The K-Mat. Briefly mentioned in the TSJ Stubbies discussion but worthy of a thread all its own. Once again Dale has conjured his Neumatic Magic and cast a spell to change small wave surfing forever. Pray for ripples! It has been said that surfmats are naturally drawn to the fastest, purest line on a wave. If the standard mat has autopilot, then the K-Mat is equipped with a laser-guided-GPS-speed-seeking-tractor-beam!
In full-on magic towel mode, the K-Mat’s large outer pontoons seem to flatten considerably more than a standard 4-pontoon surfmat. The K-Mat really sucks down on the face of the wave while it accelerates, enhancing the sensation of being pulled forward.
Many thanks to Dale for the wonderful creation. It is an honor to ride. More testing to come!
This low resolution animation gives an idea of how drastically the K-Mat changes its shape in response to internal air pressure and rider input. So far it seems to be very comfortable at less than 50% inflation.
How does it go in larger surf, both at magic towel level, and at higher inflation levels?
The anticipation of receiving my mat is absolutely killing me!
Congrats on having such a magical piece of craft.
ajl, I talked to Greenough the other nite and he was so jazzed on his K- mat he bent my ear for a half hour. Sounds to me like it works in smaller surf at low inflation.Dale just keeps fine tuning, I love it!!
WOW!! just got that shot of it breathing ITS ALIVE!!!
can you but these, if so where?
I got my K-Mat from Dale a few weeks ago so I haven’t ridden it in large surf yet. I hear that George Greenough, among others, has had good results in bigger conditions. Perhaps Kirk may have discussed the topic with Greenough?
I would love to hear more about your conversation with George. Yes! The K-Mat looks a feels alive! It is so lightweight a flexible. Imagine holding a 4’ piece of deli-style thin sliced turkey meat. Ha ha!
My K-Mat was custom made by Dale Solomonson. I recommend talking to him to see if it would be the right design for your style of riding.
I can see now the thread I will be checking four
or five times a day for input…
the question is should I phone dale now or later
is my new mat on order gonna be?..
on the new baby
how many different Neumatic models are there? so far I know the standard (cuz i got one), the T3 Triscuit…and now the K-mat. why the difference? Is each made for particular wave types?
good animation there.
Dale told me about these K-mats, he also calls them flatliners when he told me about them he explained them as a mat for small junky waves kinda like a “long board” mat. When he told me about them he swore me to secrecy I guess the cat is out of the bag now. Do tell us more on how they go, it seems that my next mat will be a k-mat. When will we have a Matlocks gathering? I think it would be a hoot anyone up for a matmaniacal session? We have a couple of spots in San Diego that we have renamed for the exclusive use of mat riding. MATland, MATalanche, MATmania, MATerial beach no hard board kooks allowed!
heysoos! how’s tha doin? seems a long while since BigSur!
Chuy — Q’Paso? so curiosity you know. just interested. afterall I’m just really gettin to know my own std mat…so much mo’ to learn. i guess I wouldn’t be checkin Sways if i wuznt’ into design tho, uh?
Need mo ’ pics of peeps on quality waves w/ mats.
“Need mo ’ pics of peeps on quality waves w/ mats”
…and vid, need movies…
Many thanks ajl!
While neither the K-Mat name or design originated with me, over the past couple years I have been fortunate to receive much valuable feedback (special thanks to George Greenough and Kenny Hughes, among others) to cross-check and refine my personal contributions to this design.
I began exploring low (and no) I-beam mats in 1983, and while very fast in longer, weak, small waves, at that time I was more focused on creating personal surf mats that offered a wider operating range.
Many years later George Greenough’s friend, Boyd Kellner (the “K” in K-Mat) observed that certain mats of similar dimension at full inflation were wider than others at low inflations. After discussion, George asked me to make him a prototype to evaluate, coded as “GG3”, in July of 2004.
From my 2004 notes: “The concept behind this design is to evaluate maximum running area for a given width… primarily aimed at smaller, weaker, flatter waves. Operated at very low inflations.”
The “K-Mat” is a specialized design, a vehicle created to take George Greenough’s “magic towel” low inflation concept to its limit. Very fast skimming in 1’to 4’ long-walled waves… whether flat and choppy, or smooth and hollow. While this type of mat has been surfed in larger waves, it runs best in waves under head high.
Remember, I make custom surf mats… which means there are many possibilities. I usually try to offer equipment with a very wide operating range. But sometimes I’m asked to work on specialized designs (i.e. the K-Mat), mats that function exceptionally well within a narrow range of conditions and/or specific riding style.
Do those mats have any down the line drive? How could that be possible since they’re soft and bending in all directions? Would nt a hard prone board with a 1-3 fins be better?
Can say for sure, even w/ crappy Intex $8 mat that soft bendy mats can and do hold an edge and go very fast. They conform to the changing shape of the wave face instantaneously and sensitively so they have minimal drag. Fins would slow them down. There is a technique to shaping it as you ride by squeezing the air around. The roundy rails actually hold plenty good no fins needed.
Faster than a booger
Faster than a fish (?)
Faster than lightening,
I wish I wish I wish.
(Feeling a bit poetic today. Got some waves. Talked to a seal. Surfed alone except for him. Nice. Went fast, got rag dolled, got sunburnt just a little, got very wet! We both had fun. I rode waves. He ate brunch.)
Jimy Newit and Alex Kopps riding Neumatics last week at Broken Head, Byron Bay in tiny surf.
Photos courtesy of Jimy Newit
the look of joy says it all. thanks for posting those Dale.