Re-Branding!

Hello there mat fans! We are going to be making some changes to the site over the coming months, starting with one pretty big one.

Andrew Stephen Buck -  Photo: Will Adler

Andrew Stephen Buck - Photo: Will Adler

UK Mat Surfers has been in existence since 2009. Originally, established as an online forum to bring together a diverse band of weirdos hiding in various corners of the UK. That first matmeet at Polly Joke (AKA the spiritual home of UK mat surfing) was amazing! 5 mats in the water together... Imagine that!

It fair to say we built a really tight crew of close friends who have stayed tight for nearly a decade. It's also fair to say that the face of mat surfing has changed enormously over that time too. Surfmats have have become far more widely recognised as a valid means of riding a wave in the mainstream. We've seen a number of pro stand-up surfers and bodyboarders take up mat surfing (with varying degees of success!) and surf shops now stock what previously involved a degree in IT to find on the internet!

Henry Marfleet -  Photo: Mike Holland

Henry Marfleet - Photo: Mike Holland

Graeme Webster -  Photo: Anon

Graeme Webster - Photo: Anon

All of this has been amazing and over the years the UK Mat Surfers site has expanded it's reach being a favourite resource for mat surfers from all over the globe. The site has moved on from being a forum. This is a shame but the technology just outgrew it (although we do have the Facebook Group) and today it is a really broad resource with lots of info on equipment, tech stuff about mats themselves, surf forecast for wherever you are in the world, online store and, of course, amazing interviews with mat surfers from around the globe.

Ella Scott  Photo: Ella's Mum

Ella Scott Photo: Ella's Mum

And that's the point. The interviews are from around the globe, 2/3 of the UKMS staff are from the US and, to be honest, with the way the world is right now, there's a really strong case of opening up the boarders, not drawing attention to them!

Jamie McClellan -  Photo: Anon

Jamie McClellan - Photo: Anon

So, with all that in mind, UK Mat Surfers will be getting a bit of a re-brand over the next few days. Nothing will change in terms of using the site and the group, etc, but we will be launching a new name that reflects the site as it is today.

We will also be freshening up some of the content as time goes on.

Stay tuned!

Scott Matthews -  Photo: Seacraft Supply Co

Scott Matthews - Photo: Seacraft Supply Co

Launching the Blog

Welcome to the new UKMS Blog. We're launching this as a part of the general re-vamp of the site.

When the UK Mat Surfers site first launched mat surfing was even further underground than it is today. At that point a handful of mat surfers around the UK were limited to occasional hook-ups and chance meetings. We are really proud to have played a part in developing a solid community of mat surfers thanks to the forum and the early mat meets, starting with that first one at Polly Joke in minute surf in 2009.

As time has gone on, mat surfing has become considerably better established. These days, sniggers are all but gone and it's increasingly rare to hear someone ask "what's that thing?" This growth has coincided with an ongoing expanse in social media with people from all over the UK, Europe and beyond finding mats and finding each other all over the net.

What has this meant? Well, for one thing people are interacting with UK Mat Surfers much more, via a huge array of different media. It also means that our poor old forum has kinda become redundant, with a noticeable drop off in traffic, apart from two important functions: sharing stories and news about matting and arranging hook-ups.

So back to these changes. The aim is to replace the forum. The forum will still be there to read but we'll close it to new posts soon. We have replaced it with two new resources: 

The first is the Hook-Ups & Sessions page. Every Friday, a post will be put up for the following week for people to post their plans and to arrange hook-ups. We're using Disqus so log-in is super convenient for everyone. Oh, and it has what is quite possibly to coolest forecasting tool you'll ever see from Windyty. Seriously, have a good play with it. You can zoom in and out and drag it to wherever you want in the World!

The second change is this Blog. We really want to see this become a place for mat surfers from all over the globe to publish interesting articles. By doing this on the Blog, articles will have more permanence than on Social Media platforms. We will then disseminate them via our own Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. We've noticed that some really good content is posted and then basically disappears on sites like Facebook. Publishing that stuff here and then sharing through the social media pipes will help to keep those articles alive and well archived.  Again, we have included Disqus for people to offer feedback and chat about articles.

We really hope people get on board with these developments. We hope they will help to keep the site relevant and encourage more interaction from the growing number of mat surfers around the globe.  If you have stuff to share then please take a look at the Author's Guidelines and get in touch.

Thanks!

UKMS Admin