Aug 31, 2012

Tom In Brazil!

Hey Paul,

Some snapshots from Camburi today, just so you get a slight feel for the beach scene here.

Had some very nice slides yesterday and today until my legs started cramping - sometimes overhead (standing) beachbreak and some nice shoulders from a defined take-off zone.

I had my best and longest mat-rides today, so far, in large stuff and connecting outside and inside sections.

Went "over-the-falls" big time yesterday and got caught inside often, but with the mat I´m not afraid of hitting anything (except the bottom).

Even showed the guy in the local surfshop some mat-links (after a sale), after when local guy who´d casually dropped in on me showed up... They saw the speed, but if you´re not "standing up", you´re not a "real man", more like a freak, I guess.

No problem with that and the locals do respect other waveriders here.
I´ve always found a wave and stoke has surpassed ego and testosterone all over the world, so far.

Have a good Labor Day weekend.


Aug 29, 2012

From Jeff...

Hi Paul

I shunned work due to an eye problem today,couldn't see going to work when there's surf!
I surfed in victory at sea for 2 hours waiting for the switch.when it went offshore I grabbed the mat.Took alot of poundings but finally got a good one...inside arm back and outside hand on the rail and she went off like a shot!!!!

With the nose freed up she flies and does her own thing. Rolls onto a rail easier as well. Took alot of drifts in pounding swell and feeder bands but it was worth it!!!!!!!
The mat makes a good shield from driving rain as well.Thanks for the advice,I'm off for a nap!!!


ps couple morning shots before it cleaned up.

Aug 28, 2012

From Steiny...

Hello Everyone -

Please feel welcome at "Fin de Semana" A show of paintings by Dave Gardner and photos by Jonathan Steinberg. It promises to be great fun. We will run the show Garage Sale Style. Check the flyer. See you there!

Dave and Steiny

Fin de Semana
Paintings by Dave Gardner and Photos by Jonathan Steinberg
The Garage Sale Project
Between 730 & 740 San Jose Ave San Francisco, CA 94110
Saturday September 8th 7-10pm

Aug 27, 2012

From John Culqui !

Hi Paul,
Hope you are doing great. I wanted to share this piece a did a few months back been meaning to show you...yeah it's me if I had blond hair.
If your in MB stop by Kikau Kai on Highland and 13th, it will be there for a week or so longer, you can take a look at in person.
Have an awesome day!

Aug 21, 2012

From Brett...

Hi Paul,

Micro conditions here today, Michelle and Joy got the most out of the last pulse with a great session out the beach a couple of days ago, heaps of fun!

Regards, Brett

Aug 17, 2012

Sailing Away From Ego

Great story about Ryan Levinson's latest

Background on

Aug 13, 2012

2 Mats + 2 Paipos = Mini Stokefest!

Photos by Kenneth Samuels 
(whom Pranaglider has dubbed 
"The Official Photographer of the Revolution")

Aug 9, 2012


If these mats could talk!

Hi Everybody,

I have to go up to Oregon on family business, so I'll be out of touch for about 10 days. I should be able to get to a library computer to answer emails a few times while I'm gone...but orders for new mats will be on hold or a couple of weeks.

Hope you get some waves while I'm gone. (Nothing brings a swell faster than me leaving the coast!)

In the mean time, here is a collection of emails I've gotten in recent weeks.



Dear Paul

Thank you for the mats they arrived incredibly quickly and look great! Can't wait to try them out and will let you know how it goes when we hit the water here.

All the best

Alison and James


Here at Litle Dume in Malibu, have been belly surfing a knee board for a
long while (because of knee operation, can't bend it ennough for knee
boarding)so I'm familiar with that wonderful feeling of speed with your
head just above the water; would like to try a surfmat. But don't know which

I'm 88 years old, but in pretty good condition, weigh 205lbs, six feet.

Let me know which would be best for Little Dume waves and I'll order it

Point Dume waves are not typically huge, just lots of fun. By the way my
first surfboard was a big twinfin Simmons board, plywood with balsa rails;
while in college in 1948--my roommate lived near Simmons, wanted to buy a
new board, sold me his old Simmons for $25.00. I think it is in an Orange
County museum someplace now--I traded it for A Dewey Weber about forty years
ago--- which was stolen, so my board history is all gone



Hi Paul,

The mini mat has arrived! Looks real good. I'll get it in the water and let you know how it goes as soon as I can. Thanks,



Aloha Paul,

Thanks again for the Tracker RT! It was waiting on my doorstep Saturday as we returned from our weekly Costco run. I had an odd feeling it would be there, and as we pulled up my girlfriend said she knew it was there too as I got a huge grin on my face.

Rode it a couple spots on the southside yesterday, Lahaina harbor and another spot near 1000 peaks. It was kinda small so I really didn't get the feel of it.

Took it down to Ho'okipa this morning and had a blast! I think once winter swings around some juice it's going to get interesting.

Saw my shaper (Jeff Timpone) this morning down at the beach and I showed him the 4GF, instant grin from him too. His words were, "dang, lost another customer"...he was kidding.

I'll continue to be a 4GF ambassador as I know there's going to be plenty of interest.




Howz it Paul,

Got back Saturday from a vacation in Dana Point. Rode my mat all week and had a blast! The surf at Strands was running 2-3 early in the week and 3-5 later in the week. I hadn't ridden a mat since I was a kid but it came back to me rather quickly. The mat was really fast through steeper sections and I had some tail drift at times but I just dropped a fin in the wave face and that would straighten things out. Thanks again for shipping it so quickly and I really had a blast on it! I even had a grom on a sponge say "Dude, that thing looks like so much fun". So I chatted with him a while in between waves and told him about you and George G mat riding and told him to check out your website. Hopefully you will be getting an order in from the grom soon.

P.S. I think my mat rode great and being a newbie there is no way I could feel these design changes as easily as you with your years of mat riding. I'm so glad I bought the mat and can't wait to get out again this eekend.

Thanks Paul



Hi Paul,

We've had many days of good small beach days and a few point days. Michelle had her best session yet on the 5GF today on way overhead beachies, she got 3 screamers and has been amped all day on the biggest rides of her life. I have developed a manoeuvre which I named the train. Best done with a female mat rider where you ride up behind and lock on to the tail of her mat and continue to ride effectively giving you a rail line of over 8 feet, the rider behind has to steer as the front rider has no control, its a lot of fun.

Mat riding forever



Thanks for the quick and thoughtful response. I was down to the Vespa or the XL based solely upon your online descriptions. Have been gently persuading my spouse and boys that this is not Aqua- skipper II (see the internet and You tube) where my boundless reach exceeded my grasp and I ended up with expensive, interesting but useless, to me, water toys. One’s 15th midlife crisis can only explain so much.

Anyway, would like to order one. If you think the XL is best then lets ride with that unless your mind has changed. To jog your memory 6 feet 2, 240 lbs, 59. Actually, a medium frame with belly and bird legs that combine to make me look like a marshmallow with toothpicks. East coast surf 2-5.5 max. NC outer banks. Please tell me how to send check, cashiers or otherwise. Don’t know what your schedule is but plan to go to coast next (28, 29th) weekend. Any suggestions of fins?




Hurricane Fabio blew into to Orange County right on time. My wife Christine and I were on a walk to Trestles Tuesday night and I stowed my udt mat and fins in the backpack along with the dinner. We first checked cottons, then headed past uppers, lowers, Middles, etc. I decided not to head out any of these spots as the shortboard crowd was on top of their game and in full effect. So I stopped at a weird riptide/left into a little bay north of church but south of middles. It was pretty much pumping, and after my wife said for me to go on out and that she'd finish her walk alone, I suited up, inflated and began psyching out for the paddle & kick out. The left looked ideal for matting as there were no surfers up that far, and it was big and lined up, though bumpy and drifty.

As she walked away, I jokingly told Christine to check out 2 soldiers from pendelton preparing to swim out in full military fatigues. I couldn't believe that they'd try to swim in fatigues. I thought that this was part of some weird training regimen, but that they obviously knew what they were doing. After about forty minutes of catching waves and paddling back out I stopped once again to check out these 2 soldiers now roughly 75 yards off the sand. I noticed this time, unlike the previous paddle-bys I did, that one soldier was having trouble keeping his head up out of water. Then after I'd kicked over a wave and was about 50 feet further out one soldier began screaming for help. I kicked as fast as I could to get within range of these guys and just before another wave broke, I got the soldier most in need to grab the mat, which I now let go of. I instructed him on grabbing the corners and not letting go, and I simultaneously grabed his wet military fatigues behind his shoulders and began backstroke kicking as hard as I could toward shore. By now another surfer had made his way over to the less distressed soldier, and was helping him in. After getting hit by 2 or 3 sets and swimming like crazy dragging this guy, I finally made it through the shore pound and we washed up on the sand together. He was still gripping the mat for dear life. All he said was, "thanks." I told him not to go back out there, and walked up the beach just in time to meet up with my wife now returning from her walk. She commented on the two wet soldiers trudging back past church toward base. I related my story to her and just sat tripping out that I'd just been involved in the rescue of a soldier using my udt mat. We sat and ate dinner as the sun set in total disbelief. What a weird session.



Hi Paul,

Thanks for the info and super prompt shipping.

Looking forward to giving it a go!




hey paul.

just a quick note to let you know i sent my buddy brad to order a mat from you. hopefully you've connected. also, i believe another friend of mine from san diego got a mat from you, his name is Loren and he's taking it with him to Tahiti this month!

Nice! Just trying to get all my buddies on mats b/c its so damn fun.

hope all is well with you.



I rcvd it!

Thanks. Cant wait to use it.



Hi Paul, We've been on Bald Head Island NC since July 14. Have had several days of good waves. I'm having a ball riding Fatty. Stoked to receive compliments from the local surf crowd. Lots if questions and oohs and ahhs when beach goers note the portability. I brought Surfer's Journal with Inflatable Dreams article. Thanks to you I'm living the dream this trip.

Monday's waves brought out the best in Fatty. And I'm a more experienced pilot now and on better form than when we first arrived.

Fatty held it's position on right and left faces. It is night and day compared to my two "Drugstore" four-pontoon mats I also brought. A-OK to post my email. You might want to add that the performance of your three pontoon design is superb. I'm living the descriptions offered by Dale Solomonson, Kenny Hughes, and George G. In Surfer's Journal. And on the website.

I only wish I had this 4GF Fatty mat a decade ago. I love surfing but I love Mat Surfing even more. I like staying busy.

Thanks and best wishes, Frank


Stoked! Full of joy! So happy!

Overcast Sunday morning. Glassy Little Dume. Paddle out at the gully, Jamie on longboard, me on my custom FGF. Just the two of us. Float over the boil. First of four three foot sets. Kick, slide in front of foamy white water. Rip across the face, ride the section to the beach. Kick out to the boil. Take off, rip across the face, turn up and kick back out. Do it again. Heaven!

Jamie, of course, elegantly rode the crest of each perfect wave he caught.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, love, Sarah


Hi Paul,

The Tracker just arrived and now I think I’ll have to leave work early to give it a try! Thanks for signing it and putting my name, that was extra cool.

Best Regards,



I just ordered a Tracker Roundtail and look forward to re-living my



Hi Paul,

I just read your post "Tips From the Pros: Part Two!"
Great stuff that I have to try as soon as possible, but right now there are no waves in sight here in Sweden.

Recently I returned from three weeks of surfing in France. The most used surfcraft in my quiver were my mats. Actually I used them 3 out of 4 times and the other times I went out with a longboard.
Compared to last year I did much better and I had a lot of fun on the mats. There were also frustrating moments, especially when the waves were fast and steep. Sometimes I just didn't manage to generate speed and did not feel in control. Other times my rides were just a blast. Super smooth, buttery drops, accelerating fast and speeding high along the wave. Several times I ended up laughing loudly at the end of such a ride. Why do I never do this on my surfboards?
I just wish I could surf more consistently, with more control. On the other hand that's what makes mat riding so fun for me. It's new, challenging and I'm just at the beginning. Thanks again for the great mats and the new sensations they provide!

By the way I just published a new video
Surfing a standing wave in Munich. I know that I wouldn't have had nearly that much fun on a surfboard.

I hope you like it!

Kind regards


Hi Paul,

The mat arrived and is already tested in the med sea. Really good fun! Faster down the line than anything else! Now in summer there is almost no swell but winter is coming soon.

keep on matting!

saludos de Bacelona




Thank you. I have been dry docked because of a surgery, just got back in the water yesterday. I appreciate you shipping it right away, I'm excited!

Thanks, MArk


Hi Paul,
Grabbed the 5GF today, for some reason I felt compelled to take it today even though the surf wasn't very big. Loved it straight away felt fast and solid, rode at 180 to fold by itself inflation made duck diving easy. Its hard to put in words but I really have been happy after riding this mat and I know Im going to riding it a lot more after today. I always say about different models is they all go unreal they just go different. I noticed that the 5GF didnt have the same glide as standard ( remember it was small) but the speed enabled me to burn out a massive cutty if needed. I love the standard but I love the 5GF too now it makes me want to go in bigger waves than I thought I could on a mat.


Heres the link


My boyfriend arrives August 15th he is so excited about this mat. I am 100% positive he will be tearing through the box I’ll send you some pictures !



Thanks, Paul. It's a thank you gift for my brother in law - he's going to be so happy!



Hello Paul,

We're coming up on my 1st mat birthday and I'm dreaming of another one. (your sale got me off my ass).

As you know, one is not enough, ut what is the next one.

For sure I will be pushing up the size and speed of waves I take flight on this winter ad I don't chase the small stuff sooo... your Standard sounds about right ????

or what's the story of the 5th gear, I see some fast sections or big boil take offs and wonder ?

Your insight will help ,

My tracker has been out every where I surf but I have nothing to compare, never even seen another mat in the surf.

that will surely change.

I am forever grateful for the craft you provide




hey paul !

finally got a small wave session on the fatty here on lake michigan... i used to bodyboard quite a bit and it really is a whole different deal... old habits (arched back, head held high) will be hard to break ;-)

cant wait to get her out in some waves w/ a little juice where it might be easier to get positioned correctly on the mat...

still though i could feel the potential for pure fun...

thanks again !





Hi Paul,

If you are going to Italy, it's a short distance to catch some Dutch waves!
Today finaly some tiny waves. When't out on the UDT.
So i have a smile back on my face!




Aug 8, 2012

From Marco In Italy...

It's a pleasure to write down to you these few lines. I'm Marco, from italian no-profit association SingleFin SEA.

As you maybe know we are surfing enthusiasts and appreciate above classic surf and kustom culture but also innovation in surfboard shapes. So we try to keep alive that feeling through this modern days, altough it could sound a little strange as we spend most part of the year surfing in Italy, which is a pretty young country to surfing.

As every year since 2005 we organise our annual " classic festival of surfing" which have a strong national fellowship and it's mainly focused on classic surfboards shapes, shapers work and surf enthusiast. Many people comes and also shapers, during the past editions, from abroad (Europe and US) and they enjoyed our friendly base atmosphere. The festival also involves shapers, artists and musicians in a three days exhibition filled with friendship and joy.

It won't be merely a commercial expo of crafts, but a contact network between man and man: shapers, artists, surfers and simple audience.

This is to invite you to the next Classic Festival that will be held on 21st to 23rd September 2012 in ITALY - Versilia shores, along the northern Tuscany coast, Italy.

In any case please share this message thru shapers/surfers community all around if you like...

SingleFin Classic Festival is not a expo: it's all about sharing shapers/surfers/surfboards/custom-culture experiences.

Every shaper (professional or not) is welcome to exhibit his creations. Surfboards Design is focused on classic logs, eggs, fishes, mini simmons, finless designs, prototypes, fins evolution and so.

There is also an open-air shared space to freely exhibit your paintings/art creations other than surfboards.

Please contact us in advance if you want to be a part of it.

get stoked, always.

more info on the event: [IT] [IT/EN] [EN]


scheduled event:

Aug 7, 2012

From Tom...

Hi Paul,

just got back from more than two weeks of French summer-bliss in Normandy and Brittany.

Did some matting, too!...

Hope all is well on your West Coast.


Aug 5, 2012

More Brett, From Michelle!

Jeff from Florida...

Hi Paul

Suffering through our flat summer.

Found this. I need the auto inflate option after a long walk to my spot!


Aug 4, 2012


Photo by Glenn Sakamoto

It's all about spreading the mat stoke. All of it.

And this is why Pranaglider, Pranaspouse and I manned a booth at the Deus Ex Machina surf swap this afternoon. We weren't trying to sell mats, especially since the mats we brought were our own. It would perhaps be best to insinuate that we were trying to bring people over to the dark inflatable side. "C'mon in! The water is fine!"

It just hit me that matting is different from surfing in so many ways. Those of us who ride boards regularly find solace in the sticker that encourages people not to become surfers ("Surfing sucks. Don't try it."). The matting community is the antithesis of this, isn't it? We want people to try it. We want them to experience this thing that none of us has been able to eloquently describe. So, we were more than happy to go to the surf swap to spread the mat stoke.

We showed up with mats, a slideshow of mat riding shots and a couple of pairs of fins (which I ended up giving away, much to the disbelief of the folks who went home with them).

You know, we really must get Pranaspouse to do the PR for our community. She got people talking about mats even when they were only looking at paipos. Seriously, we need to hire her. Or at least buy her a lunch or two.

Spread the stoke, friends. It doesn't cost anything and it's the right thing to do. 

Aug 1, 2012

More Mat Stoke From Brett...

Hi Paul,

I just got back from a great surf on the 5GF in a bit bigger surf, the mat just went like a dream.