Nov 27, 2010

4GF Mail Call...

Hi Paul,

Even though it´s trivial, I just wanted to send you a "report" of my first attempts on the XL in seriously crappy 5 sec. interval 1-2 ft. Miami "surf":

- I don´t have a chin rash again and had that "good feeling" in (!!!) the wave. Did you change the black fabric or am I actually progressing?...

- The XL worked much better for my 200lbs than the Tracker RT in small conditions. (Who would have thought so?)...

- Again!! This time my kiteboarding copilot - smiled about the speedy "glide" once the wave picked him up.

- The other copilot was fascinated by: "You can roll the thing up and put it in your pocket"

Savor the praise and the positive vibe - one can never get enough of that.

Any customers in Dubai? I´ll be there on the 13th.

Cheers from cold and snowy-white Germany




Mats got here this afternoon, in time for a thanksgiving session!!

I snuck out on the UDT this afternoon. First one I caught, dropped in, banked a bottom turn, and just flew down the line and took it all the way in to the beach.

Number two, banked another bottom turn, took a little line, bottom turned again, and pulled into the barrel and came out.

And then, the next 6 or 7 I completely kooked out and could barely get in or hold a line.

I'm hooked!

Thanks again. I'll keep you updated.



Hey Paul,

I just wanted to drop you a small email since I've had several surfs recently on the behemoth mat you made for me! (Greenough-spec UDT.)

The conditions lately have been poor to be quite honest, but the UDT (with round tail and short I - beams) performed as promised!

The take-off was always an easy treat BUT what energy I did conserve kicking into waves was quickly sapped from me after making my way slowly to the line-up again. It's a whole lotta fabric! To be fair, the waves were not always the micro waves I had thought them to be upon entering the water, a lot in the 4ft range and unpredictable. What REALLY surprised me was its ability to 'suck' down onto the wave surface. We suffered no slide-outs whatsoever!

It was really fun being able to only make one basic correction at take-off and then doing else except tearing along the face of messy walls at speed!

The mat is a winner and I thank you!




Hey Paul,

Just wanted to let you know how stoked I am with the mat i got from you, the roundtail tracker! Having a lot of fun out there, despite the entire line up ignoring my presence (narrow minds eh!).

Took a few surf's to get used to it, but each session was building my experience/skill exponentially. Very forgiving and fun mat, stoked I got one!

Thanks again, kind regards,

Barry, NSW, Australia.


Hello Paul,

Just letting you know the Standard arrived today,23 Nov. Thanks. Also had a great session on the RT at a spot near Margaret River on the weekend Head high sucky wave and the RT went fantastic!!. It will be interesting to see how the Standard compares with the RT. We are getting into summer now so swell is usually low in our summer not that our winter has been good for swell this year ,very few good days.

Thanks again.

Cheers Eric



Yes, Ron is riding a mat all the time and loving it! Doesn't ride his surfboards anymore. We have a trip to Cardon, Mexico planned for next year and are looking forward to bringing our mats.

Easy packing!




I actually like that I can't read my standard's label anymore because it means that I've surfed it a lot. :-)



Thank you Paul, great service a s usual.

I now have a complete quiver of 4th Gear Flyers :)





UDT arrived on Friday. That's fast. Had a chance to try this past weekend, and wow. Got a few waves that hinted at what is possible. Surf was kinda mushy, but had some size. Quite a work-out. Not used to kicking fins, especially full-size UDT (old style). You need to be a navy seal to use those. A few more sessions and I think I will have a feel for the mat.

Thanks again for your patience and generosity. I think I may be a life-long matter.


Nov 20, 2010

NZ Weighs In!


Jonathan from NZ here. The mat arrived last week, safe and sound. I can see that you got additional postal information for it, so - thanks for that - and that it cost a bundle to ship. Thanks for that too. I'm sorry to cut into your profit margin that way. I'm doing my best to get my friends to buy mats, spreading the gospel - so I hope you get some more orders, and you certainly will from me in the future!

Been going through some revelations about wave riding in my life. I read something you wrote about the "egoless" quality of wave riding on a mat. I've been seeing/feeling the way wave riding becomes pared to a sort of animal (dolphin, and now we see, orca!) essence... steering away from the hand-jive, dance-like expression that's maybe the best of knee and stand up styles (and far away from the modern skateboard trick style - I call this capitalist surfing, but I won't get started...). Using the mat feels like an exploratory journey deeper into pure wave riding- once again, a surprisingly new thing at this stage of my life.

Next: crawl into some sea-cave and forget my own name....


Uh, forgot my name already!

Nov 18, 2010

What Your Air Carrier Doesn't Want You To Know!!!

Tom, a pilot of some repute, inflating his new Tracker RT during a layover in Chicago!

While surfboards and bicycles are getting the shaft under the guise of "excess baggage" at check-in, surfmats are gliding through with nary a notice.

Why is that, you ask?

Sure...deflated mats are tucked neatly away in your suitcase. But a more nefarious mechanism is at work!

You see, "The International Airline Pilot, Mat Rider And Off Duty Social Drinker's Association" (TIAPMRAODSDA in airline industry shorthand) has leveraged its awesome power to influence major carriers' policy. In short, the nose-dripping-saltwater chaps in the cockpit are responsible for your super cheap, surf mat vacations!

Hats off to these flyboys...without them, who knows what it would cost to schlep a quiver of mats on board your flight to Sri Lanka!

Nov 16, 2010

Mat Max's New Best Friend!

Details of the surfing Killer Whales in NZ here...

Mat Riding Tips From The Pros!!!

(Photos: Lance Smith)
"The Smash-Mouth Take-Off," as demonstrated by The Kendog. Out of the darkness and into the light!

Nov 12, 2010

Boardbag Blues?

A travel-wise mat rider cashes in on big airline savings!

Thanks for getting back to me on this and thanks for all your help in spec'ing and ordering the mats.

I don't know if you have seen it, but just the other day Surfline published an update of the airline transport fees for boardbags from most major airlines ("Boardbag Blues"). Between the high rates and the fact that most times you can't even tell whether the airline will even take your boardbag until you get to the airport, travelling with surfboards is getting to be untenable these days. Perhaps something you can work into the portion of the website which extols the virtues of travelling with surfmats....

Delta - $200 each way per surfboard bag.

United - Domestic $100 each way per surfboard, International $200 each way per surfboard.

American - $150 each way (charge is per surfboard bag if neatly packed and under 50lbs).

Continental - $100 each way for 2 surfboards , $400 each way for 3 surfboards, $700 each way for 4 surfboards.

Taca - $125 each way per surfboard bag (max. 2 surfboards), $175 extra for additional surfboards.

Copa - $75 each way per surfboard bag.

Jet Blue - $75 per bag (max. length 80 inches and accepted on space available basis only).

Southwest - $50 each way per surfboard bag.

Air Paciifc - $50 each way per surfboard bag.

More here...

Just some food for thought...

Mike M.

Nov 6, 2010

Pigs On The Beach!


If you're interested, I've got a travel blog about my trip to New Zealand here...

A bit more mat love- I've been surfing a place that requires a hike of several kilometers to access. Some folks take their ATVs and four-wheel drives there. I've been offered rides from those people (an adventure in itself!), and am positive that carrying a rolled-up mat as opposed to a full-size surfboard, helped me get a lift!



Nov 3, 2010

Hello Kitty Tat Craze Threatens The Mat Riding World!!!

Surf Sister's new tattoo keeps her landlocked for a week!
Will this disturbing trend keep even more mat riders out of the water?

This is getting out of hand, Paul...

I spent the last week out of the water because of my new tattoo. I was chomping at the bit to get wet today. I got to the break. I suited up. I pulled The Minx out of the car. As I was about to wax her, I looked at the small waves that no one was on. They were over here. The majority of the surfers were over there. Guess what happened? I kept looking at those waves, at the crowd and at my board. Before I knew it, I was sliding the board back into the car. A few minutes later, I was on the sand—blowing up the mat and throwing on some fins.

One of the people I always see at this break said I was grinning from ear to ear on one of my waves. I know there were a couple where I came up whooping. It was yet another perfect session on my mat. I was on my Tracker Squaretail, by the way. I think that mat works better for me than the Standard. I'm wondering if this has something to do with the female anatomy and the fact that we carry most of our body weight lower than men do. It doesn't matter though. Both mats surf beautifully.

This mat thing has got a hold on me. Lord, it must be love!!


Nov 2, 2010

How Much Fun Do You Wanna Have???

A big shipment of material just arrived!


The 4GF Standard will go on sale for the month of November.

$135 USD.

The Standard is our all-time favorite high performance mat, and we think everybody under 200 pounds should have one in their quiver.

But, if you're over 200 lbs, consider one anyway, because when it's head high or better, it flies. A lot of plus-sized mat riders have tried a Standard, and are blown away by how much fun they have when the surf has some grunt.

How to order:

Write me at fourthgearflyer at, and put "Standard Sale" in the subject line. (You don't have to use that subject line, but it will help us.) I'll get back to you within a day or two with the ordering instructions.

Several Provisos:

This offer won't be held over past the end of November. One month only. If someone orders one on November 30th, and the time stamp on the order is Dec 1 or even 2, that's OK. Things like that happen when dealing with world wide customers living in all the various time zones, etc. But no whining that you want the Standard deal on December 3rd!!!!

This offer will not be a part of the "buy two get one free" deal. If you want a quiver during the month of November, it's $398 for three mats, regardless of what mats you want.

No promises on the delivery time. We're all caught up at the moment, but if a lot of orders come in due to the sale, then we might have a 2-3 week build time. But no more than that.

Any non-sale orders that come in this month will go straight to the head of the line.

This offer won't be posted on our web page. This is for the readers of Surfmatters. Of course, anyone can order a Standard on sale, but we aren't going to post it on our site.

Some nice shots of Greenough riding the Standard...