Krypt Surf Technology

Monday, 24 March 2014

3rd Generation DNA Runs Deep


The Jake Bailey Thomson Story


The Captain Says

It helps if you start learning to ride a Surfmat early! 




One day my Grand Pa said lets go to the beach.
It was a sunny day and the water was warm
My POP gave me a funny looking thing to play with.
Here you go Jakey here is a Jelly Fish for you.
The Jelly Fish was all soft and wobbly
I played with the Jelly Fish in the water and it was fun.
Then Grand Pa said hop on that Jelly Fish and ride a wave with him.
But I was scared.
The big tube is coming to get me POP….. the big tube is coming to get me.
But POP just laughed and said its ok Jakey its only baby bubbles in here there’s no big tubes today.
Pop gave me a little push and I was zooming across the water
It was so much fun
I had the best day ever with my Grand Pa  and now I have a new best friend
My Jelly Fish
Thanks Grand Pa for teaching me to Surf

But Time soon Passes and a Sea Monster is Born
A surfmat gives your children a love of the ocean and a natural sense of belonging in the ocean.


The Worlds first tandem Surfmat ride at Lennox Point.               


Jake has continued his surf mat riding lessons and has become quite water wise and understands already which waves to go for and how to turn the mat by pulling on the corner. Through riding tandem Jake has acquired knowledge way beyond his years. He is also used to the speed and timing of a wave, duck diving, wiping out and enjoying the flogging game that we play. 

"Was that a big flogging or little flogging Pop?"
"No. Jakey that was just baby bubbles!"

The buoyancy vest is a great aid for instilling confidence in your young ones. Jake has a natural affinity with the ocean and at 4 year old was the youngest rider ever to surf the point at Lennox Head.                                                                                

Check out the 5 images below.

Shall we do it Jakey?  Jake says his little prayer..........  Please Heaven can I come in and play with no blood!!!

Yeh Pop! Let's go for it !
Jake holds the mat when we go in off the rocks. The patience ,timing and  making the decision to jump is a pricless skill.

Get your head down Jakey!

Cover up!

Can we do that again soon?

The Captain Says
The time with your young ones is precious.Don,t waste a minute of it.

Now at 5 years old Jake has developed into a strong young waterman. Learning to surf with out a leash has given him the confidence and swimming ability to handle most conditions. Knowing what to do if he looses his mat and where the mat has gone, to be relaxed and calm while under stress and pressure to work with the ocean not against it.



Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Riding a Surfmat 

The Closest Thing to being a Dolphin!

By Robin Thomson

Back in August 2010,           23 Breaths posted about Krypt Surf Mat designer Mark Thomson's son Daniel aka TOMO  finally getting around to exploring his old man's obsession with surf mats. I can only imagine how Daniel might have really resisted doing so as a young guy as the last thing you want to do at that age is something your parents are in to. Anyway, having established his own identity as a shaper he obviously now felt comfortable about trying out a mat and indeed may have done so to inform his board shaping I suspect. As the original post mentioned, Dan was stoked at the mat riding experience and spent the next few days exploring it further. Interestingly, in the comments on that original post, Mattitude commented on how inflated Dan has the mat as he enters the water in the first pic above. There are two reasons for this. One, your breath is hot and the water is cold and she,ll be right by the time you get out there. Two, I remember MT commenting that he is in the habit of adding air to his mat when coming in at Lennox across the rocks and I imagine Dan has taken MT's advice to do something similar on the way out! It certainly looks like he has dropped the inflation level in next pic.

 Now based in Southern California, Dan has continued to ride mats whilst shaping the most extraordinary looking boards. He has enjoying great success there as he has won 2 prestigious Scared Craft best of show awards for a 5'3" freestyle planning hull and a 4ft 11 inch diamond nose diamond tail with a very parallel outline. He has also became increasingly interested in whether a board could be as fast as a surf mat having been inspired by the seemingly limitless top end speed potential that surf mats possesses. Incidentally, he is not the only notable board rider to take up mat riding as the list now also includes Chris Delmoro, Rob Machado, Tom Curren, Joel Parkinson, Wayne Lynch, Wade Goodall, Mick Fanning, Dean Morrison and of course Dave Rastovich.

Images by Hilton Dawe

As I mentioned in this post, Dan had apparently developed his own unique style of mat riding using a unique minimal use of hands technique. Dubbed the Ironman, it utilises riding way forward, head down for maximum speed potential and squeezing the rear corners of the mat to provide some degree of control.

Daniel Thomson Warp Drive

 I have played around here and there on dads airmats in the past, but never really had the motivation to learn how to ride them properly because of my continued focus on pushing the limits of performance surfing equipment , however when I finally gave Dads Krypt super mat my full focus of attention I was really surprised. Firstly, its nothing like a body board whatsoever, its more of a pure speed experience. tricks or spins aren't even part of the equation. Its more about high line trim and harnessing the invisible pressure waves and power pockets. Now a mat is a permanent part of my quiver. 
Your tapping into the source at a higher level than surfing and that is something very rewarding and exciting because it is an egoless experience, just you and the ocean and frictionless speed.
The closest thing to being a dolphin.


Saturday, 8 March 2014

Volumne 1 part 1....... The Team

My whole life is an Escape, 
My whole life is this Way, 
I,m gunning for it in the vortex of life going for broke  and behind me all the shit goes over my back, the haters, angry people, police bureaucrats,politicians, their all going over the falls head first into the reef and I,m shooting for my life, nothing touches me and as it closes out I, pull through the bottom and out the back the wave and I take off and do the whole thing over again.


From the Horse's Mouth - 


10 Questions with The Captain

by Robin Thomson

Why do you ride surf mats?
To ride a surf mat at a high level is an extremely difficult and satisfying thing to do. It is always a challenge and you have to earn it but the feelings you get from flying across the water on a bubble of air activates the human nervous system unlike anything you have ever done before. It keeps you super fit and flexible does not interfere with your board riding what so ever so you can cross over like you have never missed a day.

How long have you been riding surf mats? 
35 years or so. Pretty much since I started surfing. Mats are just part of the Australian beach culture. People forget that every surf brand on the planet had their own surf mat back in the 1970s before the body boards wiped them out.

How many and what surf mats have you owned?
My current historical collection has an original Surfoplane 1930s, original Converse Hodgman 1950s, a late 1960s GOLD CUP from China and an Original Merrin from the 1970s. As a camera man, who specialised in water photography, I’ve owned heaps of mats of all kinds. Canvas ones, PVC ones, if it was for sale, I bought it and if it was ok I would buy a box of them. Surf
mats have been a tool of the trade for every cameraman worth his salt for generations. So too many to count to be honest.

Since the inception of the modern urethane mats though, I have owned and still have in my collection 15 4th Gear Flyers and 2 5th Gear Flyers. Since the supply of 4GFs initially dried up in the mid 90s, just after the Inflatable Dreams story in Surfers Journal, I have now added 8 Neumatics to that collection. Incidentally, Dale Solomonson was the first to discover and utilise the modern urethane fabrics.                                                                                                           

How did you acquire them?
All the early 4GFs back in the 1980s and 90s came from George Greenough and another American named Derrick who lived at Broken Head.

What is the history of your relationship with George Greenough?
I scored a house down in the rainforest at Broken Head and George and I where neighbours. We got talking one day whilst we both happened to be beach fishing and became really close friends. I had a surfboard factory on the beach and I was filming designing and building all sorts of boards, a really progressive time. George said I had a steady hand with the camera and offered me a job as his camera assistant. For the next 15 years we pretty much spent nearly every day together fishing surfing, windsurfing, and doing film jobs.

What is the history  of your relationship with Paul Gross? 
I have never met Paul Gross or spoken to him personally or had any contact with him. George would return home to the USA every year for a few months and always came back with a stash of mats.

Who designed and what is the history of the MT series of surf mats that Dale Solomonson made for you? 
Well, I'll let a quote from Dale on Surfer Mag Forum answer that.
“The Neumatic MT series was made exclusively for Mark, and is unique in a number of aspects compared to other modern surf mats". The inspiration for the MT Series came from the good ol' Aussie Surfoplane from the 1930s. Larger outside I-beams for directional stability and built in concave which we were using in our surfboard designs at the time and still are.
The MT Series was developed in collaboration with Dale over a period 5 years. I designed the the MT5 in April 2005. It represents 1000s of hours of surf time testing and 100s of hours of phone calls with Dale discussing surfmat design. People need to remember that Dales mats for us Aussies  back then where very expensive at $550AUD with life 7 to 9 months of hard surf time. 

MT 2 and MT 3

 My favourite surfboard designs are 20 inches wide which is the same as the MT5. I had ridden 4GFs for 15 years and I knew their limitations and I wanted more performance from my mats. The MT5 was the break through design and I was able to go places on a wave I had only ever dreamed of before. The Series III double coated bottom MT5's adhesion to the wave thru controlled surface tension is another level of innovation again.

How did the decision to mass produce the MT5 come about? 
A few years ago my son Daniel and I where getting a lot of recognition in Japan. Daniel for his amazing surfing ability and me for advanced surfboard designs and construction. Our friends in Japan where frothing over the mats I was riding because of their incredible speed and they wanted to get some. I had also been doing surf trips into the then relatively unexplored regions of Taiwan chasing typhoons and scoring epic waves. During one of my trips, the universe opened up a golden path in front of me and through a series of random chance meetings and contacts, I took a leap of faith and made a spontaneous decision to put a life time of surfing experience and hydrodynamic knowledge into the hottest high performance product I possibly could…...and put my trust in the universe. Thus, the MT5 is my gift to humanity to bring joy into the hearts of as many people as possible.We need as many people as possible on mats in the ocean activating their DNA and vibrating the universe on a higher frequency with love and joy to offset the negative low vibrational energy of others.
Do you intend to manufacture a range of different models of MT surf mats? 
I'm super happy with the current Series IV fabrics and, if the worlds financial system holds together, I have plans for a Junior Series mat, the JT5, inspired by my grandsons Jake Ryan and Hunter and a larger version, the MT5+5 for the bigger boys!                                                                                       

What do you see as the future of surf mats?
That’s a secret I can not share with you just yet!!!!