Aug 31, 2017

More From El Chucko

Today from the jungles of Nicaragua!!

Aug 30, 2017

From Rob



My Saturday was filled with Joy and friendship, powered by my Vespa RT SS!

Chris got some sweet shots on a beautiful summer morning! The waves where super soft but the Vespa RT SS allowed me to get in early and draw some really fun lines. Ryman and I have been practicing our board/mat party waves ๐Ÿ˜‚! Stay Stoked, I'm sending lots of Positive Vides and Healing Energy my friend! I've got to run, it supposed be better today.

Rob Pollard

Aug 28, 2017

From Chuck

Playgrounds, Nicaragua on the Fatty!!

Aug 24, 2017

From Rob and Tristan

There's surf fishing, and then there's surf fishing...

Tristan picks off a bomb!

Aug 19, 2017

From The Author of ''Assholes: A Theory''

Surfing With Sartre: Does Riding a Wave Help Solve Existential Mysteries?

Full book review here ...

From Steiny

Ryan playing catch-up at Secrets...

Aug 18, 2017

From Ellis: Byron/Lennox Rogue's Gallery

From left to right: Chris Brock, Ellis Ericson, Glenn Casey, Joy Ford, unidentified...

Aug 16, 2017

From Kenneth

 Kenny Hughes and "Brocolli" (John Brockway). Costa Rica, 1976
Hey Paul,

How about a nice weekend yarn?

So the year was 1967, and Stan Pleskunas had given me my first real kneeboard.  Up to then I was riding a belly board I'd made with the help of my brother-in-law in his mom's yard.  I'd never heard of "blanks" and I got the yellowed foam from an insulation company!  That board was sort of doomed from the start, but I had fun on it.  Stevie Lis was dying laughing when I told him I got the foam from Ridout Co.  "No, Kenny, you get the foam at a surf shop!"

For some time I'd admired the advanced surfing of Stan and Stevie when they showed up at South OB, and was thrilled when Stan gifted me his board, though it was a bit thrashed.  His VW van "Flash" had been T-boned in OB, with this board in back, pinballing around in there as the van tumbled.  Stan was unscathed, but the board had so many holes Stan had just filled them all with wax.  No matter, it still worked for me.

The fish was soon to arrive on the scene, but hadn't quite yet, and this was a soft-railed, round eggy thing that turned wonderfully, and really sped down the line, even in its impaired condition. I was surfing Ab one late afternoon when I took a bad wipe and lost it.  Leashes were also yet to be invented, and anyway I never would've used one.  I looked all up and down the beach in vain.  Thinking I might get a better view from the top of the cliff, I went up there and ran into Wilbur Crane.  As the sun set and I paced and lamented, Will says, quite prophetically as my life turned out, "Hey, forget about the board.  I saw this guy, George Greenough, at Pipeline riding a mat. You ought to get yourself a mat."  I thought, "A mat?  No, I want a real board."  And went on home, dejected.

Meanwhile Alan Seramur and buddies are two reefs down at New Break and find my board floating in the channel between there and Chasms.  They figure I'm dead, and lacking a body, decide to have a funeral of sorts at Nubes and bury the board there!  I love the fact no calls were made, either to rescue-type authorities or my mom.  "Oh, bummer. Kenny died.  Let's just bury his board.  Anyone got another dube?"

The next day at school Alan was quite surprised to see me alive and well.  He told me the story, as well as the whereabouts of my ad hoc grave.  I went down after school and dug up the Lazarus board, which was now on its second rebirth...

There you have it!


And older, and far wiser, Mr. Hughes enjoying the fruits of modern mat surfing...

Aug 12, 2017

RIP Eric

RIP Eric Bridges  29/8/1953 -11/8/2017

A true Water Man who Loved and lived life to the fullest! 
Mat Surfer, Kneel Boarder, Spear Fisherman & Soul Bro!

Thalassophile (n.) A lover of the Sea, Someone who loves the Sea and Ocean.

SCUMM Brother & Best Friend. Our Mat Man, Eric 'da bolt 'Bridges, has finally succumbed to his battle with melanoma and slipped away peacefully on Friday night, 6.30 pm.

I had been thinking of him all day at work when his daughter Julie rang me to say that her Dad did not have a lot of time left and that we should head up the following day to say our final farewells. So when I received  another call later that night saying he had finally passed away, there was some relief amongst our tears as we knew that he was finally released from his pain and battle that he had endured the past 10 months.

With all the Love and Support that we could give him, and to make that journey as comfortable as we could, true SCUMM Love for one of our most beloved Friend, Mate and Mentor...Gunna miss you so much my dear friend.

"You might have beat me to the gate, but I will one day join you again soon me a spot in the line up."

RIP my Friend,

Adam Williams

Adam and Eric


Aug 10, 2017

Tips From The Pros: One Arm Swim-In Takeoff

Hi Paul,

All is well here. Lots and lots of fun surfs on the SS Standard and Polara. I wish I were able to offer you new feedback, but really, I haven't any. Almost wrote a few times to describe particular sessions, but in the main, I missed much of the winter's bigger swells due to work, and this spring and summer have been pretty unremarkable in SF/SC.

Yet of course, each go out has been rich, enjoyable, therapeutic. Lots of goofy misadventures: lost a mat in sizable Lane surf after dark, a spooky swim and then to my amazement, the deflated mat was in the foamy shallows by the steps, black smudge against streetlight sparkle-black... stoked!!!! Locked the keys in the car at Kelly's and had to beg a surly Muni bus driver for a ride home in dripping wetsuit... stuff like that :) I think it's a combination of something intrinsic about mat surfing and about becoming an aging surfer, but surfing seems more and more about the entire experience surrounding the ride as much as the ride itself, and I love it.

Anyway, I'd love to pass on this bit of info on Surfmatters, if you see fit. Just the kindest regards to you, and as always, a huge measure of gratitude for your surf toys!



Rendering of the below described technique. Pen and ink on a piece of paper. Jonathan Hess. 2017.

I've been wanting to share with my fellow mat enthusiasts the technique for catching waves by swimming in (as opposed to kicking only). For me, it's a much better way to get in the wave, and has numerous advantages.

1. Approach the wave however you do- kicking, paddling, whatever.

2. When you're where you want to start paddling, slide off the back of the mat. Pivot toward shore.

3. Reach out one arm- probably your writing-hand side- onto the mat (since I'm a lefty, I've drawn it and will describe it how I do it, right-handers just flip my description). Body in water up to left armpit, chin on mat. I've got the root of my left arm resting in the left side crease formed by the pontoons, angling toward the center... my fingers spread to lightly grip the width of the center pontoon.

4. Swim, kicking and stroking with the free arm.

5. When you feel yourself being pulled by the wave, pull yourself forward in a one-arm version of the usual "pop forward". I'm sorry if this seems a cop-out, but this is hard to describe technically. Basically, you're momentarily putting weight on your forward hand and simultaneously giving an extra kick- really, almost like what you do normally with two hands forward.

That's it. It's really not hard; I spent one session learning it. Pick a day with surf with a decent amount of push. It's all about getting a feel for using your extra available body length power (which is awesome!), developing the feel for when you're planing sufficiently to "pop forward", and popping forward with the one arm only, which is a lot less daunting than it seems.

I feel there's nothing but advantages to this technique over kicking in. You can catch the wave much earlier; you can get up to speed faster, and you'll move faster than you would kicking. When lining up the wave, you can paddle closer to the optimal spot before turning; instead of the hooking circle you make when kicking, with your body straight down in the water you can pivot on a dime. You can use soft, light, short fins because of the greater efficiency of having your core helping you kick.

And I'm of the opinion that swimming long, strong strokes is a more elegant way to catch the wave than frantically kicking, making a big, messy wake- to my mind, more in keeping with the cetacean elegance of the mat ride itself.

Oh yeah- you get more waves too :) Try it!

Aug 6, 2017

Testamonial - Palooza !!!

Hi Paul,

I surfed mats in the 60's, mostly in Belmar and Long Branch, NJ. They were the traditional canvas mats with ropes that I decorated with a black marker. I didn't have a car so I had to take a train, which passed by about half a mile from the beach, so I had to walk in to the beach and change there, putting my clothes in a rental locker.

We didn't have Surfline then, so I never knew what I would find when I got to the beach, anything from 1-2 footers to overhead. I was able to get off for Labor Day weekend (1967) and when I left the train station, I thought that they were piledriving some supports, because there was a rhythmic thump I could feel and hear. I got to the beach and there was a hurricane swell with triple overhead waves coming across the jetties. 

The lifeguards had closed the beach to everyone, surfers included. I met some friends from my high
school and waited all day until the lifeguards went off duty. The beach had pretty much cleared out because of the conditions. The surf had stayed up and was clean. I wanted to get out but there was no way to get my raft through the shore break. I got the idea of deflating it and managed to duck dive with it and get way outside.

There was no one there, probably because they either couldn't get out or had too much sense to try it. I treaded water and inflated my mat.  I managed to catch a ride in that nearly went from jetty to jetty, got out and deflated the mat. I swam out again and reinflated the mat. I looked at jetty on my right and saw some guys with a rope trying to work their way over the jetty. I figured that someone had a problem on the inside and was in trouble. Luckily I caught a wave in, got out and then got surrounded by the police and the guys with the rope. They had spotted me and thought I had gotten swept out and were trying to save me. No jet skis available back then...I explained to them I was just surfing but they were so pissed off I was escorted from the beach. I got my clothes from the locker, went to the train station and came back home. I didn't mention any of this to my folks. It was my first introduction to big wave surfing.

  Great memories,



  Paul, You're the best!  We are still down south, and will be home by Saturday night. Fun waves at Rincon yesterday, maybe a trip to The Ranch before heading on our way back north Friday. Have some vids and photos from Sandbar session on Tuesday. The Omni was fantastic!  Started with more air, then it got faster as I deflated it some and the tide dropped. Some real screamers off the top of the bar. Out by myself for an hour--so fun.  My bro was stoked you liked his record; Dirk can email him to get permission to use the tracks on a video.  Stay in touch; I will be down again in July and maybe we can get a south swell session then.

Take care,



Thank you for your reply.
I am sure Cedric will love his birthday present!

I will provide him with the Rider's Guide when I receive the surfmat.
I will also give you some updates as to how it goes for him as soon as possible.




Hi Paul,

I am looking for a mat to ride in very small mushy conditions.   I currently have the fatty and take it out in conditions under 3 feet but would like something that works even better in really small 1 ft conditions (I mainly surf beach breaks).  

Looking that the mats on your website it seems like both the xl and vespa are the next size up from the fatty.  Just wondering what the differences are between the 2 and which you would recommend (I am 5 ft 9 and 187 pounds, and am average in matting ability , meaning that I can set my line and keep in the curl of the wave but am still getting the hang of doing turns or cutbacks.  I tend to inflate my mat so it bends at 90 degrees).

btw on a side note , I found that while you certainly cannot ride a surfmat like a bodyboard,  you can ride a bodyboard like a surf mat.  by taking the skills I learned from matting over to bodyboarding I have improved heaps bboarding. 

Anyway thanks for continuing to put out such a great product.



PG- I had such a good slide at indicators this afternoon. Wow!  I feel so elevated. Chris Cravey was out on his 4th gear too. He was surfing well. A young man on the inside looked at me enviously and said "that looks so fun". Thanks for all. My mats make me so happy.

Best to you and Gloria. Steiny


Thanks Paul!

I can't believe how enjoyable it is riding waves with your mats.  They have become my "go to" surf craft no matter what the surf conditions are, whether I'm surfing here at home or while traveling on vacation.  

Best regards,
Awesome! Thanks Paul. I bought one of your mats a few years ago and love it. Looking forward to getting a second.

Thanks again,

Thank you Paul.
I should go to the Maldives for a surf trip in May...I hope to send you some pics of your mat in the Indian Ocean.
All he best.

Dear Paul,

I indeed received the surfmat last Monday evening.

Thank you for the endorsement: that is exactly what I was looking for.

Cedric was very happy and cannot wait to try it out!



My brother said he and you and Dirk got some great waves this past Tuesday at Campus.  What a winter!  As you saw, I caught some great sessions while down south last week, and was excited to take my new mat out in NorCal surf when I got the chance.
Weds. morning I paddled out on my Omni at a local break, a right wedge next to a large sea stack similar to Ano Nuevo when it's on. Swell was running 8'@13" and the sets were a little bit larger than head-high. I always laugh when I get this wave (and the two others near it) to myself, as the three comprise some of the best mat surfing in my area, and rarely do I ever have to surf with another person.
Yesterday was one of those classic North Coast days when it looks marginal from the beach, but really delivers once waves start to be ridden.  As soon as I hit the water, what I noticed was the incredible grip the sanded deck provided on my belly.  Now, I had surfed the Omni twice before, at Sandspit and Pt. Conception last week, but it wasn't until I paddled out to a home break, a familiar spot, that I realized what this mat was all about.
As I rode the current out into the lineup, my mat was fairly firm, and I rode the first few waves with it fairly stiff.  These were fun waves, but warm-ups really, as I was just starting to get the feel of my new vessel.  Once I let the air out a little, the mat was  tight when bent in half.
All in all, the Super Sport model blew my mind. It was fast, grippy, and maneuverable simultaneously, and I felt a real sea change with the new deck surface: I can stay on, and with, my mat in heavier situations, and as result my session was a real stoker.  I can't wait to get it into more roping tubes and get a feel for its acceleration down the line. My buddy John has yet to get his mat wet, but when he does (maybe up in Crescent City next week) I imagine his stoke will be as fulfilling as my own.  Thanks for the design, and look for more pics and video from me in the coming weeks.
Committed As Ever,
Jeff on the North Coast         


Hi Paul,
The Omni arrived today. Thanks again for the great deal and signing it!
Have a good weekend and happy Easter,
 Hi Paul,

The 4gf surf mat(s) arrived today, just in time to get them in the water this Easter weekend. We will let you know how they go. 

Thanks again for the amazing deal and a wonderful product!



The mats came yesterday, I am so excited!
Thank you so much for the personalized "model info". This spring/summer/life just got a whole lot better!

Thanks Paul, I can't wait to ride it. I loved the xl model I used to have, and I'm sure I'll be stoked on this one.


Thanks a million for your thoughts.  I can't wait to get my hands on a mat. 
I think the fatty might be the perfect match for me right now.  I'm going online to place an order right now.  I have a sneaky suspicion that this won't be the only mat that ends up in my quiver.

Thanks a million for the help!  I can't wait to get out on the water with the fatty.


 I found the matting/bodyboarding/body-surfing community at a sweet little break in OB yesterday ;)
After I spent a half hour with the taciturn/eye averting surfers down the beach, wiped out, lost my mat, had to fish it out of the little jetty where it washed up/got stuck, I was feeling like packing it in.  
Something led me down the beach to another break, where lo-and-behold, the misfits were out in full force.  I got some friendly tips from a regular and a distinguished fellow with and omni walked up, and we paddled out together.  It was sweet, AND the vibe was so welcoming. 


Hi Paul- the mat came today. I will ride it and report back!! I rode my old four pontoon classic yesterday. Low inflation. Not quite as fast as my Omni but held really really well. Rode very neutral and cleanly. It had been a while. I was stoked. Thanks again I will let you know how it goes. Hope you have been getting waves and having fun. 
 Thanks Paul..the mat dominates the lineup when its squirrely up here..never thought id b saying that..
Hi Paul,

How are you? Hope it was good, that you are good, family is good, 4th Gear is pumping, Spring is kind, Trump loses ignominiously... all that, sincerely.

I'm well. Only three weeks left for me here. I recently had a chance to get out of Raglan and housesit for some friends about 4 hours south of Raglan. It's a fine surf zone, 270 degrees of coastline fanning a magnificent 2,500m conical volcano. Dozens of good-quality lava reefs and points, lots of creek and rivermouths, and plenty of options to catch a good wind direction. It's a pretty compact geography too, maybe... I dunno, an hour from the first viable surf zone to the last? After bussing down, my hosts gave me use of their car, which was fantastic, although my favorite little cluster of spots was only a bike ride away from their house. There was even a solid swell and high pressure predicted, so I had high hopes.

What a great time. I had a handful of fun surfs in five days before the conditions went to custard. I'd brought the Liddle and the SS Standard. I ended up using the mat most of the time.

Surf 1 was at a right point (amidst a complex of other lefts and rights, with still more setups visible in the distance). It was a Saturday, it was school holidays, and even still, only 5 teenagers sharing good chest-to-slightly overhead offshore waves (that's the difference between the rest of New Zealand and Raglan right there!) It's a great mat wave, long, with fast, wall-y sections going into flatter sections, then back into a fast wall again- don't you just love "imperfect" point waves on a mat? 

The Standard ripped. The wave demanded constant repositioning in a way that the machine waves at Raglan didn't, and the SS went wherever I wanted it to- high line, cutback. I was able more effortlessly to go where I needed to go to make the wave.
Two things stood out to me this session: On my first wave I was outside and in full view of all the kids. For better of worse, you want to do well your first wave to establish your competency and place in the lineup. Without a warmup, I caught an outside set wave and did a half-drop into a top turn, came off the top then down into the flats then back to the top, and so on past the watching kids. The SS enabled that showiness, no doubt.

The swell came down the next day, and I took the mat out to a little secret beach break that picked up what swell was left. The peak I chose was about chest high, it was a windswell and the little waves had a variety of speed pockets and reform zones, requiring quick choices to get the most out of the ride. The extra-responsive SS was a blast. The rides were like little Rubic's Cubes, puzzles to solve : ) Really fun session, alone on a lonely beautiful beach (well, I had the dog I was sitting with me). 

Late afternoon the next day, I caught the beginning of the new swell at one of the spots near my house. Each set was bigger than the last- it went up from chest high to well overhead in less than an hour. Oh boy....

The next morning it was BIG. I went with a friend to a left point that is somewhat fickle; it can be a longer ride than Raglan's points when it's on. This day it was imperfect, most waves were broken into two big sections, with some connecting through and some maxing out and pushing through  both. My macho pal who errs on the side of underestimating was calling the biggest set waves 6-7 foot, meaning 12-14 foot! But there were lulls where it was possible to paddle out dry-haired, it was sunny, the water was gorgeous, blue and glassy, and many of the waves were perfect (and smaller non-bomb sets were a friendly 8 foot). I initially paddled out on the Liddle, more because I'd fantasised about this spot on that board than it seemed like a good choice, but after a few waves realised, naw! Went in and got the mat.

Well, WOW! This was a first for me. A few impressions. Maybe stupidly, I never felt outgunned. Because the setup included an indicator outer point and a blue-water zone to the right, I felt pretty confident. I did get caught inside one by a massive surprise bomb set, but I just held on with my whole body and was able to roll it, and wasn't really badly worked or mentally freaked. In fact, this was the first time I've handled rolling waves (and fucking 10-foot whitewashes!) doing the whole-body bear hug that I've read about, and it was the ticket this day, I just immediately knew it (I've always opted to hold one or both corners and let the mat go turtle, my body straight down). 

No huge problem getting into the waves. It was glassy, and the waves rose in a friendly, ramp-y way, not jacking up. I swim into waves on the mat, mat on one arm ahead of me, which allows early entry. The two zones were pretty concentrated and distinct, so positioning wasn't an issue, or too heavy.

MAN!!! The drops! I kept, or it felt like I kept, getting sucked up to the very top of a huge ski jump, dangling for a second, then whooooooooooshing  on down! On some of the first few I had so much forward speed turning was an issue : 0 At least on one, I just realised "fuck it" and had to keep going straight (and discovered how big it really was, rolling huge whitewater walls). Each wave was followed by a 15 minute paddle back out (half hour if I got pushed all the way in, which happened twice)- the sweep down the point was intense. I had a lot of time to think about what to do differently... I needed to angle left on the drop. And in fact, that worked- the mat freakin' handled that line, on (for me) huge waves, at eyeball-peeling speed. I sure felt small though, and splayed out, not really sure what to do with my limbs going that fast with so much face. Survival stance, haha! 

So the takeaway from that session is that rolling using the whole-body hug works, it's hard as hell to "bottom turn" after a big drop straight down; need to angle a bit. And the mat HANDLED it, it WORKED, and it was FUN!!!!! 

So- thank you for giving me that experience, and all the others!


Cant thank you enough. Our family had a surf mat from you that lasted
forever. It was such a treasure growing up.

Thanks for helping me out with this. Really stoked to give it to my
wife and my brother. Your equipment has brought about endless smiles,
epic fun times and good freaking waves.

Looking forward to getting them.


It is so interesting how small changes effect the speed and ability to hold. I have been watching Sam on his Lotus. That thing is very interesting to me. Hmmmmmm. Also, still thinking about the session I had on the low inflation Classic. Really quite good. Maybe I am improving and finding something to love about each of them. Plus the conditions have been truly wonderful. A bit scared about the water temp today. The wind was super strong and steady yesterday. Upwelling!!!!!
Hope your day went well and you are having fun.

Thanks Paul.  I'm super stoked.  It's been years since we rode "rafts" in the summer in O.B.  I've never liked body boards, and can't wait to get back into my favorite pastime with a product that's designed for it.


Received the mats yesterday! Thanks so much! Super excited to take 'em out!



Ron and I went out in 2 to 3 foot clean surf this morning in Ventura. We had a great three hour session on the mats. Gotta say I love the new Fatty! I also tried his new Omni and really liked it. The onshore winds started up midsession, but the bump had no major effect on us (hence the 3 hours).

The Tracker seems to hold its line slightly better then the Fatty, but that is easily corrected with a dip of a fin.
The Fatty seems easier to duck dive. Both mats are great, just the right size for me and fun to ride.

Thanks for shipping it to me so quickly and making such a great product!

PG- Hope all is well.

The Lotus really impresses me. Seems to ride higher in the wall with good speed and excellent ability to turn. When I first got on it I was worried because it felt long but this worry was baseless. Really stoked.


PS- had a nice visit to Big Sur, surf wasn't great but we had fun and good to be out watching "Big Sur Television". Lawn chairs, beer and staring off into space.
Let me know if I can do anything to help you out. The mats make me so happy

Took the omni out yesterday morning. 2-3’ incoming tide with a little offshore for the first hour coming down from the ojai valley. That mat really just worked for me. Had a nice little barrel early on. Wave catching, duck diving, making it through flat spots, all were a breeze on it. I settled on a 180 firm fold that seemed right yesterday; will be interesting to see in overhead conditions.


Your Mat is usually more fun than surfing...a five foot wave feels like five
feet overhead, because it IS!  
Thanks,  Gil

Thanks Paul, received it today - how quick!!

Looking forward to testing it out in a couple of weeks.



Really good. Summer conditions, edges and corners at the lane.
Some guy on the cliffs says "what is that thing? You were going really fast!"
I've been on injured reserve for a few weeks with back problems, so good to be back in the water.
hope you are well and having fun.


Hi Paul,

I took the surf mat out today and had a blast. Waves were 2'-4', but had a bit of push. I started walking about 2 weeks ago with a boot and crutches. I just started walking without a cane, full weight bearing last week. I only paddled out with one (1) fin (on my good foot), because the therapist advised against using it for the other ankle just yet. I struggled a bit at first but started to get the hang of it after a while. It's still a bit hard to get into the waves, but that may be because I was only on one fin. Finding that sweet spot for paddling the mat takes a bit of time I suppose. It was a feeling like nothing else though once I caught waves. It's great to be back in the water!! I'm so happy that I decided to take the plunge and try mat surfing. You make a great produce and have provided me with awesome customer service and stoke. Thank you & happy Memorial Day!!


Hi Paul,

Finally had conditions to try the Lotus 7 today. It was 4-6’ walled conditions at the jungle. The mat has some serious holding ability. We surfed for 4 solid hours, and I don’t think I slid out once. Duck diving the mat was as good as it gets for a mat! 
The only challenging part for me was making the initial drop as I was getting hung up at the top a lot, especially in the beginning. The Lotus & Omni are a killer combo.


Your update is much appreciated. I look forward to just getting back in the ocean after many years and just going with the flow of the swell.

Have long been interested in procuring one of your 4GF surf mats.

Looks like my time has arrived.

Thank you,
Hi Paul, 
Omni mat arrived very quickly from time order was placed. Looking forward to first session, slop, mush, windswell or crisp overhead barrels. I'm just grateful to have some time to get back in the waves. I feel a good vibe that my 4GF mat and I will become fast friends.
I am thoroughly impressed with the handmade craftsmanship of ylur product and I like the 'birth-certificate' info between the flanges - that is a nice personal touch.
 Hi Paul,

Frank in Chapel Hill, NC.  Fan of yours from SURFER Magazine days ... And your excellent occasional articles in SURFERS JOURNAL.  I've emailed compliments before. You've added great fun to my ocean experience. 

 I've had Fatty for 5 years now and love riding waves on Bald Head Island NC.  We have a vibrant bunch of water man and women.  Kept your shipping box in my office as "decoration".  Always show your hand written description and date on edges between top/bottom. 
Was considering purchase of two Classics for smart funny wife Sara and daughter Helen.  BUT I noticed the "Tracker Round Tail".  Description sounds like this can be great addition to Fatty.  Can provide a bit different experience for me.  The Classic will be fine for Sara or to share with friends.  What do you think?  
 I can tell you that on East Beach on Bald Head I'm known, of course as the "mat man".  I've shared your info with many in hopes they will join the fun. 

 If you get a minute, please let me know your thoughts.  I'll order on line after I hear.
 Thank you Paul,  
 Hi Paul, the surf mat is awesome! Been having a great time up at Bolinas. 
Thanks so much. -Helen

Nice touch with endorsements on the three mats. Super! 

I may have told you I always loved riding Hodgman Mats as a kid, and even as we grew up and became stand-up surfers. I rented them through the mid 70's at my beach stand in Ocean City, MD.  Instant fun in any surf, just like 4GF.  

Back then we traveled to the Cape Hatteras lighthouse two times each summer. Stayed at the park in our vans.   I may have seen you there.  ha.  Cocoa Beach, FL at Christmas.  Got into cycling when no waves.  I'm the same today. Aesthetic and athletic sports.  SURFER back to 1960 and Surfers Journal last 25 years help document my life.  

Thanks Paul!  Will send a pic from the beach this summer.

Finally got the dinero to get my Standard mat. In time I would like to purchase a Classic.
Started on a Converse Hodgman rental at San Elijo State beach back in the 70’s,Can not tell you how excited I am to ride mat’s again ,I am in my 50’s and I feel like a kid every time I think about riding.Thank you for the ability to feel like a grom again.


Wow!  That was fast.  received mat and appreciate you getting out to me so
Thanks, Terrell
 Got a Fatty from Mitch's yesterday...I have ridden it twice already and i very very much enjoy it! Even pulled into a few little visions this morning!

I am very pleased even if i am certainly a Mat Kook. I look forward to learning the ways in the next few months! 

Thanks for the positive vibes Paul!


Hello Paul. 

I hope the summer is going well.
How have the waves been in your area?
The summer in NY LI  has been mini/micro and I haven't blown up the  Lotus 7 surf mat yet.... I have been meaning to tell you how much I like the shape of the Lotus 7 surf mat deflated.
I imagine the potential of what it can do when inflated.
The idea of the potential energy of delated air structures, such as Jesse Seegers come to mind. Sort of like a chrysillis with air.. 

Hi Paul,

Thank you very much!
The mat should work fine, also for the Dutch small conditions.
Can't wait!


Paul: Having a blast with my Fatty!  Micah made time to give the low down on retraining my riding habits.  Still having trouble picking up my fins.

One problem with your gear, now the whole family wants one.  The foam boards are now passe, even to the 8 yo.

Stoked to think I can now travel the world with my gear without oversized luggage charges!


Wow!  That was fast.  received mat and appreciate you getting out to me so
Thanks, Terrell

Got my Tracker today. Couldn't be more pleased with the workmanship and the shape was exactly
how I envisioned it. I live in No Arizona and get to So Cal once or twice a month. Can't wait to learn mat riding.
I'm headed for Costa Rica in November and can already feel that immersion in 85 degree water. Hoping for some
juicy surf.



Man I love the Fatty! We got some decent waves Thursday and Friday 2-3, but nothing like you guys get in California. I had a blast!  I rode across the face of the wave for a moment or two before it closed out and crushed me :-)! I wasn't able to catch any waves outside but none of the surfers where able to either. I'm mat surfing everyday, I consider this mat one of the best purchases I've made in a long time! I've had so much fun, and I can't wait to learn more!

Thanks again!

Hi Paul
So I am sure you have heard the saying the surfer with the biggest smile on his face is the best surfer out on the waves,well that was me today on the mat you sent me.To say I am stoked is a massive understatement.It exceeds all my expectations and more.You will be hearing from me again soon as my next purchase will be for a mat to ride in small waves to suit a little rock shelf break.
Thanks again
Kind regards
Shane. ;))
 Paul, thank you for the fatty I got in sept 14. It's my go to ride every time I go to the beach. First day I used it was awesome, last ride I got up high and thought I'd get tossed but it bounced and took off. So much fun! People are asking me where I got it, I tell them about your site. I'm off to the beach now - hope your business is booming!
Hi Paul,

Just had my tryout in a 4 ft session. 

The mat works great for me. Very easy catching waves and lots of speed. 

The mat holds the speed also in sloppy sections all the way to the inside were the wave is building up again.
So, very happy! 

Can't wait to try it in France!

 G'day Paul,

    My mat arrived and I have delivered Steve's to him.  Thanks again
for getting on them so fast. If you ever make it down to SD let us know
and we will get together for a session.  Cheers Dave

Hey Paul -

Hope things have been well for you the last couple of weeks. I have taken the mat out 4 times since you sent into me an it has been so much fun.  The conditions haven't been great, but it is still so fun to ride and I am enjoying the challenge of learning it as well. 

The first two days on the mat weren't so productive, but they gave me a feel for catching waves and paddling about.  I did an awful lot of sliding sideways down the face and through the whitewash. I think I got one little angle going, but it wasn't much. I did have a ton of fun though. 

The third day was pretty much the same as the first half two but I had some small glassy peelers to mess around in for an hour.  The last wave of that session was the "Ah-Ha!" moment.  I finally made the drop without sliding out and locked my mat in trim for the first time. I rode the wave as far into the beach as I could with the biggest smile possible.

On the fourth time out it was working on making the drop at the take off and engaging the rail so I don't go sideways as much.  I got into a few of the bigger sets and had a ton of fun. Overall, a really fun session in not so great windy and bumpy surf. 

Thanks again for the awesome mat and I can't wait to get it back in the water.  Also, My friends were really into trying it and I think they will be entering into the mat world soon. 


Hi Paul,
Yesterday with the arrival of the new swell I got a chance to try out my Omni. 

I love the way this mat rides. It’s very responsive and turns really well. The swell looks like it’s going to hold through the weekend, so I’m sure I will get plenty of time to get some more good ones.

Thank you so much…really enjoying my new ride. 


Hello, Paul,

Thank you for making and shipping Steve’s new mat.

Steve and I rode our 4GF (Polara and Omni RT) at Sub yesterday on the incoming tide! Steve was scooting all the way around the corner on the lefts toward S Garbage. Long kick outs after that!

I had fun on my Omni RT and got some long rides on the rights to the beach. The first wave I caught was a set wave (4-5 foot face) double up mixed swell wedge. The take off was late. The wave shot me forward and I caught air for a bit, then landed, and pulled off a smooth right turn. My thought as I pulled into the wall was, thanks for the birthday Birthday Wave! :)

Warmest Aloha,
 Thank you!!
I have wanted one of these for a few years! I do not know why I waited! haha! I am going to Tahiti in a month. I will send you a pic, at least from on board the mat with my camera shooting the surf.
thanks jim 

I have been surfing jersey and trips for 50 years and rode your big matt last week and fell in love. Every wave is over head!!!! And the speed! I am ready to order.

Awesome, Paul. 
So much thanks for the response. I'll tell you that my wife injured her back during a competitive rowing career. Stand up surfing is no longer a good pursuit for her. The surf mat, though, has given her once again the joy of wave riding! Most importantly, we get to share that joy.  An amazing blessing!

Thanks Again,

Hello Paul,

Thank you for the personal note, I appreciate that.

Recently I went to the south coast of NSW to a place called Green Island and I saw a guy making sections that I thought he had no chance of getting through (really fast)!

Besides riding more user friendly shape boards, I’ve been bodysurfing a lot in the last few years and realised that the mat might be a nice progression for me.

I read your info on the web site and figured that with me being 90KG’s the Fatty might be the right way to go. I’ll certainly stay in contact and let you know how it works out. Thanks again for making the met for me.


Hi there Paul, Steve here, on a lunch break at the house nice to be at home for a moment!  
My thoughts are to bring my three mats that i enjoy to Byron Bay in October. We are staying at Wardie’s house to walk his dog while he is in the states, as his son is getting married. Any opportunities to kibitz with George and possibly have a bit of mat water time sounds like fun!!! 
Had a great time at Ab on sunday full on 180 cut backs into the ab slopers all the way thru subs tons of fun, people always ask what is that Ha!! I also had a couple of lunch breaks at OB on closeouts I was able squeeze underneath the dumpers rather well also the bit of reverse rocker is getting understood. I can do face changes of direction from the leg a bit more with definition. I still have not had any swell up kind of water time however all the water time has been fun. 

Out for now,

Hi Paul
Had a surf on the Vespa yesterday in small hollow surf so happy with it . Thanks again๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€
Kind regards

Hi Paul, 

We just finished some great swell days on Long Beach Island.  The south end was the place to be, in spite of the crowds. 

I'm hoping to get to Cuba this winter.  I know it won't be great surf but there is a big live jazz music scene there and I'm taking my trombone.  I'm curious to know if there are any matters in the Havana area.  I know its unlikely, but thought you would be the one to ask.

Also, I love my Standard, it is my go to mat for all surf.

Some guys are finally taking notice of how fast the mat is to ride.  Had a friend buy one a couple weeks ago but have yet to see him out on it.  As we all get older, I predict we'll all be on mats in the near future.



Hey Paul
Just got back from Nicaragua with my new Omni. Great experience.
Panga Drops was breaking solid over head and the mat was handling that place. I could get a big fast drop from the outside peak, glide over the flats to the inside reform and just sit in the pocket in the inside bowl. Lots of fun.
Some of the locals were scratching there heads, they had never seen a mat before.


Hey Paul,

This is Mike Worcester from Worcester Glassworks

I’ve been riding the Standard a lot lately here on Maui now that winter has started
We  have been riding a fast clean long wave and i think I am ready to try a faster mat
The Vespa is fun for summer waves but it feels a bit big when the wave  gets going faster

My friend has the Omni and Tracker He mostly has been riding the Omni though ,
we have finally gotten waves that we can really work the mats the way they are meant to fly
  We hope that our email finds you doing well.
 Steve and I are having a wonderful time in Australia, and a
 highlight has been riding our 4GF mats with warm-hearted
The Spring weather has been beautiful, but fickle,
 with breezy wind swells, and some storm surf. Every day this
 week, we've enjoyed 4GF mat medley sessions with Chris, Joy,
 Steve and I, with George leading the charge! And today we
 met two more stoked matters Brett and Michele in the water.

 Paul, you have quite a 4GF fan club here! When the
 conditions are more conducive for photography (we've had
 some rain), I'll try to get some pictures.
 Steve has been enjoying his Lotus and I've been riding my
 Omni RT. Thanks for making such fun, functional wave riding
 Love and Aloha,
 Cher and Steve

Got the Lotus today ,it was so fun to get the package
ended up taking the afternoon of to try it 

It’s super fun seems to pull a tighter line up in the pocket
I still have trouble in the tube I got a great one last year 3 seconds with the lip in front of me
and came out easily.

I think this mat is going to work really well for me I like the width easy to paddle and duck dive too
Seems fast and a little stiff but I think that is because it’s so new
Funny to feel how they get softer as you use them.

I’ll give you an update as i get more time on it 

PS I switched with my buddy on the Omni for a few that was fun to 


I amSOOOOO excited!
Thank you SO much :-)

Trust that I am out there spreading the cheer & fun of matting to all I meet---
(Certain I have sent over half a dozen or more to your site for purchases :-)

Thank you.
I'll let ya know how it - they ride.
Best of days to you amigo,
Hi Paul,
I learned to surf with a mat about 43 years ago at Baker Beach in San Francisco. I just tried a cheap mat a couple months ago and I liked it way more than a boogie board.Mats are fun.
Anyway thank you again.I am really looking forward to it.

You ruined us I haven't ridden my board since I've got the Lotus.
Got some yesterday that were so big and so fast I couldn't believe I made the sections.
I did lose it three times and my fin once.
But found them every time. 



Got my Fatty in the mail today. Thanks for the fast shipping! Excited to give it a try...My dad has been telling me to get one for years...

 Hey Paul

I've been surfing now for over 50 years and do like to get boards made pretty regularly to keep me young! 
Do have to let you know that your service has been without doubt right at the top! I'll be letting the mates know about your efforts and hope to be able to continue to support! Really looking forward to Trace ( read Reg๐Ÿ˜‚) getting on the mat ASAP!

Will be in touch!


In the 80's as I recall was at pipe GG is running out with mat under arm I ask him if he has any for sale his reply, "if you got the money Paul has got the honey!" and off he went ripping๐Ÿ™‚
 We have had so much weather and 'victory at sea' conditions that for the 'surf window' and my personal window to work has been pretty rare. Well a couple weeks ago I got some chunky 6-8 ft sets at my spot. Tide and swell direction gave me a couple left sections I could string together.  The lesser volume of the standard compared to my Omni was noticeable in every facet. Duck diving was a little easier(never had that much trouble duck diving mats in the first place). My first slide was an UGLY double up that I had to take and man, seemed like I bump started in second gear, shoulder hopping short boarder was wide eyed when I came flying up the face towards him and cranked a sweet cutback to the source to link to the inside section that I was able to stall into and get barreled with a fin free exit.  Got a variety of rides that session, the responsiveness of the Standard is new level, being able to finally run the low inflation again, that the lost 45 pounds in the last 4 years has made difficult to achieve with the Vespa/Omni quiver.

The Standard has me as stoked as ever! 

In the 6 years since I found this awesome surf craft and began my journey into matting, I have fully renewed my athletic spirit with my eyes firmly on a lifetime of mat surfing. Every gym session, skate session and mtb bike ride, are all keeping myself in the best shape possible to be able to surf forever. Ironically, my interest in short boarding has really faded. 

Thank You Paul! I am so hopelessly addicted to this, I have a couple guys up here who are ready to try a mat. Using the Vespa as my starter mat for them, and hope to get you another convert or two.

Hope you have a great Holiday Season!
With Best Regards,

 Thanks Paul! Have a great holiday! We will let you know how he likes it! Thanks for all your great communication!

My wife Susannah ordered a mat for me and you delivered!  I opened the gift tonight and can’t wait to get in the ocean to try this out.  I have been a short board surfer since 79 and already know that the thrill of the glide will be rediscovered on your mat.

All the best,


Hi Paul,

Thanks for your info ��
I did bodyboarding 20 years before, I know its not the same �� but i love it
Normaly i love long boarding but with bigger waves I hope to catch some waves with the mat

I send you hopefully a picture from Sri lanka ��



Ok, I'm in! As equestrians would say I have found my seat on this horse.

90 degrees, hips off the back with nose bent at 45 for takeoff pulling up further on mat during drop in, then pull up opposite corner with fin in the wave to turn, then fins out and go!

The physics behind this alows so much more than a rigid board.


Hello Paul,

The UDT arrived safely four days ago. I've surfed it four evenings running and learned new things and got better rides every time; all in surf no bigger than 1/2 a meter! This is a sublime art and no mistake.

As a history teacher, I've done my research and I wanted to say how much I value 
the handmade item from someone with your credentials in the field.

Cheers, Paul!
 Thanks Paul!

Yah i have been riding the Omni a lot lately and am stoked to try the Fatty. These storms that came through the last few weeks have created some great sandbars at the local beaches. Perfect for matting on the high tide. So much fun. I'll let you know how the Fatty goes for sure.


Hi Paul,
Thanks ! I am so happy, the Vespa surfmat arrived last week here in Sri Lanka
Linda, the girl who you send it too, brings it to Sri Lanka.

I really like it, that how wrote my name in it✌๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜œ
Pictures are coming soon!

Grtzzz Tamar
Hi Paul,
I’m very happy with my mats. The vespa is my usual ride. I was out after work for a couple of hours today on it , and 3 and a half hours yesterday. It still amazes me how well it goes. When i’m on a howler big or small, I’m amazed how I can get past someone way  down the line Paddling out. They too are amazed. Or how quick you can catch up to a drop in down the line. People are always asking about it in the water. I tell them that it’s like armchair surfing because it is so comfortable.
Oliver got your e-mails. about received payment and mat went out on Friday, plus  care of mat notes. He thinks its christmas.

 Been having a blast on the mat. Eric(MB Harbor Master), Alan Whitsett, from up north who we met in the water, and I had an epic 2 hour session at Cayucos on Sunday. It was high tide, flat faced, and 2-5 ft faces. The surfers couldn't catch or stay in the waves and we owned it. All 4 surfers asked where they could get mats. Eric and I were doing go behinds like you and George in "Fantasea". The surfers were going nuts!
I am so stoked!


Hi Paul, 

Just wanted to let you know how much I've been enjoying the new mat, have had it out in some decent lined up surf at topanga as well as blown out slop in Santa Monica and it performed equally well both times. I've been in the grips of mat fever for over five years now and it shows no sign of waning.  Thanks for all you do!


Thanks so much Paul. 

We ride often and head down to Baja every month or so but sometimes for several days and get further down to better beaches. As mats seem to be getting more popular around here I thought it'd be perfect for transporting on our bikes. We'll probably head down with the mats in about a month from now but want to be prepared and practice up a bit. 




Just received my 4th gear flyer!  It is beautiful.  I especially appreciate the sweet note between the flanges!  You are a dear.

All is well here.  Just missed the recent NW swell.  But now I have time to read up and ready myself for the summer swells.

Best to you.  Thanks for such great craftsmanship.  Who know it may be the next big thing on the Big Island
Aloha nui loa,
Nancy ;))))


Hey Paul,

Muchas gracias, I'll try it out and see how it goes.  

Also, I gotta tell you that mat surfing has completely shifted my experience and relationship to the ocean.  I've never been more interested in being in the water since I got my first mat, and I'd never had as much fun out there as I do with a mat under m'belly.  And I feel like I have years of more figuring and tweaking of my technique to do - the learning curve seems endless.  Thanks for making these things!

 Hi Paul,

I took the mat out to tea trees and 1st point Noosa over the past couple weeks. Awesome feeling and unbelievable fun. Thanks for the size/type recommendation!

 total yowza!

thanks big time.

Note: I took a day away from teaching yesterday:
new south swell + incoming tide  =  3’5’ perfection!!!!!!!!

the standard was on hyper-glide.

down the line,


After several trips to the warm waters of Cabo, and several attempts to ride the Vespa,  I actually (sort of) conquered it today at Terra-mar reef in north county!!

On two, out of the three waves I rode 4', lol, I was in the Womb of mother ocean, as I dropped in on the fun rights! It was so organic, that's all I can say. So stoked. Thanks so much, Dwight

  I purchased a Tracker Roundtail from you 7 years ago and it has shown no signs of slowing down. It's my most unique and valued surf craft.
Thank you,
 Mahalo nui loa (Thanks a lot!)



         Mat arrived safe and sound today, which happens to be my birthday so great timing haha. It looks amazing. I'm stoked to support something handmade. I'll try to get a photo or two and let you know how it goes.

Thank you,
 Hi Paul,
I got my mat a couple of days ago and am having a blast learning how to surf it. Thanks again for the quick delivery. I am sure I'll have lots of fun on it for years to come,


     Finally some energy in the water albeit shin to knee at best, but I got in a session of sliding and gliding on my classic before work this morning!  I was able to take some high lines and drop and speed along and cut back on very minimal surf.  So glad to have this surf craft in the quiver!


Hi Paul

During the low tide last couple days of swell I rode my mat at Leo's.  Tons of kelp.  No surfers on outside at all .  I probably caught 10 waves all alone from outer reef in front of main rock all the way to stairs.  I was so happy it felt like riding on a bar of soap. So fast and magical.      Also saw Aaron get a great wave last night 

I hope you are well



And....what was that sizzling sound this afternoon? It was me and my mat well-beyond 4th gear at a little out of the way spot we call Seawalls. A great session! Positively flying. 
Thanks Paul
 That was quick..
I have been using the mats way to much. Traveling around South America with surfboards, I have a few already stashed down south, has become a real pain. Just roll up the mat and go..We get lots of lumpy bumby windy days in Ecuador but the water is 80 degrees. Mats love strange irregular days. My local friends will pass because it is not the best for a board. I go out and always seem to find some kind of nugget on the mat. Thanks for keeping the stoke going..


Hi Paul,
We got the mats the other day and took them out. I had one as a kid growing up in Southern California and loved it. It was just as I remembered. :)



i got the surf mat right on schedule..
what a fine made machine!!!

looking forward to some fun-

thanks again!



Hi Paul,

I just wanted to let you know that I've been having fun sessions on your mats (Standard, Lotus, and XL).  Just finished a couple of days night riding Malibu and got plenty of long slides for sure.  Thanks for continuing to make these to stoke all the mat riders out

Happy Saturday Paul! 
Received my Surf Mats!! So Excited!!
I'll let you know how they feel!
Thank you very much!
 - Heather
 Dear Paul,

Thanks for your shipping notice. 

I'm very curious how riding a mat is. I used to be surfing, but due to sudden heart failure I'm looking for ways to have fun in the water with less physical effort.

Now I'm still working on my revalidation. As soon as I'm able to hit the water I'll be trying the mat with a friend of mine.

With Kind regards,