Apr 30, 2012

Zoey's Aftermath!

Hey all out there in Mat-land...

The Zoey's show was awesome, a small but mighty crowd of around 40 folks enjoyed the unique experience of a soundtrack performed live to a surf film. Lots of smiles and stoke, bookended by mat sessions at Malibu, Emma Wood, and Pitas Point!

And...the mat giveaway winner (which was a random drawing) was none other then the lovely Esperanza Petrie, a mat newbie who plans to use her mat this summer with her family. Looking forward to seeing folks at the next shows!


Ace Gonzalez

Apr 28, 2012

Best/Worst Dressed Mat Riders!

Yahoo(!) News really laid the wood to irrelevant journalism by breaking down the sartorial tastes of the latest batch of NFL draftees. Frankly, it's this kind of reporting that sets the internet apart from the trivial nonsense they used to shove down our throats back in the day of Edward R. Murrow!

Surfmatters would love to keep pace with Yahoo...so we're throwing out the same question to our readers. Put on your Tim Gunn glasses and let us know, who is the best and worst dressed of this widely disparate lot of mat surfers?

Keep in mind that when a mat rider isn't wearing boardshorts or a wettie, it's just a transitional phase between the next time he or she is wearing boardshorts or a wettie...

Apr 24, 2012

From Our Fearless Leader, Mat Max...

How Ya Going Dudes?

I caught onto a really great supplement called BIOAGE BIOSUPERFOOD. Just today I signed up for their affiliate program and put together a blog page.

I'm going to see if I can get the word out in the blogsphere so that folks can dose up to be more immune.

Hoping that all is good and fun there!


Apr 23, 2012

Happy 60th, SOSC!

On April 24, 1952, the San Onofre Surf Club held it’s first meeting!

Because the San Onofre beach was located on Marine Corp property, the primary purpose of the club was to insure continued access to the area for surfers and their families, many of whom had been using the area since the 30's. However, the family atmosphere remained the dominant trait of the oldest existing surf club in the continental United States.

Once considered the premier surfing area in California, the break at San-O remains a classic longboard wave...and pretty damn fun on a mat!

A much more complete history of the San Onofre beach and surf break is here...

Apr 22, 2012

In the Summer Of '64...

...this was what was happening at the beach in Sydney! (At least, according to Farmer and Co, Ltd.)

In other 1964 news from Down Under...

The Beatles were in town...

The Sydney Opera House was under construction...

And Midget Farrelly and Phyllis O'Donnell won the first World Surfing Championships at Manly!

Apr 21, 2012

Synergy Now!

Since Surfmatters is the ONLY surf blog to ever tout the genius of the much maligned Fiat marque -- and did so three times: here, here and here -- it's only natural that our own Charlie Sheen would sign on to do a spot for the resurgent Italian automotive maker!

Apr 17, 2012

In Case You Missed It...

Glenn Sakamoto's "Liquid Salt" blog has been ratcheting up it's posting frequency lately...making a great site even better! Check it out.

(Full disclosure...4GF is one of the sponsors of Liquid Salt.)

Apr 14, 2012

Diego Mat Meet Aftermath...

"Thanks for floatopia. Can you imagine the odor of outgassing vinyl stale beer breath and other sundry flavors? Got campus alone this morning good clean fun lightly chilled. Thanks Paul. Guerdon."

Yeah, we know about your go out, Gerdy!

San Diego Spring Break Mat Meet!

Video coverage from the gang down south!

Apr 11, 2012

From The Gonzalez Brothers...

"Hey Paul - Just wanted to send a big thank you for your “personal touch” customer service style, and for offering a truly superior wave-riding product.

I took my new Fatty out last night in bumpy head-high windswell at Topanga Point – the mat delivered all that it promised and then some. While a handful of brave hard boarders were barely picking up rides (lots of wind and current), I was getting waves all the way down to the second staircase – at record speeds! I have been surfing this spot for years, and I can say without exaggeration that I have not walked from the bottom to the top of the point after waves to the beach (!) six times in a row...that was simply unthinkable until now. All told, my mind is blown from the endless possibilities of flex, positioning, and acceleration. To boot, I was wearing my Go Pro cam – look for vids on the Blog site soon!

On another note, you may have already made the connection that my twin brother is Jeff, who runs his Tracker Roundtail and new 5GF in the challenging conditions of the North Coast. He is also my co-conspirator on the surf movie/album project...Ace Gonzalez & The Surfilm Sound. We are getting ready to do the premiere dates soon!

Jason (Ace) Gonzalez"

Debut shows:

Zoeys, Ventura -- April 28
Froggy's, Topanga -- May 4
Bootleg Theatre, L.A -- June 6


Thanks for sending my 5GF so promptly. I was able to get it in some steep bowls at Mat Corner this afternoon; at the same time my brother Jason was surfing his first ever mat session at Topanga!

He was getting waves across the entire point on his new Fatty, while my 5GF was tracking into head-high right wedges like it was on rails, 700 miles apart! The narrow width of the 5GF was really responsive on pitting waves; I brought my TRT down and started the session on it to make a comparison.

After getting a few good waves I switched to the 5GF and it was noticeably skinnier, which meant it bogged a little on smaller waves, but once they hit that head-range and started throwing out, the speed and sensitivity of the mat were truly eye-opening, as I was able to get it up on the flanges very easily off the bottom, then slot up into the barrel and track to the inside at speed. I can only imagine what this mat will do in overhead point surf!

Though I did not get video of this session, I am working to edit/format the video I took this past Sunday of me on my TRT at the gnarliest day I have ever ridden my local tidal bore. That's a whole story in itself, but suffice to say you have made a pair of steadfast converts to the ecstasy that is mat surfing. Thanks for making it all possible with the Fourth Gear Flyer line of radical surfing machines.

Jeffrey Gonzalez"

Apr 10, 2012

More Testimonials...

G'day Paul,

Got the mats today thanks for the prompt service.

Here's the update on how its been going.

Ive been riding the fatty every day enjoying the wild ride when its a bit bigger. Been experimenting with inflation levels getting them quite low on the fatty. Today I just kept letting more air out until after the wave I could barely manage to paddle the mat. It went good on the wave however fast and sensitive. It was lumpy and ill formed and I think on one wave after I broke away in 3rd gear I rode into a completely different wave, such was the speed I wasn't really sure !!! When I came in the mat was folding in half by itself and made me laugh a lot for some reason !

The beachy was clean fast punchy 1 1/2 to 2 X head high I took the standard out and straight away I was blown out at what a different ride they are, it pulled up high with ease and held a nice fast line. Thats the only go on the standard so far but I really like the feeling, cant wait for some bigger cleaner days to try.

Michelles been ripping on the standard. Today she took the tracker out and she said it was easier to turn up into the pocket, turn in general, fast and good glides. She having a great time and hooked.

That's it so far I'll update you on our progress as we get into our surfing

regards Bretto


Paul, I am stoked on this item, I've surfed for 20 years and I had wanted to try this, and I blew apart two 15 dollar 'tourist' models in one swell last summer, so this should be fun, we are getting some moderate sized (for NJ)wind slop this weekend, so I will let you know how it goes.

thanks Jason


Hi Paul -

YES! It just arrived. A quick look proves that it is an excellent mat. I held it up to my others and noticed that it is a tad narrower and a tad longer than either the UDT or the UDT roundtail. I thinks it's kind of cool to 'hide' the model info under the seam flaps.

I don't know if my skill level is good enough to have ascertained the difference between the various mat models if I were to just grab one with my eyes closed and take it out. The differences are subtle and only apparent when I hold the together and find an edge or an end poking out a little farther.

Will also try to pay attention to any differences between the hot waxes and non-hot waxed deck material.

Since I'm the designated snow equipment tech at the house I am somewhat familiar with hot waxing when it comes to skis and snowboards. I just heat it with an iron, dribble it all over the bottom, run the iron over it to spread it evenly, then it mostly all gets scraped off. The tricky thing comes right around now (Spring time) when warm conditions cause the snow to get 'sticky.' I have some secret sauce top waxes I use to help with that.

Anyway - THANKS for another XLNT mat! Will let you know how it goes.



very small 2-3, mostly 2, but beautiful day, paddled out to meet up with a friend of the fellow who takes me up as a guest. As I paddle closer to this fellow, he says, looks like a 4th gear flyer, i said yes, he said he bought one he believes in the very beginning, thought he might have purchased it through natural progression. he said he still has it, but is up at his home in idaho, he's going to bring it down next time, small world! MM


Mr Paul- Thank you- I wish I needed another mat. All I need right now is more time to use the mats and surfboards I have.
Tiny and cold here in Santa Cruz, I am drinking wine and joking around with my lovely wife.
All my best to you!


Cheers from Down Under I'm still enjoying the magic carpet ride, causes some surprise when I outrun and out gun Boogy boards, only thing mats lack is aerial attack, but I never needed that anyway



Thanks Paul! Very informative guide. Love the Greenough pics. Stoked to finally get out on a mat, been wanting to for a while now.


Hey Paul – Just wanted to let you know we have really been enjoying our 4GFs. They are really nicely made and super fun to ride. We really appreciate your keeping the art alive!

Best, Bart & Elaine


Thanks Paul. I am looking forward to the new mat.


P.S. About a month ago, I caught and made it out of my first barrel in years. Living in SW Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, the surf is either non-existent or pretty small. Having little ones has limited my ability to get over to the East Coast. I was at a slightly punchy, waist-high beach break riding my Tracker Roundtail. I ended up getting 4-5 barrels in about an hour and even made it out of one. I haven’t been barreled since surfing Hurricane Ophelia in 2005. The Tracker Roundtail changed what would have been a mediocre surfing session into a blast. Thanks for providing such a great product.


Hey Paul,

It was a fun little day. It was the second time I had met Dirk (I first ran into his at sandspit a week ago) and he was getting some good waves on his mat which inspired me to try out the funky mat I found at the swap meet. It was my first time ever riding one- I had a lot of fun, it's a good challenge. Dirk loaned me his 4GF mat for a few, it was a pretty huge difference. I want to get one of your mats now, I was looking at maybe the standard or the fatty.



Hi Paul

We have had the best surfs out the front here over the last couple of days. Chris had this really great wave and he said he took off and said to himself 'I'm not going to let the mat slide out" and just pulled the side up and dug the rail in and flew across the wave. Fantastic! good waves with long walls, I was going so fast I said to Chris it was almost scary... we were riding the classics... so much fun, we just love them.

Thanks again



oh yeah, i get stoked seeing you "go through the paces" on mat designs and concepts. always looking for that little extra something, just like in your surfboards. keep it up! Frenchy


Hey Paul,

How are you? Just back from a trip to Chile. Caught some great surf there. Big, clean pointbreak waves.

I brought your Vespa along. And had a hoot on it. Highlight was surfing a left point with waves probably couple feet overhead. I had an incredible time. Was with three buddies on the trip and they each took at least one session on the mat. It was so fun, for everyone. Just wanted to say, good on you for make a craft that generates so much stoke!

Thanks again for all your help.



Hi Paul,Just letting you know that the mat's arrived safe and sound.Haven't used them yet as the wave's have been good for short board surfing.Can't wait to start gliding,thank's again.
Bill H


Hi Paul:

Awesome! Thanks for the email, rider's guide, and update. I can't wait to get the Fatty out in the water. I'm really stoked. I've been coveting a 4th Gear Flyer for quite some time now. The Spring Break Sale was just the little oomph that I needed to pull the trigger. I'm an utter novice, but completely stoked to start learning how to ride a surf mat.

Thank you!



Hey Paul, I think I forgot to tell you that Blake's mat arrived safely, he loves it, is so excited to try it out....conditions haven't been such that he has tried it out yet, but he will soon, I am sure!! :)



The fatty came yesterday.....Wow...that sure was fast.....Thanks Paul....Have A Happy Easter!!!!!! Robert


Hi Paul,

I received the Vespa but have not tried it yet. It looks like a high quality rider.


Robert H


Hi Paul:

The 4th Gear Fatty arrived today. I can't wait baptize it later this week.

I didn't realize that you lived just up the road in Paso. If you ever organize surf mat related activities for the central coast, let me know, I would love to help and participate.




Hi Paul,

Good on you and thanks so much for getting it shipped so quick. Will definitely let you know how we go.



Apr 5, 2012

Ever Heard Of Him?

Jim Marshall passes. Learn more here...

Apr 4, 2012

Black Ball Season Is Coming!

So what's your perspective...

Are there black ball areas at your home surf beach?

If so, do you utilize them for enhanced mat surfing...sans boards and SUP's?

Will the lifeguards let you mat surf during black ball periods in your area?

Would you mind getting thrown out of the water if your local guard was Pam Anderson?

Other thoughts/feelings?

Apr 2, 2012

Somewhere North of the Mexican Border...

Cris and I will try to get you something better in the future.

Greg B