Surf Mats

I met George Greenough in Santa Barbara in 1971. He was the next door neighbor of my friend Bob Easton and one night he came over to Bob’s house and showed us some of his surf films. At the time, George was riding a knee board and had a homemade waterproof wide angle movie camera powered by a motorcycle battery. He was the first guy to film inside the curl and it was breathtaking. Bob said that George was like a martial artist, crouching low, being part of the wave, as compared to standup surfers trying to conquer the wave. He ended up revolutionizing surf photography.

   These days George lives in Australia, and is a legendary waterman. For some years now he’s been riding an air mat, which he considers superior to a knee board. It appealed to me. For one thing, it’s way easier to travel with a foldable air mat and fins in your backpack than to lug around a surfboard. For another, as us surfers get older, here’s a way to stay in the water. Plus they are fast as hell.

   I did some research and found that George gets his mats from https://www.surfmats.com/ (“Handmade in America by Paul Gross since 1984.”) Over the years, Greenough has worked with Gross on mat design. I bought one, have not used it yet, but it’s in my car with a pair of DaFiNs https://www.dafin.com/, small flexible fins from Hawaii, highly rated by lifeguards and bodysurfers. I’m going to take them on a trip in the Spring to Micronesia and Hawaii. Check out also https://surfmatters.blogspot.com/.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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