Oct 29, 2018

Another Day In Paradise ...

Howdy Paul

4th Gear Frequent Flyers Club...

We scored some fun waves this past weekend with Gilligans Island & the Brat Pack providing plenty of laughs. The surf was only a couple of feet and low tide coming in but plenty of fun anyways.

The Lotus is still my favorite mat to ride followed close by the standard.

I have attached a photo of Luke who was crushed by a tree while working for the national parks, broke his collar bone, ribs, punctured lungs , pretty well messed up, and as his recovery sped up his wife Queen Bee ask for a lend of a mat to get him back in the water, which he is pictured with, one of your standards that you sent over!The last month he is back on a board, slowly , very careful what he takes off on, but at least paddling and riding....and thats his wife in the attached video surfing the black long board .



Oct 28, 2018

From KP

Jared Woods, Erin’s husband forth gear flying ! 

Oct 27, 2018

Central Coast Elephant Seal Cam Back Up

The fantastic Piedras Blancas elephant seal cam is back up, after being down most of the summer. It's a great way to reconnect with the natural world, when "our" world starts to get you down...

Oct 24, 2018

Scumm Crashed the 2018 Winter Olympics !!!

Photos: Dirk Brandts

We talked to Neal Cameron -- the self-appointed spokesperson for SCUMM -- about the journey from full-time matsurf bum to half-baked Olympic hero! 

How did this adventure get started, Neal? 

We wanted in on the Olympic glory. Not just for ourselves, but for...well...actually, yeah, just for ourselves. It only comes along every 4 years, and in 4 more years, we'll all either be in wheelchairs or dead. So it was now or never. Plus, who doesn't want to visit The Korean Peninsula in winter? 

What was step one? 

We rang up the Australian Olympic Committee, and asked if they had any openings in curling, since it's the one winter sport you can excel at while shit-faced. The bloke in charge said he'd never heard of curling. So I explained that it entailed pushing a large rock along a sheet of ice. Then he said he'd never heard of ice either...so that was pretty much when we knew we were golden!

So why are you competing under the banner of the "Inflatable Republic of SCUMMANY?"

Well, this wanker on the other end of the line agreed to let us compete for Australia, but says we have to cover our own expenses.  So we reckoned, what the fuck? Let's just start our own country, and let them cover our expenses.

But since YOU ARE the new country, doesn't that mean you have to pay your own way, anyway?

You don't know much about how the modern world works, do you, mate? We went online, created a virtual country, started collecting fees for immigration applications, and were flush within hours!

How'd you come up with the name "Scummany?"

We crowd-sourced it through my favorite dating site, aussietrannygranny.com. So many blokes voted, the site crashed and hasn't gone back up yet!

What's the political philosophy of Scummany?

We call it, "neo-radical, alt-middle nationalism." Covers all the bases. We can chat up any chick and dovetail right into whatever poli-nonsense she starts spewing.

Any motto? 

Yeah. "The Land Of Unintended Consequences." Has a nice ring to it, and we can use it to slither out of any legal friction that comes up.

Any unique feature to Scummany we should know about?

Oh, fuck yeah. What's the best day of the year? 

Uh, Christmas?

If you're a 4 year old wanker, maybe. It's the day they shut off daylight savings, right? You get to sleep in an extra hour.

OK, go on...

So in Scummany, we push the clocks back every day! You can sleep an extra hour, 365/25/7. Plus, we allow ourselves tax exile status, so we can spend all our time in France and not pay shit in taxes.

Anything else? 

We have random alcohol testing. If you ever blow under 10%, you're on the next flight outta here!

Getting back to the Olympics, you used inflatable curling stones...why?

Who the hell wants to drag those lumps of shit around all day when your fucking 60 years old with an arthritic double hernia? Not me, mate! So we reckoned, let's just build some inflatable stones, and when it comes time to compete, fill them with piss the night before, let them freeze in the fridge, and have a go! When it's all over...the beer melts, and it's party time!

You guys seemed keen on the mixed doubles competition.

The reasoning is airtight, if you twits took a half second to think about it. What bloke in his right mind wants to do ANYTHING with a broom? Get a sheila to do the domestic bit on the ice! Plus, there's the eye candy aspect. So yeah, mixed doubles was the go from the start.

That's disgusting...you sure you're not the actual Australian curling squad?


From Surfermag.com

Surfer Mag has come up with a list of "mysto surfer brands," with this definition...

"There are a few categories of what I'm calling a mysto surfer here, but really is just a non-traditional shredder. A surfer who's a little different, dances to the beat of their own drum, but who rips super hard. Weird kooks don't really count. Like, you see this surfer take off on a wave and start their own brand of schralping, just see them jog to the water board in hand, and know they're on a whole different, weird level of good surfing."

The author then goes on with a litany of potential categories... 

-- Ripper guy riding really big thruster who just kills it

-- Tom Curren

-- The Last High Performance Longboard Shredder

-- Big fat dude on modern shortboard throwing massive hacks

-- Devon Howard

-- Older woman who's maybe the best log rider you've ever seen

-- Dude bodysurfing double-overhead beachbreak

-- Helmet-wearing Santa Barbara tubehound

-- Dude who wears a hooded wetsuit all-year long, no matter what, never talks to anyone, shreds so hard.

Mat surfers didn't make the cut. I guess that's not surprising. But by 2018, you'd think we'd at least make it out of the "weird kook" minor leagues and into "brand" status.

At least they opted in with a women's category. Props for that...

Oct 22, 2018

From Ken McKnight

 Jonathan Jarrett riding a home build canvas surf mat

A bunch of us got together, Pete, Tom T., JJ, Pranaglider, and a couple others. I was really impressed with all those guys and how good of mat surfers they were! May 2008.


Oct 19, 2018

Neal 'The Chameleon' Cameron

Check out this (sometimes politically incorrect) Podcast from Smorgasboarder Magazine, October 19. 2018...


Oct 18, 2018

From Tom

Hi Paul,

Sending you very good vibes from the dependable river-fed-sandbars of Camburi, SP. We're down here for a week of chillaxing before, we have to switch into "autumn-mode" back home in Germany.

Been using a Vespa and a Tracker (first mat!) and getting some very nice slides.

Get well and fit soon!

Oct 17, 2018

From Charles Price

Here is a short vid of me on my Omni. It’s the only video I have. Thanks for the stoke!


Oct 16, 2018

From Tom

Hi Paul,
I couldn't figure out how to download pics on the surf matters blog, but, pics on October 14 Sunday epic. Plenty of waves to go around, more waves than takers.
My God the Lotus is just fast, esp. with new super XL duck feet to launch into the abyss, SCORE!!

Tom Riley

Oct 15, 2018

From Josh and Matthew

Some nice footage of Matthew Crowe, shot by Josh Simpson Films...video here.

Oct 14, 2018

From Adam and Paul, Who Are Solely Responsible For Its Content...

Hey Paul

I just read your update concerning your health, so pleased that you got back into the water for a splash, baby steps for the time being and be assured your strength will return , your body just needs time to heal! 

We have been catching plenty, with this little edit from yesterday morning, surfing with Paul. I really love the Lotus model, smaller mats are great to wrangle , and I can only babble on how good these mats fly in all conditions, big or small!

Take care mate and look forward to reading more on your recovery.

10 Quackers from OZ


Oct 13, 2018

4GF Update

As many of you know, I underwent heart valve replacement surgery in July. I'd been putting it off for
a year and half...ostensibly waiting for medicare to kick in. But, in reality, dread was my prime motivating factor in stalling. I've had very few medical issues in my life, and wasn't ready to roll with the punches when I was informed I had congenital aortic stenosis and need open heart surgery.

Around mid-May, my doctors finally said, collectively, "Sack it up cowboy, we need to open you up."

The medical rogue's gallery...

 Primary Care and George's Niece: Dr. Margret Greenough

 Cardiologist and Bottomless Pit Of Good Humor: Dr. Lawrence Von Dollen

 Surgeon and Scratch Golfer: Dr. Luke Faber

The procedure went to plan, and I was only in the hospital for 4 days! I even got to stay in ICU the whole time, as the main wing of French Hospital in San Luis Obispo was full up.

One of my rehab therapists was an old surfer from Santa Barbara, Tom McLaughlin. We started talking about surfing, and he broached the subject of George and surfmats.

Me:   "Do you know Dr. Margret Greenough?"

Tom: "Sure, she's my primary care physician."

Me:  ''You know she's George's niece, right?''

The look on his face was priceless. He had no idea.

When I got home, I couldn't believe I was still alive and already on the road to recovery. There was some discomfort in my chest at first, but no serious pain. I only needed 3 pain pills over the first few days at home, and that was a big relief, as obviously I didn't want to start taking opioids on a regular basis.

I had prepped for the heart procedure by building 40 extra mats in advance, so we could fill orders during the first month of my recovery. (And, to keep my mind from wandering to dark places.) As it turned out, we ran out of inventory just as I was ready to build mats again...so for once, one of my half-baked business plans worked out!

A number of people have asked if I'm building mats, and the answer is yes. Things have been back to normal for over a month, and orders are getting filled at our usual astonishing rate.

Surfing has been off the table, not due to my heart, but in deference to my sternum which is still healing. But recently, I started having persistent dreams about being in the water, then the other day I had a violent sneeze, and my chest didn't hurt at all. So, I decided it was time to get back in the water...not to ride waves, but to just float around and get some paddling in.

I went over to Morro Strand midday yesterday. It was small, overcast, and the water was brown. Not appealing at all.

 Frame grab from around noon...
I suited up and went out anyway. Getting into my 5/4 wetsuit was a hassle, because I didn't want to strain my chest area. (I thought ahead on that point, and rinsed my full suit before I left home, to loosen it up after 4 months in dry dock.) It actually felt good to have my chest compressed by the wetsuit. It felt secure.

I even took my first, and last, selfie ever...big mistake!

I waded out as far as I could, then waited for a lull, and gingerly slid onto my mat and started kicking. About 10 kicks into it, the back of my left thigh locked up. That's when I realized the toll the operation had taken on me. I let my leg relax, then paddled some more.

 That's me, floating around, courtesy of Surfline.

Soon, both feet and calfs were cramping up. I managed to stay out about 20 minutes, then I caught a tiny wave and came in. I couldn't believe how good it felt, just going straight off. Much better than I could have ever imagined. I immediately flashed back to the first wave I ever rode. I still remember it vividly. Same thing...straight off on a 2 foot wave on a mat. I was hooked after one wave!
I felt pretty good when I got home. But this morning, when I woke up, my entire body felt like a wet noodle. I could barely stand up. It was a real eye opener to realize I'm starting from scratch, fitness-wise. This is new territory for me, but in some ways, it's going to be fun. How long it will take to reconfigure myself? Many, many months. Maybe a year. Will I be stronger than before? Could be. Fitness often improves after heart valve replacement. (My old aortic valve was the size of a pencil eraser. The new one is the size of a quarter. The blood flow out of my heart now has 300 times less resistance.)

I can't thank the doctors and nurses enough, along with all of the people who have given us their support over the past few months. It's more that I deserve, especially in light of all the people suffering far worse fates in the world these days. My problems don't add up to Bogart's proverbial "hill of beans."

"Quit whining and get back in the shop and make some mats..."


Guerdon Smith wants to start a "Zipper Club," made up of mat surfers who have had open heart surgery.  Since George G had his in 1952, he will, as usual, be the patriarch. Let us know if you qualify!

Oct 12, 2018

From Nolan

Hi Paul,

Here's one of the clips of me and Jack Lynch. I fall out the back, but Jack got a rad inside section.

This is at Alex Knost's house. He doesn't have a tv, just a little projector that hooks into laptops. Gotta share the footage with the shaper right?!?

Thanks again Paul!

Nolan Hall

Oct 8, 2018

From Matt

Hey gang!!!

The 2018 mat meet is on for next weekend at 7am-1pm at Rockaway 77th.  There should be fun waves in the morn with the lower tide and leftover swell from the night before. We will be out there till at least 1pm so feel free to show up late if you wanna sleep in. Bring all the mats and fins you got! Paipos/boogies/handplanes welcome. We'll have several mats for ppl to try out! Hope to see you there! Feel free to share with anyone who might be interested.



Oct 7, 2018

SCUMM Mashup From Oily and Adam

 The mini Duckfoot flipper, hand carved by Rob Pollard, hangs proudly on the van mirror.

Neal Cameron...two new hips, same cranky attitude.

Hey Paul, 

Hope this finds you healthy and happy. Been a while  thought i'd drop a line say Gday...well we hope that spring has sprung and we’ve had some glorious weather of late.. but in dire need of rain the drought is really testing the Australian community. Anyways haven’t had much to rave about lately surf wise on my behalf anyways .. The SCUMM crew have had some mid week specials of late. 

Neal Cameron and I had a sneaky mid week Gilligan’s the other day here's some happy snaps and a short video for your perusal. 

The Omni is hanging in there just and still my weapon of choice...haha …I noted another small pinhole the during this season with Neal whilst i was sitting a top of it, nothing a dob of the black elixir won’t fix..

Anyways mate, keep on smiling,  you make the stoke we share.

Cheers Oily

Oct 5, 2018

From Nolan Hall

Alex Knost

Out here in France! Mat’n & Wine’n !!!

Oct 2, 2018

From Mister Dirk

Architecture firms selgascano and FRPO have unveiled their proposed design for the Spanish pavilion at expo 2020 Dubai.

The roof canopy of the temporary structure comprises nine yellow cylinders made from recycled ETFE. these lightweight inflatables are supported by a steel framework.

The entire scheme has been conceived as an interpretation of a typical Spanish plaza, a welcoming public square that visitors can occupy in a variety of ways.

From Lou

Hey Paul...

Here in Lanka for a couple of months and brought all 3 styles with me ,best move i have ever made,having a blast and couple of breaks here just Purrrrrfect for the Mats and getting them worked out...

Frank my mate just got one from you back in Aust and is Stoked....

Tracker my favourite for all round surfing...loose .

Standard my close second favourite.

Xl has a lot of Volume and nice to paddle but only use it in Fat small waves...

I note Volume makes a big difference i think ..eg less air / more easy to turn etc but hey lots of variables...wave size and conditions come into play...

Am using all 3 at present and just mixing my sessions up...its the first time i have been able to ride all 3 and get them slowly worked out.

Nice right hander here with walls,coming off a sucky boulder point with sandy bottom...lot of fun..2 to 5ft size range.

OK take it easy.