Akamata!!!

My good friend Ian Wraith AKA “Piskian” is an ex-pat Cornishman living in Japan. Ian lives on a beautiful, quiet (by Japanese standards) tropical island with his wife and two children. Ian is also a pretty great mat rider.

Anyway, Ian was lined up for a mat and we managed to line his mat up with his visit, and so it was that Akamata was born…

Akamata Surfmat G-Mat 170 Ian Wraith

Akamata is a Nouveau Racer so designed with more solid waves in mind. There is a particular point break on the Island that is very reminiscent of a certain North Cornish point with long lefts of a shallow boulder bottom. The difference is, you have a huge paddle just to get to the inside! With this in mind, Ian took the pragmatic decision to break form and go for a bungee leash fitting.

Akamata Surfmat G-Mat 170 Ian Wraith

This isn’t to always have a leash, just to have the option when those huge typhoon swells come in. These leash fittings have developed over time and the nose flange is now HEAVILY reinforced. The leash fits to the middle loop so the mat concertinas to absorb the energy and the bungee is elastic. All of this combines to give a fitting that can take on the job, although it is still best to hang on to your mat!

Akamata Surfmat G-Mat 170 Ian Wraith

The deck it 200d nylon dyed Fire Red with an added experimental tattoo (that didn’t show well so that is why we experiment).

The bottom material is an open weave 70d that goes juuuuust lovely! Restricted breather to help Akamata to hold her shape in big surf and to handle surface chop at speed.

Ian has given her a go and reports:

Just rode Akamata in head-high double-up dry tubes. Flies! Like a magic carpet. Turns fast, glides like a beuton. Grip is perfect!

Stoked!

On that grip, it’s clear Sikaflex EBT but I have modified how I texture it and the feedback (including my own experience) is that it’s spot on!

I’m glad I’ve been able to build Ian a mat. It’s been a while and this is just right for what he will get over the winter.

Akamata Surfmat G-Mat 170 Ian Wraith

It was great to get Ian over although it was a flying visit. We were lucky enough to get a couple of sessions in too. A shame it was so small as we have an intuition on party waves but still great fun surfing with Mark “Tom” Underwood one day and my son, Webbo, the next.

Here’s a few party waves from 2016 anyho…

Great morning that!

Cheers

G

PS Follow Ian on Instagram @piskian.

Jamu Jamu - Something Orange for Indo!

G-Mat 167 Surfmat Mariah Ernst Jamu Jamu

Mariah Ernst is a name some might recognise. Mariah is a New York surfer, journalist and writer who tells me that she hates the cold. In fact, she hates the cold so much that she has fled the US Eastern Seaboard for Indonesia. Even then, she is so hostile to the cold that you can see her wearing rubber in the tropical paradise!

Maybe on the rubber… Hard to tell if she was pulling my leg on that one.

In any case, Mariah came with a clear idea in mind of what she wanted. “A mat that will hold well in steep Indo waves and in a colour that I can see easily when it’s washing around on the inside at Ulu’s.”

Roger that..

G-Mat 167 Surfmat Mariah Ernst Jamu Jamu
G-Mat 167 Surfmat Mariah Ernst Jamu Jamu

After weighing up the options, 2 tone orange was the go. With Mariah’s local being somewhat heavy, a Nouveau racer seemed the obvious choice. Positive elastic rocker to help the mat get off the bottom and respond rail to rail but nice and stable with restricted breathing. Mariah opted to name her new ride “Jamu Jamu” after her favourite local turmeric based beverage.

At the time of writing, Mariah is getting over some gnarly illness. On the mend and what better tonic than a new mat!

Jamu Jam sets sail in the morning so should be with Mariah by the end of the week.

Bon voyage!!!

Cheers

G

G-Mat 167 Surfmat Mariah Ernst Jamu Jamu

Siobhan Heads to Hawaii

G-Mat 165 is a G-Mat Nouveau Racer heading off to hook up with Craig Jerome in Hawaii.

She is a 200/70 wheezer with free-rocker made to eat up decent waves with some push but with some scope built in to the bottom end to open her up in more average conditions too.

IMG_20190513_202030.jpg

Craig has named his new mat Siobhan. Funnily enough, that’s what I was going to be called had I been a girl, so I have a natural soft-spot for this one.

G-Mat 165 Craig Jerome Surfmat G-Mat Hawaii

Craig says there’s a bit of solid swell on the wat so looking forward to seeing how he and his new ride get on with that.

Have fun you two!!!

Cheers

G

G-Mat 165 Craig Jerome Surfmat G-Mat Hawaii

G-Mat 157 - Da Bolt!

Say hello to “Da Bolt”, a 200/70 Nouveau Racer built for Michael Kennedy.

G-Mat 157 Surfmat Michael Kennedy Da Bolt

Da Bolt is Michael’s tribute to one of mat surfing’s greats; the sorely missed Eric “Da Bolt” Bridges. I’ll let Michael’s words do the talking:

“A few years ago I was chatting with Eric Bridges here on FB. He was retiring and I was telling him how envious I was. His simple plan was to surf with his mates and fish for sambos. Such a simple plan that sounded like so much fun.

Life doesn't always turn out the way we plan. Losing Eric was devastating on many levels. It was like in my mind I was vicariously living his life...no work...play every day with your friends. There was hope as I plowed through another 50-60 hour work week. Eric was proof there was light at the end of the tunnel. Suffice to say the events that transpired shattered all of that.

So how do you pick up those shattered pieces and make them into something good again? Not really sure but my first thought when I began designing my new G-Mat was to pay tribute to Eric with it. Kind of like he's along for the ride in spirit. Its name is "Da Bolt". 

With much Aloha Eric.”

G-Mat 157 Surfmat Michael Kennedy Da Bolt

It’s been an honour o be able to play my part in this. Eric was a great guy!

So, “Da Bolt” will be heading off to Hawaii to team up with Michael. She is built with solid winter waves in mind so will be just the ticket for what looks like a winter of pretty big surf!

Cheers

G

#ericwouldgo

G-Mat 157 Surfmat Michael Kennedy Da Bolt

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.

Cheers

G

G-Mat 134 Alan Whitsett Glory Stars and Stripes Surfmat

Och Aye! It's Wee Jock McAye!

This is G-Mat 130 (AKA "Jock McAye"), a Nouveau Racer making her way north to the classy reefs and slabs of the Scottish North Coast.

G-Mat 130 Surfmat Surf mat

Jock has been built for Steve Griffin, an ex-pat Welshman who it seems has a taste for heavy surf.

I love building mats for people like Steve. He is one of those highly experienced surfers who have given mats a go and really made the commitment to learn the art. In with both fins if you like!

G-Mat 130 Surfmat Surf mat

So a bit more on Jock McAye. She is a 200/70 construction with positive rocker to help add a surety to turns in the pocket. Being built with glassy waves in mind, Steve has gone for a free-breather to enhance the sensitivity and responsiveness.

G-Mat 130 Surfmat Surf mat
G-Mat 130 Surfmat Surf mat

Steve has also opted for a Hestered valve to help to protect his boyish good looks (or that's what he said anyway). The grip is Puraflex 40 and the front corners have been covered to give that extra bit of security during duckdives, punchouts and maulings.

Steve has also gone for a cap and sweatshirt. Getting the design for these nailed nearly took as long planning the mat! Hopefully we'll get to see Steve modelling his new outfit.

I'm really looking forward to hearing about Steve's adventures with Jock McAye. This project has been a real pleasure.

Cheers

G


Update: 14/08/2017

Update from Steve:

Jock McAye flies! Doing the job he was designed for in head and a half clean faces. Truly amazing. I'm a very happy man. Two barrels, on one wave and making it out onto the shoulder, I think you could say holding a line. 😁

Thanks Graeme!

Great to hear. That's why I do this. 😊

Fun Sessions with Bryn and Tim

I had a really good time with with Tim Ciasto and Bryn Dampney on the South Coast of Cornwall near the Devon border. Tim had his camera. Saturday was a session with just me in the water (and a crowd of about 5895)  on my Chino Racer. It had a little grunt (although I was pretty over-gunned). It was also super busy and hugely frustrating. Still, I managed to snag a few away from the pack on my favourite left which was bumpy but fun.

On Sunday, Bryn joined me on the same reef. The waves were really nice early doors and beautifully quiet when we arrived. 

The waves dropped a bit in quality as the tide pushed and Tim turned up with his camera so he definitely missed the best of it but I'm still pretty pleased with what he got. ☺️

It was nice getting the Bodybag out for a couple at the end, although Bodysurfing is probably best done before, not after a 2 1/2 hour session!  

All good fun. Tim has been sniffing around Cornwall of late and will be back. It would be good to get a few more mat riders together for his return.

Cheers

G