Shearwater - Custom Surfmat Taiwan Bound!

Surfmat Surf mat Chris Goodwin G-Mat 147 (Deck).jpg

This is Shearwater, a G-Mat Ute built for Chris Goodwin. I'm sure people will remember the classic shot of Chris riding his Chino Racer The Onion on a Typhoon Bomb in Japan.

Photo by AJ Goodwin

Photo by AJ Goodwin

Surfmat Surf mat Chris Goodwin G-Mat 147 (Plan).jpg
A Shearwater glides over the open ocean. Pic By John Harrison

A Shearwater glides over the open ocean. Pic By John Harrison

Shearwater is a 70/70 build with free rocker and complete free breather. Chris was keen to add some range to his quiver so we figured a lighter mat with an all round configuration would be a perfect addition.

Surfmat Surf mat Chris Goodwin G-Mat 147 (Bottom)

I'm really stoked to have been able to build another mat for Chris. He and his wife AJ are a cool as it gets. Living the dream and travelling around East Asia, soaking up the culture and introducing the lineups to the joy of Surfmats.

Surfmat Surf mat Chris Goodwin G-Mat 147 (Dedication).jpg

Currently they are in Taiwan. I have to admit, I did enjoy the irony of sending a custom surfmat over there!

Chris is a really solid (or floppy?) mat rider and I really value his feedback. I'm really excited to hear about the adventures he has with Shearwater.



Rattler... Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie!!!

G-Mat Rubber Bucky Surfmat Rattler Henry Marfleet

Say hello to G-Mat 145 (AKA "Rattler"). Rattler is the third mat I've built for UK based Ozzie, Henry Marfleet. I was over the moon to build this mat as Henry's previous mats have both been built for solid waves. He goes on annual trips to Indo so you can see why.

So back to Rattler; she's a 200/70 Rubber Bucky. Henry wanted to get in touch with his Ozzie roots so opted for a bit of colour... Green deck, yellow logo and yellow bottom. We went for clear grip to to add a touch of frosty goodness and let the green really show through.

G-Mat Rubber Bucky Surfmat Rattler Henry Marfleet

Rattler has a subtle neg rocker to work with the deeper concaved of the Rubber Bucky design to make what is going to be a fast and slippy mat. Perfect for Henry's frequent trips to Cornwall. (We always prepare ourselves for a week of onshore choss when he says he's coming down!).

G-Mat Rubber Bucky Surfmat Rattler Henry Marfleet
G-Mat 145 (3).jpg

Henry has also ordered a sexy green tee with a yellow logo. That's currently in the works so will be sent on later. Looking forward to getting in with Henry and Rattler next time he's down.



Hush Hush... Top Secret...

G-Mat 146 Surfmat Nouveau Racer Barry Palmatier

Every now and then a customer pops up on the waiting list who is a subscriber to the pre-mainstream approach to mat surfing of keeping your head down. No fuss. Low key mat. Just go surfing.

San Diego's Barry Palmatier is one of those people. He got in touch asking for a mat to ride heavy and hollow waves. It didn't take a great deal of chit-chat to come to the conclusion that a Nouveau Racer was the way forward. 

"What colours do you want mat?" 


"What about the grip?" 



"Small... Black." 

And the name? Well, it had to be "Top Secret" obviously!

Black on Black Tee

Black on Black Tee

G-Mat 146 Surfmat Nouveau Racer Barry Palmatier

I know it doesn't look it but these are actually colour photos!

So then, Top Secret is a 200/70 build with free rocker. She's a free breather to up the responsiveness and has Puraflex 40 grip. The front corners have also been gripped to help Barry to pull her under heavy sets. 

G-Mat 146 Surfmat Nouveau Racer Barry Palmatier

You might see Barry if you surf around SD. If you do, the password is "the mats are flying in the fall." In fact, he's keen to meet other mat surfers so if you want to get in touch with him, give me a shout and I can pass on details.

Have fun Barry!



G-Mat 146 Surfmat Nouveau Racer Barry Palmatier

UPDATE 30/10/2017

Word from Barry. Top Secret has landed:

I got it Friday, and have been meaning to write and let you know. 

I am THRILLED with the mat!!! It's exactly what I was looking for. 

I haven't had a chance to ride it yet....Saturday was small junk, no form and I didn't even want to spoil the experience by taking it out in crappy surf. 

Sunday the swell came up and it was really good size off the beach, but closed out. I could have gone down to the Sloughs (google it) where it was breaking at first notch (12 to 15ft faces) but I was short on time due to my daughter having a flying lesson at noon. I would have to be out of the water and ready to drive her out by 10 am, which is really not possible when surfing the sloughs. It's a long walk down to the river mouth and then a loooooong difficult paddle out. 

Now, it's raining in San Diego, so I will probably have to wait for the weekend to give it a try... 

I'm really looking forward to riding it!

Super thanks for the mat...I can tell it's going to be exactly what I needed for hollow days. 

UPDATE 11/11/2017

Barry has managed to get some waves. Seems pleased. 

I got to ride top secret for the first time today. Mixed south swell, foot or two over head on the sets..very hollow, breaking hard in shallow water. WOW what a mat! First wave was a heavy late takeoff left, that would have put me out in the flats watching the shoulder peal away on any other mat. Top secret pulled in nicely delivering up a beautiful in n out barrel with quick exit and down the line speed run. I'm so stoked right now, I can hardly wait to get more. I love the way it rides, and I don't feel like I really have it dialed in yet. Super thanks for the mat, the wait was definitely worth it.

I really like it. At first I was concerned the deck would be a little slippery. It felt that way with a flat hand on the deck while walking out, but once I hopped on all my concerns were gone. Very comfortable, and it stays put nicely. I ride with low inflation 180 deg before firm, which can make it difficult to keep under you, but it was no problem. 

Super happy with this mat!


Spitfire - A Bit of Bling for TVC

Say hello to G-Mat 144 (AKA "Spitfire"). She is a 200/70 Ute built for Aussie mat surfer, Tom Carroll.

G-Mat 144 Tom Carroll Surfmat

I've been eyeing this build as it's crept up with an air of excitement. Doing what I do, I have the privilege of building surfcraft for a number of people who have influenced my surfing over the years and this is one of those times.  I have never been a stand up surfer, but as a youngster, Tom Carroll's powerful, direct, no bullshit approach to riding waves had a huge impact on me.

I know what you're thinking.... That video looks just like my kneeboard surfing, right?! :D

Anyway, Tom has a pretty open mind when it comes to riding waves being well known for ripping on his SUP these days as well as charging monsters tow surfing. Part of his open mind has seen him find the surfmat.  I'm sure many people will have seen the images of Tom riding a Krypt mat at Uluwatu so there is no doubt that he has an aptitude for it.

G-Mat 144 Tom Carroll Surfmat

We managed to get Tom's trademark sash into the design on the deck. We talked about the logo and settled on a bit of bling with a holo effect using glitter in clear sealant. My friends Matt and Ian over at Warpmats have been messing about with this for a bit. It gives an interesting finish.

As you can see from the shot below, Tom has opted to have his initials below the G on the central pontoon. Being a custom G-Mat, Spitfires needs a number which has been set in to the deck towards the back right corner.

G-Mat 144 Tom Carrol Surfmat

Spitfire has set sail for Down-Under and should be there really soon. One thing I've learned over the past few weeks communication is that Tom gets EVERYWHERE so hopefully it won't be too long before he and Spitfire can hook up.

G-Mat 144 Tom Carroll Surfmat

It's been a real honour for me building Spitfire for Tom. With his experience as a waterman, I'm really excited to see where he takes the mat.



G-Mat 144 Tom Carroll Surfmat

UPDATE: 05/10/2017

Some pics of Tom from Ben Chipper over in Sydney.

Tom says he's off to France and Spain and Spitfire is going along too. Lets just hope the Atlantic can send some waves.



Little Dinky Winkles!

BIRTHDAY TIME!!! That's what Chally bey Rick Kenyon said to me when he said he wanted to order a mat. Who's birthday? Well, Jasper Newitt, son of another Chally local gone AWOL, Jim Newitt. 

Surfmat Surf mat Jasper Newitt Jim Newitt G-Mat 141 (1).jpg

Jim works as the Artistic Director of Surfer's Journal (done well!) and lives in the US these days but occasionally comes to back the South Devon for a visit. His lad, Jasper, is turning 6 and apparently, had a mat which Rick managed to pop so it was only right that he got a new one.

Talking to Rick, is only seemed right to go custom so we went for a Ute scaled to the average size of an 8 year old to give some growing room.

Surfmat Surf mat Jasper Newitt Jim Newitt G-Mat 141 (4).jpg

The mat is called "Captain Jasper's" which will amuse Plymouthians. As you can see, compared to a 5 Star General, she's tiny!

Surfmat Surf mat Jasper Newitt Jim Newitt G-Mat 141 (2).jpg

Captain Jasper's is a 1000/70 wheezer so super managable for a youngster but she'll go really well. The grip is really light and primarily aesthetic to look like a big boy mat.

Surfmat Surf mat Jasper Newitt Jim Newitt G-Mat 141 (3).jpg

Have fun Jasper! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!


G-Mat 142 (AKA "Michael Stripe")

Having taken a little time off for a wee trip away, I thought it would be nice to build myself a new mat for my personal quiver. It's been a while since I built myself a mat that wasn't a proto but I decided to treat myself.

G-Mat 142 Surfmat Ubercat Acid Dye

So, what to have. Well, I've been missing my old Ubercat and it has been a really long time since I've had one. Bryn Dampney has one named "Kessel Run" and I have really enjoyed riding her when we've surfed together so 70/70 with rocker seemed the way to go. 

G-Mat 142 Surfmat Ubercat Acid Dye

As you can see, I fancied a bit of colour and had surfed with a fella on a hull with stripes which I thought would look good on a mat so I got busy with the acid dye. I'm pretty pleased with how she looks, although Paul Mason did ask if I was going to "Police the lineup" (Perhaps I should have called her Nina!).

One interesting observation is the optical effects of the horizontal stripes... They make the narrower/longer Ubercat look short and fat! I did check in comparison to my Rubber Bucky though and as you can see, all is as it should be. 

G-Mat 142 Surfmat Ubercat Acid Dye
G-Mat 142 Surfmat Ubercat Acid Dye

Anyhoo, Michael Stripe has been surfed in waves at Gwenver in West Cornwall, that were less powerful than really warrant this design but she went well.

Gwenver Surf Surfmat

We also had a session in slightly bigger surf which really let Michael Stripe open up. Rail to rail surfing at speed... I forgot how much I love Ubercats!

Gwenver Surf Surfmat
G-Mat 142 Surfmat Ubercat Acid Dye

Suffice it to say, I am really stoked to welcome this mat in to my quiver.Here's hoping for a winter of solid hollow waves! 



G-Mat 142 Surfmat Ubercat Acid Dye

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!

Been busy knocking out 3 mats of late. I'm building myself a new ride and didn't want to slow down the waiting list so thought I'd pull out all the stops. The third in the set is a "little" bit different so I'll post about that down the line. For now here's some info on the first two.

G-Mat 139

To start, here's Shi Shi. The latest addition to the quiver of my oldest customer, Pete D'Ewart.

Surfmat Surf mat Peter D'Ewart G-Mat 139 (1).jpg

Pete is a Seattle Seahawks fan, being from Washington State. He gave me free range on the logo and I thought it might be fun to go with blue, grey and green to match his team's colours (the white on the logo is actually grey, believe me).

Surfmat Surf mat Peter D'Ewart G-Mat 139 (5).jpg
Surfmat Surf mat Peter D'Ewart G-Mat 139 (3).jpg

Anyway, Pete is an extremely experienced mat man. By which I mean one of the elders who kept mat surfing alive, riding Neumatics through the barren years.  He has a Rubber Bucky and loved the speed so the next step had to be negative rocker. As you can see, Shi Shi has it in abundance! 

That rocker combined with a 70/70, free breathing construction and very light Puraflex 40 grip job means this mat is very pliable and will be very, very fast! 

Surfmat Surf mat Peter D'Ewart G-Mat 139 (2).jpg

Pete has some travels planned so Shi Shi is going to get a good run out in a range of good quality waves in the hands of a master.

UPDATE: 24/08/2017

Email from Pete with a story about the spot that was namesake for this mat:

"Shi Shi"arrived in prefect condition.  I love the feel of 70/70.  Looking forward to some long glides. Thanks & me keep me in the queue if you will.  

Shi Shi is over an hour walk through the forest, usually muddy or a 20 minute boat ride from Hobuck.  We almost hit a gray whale returning from Shi Shi a few years ago in a Zodiac.  That trip resulted in the mat pack being made by Diane, my wife.  An herring net pouch with a draw string designed with a 2" back-pack nylon belt to stuff a rolled up deflated rolled mat into making it possible to swim out and under strong inside surf.  Dale commented at the time that if it is too big to get out with an inflated mat, you probably shouldn't go out.  I had rode to far inside on a blustery big day and had to deflate the mat and swim with one arm (the other hand gripping the mat to get back out to the boat.  The mat pack frees up both arms. Fun.


G-Mat 140

On to the second build, this time a 200/70 Ute named "Blackfish" for Julia Graham who lives near Santa Cruz, CA. Inspired by the important documentary of the same name. 

Surfmat Surf mat Julia Graham Santa Cruz G-Mat 140 (1).jpg

Julia has spent plenty of time riding G-Mats with here partner, Mark Garcia having both a 5 Star General and a Ute named "The Narwhal", so it was high time that she got hold of a custom fit! 

Surfmat Surf mat Julia Graham Santa Cruz G-Mat 140 (2).jpg

Blackfish is built with free rocker as Julia is going to be surfing a wide range of conditions and was keen for a mat that would get her moving down the line quickly. The grip is Grey Puraflex 40 so offers that reassuring sticky feel whilst having minimal impact on the overall pliability of the mat.

Surfmat Surf mat Julia Graham Santa Cruz G-Mat 140 (4).jpg
Surfmat Surf mat Julia Graham Santa Cruz G-Mat 140 (3).jpg

Things are pretty sharky around Santa Cruz right now, but that won't deter Julia! I think she's planning on just out-running them anyway... Move over Michael Phelps!

I'm really looking forward to hearing about how Julia and Blackfish get on... Stay tuned!



Surfmat Surf mat Julia Graham Santa Cruz G-Mat 140 (5).jpg

UPDATE: 31/08/2017

Email from Julia. Sounds like she's having fun:

Waves weren't too great this weekend but managed to catch a few on Saturday at Manresa. Love it! Really fast down the line and I love the maneuverability...and not as much mat to wrangle around :)