As many of you know, we've lost Rob Pollard. His mother Willow has graciously sent packets of his ashes to mat surfers in the US and Australia, and there will be paddle outs in his honor in both countries.
Two memorials are taking place in the US this Monday, October 11th. This is Willow's birthday, so with her blessing, we chose it as the date for our events.
One paddle out will be at Steamer Lane at 9AM. Meet up at the statue.
The second will be at Refugio State Park, north of Santa Barbara. We will begin gathering around 2PM, but the paddle out won't be until 4PM. Meet up in the public lot along the shore.
If you're familiar with Rob via Surfmatters and other social media, but can't make it, please keep him in your heart next Monday. It will mean the world to his friends and family.
As you may know, we've been off for the last couple of months. We had a long production delay in the spring due to supply chain issues, followed by a massive number of orders in the early summer after our long-awaited fabric order finally arrived. I can only build 2 or maybe 3 mats a day, so when we got over 80 mats behind, we decided to stop accepting new orders, and concentrate on filling our outstanding orders.
As of today, October 1st, we're caught up and will begin to take orders again....
For the next three weeks, while Dirk Brandts is finishing our now home page, we're going to take orders via email. Contact us at fourthgearflyer at yahoo dot com and let us know which model or models you want. We'll email you an invoice from PayPal. (You don't need a PP account, just a credit or debit card.)
A note on future pricing...
Over the past few years, we've received a number of minor price increases on our building material, but we've held our model prices steady. A few weeks ago, we received a much larger price increase, and as a result we're going to have to raise our own prices as of October 15th. We just can't stay in business if we don't.
In order to ease the sticker shock for the mat riding community, we're going to sell mats at our current prices through October 14th. ($260 plus shipping for all models, except the XL and UDT, which are $270 plus shipping.) When the new home page comes on-line on or about October 21st, the prices will be significantly higher for all models
Delivery times for the orders we get over the next 3 weeks will vary. The earliest orders will go out within a few days. The orders that come in towards the end of this period will take two-plus weeks to ship. So plan accordingly, especially if you have a trip coming up.
Unfortunately, we have to suspend foreign orders for the foreseeable future. We're still losing mats during the shipping process, and can't afford to continue selling overseas. This is more than likely Covid related, so hopefully we'll be able to resume taking foreign orders by this time next year.
Gloria and I can't thank you enough for all the support you've given us over the years, and all the wonderful friendships that have come from this experience.
"The shot with the astronauts is fun. Most are NOT Team guys. You can
tell by their swimsuits. UDT swim trunks are all we ever wore. The guy
in the front row on the left definitely IS. He’s wearing UDT swim
trunks with web belt and K-Bar knife. We always wore our watches on our
right wrist, because we didn’t want the snare to catch our watch during
cast and recovery ops. On his left wrist he’s wearing a compass and
depth gauge. He recently got out of the water since his trunks are
still wet. I don’t know his name, but it’s likely he’s East Coast, UDT
The dark haired guy on the far left in the wetsuit top is Corney Leyden. He was a master chief in UDT 22 when I was there from ‘67-71. He was our diving Department chief and knew tons about all three of our diving rigs and kept us all current. Corney is wearing issue booties that we’re a MUST with Duck Feet, because the fins would tear up your feet without them."
Riding a 4thGearFlyer in overhead waves. This was my first session riding the Lotus model. The handmade surf mat by Paul Gross is narrower & has less volume so the idea is you'd want to ride it in bigger surf or smaller waves with power. This particular day in Hawaii had some size, but also had a little wind which created some bump. The Lotus felt more responsive and easier to turn. Glad to have this model in the quiver.
Lou G. put me on to a really good website, "The Surf Film Archives." It's free to join, and there's a treasure trove of old surf films that haven't been seen for decades.
Here are some frame grabs of George G ripping on a Converse Hodgman mat in the early 70's...
I joined a Facebook group “Surfers 70 and over”, and the vibe is, understandably, “decline”!
Can’t pop up, so 10’ longboards and SUPs are the answers. Well, obviously I don’t feel that way, so as a public service I’ve been, from time to time, proposing the surf mat as an alternative. Maybe you will see an uptick in your website traffic, because this post finally got some reactions.
I don’t want to oversell the mat, and I talk about the learning curve. Really, I’m just so grateful for my late in life years of surfing on your mats (the best years, too) that I feel that I have to say something to these people!
The universe is strange..Mara and I went out at a pretty schetchy coral reef claws break this morning.. Said a couple words to Mouse paddling out..I took my mat out for it's maiden voyage in Hawaii. Couple local guys noticed my "floatation device" after I caught a couple off the side ones. told them I was trying to catch a good one for my friend Mouse. Told them his story. I had to wait a pretty long time to get a good one but I was gonna do it. I said come on Mouse send me one...A frikkin bomb starts heading my way. I was outside of everyone turned and went.. Nothing but hoots from the guys inside...Best wave of the whole trip... Good thing about being old is sometimes it just takes one good one!
Aloha Mouse...THANKS Paul for all the stoke that riding a mat adds to the surfing experience.
Quick birthday trip for my wife out to New Smyrna Beach, Fla for a few days this past weekend from our home near Denver, ColoRADo….
Brought my Fatty 4thGF, first time trying it in the ocean; I have surfed The Fatty a bunch but only on stationary river waves.... It was a blast being that tourist kook in the Florida surf sporting pasty white skin, a hat, fins (booties duct taped on since my Yucca fins are size XXL my for cold water booties), and a ton of sunblock....
Photos are of me the next to last day of the trip taken by my wife…. The last day of the trip, I was mat surfing the outside sandbar in better conditions mixing it up in the lineup with the locals by the NSB inlet and getting my fair share of rides on the 4thGF half-inflated bag... So incredibly fun to actually to get The Fatty surfmat into ocean waves!!!…. PS, I hear that another one of my river surfing buddies just ordered a Fourth Gear Flyer (The Fatty) to river surf with as well….
Hey Paul hope all is well!
Just wanted to share some footage of myself on a recent trip down in baja riding a 9" nail fin in a 7' hull my friend zak klein made for me. The board is stringerless eps, extremely flat rocker and convex through the tail. I loved the way the nail fin felt. I'm short and sturdy and it never felt over flexed when pushing hard like some other fins I have used.
At the end of the video I am riding a 4th gear flyer standard mat.
Hope you enjoy and feel free to post anywhere if you want to