Monday, January 7, 2013

As I was reviewing 2012's posts.........

......... it occurred to me that last year must count as pivotal. I am claiming this was the year when our humble surf mat, once lost, has again been found!
There are a number of events that have been posted about (a record 139 in 2012) that may explain for you why I am entertaining this idea.
Before recapping the significant posts, a couple of other interesting facts. In May I noted that the blog had just clocked up 40000 visits. In just another 7 months, by the end of 2012, it had grown to over 71000. That adds up to more than a thousand visits a week!
Secondly, there has been an incredible amount of surf mat related images and videos that have appeared this year. This has resulted in my surf mat image collection now not far away from 1500 images and my Youtube site also gaining more footage.
Stream 1 which is full with 1000 images
Stream 2 which now has nearly 500 images and continues to grow rapidly.
RamsnakeSurf which now has nearly 50 videos and has had more than 100,000 visitors.

A quick run through this years posts saw MT5 surf mat designer Mark Thomson of Krypt International launching the first ever tube riding competition specifically for surf mats which garnered an amazing 11 image and video entries from all over the world. When it came to voting for the winning entry, there was a phenomenal response with over 500 people taking the time to visit ASMR and vote. Two of the entries, both of which could have been worthy winners, came from riders at the legendary Wedge in Newport Beach in the US and another arrived from an Irish lass at Nias in Indonesia! Pretty hard to get anymore mainstream than that!

The first reference that I have ever seen in a mainstream surf related magazine occurred when Mark Anders noted in Surfer's Path that he loved his Paul Gross designed 4GF Vespa Roundtail!

Chad Stickney and his mates surfed Uluwatu!

Warren Pfeiffer rode a 4GF 5GF on the pretty challenging reef break at Gnaraloo in the North West of Australia. Thousands saw the footage of that ride in concerts around Australia and when the Sydney concert of "The Reef" was televised recently.

Cyrus Sutton and the crew at the very popular Korduroy.TV produced a great little vid of surf mat riding featuring Daniel Thomson

Tanner Gaudaskas took a surf mat out at J Bay and the footage of that ride appeared in Vans video release Get-N Classic Volume 2.

Swedish mat rider Tim Ciasto produced some great standing wave footage out of Germany.

Rob Machado became Krypt International's official surf mat ambassador.
Joel Parkinson showed off the new training regime he used to become World Champion this year.

So there you go, an awful lot happened last year to support my supposition. I was interested to see Tim Ciasto's comment on a recent post at Surfmatters where he spoke of his belief that 2013 would be the year of the surf mat. Sorry, Tim but I reckon 2012 was the year. Now I know there are some who might completely detest this thought and would like to keep the surf mat thing all clubby and cliquey, but personally, I would like to see surf mats become a common part of the line up everywhere. There would be definitely be more grins on show rather than the serious looks that seem to accompany some lineups especially those that are populated by riders of thrusters around 6' or so for some reason.

There are also likely to be more shared waves which mat riders everywhere know really adds to the stoke. Both Tim and I will be sharing it so I hope you people will continue to do so too!


  1. I think you are right about 2012. In the fall I met a mat rider at my local LB spot in southern california. Fall also marked the first time a young person saw me riding my mat and knew what it was!

    2013 will be even bigger for mats. You may have to revisit your assertion in a year.

    Will mats become the next handplane? They are not as easy to DIY, but they are relatively inexpensive and GG's legacy becomes more relevant every year that the "ride anything" movement and the internet co-exist.

    Bottom line: mats are fun and a shareable wave riding experience is a good thing for increasingly crowded lineups. But I wonder how the inevitable new mat makers will be received if the craft is actually embraced by the mainstream?

  2. Terrific to get your opinion on my assertion and yes you may well be right and I have to reconsider the notion at the end of 2013. Mats are not easy to build so I am unsure if there will be many self builders, Interestingly, I had not considered that there might be more mass produced mat manufacturers appearing on the scene but of course that is a likely event should mats become really popular. It certainly will be interesting to see what they come up with and how they are received.