Aug 31, 2016

1986 Huntington Beach Riot

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Huntington Beach riots at the OP Pro surf contest.

It's an easy thing to mock, especially if you harbor anti-pro-contest sentiments. But the larger truth is we should be thankful that no one was seriously hurt, given how chaotic the event was...

Although no one realized it at the time, the use of raw TV footage to round up the alleged perps foreshadowed what would one day become the norm in law enforcement. Remember, this was 6 years prior to the Rodney King beating, which is generally thought to be the tipping point of video becoming a part of the legal process.

It surprised no one in the surfing community that bringing tens of thousands of non-surfing, marginally interested spectators to a beach -- then feeding them beer all day -- would eventually lead to violence.

It surprised no one, that is, except the people running the event.

But to their credit, the officials had the presence of mind to let the final heat (which was going on out in the water at the time) run long in order to minimize the number of people heading towards the parking areas at the moment the chaos broke loose. That decision no doubt saved lives.

What resonated with most surfers at the time, who doubted the value of large surfing events, was the validation of their belief that promoting surfing to "the masses" would surely lead to something unpleasant.

On August 31, 1986, they were proven right.

Aug 24, 2016

From Chuck ...



Here are a few pictures from Costa Rica...Avellanas Beach.  This is my son going out with my Fatty after he broke his board, 20 minutes earlier. 

Yesterday I believe Ollies Point saw its first surf mat ever as everyone out there was pointing and whispering until I caught an outside set wave (6-7 foot) and rode it ALL the way to the beach (sorry no pictures, surf was too good). On the paddle back out hoots and hollers all the way!! 

Pura Vida!

Chuck L

From Ian ...

Hi Paul,

Ahh... South of Australia!

What I do recall from when we lived here last was the long empty beaches, and since moving back here from Ireland we've resumed our exploration of these again in earnest. The last few weekends we've scored sunny sliders on some pretty fantastic beaches with few other humans about. 

Last weekend was even good enough to coax my partner out for her first session back in temperate waters. We had the Omni out for this microwave session and had smiles big and twisted enough to worry the locals...

All the best for now,


Aug 21, 2016

“Waves,” by honorary mat surfer J. J. Sempé ...

“It’s an obsession,” Jean-Jacques Sempé says, of his cover for the new issue of the New Yorker. 

“I would love to become a child on the beach once again. It may sound infantile, but that’s the feeling I long for: to be a child without care, taking in the immensity of the ocean and still feeling safe.”

Here is a slide show of past New Yorker covers by Sempé that celebrate the pleasure of being at the beach—for children and adults:


Aug 18, 2016

Testify, Brothers and Sisters!!!


Subject: Tracks Magazine - Surf Mats 

I work for Tracks Magazine in Australia. I have been meaning to touch base for some time as I have seen 4th gear flyer surf mats around in my  area. I grew up on surf mats as many grommets have so I  have a soft spot for them.  It also happens that we have just finished producing a film that will accompany an upcoming issue of the magazine with Dave Rastovich surfing on them.  Funnily enough the current issue of Tracks also has Dave surfing one.
I know there is a bit of interest around surf mats in Australia at the moment particularly on the North Coast.  I was wondering if you would be interested in tapping into this movement  and running an ad in Tracks.  I am happy to look at a mix of contra and paid ad to secure a couple as gifts for clients.

The film soon to be released is called Sojourn by Nathan Oldfield on the December issue. I think Nathan actually purchased one off you.

You are creating a product that is rare in this day - hand crafted. That's definitely part of the allure.  Your story is definitely interesting, so keep us in loop.

When you are ready to capitalize on the exposure please give me a shout  as I would still like to include a review in the mag.  If that works for you now let me know as I will see if we can do something in an upcoming issue. Otherwise we can do it at a later date when you can really benefit.
Anyway let me know if you would like more info or give me a buzz.



Hi Paul,

Thanks for building and sending out my new mats!

I took the Omni and the Lotus out over the weekend and had a blast. I seem to be getting the best out of all my mats at a 180 fold on both flatter and tubing waves, not sure if it's a weight thing as I only weigh about 70 kilograms?

I've also switched from Dafins to UDT's this week and that's made a huge difference to my matting.

Thanks again for making such amazing mats!!!

Take care, cheers,

Dan :)


Hi Paul,

Got the matts and rode them for first time this weekend. They are so awesome. We had the time of our lives.

Thank you for such a great product!

 Hi Paul ,

Just a quick note to let you know we received the mats on Sat. with the post.  Too much onshore to try as of yet ( busy windsurfing ) but Thurs. and Fri. look promising . 

Thanks for the rider's Guide. Good stuff.

Thanks again,

Best surf device I have ever owned!!! What fun !!

Chuck L
Hey Paul!

I ordered a surf mat from you a few years ago for my boyfriend, Ole. He has the XL. I was constantly stealing it from him because I loved it so much! He got me the Omni and we both could not be more pleased with both of the mats! They are so much fun! We love being able to catch a wave together and not have to worry about bumping into each other like you do with a board. People constantly ask us what the mats are called. We are referring your business all the time. I hope some of these people are contacting you for orders.

I also love the fact that they pack down so small. Every time I travel I always take my mat and short fins. We went to Kauai last summer and it was so sweet to have my mat with me! Way cheaper then trying to take a board since the airlines always charge a fortune for a big, heavy board bag. Ole and I also mountain bike on trails to more hidden breaks and take our mats. The mats are great for tiny and for big waves. So much fun! Thanks again for a great, versatile product!

Here's Ole and I on a super small day at Rincon. 

Thanks Paul!!


Sarah and Ole

 Hey Paul,

Been surfing my “Fatty” for a week now and am simply crazy about it. Seems like I was "born to mat” as I just seem to intuitively know what to do and how to react. Was flying by the “boogie” crowd was great fun. Finally managed to hook up with George last Sunday and we matted together down at Huntington Beach and it was my best day yet, had great ride after ride ‘till exhausted. 

And now for another request. I will be going to Daytona Beach for a month in October and will be taking my “Fatty” in order to abuse that unbelievable 1 -2 ft surf that left us speechless when we tried to board surf. I have another great friend who is going and I wish to purchase a mat for him. He is around 5’9”, 160 to 175lbs and an excellent athlete. Which mat would you recommend?  I was thinking maybe the Tracker?

Thanks, Paul,

Pat M


I started surfing here in 1964.   This year I turn 64.  I have bad shoulder due to 20 years  of using a nail gun...carpenters take note....can't paddle.

First flippers, small waves...didn't work

Second day , got my churchills, small waves...not very exciting.

At Fortunes Rocks, Biddeford, Maine,  we had  4'  waves yesterday...easily pulled into a four footer...kick only, no need to paddle...used my flipper to turn,  experimented with squeezing the mat,   Got into a flat spot where the ride should have ended,  still going fast, got into a reform...let out a hoot...kept going...

A couple on the beach  complimented me on my rides....they saw me preparing to inflate the mat...they thought it was a yoga mat!....they got real excited watching me ride.

As we talked and watched the other surfers, it occurred to me that they were working way to hard for their waves. Most standup rides that day were very short.  I think I got the longest ride of the day with my reform.

I ordered the fatty  because my preferred method of transportation is my motorcycle, an '84 650 nighthawk.

A perfect day...and hurricane season isn't even here yet!

Thanks Paul!

Matt J

 Biddeford, Me. / Phoenix , az



I love it. The Tracker has allowed me to catch waves I'd normally just get frustrated by.

My daughters loved it also. I'd like to order another so we can surf together.

would you recommend another Tracker or a different model.

I'm 5'6" 150lbs and my daughters are 5'7" 120lbs and 5'2" 90lbs (this one is still growing)

We surf and SUP and of course now surfmat! with moderate confidence.

Most of the time we're playing in the choppy waves of Georgian Bay, Lake

But we do travel and these mats are going with us everywhere.

Thanks again for enhancing my surf experience,

Hey Paul,

Hope you don't mind the longish answer...

First, our friend Cameron Wallace, a long time surfer, recommended surf mats in general and 4GF's in particular (he has several) when I quizzed him about various types of surfing. He let us try one (a Fatty, I think) and took us to La Jolla Shores (he grew up near this beach and visits often) where we had a blast in 1ft waves!

Really, everything about the mat suits my idea of what I'd like to get out of being in the water...I especially like the sense of being able to enjoy the waves just as they come, and not needing them to be any particular size or quality. Riding a mat also seems like good way to sort of side-step the whole hierarchical line-up aspect of surfing without making myself a hazard to others (like I certainly would with a SUP).

The mats seem to ride the surf in a more passive and intimate way than rigid boards do, and are obviously a lot easier to get to the beach.

But mainly, the mats are so very fast...and so very fun!

All the best,

Thank you!
Looking forward to trying it out in Bethany Beach DE over the Labor Day weekend. 


 Thanks Paul!

The Matt has well arrived!

We'll let you know how it works for us! Heading home to the southwest of France next week and will try it there.


Thank you very much Mr. Gross!

A good friend of mine Chuck Lambert has been riding on your mats for a few months and he keeps trying to get me to go out with him he says they are a blast! He has been surfing for over 30 years and I was a knee border from the 70s, And our age has  caught up with us, we found ourselves out there on bodyboards having a blast, then he found these mats, so I'm looking forward to getting mine. Our wives seem to like the idea as well laugh out loud it gets us out of the house out of their hair. Anyway have a wonderful day thank you again.

Lance ("Biscuit" )


Hi Paul,

The mat arrived today!...we took turns on it out at Ocean Beach and even without swim fins (that's the next purchase) we had a great time.

Thanks so much for making such a great surf craft, and getting it to us so fast!
Sorry no pics...we're pretty lo-tech.

All the best,
Eric and Melissa



Tom Sterne down here in Texas. Still riding the STD and the RT as daily drivers.  Time to restock  I suppose, tons of miles on these mats!



 Took the mat out today and yesterday. Waves didn’t have much shape to them but regardless that thing likes to haul! I’m stoked for the winter when we get some better lines. Fastest piece of gear I’ve ever used in the water. Thanks for the awesome piece of kit!

-Sean K

Mats received, hope to get in the water this afternoon


It arrived today...terrific! Greg is going to love this, he has wanted a fatty for a while and he got his fins today.

best, Rebecca

 Hey Paul-

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I am a 62 yr old life long passionate surfer, body surfer, diver and paddler, who just discovered the joy of surf mats. I am a total rookie on surf mats, I bought a -------------- brand mat ( Sorry I didn’t know any better :-), and was soon told 4th Gear is the only way to go ), and I am very grateful to be getting one of your mats.

I am 6’ and 160lbs, and surfing the the mat all year long, here on the the north coast of MA. I will be riding it in knee high mush to a little bit overhead and clean, water temps from high 30’s to low 70’s. 
Do you think The fatty is the right choice? Please check out  it is a non-profit my surfing buddies and I started recently.

Thanks so much,



hey Paul, its Dave Z from Costa Mesa. how ya been?!

had such an insane day at Blackies yesterday. surfed till blackball and then grabbed my mat and had another hour catching overhead lefts off the pier ALONE. like crazy shit, on a sunday?!

we’ve managed to build a solid crew down here now, bunch of our friends have ordered from ya. you should get some in Thalia Surf, they’d sell a ton.

Lux is still charging her mini-mat proto, but she should probably get something bigger soon.

i need to get one for my girlfriend. she’s about 5’4” 120lb. whatcha think, Omni? my friend Paul Schwartz ordered them for him and his son and i tried his. super fun.


Thanks for all your quick responses from the very beginning. 
I don’t remember exactly when I first heard about mat surfing, but since I’m 61 it may be from being familiar with George Greenough.

I have family in Encinitas (my nephew) so I go out every year to spend time with him and his family and we surf together.  A few years ago I was out there and was in Surfy Surfy.  I love that surf shop and remember when it was Long Board Grotto and I know that building has a long history in North County surf history.

Anyway JP Pierre introduced me to his dad Peter (Moonlight Glassing) one day. We started talking and he told me he had shoulder issues and he had been mat surfing lately.  Last year when I was out again I saw Peter  in the parking lot of Beacons and he was about to go in for a mat surf session.
I started thinking I should have a surf mat in my quiver but just never got around to ordering one.  Then this summer on my vacation in July while I was surfing I ended up with what I though was a slight groin pull but it ended up being a hernia.  I couldn’t surf or go to the gym and have been out of the water since mid July. I go for surgery in about a week and started researching exercise you could do while having a hernia and to help you recover after surgery.  Swimming was considered something you could do.  I thought if I can swim I can lie on a cushioned mat with less discomfort then a hard surfboard and maybe catch a few little waves.  

I’m going tomorrow though surf doesn’t look to good. Sunday we’re supposed to have some small 2-3 clean swell. I just want to get in a few times before my surgery. I’ll have this weekend and next weekend. Then the following Monday the surgery and a 4-5 week recovery before I can go back to full activity.

So that’s the long story of why I finally got around to ordering one of your surf mats.
Again thanks for the great service. 

Joe L


Day #1 first paddle out on the Standard. Oak St. Laguna 3-5’ low tide, on the hollow side. First ride, 3’+ easy 2nd gear, floated the inside pontoon into trim all across the inside section. Then it got better. 
I am so stoked. It completely blows away the ----------- brand mat I was riding. The textured deck velcros to your chest.

Can’t thank you enough for the Standard. Best ever.. From shitty to spectacular waves…its a smile-maker.

 Let me know if you want me to Yelp it or if there's some other testimonial that could help you.



There was a discussion on FB  Palos Verdes Memories. I contributed my current experience riding your mat here in Phuket Thailand and gave a link for your website.

I am in my 4th season of riding your mat and it is the most challenging, yet rewarding thing I have ever ridden. You have a good thing going on.

Michael R


Hey Paul;

I got it!  It looks great.

Thanks so much for knocking it out so quickly and for writing on the side of it.

She is going to love it.  I'll send you a picture or two.

Thanks again.

Rob B

 Thanks Paul.

I used to get flying (and pounded!) on big days at Newport (late 60's) on my trusty blue/yellow canvas mat. Despite being a stand-up surfer for decades, I have never forgotten how fun the mat was and look forward to introducing the thrill to my kids. Don't be surprised if you get a few more orders from this area!



Thank you. We will wait for the fun arrival
Mr Paul mat is the best  



Gloria and Paul,

The Vespa got to the post here fast because it had no air in it! 
I took it out this afternoon in 3’ Surf at Bombo beach. It catches waves so easy. Inflated to still floppy. Very grippy deck. Easy to duck dive and turns well. Thank you both.

Paul S


Big Mahalo, Paul

I'll for sure to keep you in the loop. 

Brian K, Waianae, HI

Wait...what? Brian Keaulana??? Are you kidding me? 
That's so bad ass that it's not even funny. 4GF in the house!!

Surf Sister

Thanks Paul,

I'm looking forward to it! I rode a mat for many years when I was in my early 20s while my badly broken leg recuperated. Then got back on my board until few years ago when my damn hip went bung.

I now have a new hip and at 61 I'm going to get back on the waves on the mat.

I saw one of your mats a few months ago at a little point break north of here (Gerringong Boat Harbour) when I stopped for lunch one day and chatted to the owner and watched him ride a few and thought “That’s for me”.

Funnily enough I also have a Vespa scooter so that’s why I chose that model!

We’ll see if I start a trend here in Narooma (you never know), as I haven’t seen anyone riding one around this area yet.

 Hi Paul -

Can't wait to receive it. I'll be taking it to Maui in a couple of weeks and then may brave the chilly Santa Cruz surf when I return home.



Hi Paul,

I rode a friend's classic for the first time today in Huntington Beach.  I had so much fun, came straight home and bought one.  Surf was small today so decided to try something different. Been surfing for 35+ years....needed that change today, it was awesome!

Hi Paul-

Had a super fun session on the mat this morning. Got some great waves.

Thanks for sharing such a fantastic way to play in the ocean!

Hope you have a great rest of your weekend,


 Just took it out...

:))))))))))))) is all I can say!!!!


Hey Paul;

My wife was surprised and so stoked to get her mat on her birthday.  We went to the beach that day and she got a little barrel and caught a ton of waves.  She is 100% hooked.  I wish I could have got a picture of her face when she came out of the water.  It was priceless.

Thanks again for the quick turn around and the quality mat.

Pictures will be sent soon.

Rob B


Just wanted to drop you a line.  Been in Costa Rica since Saturday brought my Fatty.  From the reactions in and out of the water I may be the first person to bring one here.

Mat is working great. Swell increasing from 2-4 on Saturday at Playa Grande.  3-5 at Playa Marbella on Sunday and Monday with it pushing 5-7 this morning in Playa Grande.

Tomorrow the mat is going to Witchs Rock and Ollies Point.

Very happy mat owner,
Chuck L

 Hi Paul,

Just wanted to send along a quick note to say THANK YOU for an awesome product and probably the fastest build/shipping time of any online purchase I've ever made. The Fatty is so much fun! Went out at Steamer Lane on some head high surf and man oh man does it fly. Now I understand what 'gears' mean.

Thanks again!


Still high from my surf last night. Caught one perfect smaller wave inside- 100 yards in the pocket. The groms were tripping out.

I'm totally in awe of how you never stand still for long, when it comes to mat design. Always searching for a tiny improvement here and there. You are an artist Paul. I have a deep respect for you.


Hi Paul,
In Taiwan now for work but a had chance to ride some waves in the Kenting area. Nice little beach break in 72 degree water. Loving the mat but I still have a lot to learn. The fact that it is so easy to travel with is a huge bonus.


Hi Paul,

True personal story I wanted to share with you as it has been a really uplifting experience.

I had an old friend show up who went down the wrong road and went through a lot but has managed to beat the demons and keep to the straight and narrow path. 

Well into clean living, he would go down and watch me surf. We surfed together as kids. I got him on the Vespa and he was blown away. Had tears in his eyes exclaiming I'm like a little kid!!!  He catches waves finless, gave him some UDT's but he still paddles in and rides waves the hard way anytime there's surf. He's in really good shape.

Being good and doing the right thing, going to church, the gym can be hard work and a bit boring compared to the alternative. Mat surfing has been a huge release for my friend.And a hell of a lot of fun!!

Now if I could only get him to put the damn fins on!!

That being said I need a new Vespa!!! Do I order it through the site? I feel naked without it.

Paul,  Thanks again for my UDT you made me last year at this time.  It has been to Mainland Mexico, The North Shore of Hawaii, and Huntington Beach and I enjoyed every second of it.

Keep up the GREAT WORK!

Hi Paul,

It has taken me months to order.  I wanted it ever since I saw a
guy at Rincon on a big nasty day, getting waves no one could or would

I am 74.

My Flyer arrived in 2 days!  I am happy as a clam at high tide.

The 4GF is everything and more than I expected, and will get me in the water on "short
board days" which I would otherwise not surf.  More days in the water.  Thanks so much for this opportunity.  I am spreading the word to family and friends.  It must be very rewarding to create something for the surfing world  go surfing that expands our options, and at the same time makes more waves used that would be wasted.


Hi Paul,

I rode some good barrels at doran beach (sonoma county) last weekend on my omni, it was a rare day.
Unusual to see it holding that well, usually closes out faster.

Gull island on the outside had 20 plus foot sets that you could see, they were probably surfable too if you were that guy. It takes the 20 plus foot swell to get the inside working 3 to 5 feet. 

First time in 50 years of surfing that time froze for me in the barrel and i watched it canopy over me relaxing in awe for several seconds.

I  double taco'd the omni practically had it aired down so lo (inadvertantly somehow, usually go single taco - ice cold water does that), then able to backdoor out of the beat down,

Yeah man, the mat had its finest hours, 

Thanks, Tom


 Aloha Paul,

I just wanted to let you know I am still having a blast on your mats I got a few years ago.

I got a standard, Vespa, and tracker , my friend talked me out of the tracker and has since got lotus I think.

Anyway I got one of my best days yet it was  at Honolua bay, on a fluke I drove over there of and there was only a handful of guys out. got 20 or so waves. I finally got my first real tube it was about 3 seconds I tried to just pull high line and let the mat do the rest.

My friend Eric got the Omni, not the lotus.  and last summer he got a great tube at Maalaea.

still stoked!

Mike W


 Aloha Paul

Just a quick note thanking you for another year in the water, all due to your mats !!!!!

All the best to you and your family, nothing but good things to come. 

Off again to new zealand this spring this time with a good wetsuit and of course all my mats.



 Dear Paul

I own a 4th gear classic and ride in Maine.  I an 52, weigh 245 lbs, 6'3" and surf through the winter (air 0, water 34).  I am looking to upgrade with a second mat as I love my first.  In fact I am coming to Santa Barbara in March for a two week vacation and hope to catch Hammonds / Rincon / Sandspit.  It looks like it has been going off the last few days.  Go El Nino.  I lived in SB for a couple of years in the 90's.  

I hadn't surfed for several months since I had double hip replacement so I have been matting my brains out lately.  It is starting to really click (my friends won't drop in any more for fear of being passed by someone on a blow up mattress) and it is my intention to mat while I'm in California.  I'm looking for advice on a model and to set an order in place to be picked up when I arrive in early March.  Maine surf is very much like Santa Barbara only much colder.

As always, I appreciate your time and assistance.  You have kept me in the water when I would otherwise have been dry docked.

Very truly yours,

Brian A


 Hey Paul, 

It's Allan over in Colorado. Thanks for the Fatty again. I've had it out in everything from punchy Kauai to lined up cobblestone point break and standing river waves. So fun!




Paul- Aloha from Kaua’i!

My mat came yesterday. I rode it today. Buoy, 51001 @ 8 ft 13 sec.  Fast falling swell. Cool, light west winds. No one out. Dolphins spinning and breaching, inviting, come out & play.  Clean, calm, not small, Steep on the peak. Little bit fast and then slow. Bowling Alleys 2-3ft

In a word, Finally! :-D

I’m Holding my line around big and fast breaking sections. Ho! I’m Tracking out of the whitewater lip on a late take off and gliding onto a clean face- no slide outs.

Wow! Did I just stall back door and set up a chance for a barrel- track through a crumbly A-frame buried in white water peak and  hold my line into clean shoulder?

Ha! I’m letting the mat fly off the peak and am gliding across a long soft shoulder across the flats into the next section and the next; pretty long ride! Carving cutback  even though I tried to drift with both fins out of the water.

It’s going really good! I think this mat holds and carves and does what I feel in the moment, better than anything I’ve ridden, by far. 

You’re a master craftsman and an artist.

Mahalo nui loa!


Sweet mat of success! Omni-vors rule!


So i absolutely LOVE the Omni that I got from you last year! Can't say thanks enough! So fun. Riding the mat has rejuvenated my love of wave riding as of late.

I pretty much strictly ride the beaches of the South Bay, most often Torrance Beach. Your basic beach break that is sometimes good, mostly pretty meager though.

I want to get a second mat so that my friends can paddle out on a mat sometimes too!

That was a wonderful surprise to see you in the water!  I wish I could’ve hung around longer to surf with you two, but I had to run off to kindergarten!  My wife and I teach shoe tying to the little tykes in our friend’s class.
I’ve been meaning to write you forever about the wonders of the Vespa.  It took me awhile to warm up to the new canvas-covered mats.  I really enjoyed how the pure nylon ones felt so “insubstantial” and weighed nothing, but were such powerful surf vehicles.

I started using the Omni and Vespa in more beefy and hollower surf, and have really fallen in love with the Vespa.  It tube rides El Cap like a dream.  And the cutbacks are great!  (Not there, so much.) 
The Vespa is pretty much all I use now, with the old ones just being back-ups and loaners.  I’ve turned on a few people, my buddy Jim being my biggest success story.  It’s really fun seeing the other matters in the water now, mainly I see them at Campus, but I run into the odd matter now and then at other spots too…

Better go check the beach, now that I mention it…


It was very big when I got to Campus Beach this morning, and forceful. It looked and felt almost too violent and overpowering. It was double overhead up at the top, and well overhead takeoffs at Poles. Wish you could have seen how different from yesterday!

I lurked just inside the pack at Poles, and caught a few which swung wide or when people fell off. Kenny showed up too, and hung in the same area. Then I got a really hefty set waves which grew bigger as I rode it, and I gained speed through a series of sections, faster and faster, rifling into each one high and from way back. It was spectacular, and I rode it past the stairs and beyond the water outfall down at the very end of the point, where you just can't go any farther. I'll describe the mat's dynamics later. It was the Omni. Then, while I was doing the long walk back up the point, I saw Kenny get a grand wall and haul ass down the line -- same deal, connected all the sections and ended up at the absolute bottom of the point! He had to go home then, so I didn't get to talk to him about it.

I paddled back out but thing's were changing. It was still huge, but not as violently insistent. Also, I was feeling tired. So I caught one more, rode to just inside the stairs, and cashed out. Quite an epic day, and a whole different mat riding dimension. 
They call me MISTER Dirk!


Morning Paul,

Hope all is well. Just wanted to let you know that I was able to get the Lotus variant out for the first time in some big swell at the Lane yesterday and Friday.

My first impression is that this is exactly what I was seeking for waves head high and above, you nailed it! It really seems to track well and pull high into the pocket and stay there. It has much more hold at higher speeds than the Vespa, which I could definitely feel translating to more drive, particularly over the sections of the reef where the wave jacks up.

I'm excited to play with inflation a little more, if anything I think I may have overinflated. It will be interesting to see if lower inflation allows it to break free easier for slides and cutbacks, without compromising speed and positioning. At about a 90 degree inflation, it was harder to break from the line that the mat wanted to set naturally.

Overall I am incredibly happy! Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions and work your magic on adapting the Lotus for a guy my size!


Hey Paul,

Super excited to get the mat.  Had a few cheap imitation mats in the past and I'm happy to be upgrading to yours as I've heard such great reviews.  We're heading to Baja in 2 weeks so I'm excited to let it loose on some point breaks down there!



Hey Paul, 

The Omni arrived already... Melissa will be totally stoked! Thanks for getting the mat to us so quickly and for making such top notch surf craft.  Looking forward to catching some fun waves together.

All the best,



Just had to write back to you regarding my experience on my Standard the past month or more.  
As you know the waves have been off the charts this January and February.  Not sure if I figured out the right inflation, or I have just figured out how to ride this mat, but I have had multiple incredible session on it.

The best recent was this past (big) Wednesday out at campus point.  I scored lots of waves among crowds of surfers and was feeling great, but the best was still to come.  I picked of a shoulder to head high wave at the inside point and rode a screaming face all the way down to poles.  The ride did not go unnoticed, as a few folks commented to me either later that day, or one a few days later when I saw him.

Even when the surf is only waist high, so long as the face is fairly steep I am getting great rides on the Standard.  I have even gotten to the point where I can ride through some of the "dead"sections while the wave reforms and I can take off again.

While we really need some rain down here in Santa Barbara, I will keep riding the Standard in the great waves we have been getting.


So I was checking Refugio yesterday, after failing at El Cap to duplicate my stellar session there the day before.  I saw a couple matters entering the water and thought perhaps, hmmm, Paul and Dirk?  The binos didn't help identify you two, but as soon as I saw a couple rides I knew it wasn't either of you!

I also noticed a good bit of oil sheen on the inside and asked a nearby guy in a wetsuit about it.  Turned out he had a 4GF mat too!  What the heck is this?   Mat rider convention?   The two in the water were his wife and a friend of hers.  He introduced himself as "Greg from Oregon."   He was pleased to meet me, and when the ladies came in pictures were taken, which you may well have already received.

There also was a buddy of yours, Dirk, named Phillip. Another guy showed up, I think he said his name was Ara.  So, the upshot -- a bunch of people at Refugio yesterday.  And the day before sounded even more crowded, meanwhile El Cap was funneling like mad with just me and 3 others out. Go figure...


Today's bonus photo.  Goleta Beach a week or so ago...


Aug 14, 2016

More Mat Stoke From Adam ...


Rode my Mick Mackie designs fish Monday, and had a break from the mats...


Tuesday was small but super clean, and just Neal and myself for a hour before the local crew paddled out.


The mats were still humming down the line, giving us room to crossover even though it was only a couple of feet.

Pam Burridge and a few of the local lads...


 This is where we were surfing Sat/Sun...

Loving the ride of the Omni, we are still scoring plenty of swell and waves this winter. I was lazy last Saturday and didn't check it first up, so by the time I did the tide was filling in and had a hour before the onshore kicked, surfed by myself on the Saturday...

...then had Neal join us for the Sunday surf. The swell had backed off a bit, but still enough to rip the mat from my hands on my last wave, it rode it all the way to the shore by itself. I find the canvas decks the best in the large bumpy surf, plenty of grip for the body!

Always good to have a coffee with the local crew, post surf! Now who said we don't have kangaroos bouncing down the road and drinking coffee?

Aug 12, 2016

From Tim and Christina ...

Hi Paul,

I hope you are well.

It has been a while since my last mail. My wife Christina and I just returned from some weeks of vacation in the southwest of France. We had beautiful weather and I surfed every day, most of the time on a mat and occasionally on a paipo. The waves ranged from almost to small to ride to solid 7 feet swell with on- or offshore wind and all combinations thereof.

This year Christina and I spend more time together surfing mats. She has progressed quite a bit and the surfing with her are my favourite memories of this vacation. After one ride on the OMNI she told me how “shocked” she was about the speed that she got. I just replied: “I told you :-)”

 Here is a little story that I would like to share with you: On a day with a particularly nice morning surf, I decided to test a new water housing that I had got for one of my cameras. As we returned to the beach in the afternoon I was really disappointed. The wind was now strong onshore and turned the surf into a week mess with murky water due to the low tide. I didn’t even want to even bother with the camera.

Christina however, positive as she always is, encouraged me try it anyway and so I did. On top of the really bad surf conditions it was super bright and I couldn’t see a thing on the display. I had no clue where the focus was and most of the time I had to guess if I was recording or not. When I left the water I thought that it was a total disaster. However, I managed to salvage some of the mostly blurry video material and edit a short and dreamy little video that I call “Rêverie d’été” (a hopefully correct Google translation of “Summer daydream”).

Again and again I am surprised how much fun a surfmat can be in bad surf. You can see it in Christina’s face. It’s real. I don’t know about you but these moments touch me and that fun and joy is the reason I am surfing too.

With kind regards,

Aug 11, 2016

From Clay ...

Hi Paul,

I hope all is well.

We had a great trip in Maui.  Tavish loves the water but hates wearing a life jacket, so only a short session on the mat with him.  I look forward to when he is a little bigger and doesn't need a pfd.

Here's a video of my trip with a short mat segment! Mat action at 2:40!


Aug 9, 2016

From Surf Sister ...

My response? GET A MAT !!!


Aug 5, 2016

Surfmatters In The News ...

Slowly but surely, the growing number of mat riders worldwide are starting to penetrate the media.

Needless to say, the SCUMM mob has garnished its share of ink.

Article here... 

And the effervescent Surf Sister is profiled here!

Aug 3, 2016

... And Kiss Our Pagan Arses Whilst Yer At It, Mate !!!

No, it wasn't enough, those last three posts. The aptly named SCUMM crew just had to pip in with another drool-inducing vid...


This is the prequel to the prequel, throwback Thursday ...I was at home and noticed the wind had backed off, drown down to the Island for a squiz, no one out, so rang and woke up Neal, by the time I had hit the beach and paddled out, a longboarder had beat me out to the lineup, with Neal following 30 minutes later. Winter and the empty line ups have finally arrived on the South Coast!
You had Eric in hysterics over the Seppo Wanker comment, too funny!!! we have too many seppo friends living over California & Hawaii to piss them off with that comment.

This is me being a ozzie wanker with friends over on Maui  !!!

Thanks again & Aloha



Aug 1, 2016

In Your Face, Seppo Wankers !!!

As if the last two posts weren't a dagger in the heart of Northern Hemisphere mat riders enduring yet another flat summer, ol' Adam just had to forward this, the prequel to their day in the sun.

Thanks Mate!

Howdy Paul

To complete the box set, here is the prequel. Justin and I paddled out in the dark at 6.30am...our first 4 waves were to dark to film.

Neal paddled out by 7, and we only had another 3 stand up riders to share with for 3 hours.

I normally never lose my mat, but got compressed on a late set wave finishes with myself on the Island looking for a black mat amongst those boulders. I nearly gave up looking, and just then the sun shone on a bit of blue happy, it only took me 40 minutes to swim round, climb up over boulders, retrieve and paddle back out!

Regards & Aloha