Dec 29, 2019

Mat Noir


For Americans with basic cable, Saturday nights often include an episode of "Noir Alley," a retrospective of 40's and 50's black and white crime films...hosted by noir-film-fanatic Eddie Muller.

Along with its usual mix of femme fatales, gun play, and double crosses, last night's noir offering (Repeat Performance) served up some poolside salaciousness with an inflatable backdrop. But the male protagonist got it wrong...clearly, the hot babe was the brunette with her own mat!

Dec 26, 2019

Dec 23, 2019

Merry Christmas

Normally, I would post a holiday greeting around thsi time, but Adam from SCUMM just sent us a big batch of vids, so I'll let him do the honors...



Howdy Paul

A big Thank You for making some of the best surf craft on this Planet , your surf mats have given us crew so much pleasure and has open our eyes to riding breaks that we would never normally surf ! It has been a fun year overall for waves with plenty of variety so I have attached some of my favorites for the past 12 months.

Merry Xmas to you and your Family!!



staying alive from adam williams on Vimeo.
SOLO SCUMM from adam williams on Vimeo.
Grease Lightning from adam williams on Vimeo.
SCUMM AIRLINES from adam williams on Vimeo.
Your Boogie Man from adam williams on Vimeo.
Bonzilla from adam williams on Vimeo.
SOLO from adam williams on Vimeo.
Beach Life from adam williams on Vimeo.
beach life 1 from adam williams on Vimeo.
video-1565508087 from adam williams on Vimeo.
And of course, no holiday greeting would be complete without an off-color bit of humour from Neal
Friday Joke with Neal Cameron from adam williams on Vimeo.

Dec 19, 2019

From Patrick

G'day Paul.

pic taken by the young film maker Max Zappa of me on your round tail...


Dec 15, 2019

From Lou

For an OS trip...
Standard...worn in 'N weather beaten.
Lotus..still waiting to get worn in 'N weather beaten.
Half way through a 2 month trip...
I haven't had any epic waves, best has been say 3 to 5ft...but most of the time..1 to 3ft..but pretty well have had this beachie to myself..left hand sand bank in the mornings high tide super clean..lulls but 
Mate, at this stage of the game..i am like a pig in shit with my snout well n truly in the trough..kinda off season  here and the local crew must have it pretty good through out the peak season and leaving the small stuff i am super stoked...
Mats are going well..mainly mixing it up between the XL..with low and the Std n a month to go..great getting out of Gold Coast Pre Xmas onshore slop..
I trust you are well and Xmas orders firing up.
Life's Good.
Take it easy.
 Local Fisherman/Divers...use these bamboo rafts to paddle out ...actually seen them ride a wave in on there way back from diving with their catch...😎

Dec 10, 2019

From Bryce


I was in Rhode Island for some hurricane swells back in September and scored some great waves. I met a guy who would show up on a 4GF and would pick out the best waves down the point and then take 30-45 mins kicking leisurely way outside past all breaking waves, back up to the top of the point and right into perfect position. He'd stay out literally all day, wore a helmet, and didn't talk to anyone. Such a great mat rider. See pictures attached.

Talk to you soon,

Dec 7, 2019

Happy Holidays From SCUMM

G’day Paul,

Hope you're happy and healthy, well the SCUMM crew managed a few waves yesterday I  rode  my  ‘standard’  in some big fat long left handers at one of our favourite early morning haunts Gilligan’s Island.  It seems the plague has started to spread early this summer as you can see by the line up at Gilligan’s but you know us SCUMMbags mate always seem to find some stoke in what ever we chose to slide in..

Take care out there !!

All the best to you and yours for the Christmas festive season.



Nov 19, 2019

Unearthed by Sam

I don't know how far we should go down this rabbit hole (I, for one, like it) but pursuant to our previous reference to the inflatable raft at the end of The Great Gatsby, Sam K dug up this interesting assessment of the meaning of the raft in the scene in the book where Gatsby is murdered....

I doubt any of us have ever looked at inflatables in quite such a way!

Honey Bee Surfers...

Nov 18, 2019

If their honey-making and pollination prowess weren’t enough, there’s a new reason to appreciate honeybees: They’re world-class surfers.

Beyond pollinating flowers, worker bees — which are all females — are given the job of searching for water to cool their hives. But if they fall into ponds, their wings get wet and can’t be used to fly. A team of researchers at the California Institute of Technology found that when bees drop into bodies of water, they can use their wings to generate ripples and glide toward land — like surfers who create and then ride their own waves.

Gnarly, right?

“When they fall in the water, they have to find a way to get to shore as a matter of survival,” said Chris Roh, a Caltech research engineer and lead author of the study, published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “It’s a ‘to bee or not to bee’ situation.”
As with many scientific advances — Isaac Newton’s apple or Benjamin Franklin’s lightning bolt — Dr. Roh’s experiment began with a walk. Passing Caltech’s Millikan Pond in 2016, he observed a bee on the water’s surface generating waves. He wondered how an insect known for flight could propel through water.

Dr. Roh and his co-author Morteza Gharib, a Caltech professor of aeronautics and bio-inspired engineering, used butterfly nets to collect local Pasadena honeybees and observe their surf-like movements.
The researchers fashioned a wire harness to constrain each bee’s bodily motion, allowing close examination of their wings. They found that the bee bends its wing at a 30-degree angle, pulling up water and generating a forward thrust. Bees get trapped on the surface because water is roughly three orders of magnitude denser than air. But that weight helps to propel the bee forward when its wings flap. It’s a strenuous exercise for the bees, which the researchers estimate could handle about 10 minutes of the activity.

The researchers said the surf-like motion hasn’t been documented in other insects and most semiaquatic insects use their legs for propulsion, what’s known as water-walking. It may have evolved in bees, they speculate, so the workers could collect fluid without getting stuck in the water and dying. The closest motion is seen in stoneflies, but their movement is more like paddling than surfing. 

Dr. Roh and Dr. Gharib plan to use their observations to design robots capable of traversing sky and sea. They have already made a mechanical model that simulates the bee’s surfing motion. Next, they will make one light enough to fly.

Howard Stone, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton, said nature is a helpful guide for technological innovation because “evolution has had lots of years to try out solutions” to common physical problems.

Dr. Gharib’s lab has previously studied underwater locomotion by looking at jellyfish, and energy harvesting by looking at leaves rustling in the wind. He envisions numerous practical applications for bee surfing.

“You could imagine an amphibious system that can move on the surface of water and fly without hassle,” Dr. Gharib said. “This could be useful for search and rescues, or for getting samples of the surface of the ocean, if you can’t send a boat or helicopter.”

Some more detail here...

Nov 9, 2019

Welcome Home, Kenny !!!

After a Summer and Fall spent north of the border, followed by a quick jaunt south of the border, our man Kenny is stoked to get back to the Santa Barbara coast in time for winter...

¡Buenos días, compañeros de bolsa de basura!

Sitting in the airport in Mexico City awaiting our 9:30 flight.  If all goes well we will be at LAX around noon.  A relaxing bus ride home and I’ll finally be ready to slide.  Looks like it’s been pretty small, but here’s hopin’ some storms materialize. 

Wow!  We haven’t been in Mexico 🇲🇽 City since our daughter was 3, 29 years ago.  It was a very busy place then.  NOW?  Holy moly! 

I’ll close with another volcano shot, another favorite, Pico de Orizaba.  Highest in Mexico at 19,000 something. 

Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City

See you soon


One problem, Mr. K...this November is shaping up to be the flattest in recorded history!


Nov 7, 2019

Long Time No SCUMM

Yo Mr. G,

Hope all is well mate!

The SCUMM Boy's are stoked with their new mats, so here is a coffee table interview at our Cuddy HQ with Phil and Paul!

I reckon Eric would be cracking himself up with laughter...



Nov 4, 2019

Nice Read From Surfline...

This is an interview from Surfline with Mark Cunningham. It pertains to body surfing, but much of it translates to mat surfing as well.

With over 20 years of experience as a lifeguard at Pipeline, Mark Cunningham has spent more time in the water at the “world’s deadliest wave” than most living souls. And that puts him on the long list of greats including Gerry, Kelly, John John, Derek, Andy, and so on.

But unlike his Pipe Specialist peers – who come from different eras and dominated the wave on the specific surf craft of their day – Cunningham occupies a special place amongst the ranks, since he does it without a board. In fact, Cunningham has made such a name for himself over many years of bodysurfing Pipeline (and other waves) that he’s often considered the world’s best in the sans-surfboard waveriding persuasion.

Which came first for you: surfing or bodysurfing?

Board surfing came first. I’m afraid to say how long ago that was, but it was before leashes were invented. It was also during that transition era, when the neighborhood guys were stripping down their longboards and trying their best to adhere them to the newer designs. But basically, we were riding really shitty equipment.

So, most of the time, I would fall off my board swim after it more than I was standing on it as a growth-spurting, gangly teenager. There was an older fellow at our local break who loved his bodysurfing; he was a part-time lifeguard at Sandy Beach. He saw me bodysurfing after my board all day long, and he said, ‘why don’t you try on these Duck Feet.’ And for that tall, gangly teenager, being in the water was much more comfortable than trying to dance on top of it.

What insights does bodysurfing give you into waveriding, which surfing doesn’t?

It gives you a different feel. You’re in the wave, you’re a part of the wave, the wave’s energy is going through you. Bodysurfing is a lot slower than board surfing. You don’t have this flotation device, which allows you to go much slower. It slows down the whole wave dance, as it were. And that gives you more time to feel it and appreciate it all.

I board surf still and I sorta get stage fright. I feel like I’m so exposed to the whole world. If it’s your turn and you’re in the spot, all eyes are on you. And those expectations aren’t put on you as a bodysurfer. Nobody expects you to rip, or to snag the wave of the day. That makes bodysurfing more enjoyable, less stressful – at least for me.

Physically, the benefits of bodysurfing – or swimming – are pretty apparent when it comes to surfing. But how can bodysurfing help your surfing mentally?

Bodysurfing affords you patience. You’re not going to get the peak wave, you’re not going to be in pole position. Likely, there’s going to be a surfer or bodyboarder who’s going to beat you to that spot. As a bodysurfer, you’re more of a bottom-feeder sitting in the channel. You’re feasting on the scraps, hoping guys will eat shit, and you can pick off their wave on the shoulder. In that sense, it sort of humbles you; it makes you appreciate waves a bit more, because when you get one it’s a real treat. And because, with a board, you’re paddling like a rabid dog and going after anything you can catch. You’re not as mobile bodysurfing. It slows things down a bit.

It teaches you an appreciation for waves and how precious they are. A long ride bodysurfing is only a couple seconds before you’re swallowed by whitewater. Bodysurfing makes board surfers appreciate waves when they’re going so far and so fast and how much ground they’re covering.

How do you approach a wave differently in bodysurfing versus surfing?

Just like board surfing, it all depends on the break – how crowded it is, how fast it is, is it a pointbreak, is it a slammer. At this point in my life, I like longer and gentler rides. But growing up at Sandy Beach, it was the quick reflex of hard, dumping shorebreak.
Positioning in bodysurfing is definitely different. For example, out at Pipeline, you’re not going to be jockeying for position at the peak. Even if it was empty. It’s just too steep and too fast; the body can’t do that. So, you’re more so on the shoulder, where you at least have a chance to ride the wave for a little while, as opposed to the wave freight training without you.

What does bodysurfing offer that surfing does not? 

It’s definitely a lot easier to travel as a bodysurfer. All you need is a pair of fins and a towel. It’s also a great workout, head-to-toe. You’re constantly treading water and that’s a full body workout just to stay afloat. I also think bodysurfing is more of a challenge than board surfing. Because like board surfing, the takeoff and the drop-in are the hardest to learn. But once you’re on the face, and you’re trying to achieve that synchronicity with the wave, you don’t have that flotation device. Your body is the board, and you’re trying to get 150 or 200 pounds of weight moving on this wave all on its own. That makes it a bit harder of a workout than board surfing.

What makes for a good bodysurfing wave?

Well, here’s an example: you never see a bodysurfer backdoor a wave at Off-the-Wall. It’s way too fast, steep, and hollow. A guy can drop in and get a glory shot, then get worked on the reef. On the other hand, you’ll see quite a few guys bodysurfing the shoulder at Pipeline, because it will taper off and it will peel towards the Gums sandbar. Obviously, I’m prejudiced towards Ehukai sandbar. I love sandbars, because I don’t have to worry about being pummeled on rocks or reef. And then going the other direction from Ehukai, Pupukea is a fun, softer, slower wave. I really enjoy bodysurfing there. Whenever I’m watching surf videos, if I see guys doing a bunch of cutbacks, I think that’d be a good bodysurfing wave. I’d be able to get a good glide on that wave. That snowballing whitewater will propel me down the line.

Then, in California, the preeminent spot is the Wedge. And I’ve seen beautiful shots out there, which make me fantasize about getting a piece of that. But in reality, it’s more often than not a crazy, life-threatening, crash-and-burn on the sand type of wave. Don’t get me wrong, the Wedge is an amazing wave. But I’m glad I’m not 20 years old anymore, because I’d have to go prove myself out there.

What makes for good bodysurfing fins?

I’ve been wearing Da Fin for about 20 years, because it’s a very soft shoe pocket and a plenty powerful blade. Back in the day, when I first started lifeguarding and bodysurfing, you had two choices: it was either the ultra-soft and comfortable Churchills, which weren’t powerful; or you had the Duck Feet that were longer and stiffer, and although they were less comfortable, they were more powerful.

Nowadays, with the advent of bodyboarding, there are so many fins on the market that I just tell people to go with whatever fits their foot the best. A lot of those bodyboarding fins are shorter and stubbier – the bodyboarders don’t need as much blade; and they want to pull their fins out of the water for aerials and drop-knee – whereas I think bodysurfers want more power and more blade.

What are some tips for surfers looking to get into bodysurfing?

Make sure your suit stays on. Know how to swim. Kick like hell when you’re in the water – and that means matching your momentum with the wave, which is so much harder when you don’t have a board under you. And finally, come out of the water smiling. If you don’t come out of the water more stoked than when you went in, then you’re doing it all wrong.

Oct 30, 2019

From Seth

The mats worked out OK...


DT Fleming beach park.


Oct 23, 2019

From Sam

Appeared in Popular Mechanics Magazine, September 1924 (page #362).
Photo credit: unknown.
"For those who enjoy the sport of surf riding, a pneumatic board that is inflated with a hand pump has been placed on the market. It is constructed of a durable, rubberized fabric and has ribs which hold it flat for riding on the surface. It will support the weight of a heavy person. When deflated, it folds up into a small bundle weighing about six pounds, and is four feet eight inches long and twenty inches wide when blown up. It is said to be safer for the rider and other bathers than those of wood and cork. Bright-colored designs give the new boards a festive touch."
Retrievable on Google Books online: where, in addition to the magazine text, someone was inspired enough to write names, patent numbers and addresses in pencil in the margins of their copy.
The apparent difference in chamber configuration is interesting.

Oct 20, 2019

North By Northwest

“Still life” with kelp and jellyfish


Well, after a 6 month dry dock, except for SUP-in and crabbin, I’m in the water once more.  We’re at the northwest tip of the continental US, Neah Bay/Cape Flattery.  Stunning scenery, not so stunning waves, this morning anyway, but I went out anyway.  Brockway would’ve.  Mainly I had to test out my wetsuit/bootie combo in the 50F ocean.  Not bad, really.  Hands might suffer in an extended go-out, but all in all quite tolerable.  It was about 2’-3’ and mainly just walls.  Sandbars not doing so well at the moment.  Still felt GREAT though. 

Had an interesting day yesterday as we left Vancouver Island.  Got skunked at both Jordan River and Sombrio, by the by.  Beginning to think I’m a bit of a surf jinx.  The walk into Sombrio is awesome, though.  Turns out in Canada our Columbus Day is their Thanksgiving!!  Oh, so THAT’S why there’s so much traffic and the campgrounds are all a-buzz.  In spite of that we managed to find a spectacular camping spot by a river, complete with running salmon and many critters after them — bears, humans, eagles, seals swimming up river and hunting in teams.  Incredible.

So we thought we’d bug out on a Sunday on a long weekend.  Seemed like a plausible plan.  Downtown Victoria ought to be pretty quiet.  Ordinarily, I suppose that would’ve been the case, EXCEPT, for the marathon due to begin almost the moment we arrived!! Streets blocked off in all directions, and naturally Google Maps is of no help in such a situation.  With the assistance of a couple very helpful peace officers, and some gaps between real competitors and walkers, we made it to the ferry line. 

There you have it,