Dec 20, 2020

Dec 19, 2020

Spotted By Steiny


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

Socially Distant Dog Tag!



From Ledbetter this afternoon...

Nov 24, 2020

From Matthew

Hey Paul, 

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

From Don




Since in all my years of matting I have had only one picture taken I was sort of stoked to see I was captured on the Surfline cam yesterday. Fun on the Tracker, this has been a pretty great week. Here is the vid, going right. Thanks for your mat designing skills!


Nov 12, 2020

From Nilus



Hey, Paul!

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.

I just got back from a trip to the Outer Banks (my daughter was competing at NSSA nationals) and found some really fun tube opportunities at a mysto sandbar that was like a reverse sandspit. Also rode it at the Waco wave pool last year. (Pics of both attached.)


Nov 2, 2020

From Sounder The Beagle's Mom


 Hey PG,

Just got out on my Fatty for first time this weekend. I paddled out at Del Mar yesterday. It was a clear and gorgeous fall morning. To my complete surprise, a dude was out there on an Omni showing me how it's done. I was so stoked to see another 4GF!! He said he was from Newport Beach, but I didn't catch his name. I asked him for some pointers after which, I caught a nice left. I'm getting used to riding bag of air. There's a learning curve for sure but having fun in School of Ocean. Thanks Paul!

PS.   Hey, wondering about surfing with other San Diego locals. Do you know of any flyers in SD Country that might like to do a meet up?

Thanks PG! 


thewordnerd at yahoo dot com

Wait...Did This Guy Just Call Me a Kook???


Oct 29, 2020

From Jon





 Hey Paul,

I hope you're having a great week! I wanted to send along a shot from this past weekend that my friend Nick Lavecchia took of myself headed out on my Tracker along with my buddy Ty who's a boarder. We had some great swell here in southern Maine and NH and I rode five sessions from Thursday night to Sunday morning all on the Tracker. It was good size surf, Saturday was 6-9ft in the evening, so the paddle out and the few times I got caught inside were an adventure to say the least. 
I lost the mat a couple times each session and had to bodysurf in, pick it up, and make the paddle out again. But, the big waves and fun shoulders I caught made it all worth it. I felt like my riding made some steps forward where I was able to chain multiple sections together, make some great cutbacks, and FLY on some big shoulders. 

Sadly in the next month or so the water will get too cold for anything but mittens here, which I think will make it too hard for me to keep a handle on the mat on big days. 

Thanks for making such an awesome product.




Oct 24, 2020

Foreign Shipping Suspended for 4GF


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

From Tusked Beast


Very interesting bit at 8:30 about a neurological "aspect of lateral acceleration that makes us feel good" pertinent to surfing, but the rest of the piece is thought-provoking too eg., some insights into assholism....

Hope you're well. After a queasy summer of smoke, heat and dull surf that did nothing to distract, here in SF we've had a nice run of clean air, offshore/glass and good small surf. I've found a lot of soul-healing on the Lotus... for which it seems appropriate to send you namaste.

Hang in there....




Oct 15, 2020

From Dennis


 Hey Paul,

Got the new vespa roundtail yesterday-been out twice in mushy sub-par surf and have had a lot of fun.  (much more than I would have had on one of my surfboards). It catches waves easily and despite its size,it is very quick to respond to input.  I have a lot to learn, and am having fun with the process.  
Thanks again-


Oct 5, 2020

From Warren

 Just add fins!



Oct 4, 2020


Hi Paul!

Hope you’re well. I just ordered a Standard model mat. Stoked to try it out, I’ve been riding the Tracker Roundtail for a few years  now.

Roundtail offshore day shifting into 4th gear

@fulltoilet on Instagram

Thanks again,

Oct 2, 2020

From KP



 Hey Paul,

 Malloy girls having fun. 

 Hope you guys are Safe and Good .

Oct 1, 2020

From Frankie D

 Hello Paul, 

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

From Bryce


Hi Paul, I hope you are doing well. 

Last winter Regi came to visit me in Barbados when my research ship pulled in there and brought the mats. I shot a couple rolls of film and just got done processing it. This was the first time Regi ever had ridden a mat! You can see the pure joy in her face, so cool.

She LOVES the custom mat you made her. She is primarily on the 4GF now and rides her surfboards only when the crowds and conditions all come together perfectly. She says that riding a mat just is way more fun! Anyways, I thought you would appreciate these.

Your friend, 


From Stephane


Hello Paul

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

From Surf Sister


My friend Adele finally got the bug. 🙂

Sep 20, 2020

From Mark


My friend Candra, got hooked on matting with me in Summerland, ca these last few weeks... she should placing an order with you soon!!! 


cheers 🍻 mark

Sep 13, 2020

From Jonathan


Hi Paul,
The only surfing I've been doing this smokey summer has been in my head. 
I transcribed a hand-written letter I sent you in 2015 when I was traveling in New Zealand, which you printed here in all it's chicken-scratch illegibility. I thought you might like to offer it again in a readable form, with a photo that matches the day, and a photo/link to the man I was writing about, who's well worth knowing a little more about. 
Since the Surfer article was written, Phil has sold his eco-retreat (with prescient timing), and is devoting himself full time to environmental activism for our oceans. A good man. He even kept up with mat surfing, after this audacious introduction....

  Indicator walls ...


Hi Paul,

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

From Geoffrey


 Aside from the snake-job at 1:00, pretty cool.  (Maybe they're friends???)

Aug 29, 2020

50th Anniversary of The Isle of Wight Music Festival

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!


                              Globetrotters Kenny and John in Central America, a few years later.


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

From Greg



It got a bit better, but my camera battery died.

Aug 23, 2020

From Lou


 Hey Paul ..

A good mate purchased this in '71 for $25..left under a bed at his mums house ,flat and coated in Talcum Powder..just pulled it out the other day,still in good nick..
Think Bob may have purchased a Flyer from you a couple of years ago for his wife..
Take it easy.😎

Aug 15, 2020

From Kevin


 From Kevin Mirsky. He’s a surfer/artist from Marin.


From Lou -- 1965 Australian Beach Fun


Aug 12, 2020

From Ward


Dear Paul,

Thanks Paul!  Ky and his kid sisters worked last weekend to try and make some mats out of pool floats and a hair straightening iron.  The smell of melted plastic and laughter.  They took them surfing straight away and had a blast except he had to inflate his mat with every set of waves on the horizon.  Ha!  His first version was an old thermarest I had in college.  Before my living room became a wasteland for prototypes I told him to just get the real deal!

Thanks again,


Aug 1, 2020

Mystery Event ???

From Brandon

Even with only 55% power on hand, and 22 Brandon Carlsons ahead of him, Brandon still manages to convey is stoke!

Jul 25, 2020

SCUMM Surf/Shill Session

i Paul
Weird & Wacky times here at the moment as we hurtle towards a 2nd lockdown!

I have been loving reading all the posts on the Surfmatters site but unfortunately cannot share any on my FB page as apparently 'it does not meet community standards' so you must have a real fan there or a frustrated mat rider, either way its weird!

Yesterday morning we were lucky to score some fun waves out at Gilligans with our usual cohorts of friends and would make a point of recommending these Soft Surf Helmets from DMC Fins, considering we surf low to the water it offers extra protection to the head while surfing on those crowded days and helps also with sun protection on the back of your neck and throw in the amphibious eyeware from Barz Optics and you can roll with the whole package!

Stay Wet & Safe


Adam and Bigshot Neal

Neal in Bigshot Evening Wear

Jul 22, 2020

From Cher

Dear Paul,

We hope that my email finds you and Gloria well and enjoying July.

Steve and I have been enjoying dawn patrols on the low tide curve. This week there has been a fun NW windswell and small SW swell mix. With days of onshore winds, the water dropped more than ten degrees! One morning measured 56 degrees on our friend’s dive watch. Chilly but refreshing! We’re back in our full suits. Water was a bit warmer this morning.

As promised, here is a scan of the mat surfing photo of me by Sarah Lee that was published in Lauren Hill’s book "She Surf." This photo appears in Sarah Lee’s feature in the book. I’ve also attached a cover shot of the book. It’s an honor to be featured. Later in the book, there is a story and photos of me surfing my boards.

Thank you Paul for the amazingly fun surf craft that you make for us. Steve and I are all smiles. 

Love and Aloha,
Cher and Steve