G-Mat Goes Renewable & You Can Too!!!

Surfmats are about as eco-friendly as it gets when it comes to Petro-Chemically based surfcraft. Since the days of early headaches from Vulkem 116, I have always prided myself on seeking out the most functional sealants for gripping mats with the lowest VOC ratings. 

However, welding mats is an energy thirsty exercise with my welding table running at 750 watts and a 300 watt welding iron for corners.  There's no getting away from it, that's a fair bit of energy! 

But now the workshop has gone 100% renewable!!!

That's right. I've shifted over to an energy supplier called Bulb who provide 100% renewable electricity. Also, 10% renewable gas.  You can see where their energy comes from here:


Pretty sweet and here's the really good bit. Their tariffs are pretty low AND if you live in the UK, you can switch over to them via this link and get £50 credit on your account. They'll even pay any early get out fees from your current supplier!


That's £50 towards your next mat! :-)

So... Get on it!



5 Star General 70/70 Proto

G-Mat 5 Star General 70-70 Prototype Surfmat

Little proto here. As you can see, this is a 5 Star General, my "off the shelf" model that I build for UK Mat Surfers. This one is different though. No, not the colour. That's just cause I had some sexy material lying around and this is a prototype.  

The 5SG is a well tested design. There are a few floating around our there and I've had nothing but good feedback from the people who own them. This one is different because of the materials. This is a 70/70 build so has a 70 denier bottom skin as normal, plus a 70d deck rather than the usual 200d. That means this mat is super light weight so gives a really sensitive and fast ride. 

I've tested this mat in small weak waves and shapely hollow racie shoulder to head high surf (see below) so far and she has gone great! 

Surfmat Harlyn
G-Mat 5 Star General 70-70 Prototype Surfmat

So, all good. What this all means is that I will be adding a 70/70 5 Star General to the mix with the next batch that go to UKMS. A great addition to the quiver, if I do say so myself! 


G-Mat 127 (AKA "Isabel")

This is Isabel. She's a 200/70 G-Mat Ute built for Paul Lorello over in New Jersey.

G-Mat 127 Surfmat Paul Lorello

Paul is an experienced mat surfer and got on the waiting list after getting hold of a 5 Star General from UK Mat Surfers.

G-Mat 127 Surfmat Paul Lorello

Isabel has been built with a free rocker. Paul surfs hollow, fast breaking beach breaks (well, he is in NJ after all!) so free rocker seemed the best bet to get down the line whilst still benefitting from the Ubercat's hold.

G-Mat 127 Surfmat Paul Lorello

The deck is 200d in royal blue and the bottom 70d navy. The grip is Puraflex 40 and covers the front corners.  The livery looks yellow in these pics but that's down to some kind of interaction with the blue I think. The logo is actually green, as you can see from the bag.

G-Mat 127 Surfmat Paul Lorello

Paul has gone for a free breather to add a little more zip and a standard deck valve placement.

G-Mat 127 Surfmat Paul Lorello

As for the name. Isabel is named after Paul's new Granddaughter.


G-Mat 127 Surfmat Paul Lorello
G-Mat 127 Surfmat Paul Lorello

So off she goes. I reckon Isabel is going to be the perfect companion for Paul's 5SG. Looking forward to hearing back. Have fun Paul!



G-Mat 127 Surfmat Paul Lorello

UPDATE 04/08/2017

Word from Paul:

"Isabel arrived yesterday and  I lucked out  because the wind turned offshore and the 2-3 ft closeouts I’ve been riding the past few weeks turned into glass, with some punch.

Mat rode great and I was able to get a feel for how good it will be when the size bumps up, which should be soon.

Can’t say enough about the excellent quality and really appreciate the fact that these are handmade…kind of a rarity these robotic  days.

Paul Lorello"

Glory Goes Deep...

Sounds like someone scored....


On Sunday, while the northern California surfing world formed a huge circle in the waters off Pleasure Point to honor the life of Jack O'Neil...I paddled out at Steamer Lane on Glory. No disrespect to Jack as he was a hugely honorable man and I have been an advocate of his products for over 40 years, but the opportunity for a perfect wave with minimal crowd conditions was too tempting (I think Jack would understand and approve, as he was larger than life on the outside but a true waterman on the inside).

To make things neat and tidy here is the deal...started off inside at Middles...caught a handful of mid-size (2-4' face) waves and got some nice long rides. Then I graduated myself out to the main break in front of the looming dark cliffside where the waves were considerably larger with 6' faces. I waited in the line up as the handful of board surfers got waves...then eased towards the deeper section behind them. Soon enough I caught a set wave, carved a nice arching bottom turn, pulled into a deep barrel section, came out as the wave rounded the point and was immediately hopped by more than 3 longboarders who had no idea I was there.

I tucked underneath the white water and returned to the line up to await the next set which came soon enough. I caught another wave with equal result except for the hoppers part as I yelled my fool head off from inside the barrel which caused them to hesitate...100 yards later I kicked out over the dwindling wave face and returned to the line up once again. As I passed through the cluster of guys who were hanging on the inside all of them commented on my ride positively.

From that point onI didn't have to say a word...just kick like hell and commit! All in all, I caught over a dozen set waves in short order and burnt my matches...legs like noodles, I caught one last wave and let it carry me to within 30 feet of the egress rock pile at the bottom of the cliff. I exited almost gracefully except for one bobble while removing my fins, walked up the steps, and found my way home.

Alan Whitsett Surfmat

Thank you for your part in this story...no photos this time...as I wanted to stay low key. I will go back Thursday to a much larger south swell and will shoot some video.

Alan Whitsett"

Big, Bright & Sexy!

A bit of colour on this one then! This is G-Mat 136 (AKA "Jah-Sea-I") built for San Franciscan, Jesse Witthoft. Jah-Sea-I is a Flying Carpet designed to get the juice out of even the slightest swell.

Surfmat G-Mat 136 Jesse Witthoft Flying Carpet Custom

Jess is an interesting fella to build mats for. First off, he is huge!  Secondly, he has a unique riding style way back on the mat (As you can see in the pic below) so there is a lot to think about regarding grip placement. As you can see, the grip is towards the back following a design by Jesse. There is also a bungee for a leash.

Photo by @steevsea - Click the pic to follow him on Instagram

Photo by @steevsea - Click the pic to follow him on Instagram

When building mats for lager riders you have to consider the weight of material. 70d fabric feels like 30d on a jumbo mat. As a result, we have gone for a 200d deck rather than the standard 70d on a Flying Carpet, but Jah-Sea-I still feels super light.

Surfmat Custom G-Mat 136 Jesse Witthoft Flying Carpet

The other issue was that the original plan was for a red bottom skin. We tried and tried and tried with dying a sheet but the size of the fabric meant I just could not get an even finish around the edges. It was bigger than my work bench!  

In the end, we settled to build the mat and go for an all yellow dip dye which has come out great! I now also have a bit of red 70d fabric in the bank now (it's enough for a less massive mat!)

Surfmat Flying Carpet G-Mat 136 Jesse Witthoft Custom

Finally, given Jesse's riding style and the neg rocker in Jah-Sea-I we have gone with slightly more rounded corners than normal to prevent catching.

So, Jah-Sea-I is heading of as soon as UPS get her. Can't wait to hear what the SF locals make of her! She's a fast mat.



Blue Goose!

Say hello to G-Mat 135 (AKA "Blue Goose"). Blue 

G-Mat 135 (1).jpg

Blue Goose is a 70/70 G-Mat Rubber Bucky heading out to Jesse Tuesday in San Francisco. This is a mat built for out and out speed with negative rocker and free-breathing internal venting. Jess was keen on maximising pliability whilst having plenty of traction so we have gone with Puraflex 40 grip. The front corners are fully covered to help with hanging on.

Surfmat G-Mat 135 Blue Goose Jesse Tuesday

This is the second mat I've built for Jesse. His last mat, Sea Schmoo was a Ute built exactly a year earlier. Blue Goose will certainly open up some bottom end stuff for Jesse but with plenty of crossover, will also offer a different angle on his surfing.

G-Mat 135 (3).jpg

Certainly a different ride to a 200/70 Ute. I always look forward to hearing about the experiences with neg rocker from experienced mat surfers.




PS. After tats in SF? Tuesday Tattoo is your place. 

UPDATE: 08/06/2017

Word from Jesse:

"Hey G,

    Got the Goose in the water and she’s brilliant. Fast enough to make sections and has enough bite take the hi-line. She even accelerates and holds well enough to get into the face of a wave when taking off late out in the crumble zone. Thank you again, your mats are definitely worth the wait!


G-Mat 134 - Making America Inflate Again!

G-Mat 134 Alan Whitsett Glory Stars and Stripes Surfmat

Meet "Glory", a G-Mat Nouveau Racer heading off to Santa Cruz. Glory is the new steed of Alan Whitsett, a mat surfer with a penchant for big and heavy waves.  Alan asked for a pretty distinctive design which, after a little collaboration, we hit bang on. 

Here's what Alan had to say about the design:

"I'm probably the happiest when I'm in the water and my humor and humanity is reflected most...it seems to me that the world needs to see that America still has goodness in it...the abstract use of the star images rather than rigid rows is whimsical...I want to be the ambassador that makes people laugh and smile, to focus on our commonalities rather than our differences." The name "Glory", ha...well it's kind of complicated...a bit personal and a bit political keeping in mind the current regime in Washington."

G-Mat 134 Alan Whitsett Glory Stars and Stripes Surfmat
G-Mat 134 Alan Whitsett Glory Stars and Stripes Surfmat

"My first waves were ridden on a mat in 1958...I was four. When I first paddled out last year on my 4th Gear Flyer at Steamer Lane...and caught that first wave...I remembered how glorious I felt as a four year old...sliding across the water, laughing, giggling, wanting more. The mat for me is a "new-found Glory", a "coming home" if you will. The flag design came after that realization...it just made sense to combine my sense of glory with our flag "Old Glory"

G-Mat 134 Alan Whitsett Glory Stars and Stripes Surfmat

So there you have it. Pretty distinctive mat for a pretty distinctive fella. Glory is a 200/70 set-up built as a free-breather with free elastic rocker and gripped with Puraflex 40. Down the line speed is the go! 

Alan is heading off on a trip to San Jose del Cabo early next month so a Nouveau Racer seems a pretty good pick if things are firing over there. I'm sure Alan will turn a few heads! Hopefully we'll get some stories and pics.



G-Mat 134 Alan Whitsett Glory Stars and Stripes Surfmat