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.
Recently Matt and I have been deep in discussion about new design ideas, new materials and new techniques. I’m constantly bewildered by the nuances of design and the possibilities for progression. There’s still a lot of scope to reassess current ideas of what works and what doesn’t. What aspects can be reinterpreted (again) to unlock further secrets? Have current ideas about design, materials and processes been pushed far enough? Foolish to think so. And what about the things not yet thunk? And so we go…
It’s exciting when an idea gets materialised.
The package that arrived in the post a few days ago sent a fizz through my brain. This was one of those ideas, now a tactile presence between my fingers and thumbs. The deck material is new, something different. And there it is as we discussed – the hook here, convex there and revisiting that stagger of the pontoons to incorporate the magic of a prior build. The discussions and trials with the new dyeing technique are producing strange and surprising results.
This mat is special – purpose built for a specific riding style and particular waves in mind; a dye job developed from numerous discussions searching for something… something. No one rides the same – style or waves; the former progressive, the latter stochastic; evolution is inevitable. The opportunity of collaborating closely with a craftsperson to create a uniquely personalised surf craft is a deeply rewarding experience.
Now, now, now… how and when can I sneak away to start riding trials? Ah… though I know how exciting it is to head out to trial a new, custom surf craft, what tickles me more is the knowledge that it will have me back in conversation with my maker again to further evolve the species…