It's Opposite Day!

It’s been a bit slowed down of late with some family stuff going on but I’m back with a mat for Jamie McClellan. This mat, which Jamie has named Wheezy Jefferson iis built by way of wages for Jamie’s work for MatSurfers.com.

G-Mat Surfmat Jamie McClellean Weezy Jefferson G-Mat Rubber Bucky 70/70 Surf mat Free-breather

Jamie is one of those mat riders that has a special talent. He’s put in the hard hours and surrendered himself to the craft and is, as a result, able to work with very lightweight and plable mats to manage the drift and tap in to that sought after quality of surfmats…

SPEED!

G-Mat Surfmat Jamie McClellean Weezy Jefferson G-Mat Rubber Bucky 70/70 Surf mat Free-breather bottom

Weezy then is something of an ironic name because Weezy Jeffereson is the very opposite of being wheezy. This mat is a free-breather with I-beams with crescent cut ends and 5 breather holes. What that means is that the internal venting is completely unrestricted.

Weezy Jefferson is bult withnegative rocker, very light weave 70d bottom skin and I-beams and a slightly denser (but still very light) 70d deck. She also has slightly squarer than normal back corners wihich further relaease hold in the tail. The grip is also applied thinly as Jamie is more than able to top it up if needed.

All in all, this is an incredibly lightweight and pliable surfmat that will go like a greased turd off a hot shovel!

G-Mat Surfmat Jamie McClellean Weezy Jefferson G-Mat Rubber Bucky 70/70 Surf mat Free-breather branding plan shape

At the time of writing this post, Jamie and his family are hunkering down to ride our Hurricane Dorian so Weezy Jefferson is still sat in G-Mat Towers and will go out once things calm down. In the meantime, take care of yourself McClellans.

Cheers

G

Blue Raspberry

Ladies and Gents, Boys and Girls, please welcome Blue Raspberry into your local lineup! (If you're in Santa Cruz).

G-Mat 155 Surfmat Blue Raspberry Jason MacMurray

Blue Raspberry is a G-Mat Ute built for my good friend and accomplished mat rider, Jason MacMurray. She is a 70/70 construction with acid dyed deck with progressively faded striped starting with a deep burgundy tail dip. The whole mat is actually more burgundy than the shots let on. 

G-Mat 155 Surfmat Blue Raspberry Jason MacMurray

Design-wise, Blue Raspberry (named by Jason's daughters) has a Hestered valve (because Jason's face needs all the help it can get). She is a free-breather with negative elastic rocker. Rockers in mats are only visible at rock hard inflation but their effects are felt even at low inflation. Negative rocker is the fastest and in combination with the lightweight materials (and this 70d navy I have in stock right now is lovely on that front) and unrestricted air flow, Blue Raspberry is going to go like a greased shit off a hot shovel!

G-Mat 155 Surfmat Reverse Rocker Blue Raspberry Jason MacMurray

Blue Raspberry is en route right now so I'm looking forward to the ride report. I've set it before... Sometimes you build a mat that you really don't want to let go of... This is one of those times...

Have fun Jason!

G

PS For more on rockers, have a read HERE.

G-Mat 155 Surfmat Blue Raspberry Jason MacMurray

A Bit More Noir

Jamie McClellan is something of a connoisseur of surfmats. The UK Mat Surfers king of Social Media likes them light, sensitive and low key. So here's his latest...

G-Mat 126 (AKA "Angela Davis") is a 70/70 Rubber Bucky with negative rocker and a Hestered valve. The grip goes over the corners to help Jamie to hang on which might be handy because this mat is gonna be quick.

She set sail on Tuesday so should make it fit the weekend. 

Let's see how they go. 😀 

G

G-Mat 119 - WUNDERBAR!!!

It's been quite a while since I dyed a mat and, if I'm honest, it's a job I hate doing, but the results tend to make it worth while. That's certainly how I feel about Ian Wraith's new Rubber Bucky named "Wunderbar". 

Wunderbar is built with high speed glide in mind. She is a 70/70 with negative rocker and a Hestered valve.  Ian lives to ride at super-low inflation so Wunderbar is set up as a free-breather to maximise speed.

As mentioned up top, Wunderbar has been dyed VERY green. I think this is set of nicely with the black of the Puraflex 40 grip and the black logo. Ian has gone for grip around the front corners, including the edge-lap to help with keeping hang of Wunderbar in gloves this winter.

I'm looking forward to handing this gal over to Ian. I'm also looking forward to getting a quick go!  

Cheers  

G

Centurion and Something Else a bit Sexy!

Well, I've hit the century with G-Mat 100!

This is one of two mats heading off to Oz. The other is G-Mat 97.  Aussie mat wonder, Warren Pfeiffer, was keen to try out some negative rocker and that is what has gone into the mix for G-Mat 97 (AKA "Doppleganger).

Doppleganger is a 70/70 Rubber Bucky. As I say, she has a negative rocker and has pigmented grip in glorious forest green to match the bottom skin. She also has the Hestered valve welded in which is a development that I'm pretty pleased with. Extra work but worth it. I'm pretty sure Warren will enjoy this set up. Not the easiest ride but is set up for lots of glide and speed.

G-Mat 100 (AKA "Centurion") is a 70/70 Flying Carpet in sexy black on black with a blue bottom skin. Flat rocker to get her moving and the valve welded in again. The jungle pattern looks interesting with the back on black I think.

Both of these mats also have a new sealant which has tested very well recently. Puraflex 40 has all of the pliability of Sikaflex 11FC+ but seems to be more durable. It'll be exciting to hear how this holds up in the long term.

So then, 2016 sees me hit the century. I'm pretty pleased with that.

Onward...

G

PS Don't be confused by the numbering. I number mats in order that they are designed, not built!

Some Thoughts on Rocker

This way, that way, both ways, no way...  Rocker in mats is a tricky subject. 

Since first starting to build mats I've been really interested in bottom shapes. Curves across the bottom have a huge impact on the performance of mats, affecting hold, lift, rail to rail transition, etc. But what about end to end? 

In the past I have built a few mats with rocker built in to them by shaping the I-beams. This gives a curve for sure, but also leaves excess material when the mat at low inflation is flattened which causes form drag and cavitation so slows the mat down. No more of that then!  

Dale Solomonson Neumatic Advanced with an extreme elastic rocker 

Dale Solomonson Neumatic Advanced with an extreme elastic rocker 

Dale Solomonson experimented extensively with "elastic rockers." This is where one skin (usually the bottom) and the I-beams have an ability to stretch and the other skin doesn't. I have moved into using this technique for some time now too when putting rocker into mats. The advantage is that at rest at low inflation the mat is flat. As inflation is increased (ie by squeezing the rail) the rocker comes in to effect. 

Much better! 

So,  on to the types of rocker. 

FLAT ROCKER (ROCKERLESS)  

One option of course is no rocker at all.  

Flat rocker

A mat with flat rocker basically has no elasticity in either the top or bottom skins. This means that the mat's default position is flat and flat means fast. Minimal drag. What this also means is that the mat has a wider turning circle so flat rocker is best suited to people who want to get down the line at speed. 

Of course, with mats being mats it is possible for the surfer to bend the mat into any shape they want (I am a builder. The rider is the shaper). That said, mats seem to "remember" their dimensions even at low inflation. It is important point to remember is that when bending a rockerless mat, the lack of elasticity in the skins means that there will be a small excess of material on the shorter side (ie on the deck on bottom turns and on the bottom when bending the mat the other way.)

Rockerless mats are best suited to surfers who want to get down the line and have complete control over what the mat does.  The lack of elasticity end to end makes the mat far more predictable in the way it behaves. As predictable as you can get with mats anyway! 

POSITIVE ROCKER 

Positive rocker (what people generally mean when they say rocker) gives increased maneuverability when turning off the rail by introducing a curve. 

Positive rocker 

The elasticity of the bottom skin gives a smooth, progressive curve, rather than a bend so turns such as bottom turns and cutbacks can be tighter but still smooth, maintaining and even generating speed. 

The downside is that rocker slows the mat down. That's not to say that rocker results in a slow mat. Just slowER than a flat one. With an elastic rocker, you are able to flatten the mat so that the elastic bottom skin returns to a flatter plane, but that magical surfmat memory will still remember and act accordingly. Also keep in mind that, unless you are almost totally deflated, at least some of the mat will be at full inflation as the rider's weight pushes air into other parts of the mat. On a flat plane, this is the nose so the rocker still has an affect. 

Positive  rocker is great in steeper, peaky waves needing a more maneuverable mat. 

NEGATIVE ROCKER  

Negative rocker basically means that the mat is built to "bend the wrong way." A lot of people find it aesthetically displeasing to the eye but function should always win out over form. 

Negative rocker 

The idea of negative rocker can seem counter intuitive and it is certainly a rare build but it gives a very quick mat by producing additional lift. What's more, the rocker profile helps when catching waves so mats with negative rocker can get going earlier. 

The potential problems with the design are clear of course. Mats with negative rocker are less inclined to naturally want to turn up on the rail and there is always the risk of catching a rail and unexpected instantaneous pearling is far from unheard of! Rounding front corners can help with that but they can become sticky, negating the point of having a negative rocker in the first place. The advantage of surfmats over other craft is their malleability of course and surfers can manage the outer front corners to deal with these issues.

It's certainly not a design for everyone, but is an interesting, fast option for those who are happy to put the work in.

FREE ROCKER     

Saving the best 'til last? Maybe...

I've coined the name "free rocker" after some reflection on the characteristics of mats that I've built over the years. Free rocker is essentially a flat rockered mat but with elastic top and bottom skins. The majority of mats that I have built have had elastic decks and bottoms because I have not always restricted the elasticity. I'll be honest, this was incidental initially, rather than a deliberate decision on my part.

As I have said, at rest a mat with a free elastic rocker will be flat, even at higher inflations. The difference between free and flat rocker though, is that free rocker can stretch either way to produce a smooth positive or negative rocker when needed. At times this will be because the surfer has chosen to put it in, eg on a bottom turn or pressing down on the nose to get into a wave or over a flat spot. At other times, the mat will develop a positive/negative rocker (or both) of it's own accord because it just needs to.  The wave and mat kinda get together and agree!  

The more I think about free rocker, the more I think it is probably more "surfmat" than any of the above three because it is the only one that is completely unrestricted. That is not to say that it's always the best bet but fans of surfmat magic just have to dig it, right?!

At the end of the day, the decision on what's best will be down to the surfer, the waves they ride and where the mat sits in a quiver.

Lots to think about though.  

G

G-Mat 81 (AKA "Sea Wasp")

Here's Dan Lawrence's new steed. Something a bit low key...

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Dan has an Ubercat currently, what with his local being a racy peaky barrel. However, he needed something with a little more range for every day waves. He likes his concave so a Rubber Bucky was the obvious solution.

With the British summer upon us I'm sure that Sea Wasp will get plenty of water time.

Oh yeah, slight negative rocker... VROOM VROOM!!!

G