May 28, 2012

Latest Mat Max Update...

Hi Paul,

Howzit? I've been riding Bob Clark's XL lately and loving it! The Mini is languishing because the waves have been micro every time the condition come right.

Here's a post for for you to put on Surfmatters if you deem it fit for publication (feel free to edit):


Over the years the air volume in my surfmats has become much more consistently set at precisely 90 degrees bend (without stretching the fabric and at ambient water temperature) to accommodate a broader array of conditions.

I generally use three specific amounts of inflation:

1. 180 degrees bend for rocketing across rare super-clean fast small walls.

2. Right angle for anything from sub-average to excellent conditions.

3. Blown up hard specifically for extra-gnarly sucking-out dredgers.

For my tastes, exact 90 degrees bend offers a magic configuration of; comfortable stable platform, rails with crisp tucked under edges, sharp shallow channels, and sufficient flatness across the pontoons.

This ideal combination results in good handling, grip on the waves, and high speeds. Personally, I've found no appreciable benefit from adding or reducing a bit more or less air. Of course this is just my own preference, and I'm not dissuading anyone from making subtle adjustments to their own mats.

My intent here is to encourage other matters to give this technique a go and share their opinions.

Another great aspect of this 90 degrees inflation discovery is that it's super-easy for people who have never matted before to have an fun time getting the best feelings. I'm really stoked on being able to just set my mat and go without thinking or making mistakes. For me, 90 degrees bend is just the right angle!

Cheers Mates,


May 27, 2012

Yeah Brett, They're Good Enough!

Hi Paul,

Michelle took a few photos of me riding the standard at Lennox. It was very crowded but my matting buddy and I got a few. We go at each other taking it in turns for the inside on our shared waves. Feel free to use any photos if they're good enough.


May 22, 2012

JB and MP From The OC...

Hey Paul,

JoshB just posted a new video from the other day....It was the maiden voyage of my latest paipo (# 7 I think) .... We switched off riding the TRT and the Paipo and I bodysurfed a few while letting a cute surfer girl ride the mat :)

Thanks for the bait! -MattP

May 17, 2012

From Matt P...

...a mini-wedge from the other day. Pigdogphoto on facebook sent me the shot.. Riding a very leaky tracker round-tail :)


San Diego Mat Surfers....

Pride Surf Shop at 5035 Newport Avenue in OB is getting some 4GF's in this weekend. 3 Classics, a Fatty, and a couple of Standards. If you're in the area and want to purchase, or get a hands-on look/feel of our mats, drop by...

May 16, 2012

From Marc!

Hi Paul,

Just came back from France (Lacanau-Ocean).
We had great weather! The first two days there was hardly any wave to find.
But there was this one set of waves which rolled in from the skies.....
I didn't photoshop the picture!

After a few days a small swell rolled in of 3 to 4 ft fun waves!

And the last picture...

In Holland a good swell is coming in these days.
So i'm heading to the beach!
Say hi to Gloria.
Speak to you soon.



May 15, 2012

Michelle On Her 5GF...

Hi Paul,

Got the 5GF's, puffed one up, and they sure look lean and wicked. Should get the chance for a test run the next day or so.

I had to have a day off mat surfing because after going every day for 6 weeks, I'm a bit mat surfed out! Especially since we have had pumping waves for weeks it seems. I've gone down a couple of trouser sizes as well, and my injured leg is responding very well to all the flippering.

Mat riding is such a full body work out its amazing how fit I've become in a short time. Now its become something more than a hobby or sport, it's a lifestyle !!!!

Here's a couple of photos of Michelle on the 5GF. With her light weight, she can make it fly even in small stuff!



May 12, 2012

Celebrating His 4th Anniversary With A 4GF...

Lynn Lane is cancer free 4 years today! So he did the only logical thing...he treated himself to a new 4GF mat! More of Lynn's great work is here...

From Daniel...

May 9, 2012

Lucky OC Surf Contest Fans!

Check out the latest incarnation of surf contest promotion! At least, that's what I think it is...

Makes me wish I was down south this week!

May 8, 2012

Peru, 1966...

Hi Paul,

Encouraged by the Peru ‘56 photos you just posted:

I hope you dig this pic of me in the plastic boat on the right, my cousins on mats, my aunt and friends in the pool, here 10 years later in Lima, summer ‘66!!

Good times....

Bye, Juan


Juan in 2010...

May 7, 2012

So Cal, 2010...

Photos: Ken Samuels

May 6, 2012

Peru, 1956...

In The Post-Apocalyptic World...

...pigs and fish will surf mats...

...rave queens will be carried to Valhalla on inflatable thrones...

...and corporations like Nike and Goodyear will become involved in professional surfing!

Yeah, like any of that could ever happen...

May 4, 2012

From Steiny!

hi paul- here are some shots of prone surf legend brian himlan making use of the never to be famous secret spot somewhere between big flat and big rock.

disfruta! steiny

May 3, 2012

Gonzo Unplugged...Unplugged!

This Friday's gig for Ace Gonzalez And The Surf Film Sound at Froggy's in Topanga Canyon has been cancelled. The show was going to be acoustic. No word on any rescheduling.

Next up for AGATSFS is at the Bootleg Theater in L.A. on June 6.

Another Sh*tty Day In Paradise!

Description of an average mat day: walked up the way to the place where its never any good (and no one's out) and spent about 3 hours on some 100 yard or so long screamers both ways. Guys are working on the railroad tracks above and were hooting every now and then (which I'm too cool to care about, but is cool nonetheless).

Thanks for the fun Paulie,


May 1, 2012

JJ's Homage to Woody Woodworth And The CDM Mat Rats...

There aren't too many beach communities in the world with more loyal regulars than Corona Del Mar...and the surfing history of "CDM" is long and colorful. Here are some fantastic movies shot in 1938, before the current rock jetty was built on the south side of the harbor entrance...

Corona Del Mar is situated near Newport Beach, just south of the harbor entrance. And what's on the north side of the harbor? The Wedge! As a result, CDM gets no where near the love from the surf media as their big brother to the north. (The locals prefer it that way!)

While bomber south swells are jacking themselves up into 20 foot faces at the Wedge...

...CDM enjoys more civilized waves on either side of the harbor's south jetty.

On smaller south swells, those same waves run along both sides of the jetty at a much closer proximity. In fact, the curls usually intermingle with the jetty rocks, leaving no margin for error for anyone who chooses to ride them.

In the 70's, CDM local Woody Woodworth began modifying surf mats to ride the waves off the south jetty. What Woody did was take the stout, top-of-the-line Hodgman/Converse mat, and bond a second layer of canvas to the deck and bottom. He also took advantage of the more stable pontoon structure (due to the two layers of canvas) and attached small fins to the outer rails. The double layers of canvas provided added toughness, and the fins allowed the rider to surf away from the jetty with little or no chance of sliding out.

The CDM mat crew loved Woody's mats, and rode them all over Orange County...

The Greenough-inspired mat riders up in Santa Barbara (such as myself) were on a different philosophical track. We preferred pliable mats, and never used skegs. Of course, we were surfing pristine point waves, so our priorities were different. When I moved down to Orange County in the mid-70's, I rode the CDM Jetty...and quickly saw the point of Woody's mats!

Our own Jonathan Jarrett was one of the kids who fell under the spell of the older CDM Mat Rats, and became an exceptional mat rider. He even built his own canvas mats, and collected everything inflatable he could get his hands on.

(Photos Ken Samuels)

JJ's Partial Mat Collecton

A while back, JJ asked me to build him a copy of the old 5 pontoon Hodgman/Converse that had gone out of production in the mid-70's. He also asked me to make it out of the thin blue 4GF bottom fabric, top and bottom. I had no idea what he was up a few weeks after I sent it out, I asked him about the performance. I was met with a cryptic, "Uh, haven't ridden it yet..."

A few days ago, JJ fired some photos my way. What he'd done with the 5 pontoon mat was cover the top and bottom with canvas, then add fins to the outer rails. In essence, he made a re-issue of the Woody mats of the 70's.

JJ is a machinist by trade, and his attention to detail is awesome!

So there you have it...another high point in the time line of mat surfing's history! Well done, JJ.