An exciting and inspiring first post this month as we look at a DIY surfmat build. Also, news of an impending Here & Now…
ANDREW’S MAT BUILD
We were so stoked to see this pop up in the Facebook group that we got in touch with Andrew and asked him to tell us all about his DIY mat building exploits. Here’s what he told us:
I try and approach my surfing from a practical angle. Long boards always worked great for me, then I grew to love big heavy boards and even got into SUP. The history of surfing naturally became a passion, people like Skip Frye, Bob McTavish and of course George Greenough always featured high on my hero list and this in turn bought about my first glimpse of surf mats. Like many Brits my mother in law moved out to Spain about 15 yrs ago, so a couple of cheap holidays a year in the Med were on the cards, "you can't surf in the med" and taking a longboard on a cheap flight is almost impossible...turns out you can of course surf in the med!! That was it! Time to try and f find a surf mat. I got hope of a couple of sea eagle mats for me ,my and daughter to mess about on at J Nannys house. My with was already a compitant body boarder and stand up surfer so she taught me how to use fins. We were hooked!! I later got hold of a redback which I thought was ace, until it popped while my daughter was riding it.
Then I found the matsurfers page on facebook I felt like the little girl from the Blind Melon No Rain video...more weirdos like me!! So back to the point practicality, I needed a half decent strong mate and being too cheap to buy one I thought I'd have a go at making one. I hasten to add it would have been much easier to buy one! I am a stubborn cheap skate. I really wanted something like the old hogman something retro and cool?! Like George?? I got chatting to Graham from gmats online who was subtly trying to tell me I was wasting my time with the old style heavy canvas mats...however I found out the hard way hence Mark one of my efforts became a dogmat.
Dogmat Mark two...proper stuff and loads of encouragement from G, tips and advice. Which was very humbling as this guy makes mats for a living but never pushed a sale...really cool guy. The build was the hardest thing I have ever done, there is nothing to relate to...heat bonding TPU is something you just don't do in every day life. I had a rough idea of what I though would work for me based on the redback and my sea eagle...but Graham nudged me in the right direction. I didn't expect a perfect mat and didnt really care just as long as it worked and that I had built it myself. One of the things I am passionate about making stuff...Like I said the build was completely alien I just learnt as I went along...the hardest part was the internal.construction...wow mind blowing!! I went for a simple four pontoon construction to keep it as easy as possib!e, easy being a word that soon bit me on the arse...there was some stuff on YouTube about building with TPU BUT not much. It instantly made me realise that £250 or 250 dollars for mat is nothing...the build took me 4-5days in total, materials aren't cheap those guys can't be making a lot of cash...Which makes it even cooler they clearly do it for the love of matsurfing very rare in this world...so guys this is it my Mark two Dogmat.
Three days into the build thought 'fuck this, I am never doing this again' I just focussed on getting it air tight...and not wasting the time and money id already invested in something that may not even work...I took a break and watch Crystal Voyager...for the 50th time. George's mellow attitude and inventive tenacity drive me on...me and George had a moment of cosmic electricity or maybe that was just the fumes...so it was finally finished, I added some grip (also really hard to do) satisfaction...I
did it! Not perfect I know...wonky lines, messy grip but I did it! I never have to make a fuckin mat again!! The next day a second back up Boston valve arrived in the post...my little brain started ticking...
Dogmat Mark 3???
JJ GETS THE KENDOG TREATMENT
Jonathan Jarrett (better known as JJ) is a mat rider, collector and builder who has a real story to tell. Kendog and Jamie are just wrapping this one up. Say tuned for something special…
As always, we welcome your feedback and contributions.