20 July 2011

Wanna Try a Mat?

Now is the time!! There's a sale over at 4th Gear Flyer. I'd jump on that if I were you!

From now until the end of September, all the high-end 4GF models (Standard, Tracker, Fatty, Vespa, XL and UDT) will be on sale for $165.

In addition, we'll be sending all new mats out with "hot waxed" decks. Everyone who has tried the soaked/wax deck has liked it, so why not? It takes us about 20 minutes to do the procedure, and it saves the mat rider the hassle of doing it themselves. (Details on the waxed decks are here.)

There is one proviso that goes with these lower prices...

Currently, delivery times are slower than in recent years. Our goal has always been to get mats out within 2-3 days after receiving the order...and for the most part, we've achieved that. But our fabric supplier was in the path of one of the tornadoes that swept through the mid-west this past May, so the flow of fabric to our shop has been intermittent. And, we have family obligations up in Oregon that require me to spend time up there this summer.

So, orders will now take 3-4 weeks from the time they are received until the time they are shipped. (Delivery times after shipping will remain 2-3 days in the US, and 7-14 days foreign. US shipping is free, and foreign shipping is $25.)

These turn-around times may change for the better some time in September, but for now, you should count on a delay. We hope the new, lower prices will help make up for the inconvenience.




At 7/20/11, 10:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been enjoying reading your posts for quite some time now, but I'm intrigued by something that you and a lot of other surf-related bloggers do. You never name the spots you surf, even though some of the clues you give make them fairly obvious. I assume that this is due to an effort to prevent overcrowding, even though a post about "RPB" being too crowded doesn't seem to make the place any more inviting than it would be anyway.

Yet, you're happy to promote the surf-related products that you feel will make the experience of surfing more enjoyable. Wouldn't that help to induce more people to surf, and maybe end up adding to the crowd at "RPB?"

I'm not saying that you shouldn't tout the products that you like; but I think it's weird that you won't mention the breaks where you surf. If a friend tells me that they scored epic waves at station 26 today, I know that they may or may not be that good there tomorrow. If she says that she had a good experience with a certain shaper, wetsuit maker, etc., that impression on me can be expected to last and be useful for much longer.

Let's say 50 SoCal locals read your post and half of them are inspired to go to RPB the next day. If it sucks, you will not have added to the crowd. If it's all-time, that place will be more crowded that day, but some other place(es) will not have to deal with those guys and be less crowded. Posting the location doesn't increase the net number of surfers, but enabling more people's surfing skills by introducing them to better surf-related tools does. (Not, of course, if everybody who reads your blog already surfs. Then again, if better tools get them to surf more often....)

It's not like you're posting about rarely surfed, isolated spots. So why not share with us where you've been each day? I don't think you're afraid of stalkers. After all, we, er, uh, I mean, they all know what color your board, wetsuit, and car is. Anyway, that would be where you were yesterday.

Big corporate surf companies, surf magazines, surf contest promoters, etc. all want more people to surf so more people will buy their products/services. I think it's so hypocritical for them to not name spots in some of their articles. The beneficiaries of the surf product market growth can afford to travel anywhere to find good, uncrowded waves. But we consumers of their products are left to contend with increasingly deteriorated conditions. Keeping the locations of where you surf "secret" isn't going to help that situation at all.

What would help, would be for these companies making money from us to invest in lots of artificial reefs (that actually work) throughout SoCal. More RPB's, or their equivalents, would go a long way toward thinning out the crowds, and would sustain the market growth fueled by the growing number of surfers. Not doing that is not "giving back" to the surf community, no matter how many beach cleanups, surfer friendly legislation pushes, giveaways to the underprivileged, or surf clinics they sponsor. (Wait, do they even do that?)

Anyway, I'll continue to enjoy your posts, and thanks for letting me rant.

At 7/20/11, 11:16 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

That was a damn good rant!!!

My practice of not naming spots is as much out of respect for the locals/regulars at said spots as it is to prevent overcrowding.

There are no secret spots in Los Angeles. None. For me, it's a matter of doing the hard work to find, on a daily basis, the waves that work best for me. That takes some effort. I figure out swell direction, tides and the like when deciding where to surf. My hunches often pay off. For instance, my Not-So-Secret Secret Spot was virtually empty when I headed down there earlier this week. Why in the hell would I want anyone to know where it is? I go there primarily to get away from the crowds of L.A. It's not like this place is a mystery. Nevertheless, it's my little sanctuary, so I won't ever name it.

Yesterday, The Place Which Shall Remain Nameless was, to be truthful, firing. Who expected that? No one. That's why there were only six of us out. This spot in particular is one I won't name because I respect the locals there immensely and don't want all of L.A. invading this break.

All it takes is a little homework to find these places. I do mine. I am generally rewarded for that. Why would I give that information away?

Anonymous, you are a surfer who understands how fickle waves can be. But there are a whole bunch of other folks who don't. They rely on websites to tell them where to surf and what to expect. That's why places like RPB get crowded. People don't want to think for themselves. This is a cancer I see throughout American society and not just in surfing. My attitude is that a good surfer will figure this stuff out. During the last swell, RPB wasn't the only good place. I knew that. I headed up to a spot that doesn't have much website coverage. Once again, I was rewarded.

No, I won't name spots. Ever.

Besides, I'm totally afraid of stalkers!!

Not really. I'm not hard to spot, am I?

As for me touting the shapers and companies I like, I support the little guys out there who make it happen. They are not the big corporations who mass produce in China or those who want surfers to think one size fits all for everything in surfing. I try remind people that surfing is more than Billabong, Quiksilver, Body Glove, O'Neill, Channel Islands and the like. Surfing can be whatever you want it to be. I want it to be custom boards that suit my style and custom wetsuits that actually fit. I want it to be surfing a mat one day and surfing a board the next.

Surfing is like so many other things in life: you get out of it what you put in. If you don't invest much (in the way of time, practice and establishing relationships), you won't get much in return. It's when you do the hard work that you see how good surfing can be. With that said, I guess that means I prefer to surf spots with other folks who've put in work. RPB is full of people who have not. That's fine. They can do their thing during the summer (i.e., dropping in on everyone, letting their boards shoot out and generally disrespecting, either intentionally or on purpose, other surfers). It is what it is. But I'll be damned if this blog will give surfers like that a free ride. If I named spots, that's what I'd be doing.

Anon, why would you think the big surf corporations care that you have good spots to surf. They don't care about you. They don't care about any of us. All they care about is the money. Artificial reefs? How does that benefit them? It doesn't. What helps them is having you in one of their wetsuits on one of their boards at a crowded spot. You, then, become a billboard for those products. I, in turn, ride boards people often haven't heard of and wear wetsuits no one knows about. My money goes to people I respect. I don't mind being a billboard for them.

Feel free to rant back!

At 7/21/11, 2:54 AM, Anonymous Piskian said...

I think you're both right.

At 7/21/11, 7:23 PM, Blogger Alan_M said...

Thanks for the heads up! This puts getting one in reach. I'm getting one asap.

At 7/21/11, 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliment, and thanks even more for the insightful response. You've de-weirded for me the juxtaposition of naming products while not naming spots (at least on your blog.)

Just one quibble: I agree that the big corporations don't care about us, but it is in their best interest to create more surf spots if they expect to increase their market share. Overcrowding leads to less tolerance for newbies and non-locals, and therefore fewer consumers entering and staying in the sport (which I think is more like an art, like dancing, but that's another rant.)

Thanks also to Piskian for the nice comment, although I think it must have been way past his or her bed time when it was made. ;^)

At 7/21/11, 10:15 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Piskian is in England, Anon. So he certainly didn't lose any sleep reading our rants! LOL!!

"De-weirded" is a wonderful word!!

Alan, order a Standard. That's the mat you must have in your quiver. I have three mats, but the Standard is the one I can always count on no matter what the conditions. My 5GF needs a wave with a whole lot of juice. My Tracker Square Tail is a bit squirrely (because I'm still learning to ride that mat). The Standard is solid regardless of the size of the wave or the conditions.

At 7/22/11, 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm buying one!


At 7/22/11, 10:11 AM, Blogger tuskedbeast said...

Tracker square tail? 5GF? Custom mats, these?

At 7/22/11, 11:49 AM, Blogger Surfsister said...

The Square Tail is a custom, yes. The 5GF is not a new design. I guess Paul has always had these, but they can be harder to ride than his other mats so he doesn't make them often.


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