G-Mat Surfmats are hand built using the very finest materials. A great deal of time, love and attention goes into the creation of each Surfmat to ensure that each surfer gets their perfect fit. I use TPU backed nylon which offers the perfect balance between weight, pliability and strength. The fabrics I use are extremely light, but the strength comes from the design. Even very lightweight G-Mats has been through some extremely heavy poundings but the internal structures and seams have never failed. Grip is applied using Polyurethane sealants. There are a huge range of suitable sealants out there but I am committed to reducing my impact on the environment as much as possible so only use those with the lowest environmental impact possible, whilst still achieving the required finish. 

My commitment to the environment extends to the whole building process. Mat building uses a fair amount of electricity so the G-Mat workshop runs on 100% renewable energy.

Building the Surfmat

DESIGNING YOUR MAT

When you order a surfmat we will start by having a conversation, either by phone or email. We will need to talk about your body size and the waves that your surf. Once I have an idea about your needs it's time to start working on design. Although there are a number of G-Mat models, these are only a baseline. Each mat is individually designed by hand.

MARKING AND CUTTING

Once designed, I mark out the panels and the positioning for the internal structures, known as I-Beams, which give the mat it's inflated external shape. The I-beams are engineered to vary the airflow within the mat. I have worked hard to develop strength through design, meaning that surfmats can be built from extremely lightweight materials which increases pliability, thus increasing speed and feedback from the wave.

WELDING

Once cut, the material is heat welded, resulting in perfect straight, strong and pliable bonds. I have hand built many of my own tools an worked closely with James Dyson, a very talented artist, welder and metal worker from Hot Fusion Crafts to build others. The I-beams and edges are welded with a straight bar and the corners are then hand welded to provide the correct inflated shape and characteristics.

VALVES & DYES

Before finally sealing the mat, the valve is welded in. These feature a SCREW TOP FOR INFLATION AND A LAGER VALVE WHICH CAN BE TWISTED TO RELEASE CONTROLLED AMOUNTS OF AIR, OR COMPLETELY REMOVED FOR QUICK DEFLATION.

 IT IS POSSIBLE TO DYE BASE MATERIAL USING ACID DYES. This is a messy and time consuming business but can produce some stunning results. Dying is done following welding.

Logos & Grip

LOGOS

Next I add the logos to the surfmat. Stencils are cut by hand and I have a few options available including different styles and colours.

GRIPPING: MASKING

Finally it's time to add the grip. The first step is to plan the pattern and then to mask the deck of the surfmat, leaving the areas for gripping clear.

GRIPPING: APPLICATION

The sealant (in this instant Sikaflex) is applied in lines to the exposed material. It is then squeegeed out to work it into the fabric.

GRIPPING: STIPPLING

Finally I use a nail brush to stipple the sealant to provide a textured grip. I have found that, although hard work, this method provides the best traction with the least sealant.

 

The Finished Product

Et voila! A custom surfmat is born.

Oh... Did I mention that they come with a bag?!