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