We’re a bit late getting this post up considering Warpmats, our newly rebranded surfmat building collaboration, has been up and staggering around like Frankenstein for the past few months. Regardless, here it is…
Bootstrapping the new project has been a really fun challenge with our antipodean collaboration. While Matt is still building all the surfmats by hand in Cornwall (UK), I’m down in Tasmania (Australia) doing some of the acid dyed decks and taking on the online end of things. Throw in the vagaries of families (prodigal children, toddlers and new additions), freelance jobbing and *other* I reckon we’re lucky to have gotten anything together.
Warpmats is a recognition of the collaborative direction we wanted to head in together. New design/shapes and aesthetic ideas along with a deeper development of the conversation between the surfer and the maker – ‘shaper’ still sounds a bit weird when it comes to the making of mats; maker will do for now.
Already the results have surprised both of us and made some folks out there pretty happy with their new craft.
Remaining at the core of the new Warpmats surfmats project is the dialogue between the maker and the rider. Each new order for a custom surfmat provokes novel insights and creative directions in design and aesthetics that contribute to the evolution of these modern surfmats.
We’re frothing – still – about being involved in this fascinating niche of surfing culture. Those who already ride have the knowing – riding surfmats is a unique and unequivocally visceral experience. For those who’ve not yet caught on… you’re in for some serious fun.
Pointbreaks and unicorns – not my idea but the tag continues to amuse me.
While big grinding pointbreaks are indeed a things of wonder the microwave provides an alternative escape from the crowds. There is a certain point of diminishing wave size where for many frustration sets in. While, arguably, there’s no board that can ride all waves well, the surfing’s cryptoculture of surfmatting offers such equipment. Big waves or small, the polymorphic form of the under-inflated inflatable lets you ride it all.
For chasing the fleas that lurk in places where rhinos are known to tread surfmats offer you a gutfull of smiles to rival that many folks might think are only harvested from the big days at the point. They have the agility to search and ride that lines of energy in some pretty small stuff; keep the inflation low-low and relax… with only subtle input – a squeeze here or there, a lift, a push – the mat will track itself along finding the fastest line possible.
We’ve been developing a mat that will excel on points. It’s a lightweight design that enables it to generate speed quickly from take-off, keep the accelerator down through turns and down the line. Yeah, in small waves it has proven to be super fun which is great for tiny days but also for those who still find bigger days a bit sketchy. These same mats taken out in more solid surf have demonstrated that the design continues to excel under power.
We’re almost there and will release the design soon – we reckon it’s going to be a stay tuned.
Just in time for seasonal shifts in the northern and southern hemispheres – we got colour. Lot’s of colour. I’ve been having fun exploring the process of dyeing the nylon fabric we use to make our mats. If you’re interested in the process behind this design read about it on Organic Devolution.
The results of these new forays into the dyeing process have been quite striking. For now, this one-of-a-kind deck design is up for grabs. If you like what you see here get in contact and we can build you either a custom or one of our stock models using this acid-dyed freakery…
Are conditions really unsurfable? When the winds are onshore and there’s only two-foot slop served up on those hump days at your local a surfmat will allow you to hunt out the cryptic veins of gold… Continue reading “Golden junk”→
This fella’s out on a trial basis. First report came in a few days ago:
“hi matt, yeah got em both, thanks. have only ridden the blue one so far. I think your senior moment has helped create something special. she slides across the flats like a wet bar of soap and hangs in like an old mollusc. having been on a few boats in my time, it seems to have a likeness and some qualities of a catamaran. you could call it a mataraman I suppose. only small gutless waves at the moment, hopefully I can get it in some power before I pass it on. ……….ps I lent no 60 to a mate of mine and the bugger won’t give it back! said it’s the best mat he has ridden. must say I love your work, “
Pattern in nature is a wonderful thing – curious, beautiful and often evolved as a highly functional response to some environmental stimulus. With this new surfmat we’ve continued to refine a proven design concept – a concave design that has proved highly versatile in a range of conditions. Having a go-to surfmat that rides well in variety of conditions can be handy if you need to pack light and don’t know what conditions to expect. We’re onto something with this build design…
Acid dyes used for nylon fabric, and the techniques used to set them, offers up a challenging and rewarding journey. While whole-mat colour options can produce interesting results so can exploring more abstract ideas. The dying process is going to be pushed a lot further this year with some hand-made, purpose-built equipment. The evolution in process, technique and result is going to be fun.
Tentacles. Suckers. If there’s critters that know about grip it’s cephalopods – octopus, squid, cuttlefish and their allies. While not quite ready to put suckers on surfmats for grip, I thought a squid-inspired pattern used for the application of grip might be both functional and funky-looking. There was a few fiddly bits to sort out in getting the application right but the results were exactly what I was chasing – enough grip in the right places to keep you on while allowing the fabric to flex/respond as much as possible to the changing wave face.
This surfmat is for sale – It has been ridden twice and as an ex-demo mat it is discounted at £160 (see xe.com for a currency conversion). If you’re interested let us know through our contact page.
Matt and I have been having a blast with our trans-global collaboration. Back and forth over email and Skype exchanging ideas about surfmat materials, production and build techniques. I’m very curious about how different materials and techniques can be pushed to explore aesthetics and have a little fun with the form and function of the build. It’s gotta be fun – that’s what these things are all about.
Matt knows how to put together a surfmat that stands alongside the competition – fast, lightweight, responsive and robust like the best of them are. I’ve taken many of his builds into a range of conditions; the last two winters (save this one) I spent riding his mats and was only more and more stoked. Winter on the West Coast of Ireland will consistently serve up solid conditions that will test both your nerve and your equipment. In heavy, cold water conditions you want complete confidence in your equipment – I had that.
Sure it might be easier if you lived closer to your collaborative partner. I’m currently based in Hobart, Tasmania – it’s about as far across the planet you can get from Matt in Cornwall before you start heading back around. Currently, Matt is working to refine some specific models and posting them down to me in Oz. Here, I’m getting to work exploring and integrating the creative element into the mix and testing, testing, testing…
I’m looking forward to 2017 -we’re going to have some great new things to offer the community. Happy New Years folks!