Ellis...

" Lady Jane, Lady Bay 1998"

More here...

Aug 11, 2010

From The Mad Dungeon of Tom K...


A few months ago I tested an idea with regard to traction. I noticed my nylon wetsuit slipped around to much for my liking while matting.

So here is my fix for that problem...

I bought a tube of glue at the hardware store called "The Amazing Goop" or "Shoe Goo" (either will work ) and applied small dots of the glue to the belly and thigh section of my suit. After drying for a day I used the suit and it worked awesome. After two months test the suit is still good and so is the traction.

Happy Trails,


Aug 10, 2010

From MIO...

Hello Paul,

This is Mio, the editor of On The Board/ Japanese longboard magazine.

I don't remember if I ever sent this image, but this is from last year. I surfed with Mark Cunningham that day, and Clark Little shot this image. This is the classic model I purchased from you last year. I really love it.

Thank you and best regards,


Aug 4, 2010

From Garret K ...

Handplane and mat goodness!

Aug 3, 2010

Calling the Northeast!

I'm going on vacation to Rhode Is. (Narragansett) via Boston, MA
Anyone point me in the right direction? A right point?
Totally clueless about the East Coast.....
I'll be packing 4GF Fatty/fins/suit, just in case I see something.
Perhaps some early EC footage for the mat movie?
Thanks in advance for your input!

Aug 2, 2010

From Tom, From Texas...


Thank you! Everyone has taken delivery of their mats. Now all we need is some surf :>(

Roundtail design looks great, am hungry for some surf. One week ago Saturday we had an nice all day session with some shoulder high stuff thrown off by a week depression in the Gulf.

Attached some pics for you to use as you like:

"Cheap Tricks"- buy a bag for your mat and get a free chair from Wal-Mart!


Great 23B Post!