Dec 19, 2020
Santa set up shop in Santa Cruz recently, and brought along his Vespa in case he had time to crack it. (He's strictly a westsider, BTW...) Between go-outs, he used his favorite roundtail up on it's nose as a door to his inflatable workshop.
"Ho Ho Ho! I'd like to drop a few LBs by this time next year, and get a Tracker," Santa commented hopefully.
The candy cane window dressing is serving as high-carb chow for his reindeer as they chill before launching next Thursday night!
Dec 8, 2020
Nov 24, 2020
This is from our trip to South Africa last year. A great trip with great friends and great waves. This is a section of a movie that Josh Simpson is slowly working on. It features Ellis Ericson, Beau Foster, and myself.
More to come maybe.
Thanks for the fun, we always enjoy the ride.
Nov 21, 2020
Nov 12, 2020
So it's been more than seven years since I bought my Omni from you and it's still going strong. Actually, after largely neglecting it for a while, I started taking it out more frequently in the last couple years ... Including some good Rincon sessions with other mat riders. Such a blast.
Nov 2, 2020
Oct 29, 2020
Oct 24, 2020
Sorry Vlad, no more mats for you...
Sad news...4gf won't be shipping mats out of the USA until further notice.
Our postal service will no longer track packages once they leave the States, nor will they offer insurance. We've already lost several foreign shipments in the past year due to poor tracking, so this latest developement is the straw that broke the camel's back.
Of course, there are alternatives for foreign shipping. While we spend between $60 and $70 to ship a mat overseas with the US Postal Service, shipping services such as DHL and Fed Ex are approaching $200 for the same package.So it's prohibitively expensive.
So, for the time being, we will will only ship within the US. When the situation changes, we'll let you know.
Paul and Gloria
Oct 22, 2020
Oct 15, 2020
Oct 4, 2020
Oct 2, 2020
Oct 1, 2020
Mate thank you once again for another splendid job , the Lotus is precisely what I had envisioned.
Ella spilt the beans a few weeks back, that she had ordered the mat for me. Hahaha it blew me away, I told her to not spend money on me , to save her money as she’s only 17. However I was wrapt none the less because it was a lovely gesture.
It’s funny because I was about to get on to you about 3 weeks ago after our last conversation. I got a larger than expected tax bill in and was going to message you to put the mat on hold for a bit. Thanks for putting the mat together for Ella and myself, your a good man Paul. I absolutely love the look and feel of it and am chomping at the bit to christen it. Take care mate thanks again.
Sep 28, 2020
Hi Paul, I hope you are doing well.
I just purchased a tracker surfmat.
I have tried several surfmats in the 15 years that I
have been practicing, I must say that my standard model, bought
a few years ago is by far my favorite ! (perfect for my sons too
!) the upper fabric has a super grip!
Thank you for this good job
Sep 21, 2020
Sep 20, 2020
Sep 13, 2020
Indicator walls ...
How are you? Hope my writing is legible. No spellcheck either! The facade of literacy is stripped away.
It’s beautiful here, everything I’d hoped for. I’m living in a little Schack (my name for it). No electricity, propane stove, wind whistling through the cracks… no city hum, no mobile reception, just birds, wind, occasional distant “moos” and sheep bleats. Already without internet I see my reading attention span returning- so stoked! Going to sleep at sundown & getting up at sunrise(ish).
The first week I was travelling with a friend-of-a-friend I just met, doing tourist stuff, de-emphasizing surfing for her sake. Hard though- the weekend we got here, the swell was pumping. I did manage a mat surf though, on the second morning, which prompts this letter. Not a report though- an anecdote….
A knock on our room’s door. It’s Phil, owner of Solscape, a thriving eco-retreat here in Raglan and an old friend. Phil began surfing as an adult a few decades ago, and has become quite a charger, blessed to learn in such a consistent, quality wave zone. He’s pretty fearless, and a bit macho. And this day, for some reason, he’s asking if he can have a go at a mat. Whoa! He’s always taken the piss out of me (in a friendly way) about riding mats. Er- OK, sure Phil!
We check Manu Bay. It looks perfect for mats, but it’s crowded (it’s a Saturday). But Phil isn’t feeling it. He’s an Indicator’s guy- a much more challenging ride- bigger, longer, faster, more walled. Pretty hard on a mat!
And yes, it’s a LOT bigger! Sets are well overhead. And it’s high tide. The shore break is SLAMMING against the lava rocks, the current is intense, guys are paddling for their lives, and it ain’t clean or perfect at all- YIKES!
And that’s where Phil wants to have his first-ever mat surf.
Why didn’t I put the brakes on this stupidity? Partly trying to save face, partly trying to keep up with Phil (who has a history of “challenging” me this way), and maybe just a hint of wanting to “challenge” him back!
As we puffed up our mats and put on our fins, I dolefully recalled the part of your Rider’s Guide suggesting it’s be good to pick slightly larger surf for your first go-out, to benefit from having a little push (or however you put it)….
Anyway, there we were, looking at overhead walls from about 15’ above sea level. We jumped in at The Keyhole (the one safe in/out spot, as tiny as it sounds), and powered out. My heart was pounding, and I could see Phil was getting a vertical learning curve on navigating an inflatable. Considering what we had been watching from the shore, we got very lucky paddling out- a decent lull (that I had no faith would be repeated… and wasn’t!).
We were wide to the side of the takeoff zone, but as it turns out, in about the right spot for the biggest swing-wide bomb sets- maybe a bit too far in, actually! And sure enough, right when we caught our breath, a MONSTER set came through. Picture it: eight foot face, lime green, choppy sidecar opaque wall- zero taper, just a solid wall hundreds of yards long climaxing in those awful lava rocks! We paddled like mad, barely making it over the first one, even further back from the second one. It was huge! What the hell was I doing out here, and what about poor Phil? What had I gotten him into?
And here’s the third wave, already peeling from the top of the point, gobbling all paddlers and drop-in attempts 100 yards up the line. It’s feathering 50 feet in front of us… we might just make it over- just-
and… there’s Phil, turning around and going for it! I’ll never forget the look on his face- psychotic glee- and how huge that wave was, and how LATE it was- crumbling over him, just his face, arms and hands visible. I screamed a broken Gyuto Monk harmonic as I punched through, made it over the last wave, and turned to scan the inside…
He friggin’ made it! He was down the line a fair bit, still had the thing, and was flip-floppin’ slowly back out.
Phil caught a few more waves that morning, and lost the mat for a good long time too- I should ask him about that…. I don’t know if he caught the bug (he was enjoying paddling up to his mates showing off, I think, what an absurd thing he was doing), but the fact that he tried it at all was something of a paradigm shift.
Anyways, more later. Hope all is well with you and Gloria.
Jonathan ... AKA Tusked Beast
Sep 2, 2020
Aug 29, 2020
So what does the Isle of Wight Music Festival of 1970 have to do with surfmatting? Our man Kenny Hughes was there with another legend of alternative surfing, the late John Brockway!
Using modern facial recognition software, we were able to pick the two, very young San Diegans out of the IOW crowd with a predicted 99.997% accuracy.
Aug 27, 2020
Aug 23, 2020
Hey Paul ..
Aug 15, 2020
Aug 12, 2020