4th Gear Flyer came into being out of necessity. By the late 70's, the Morey Boogie had put a huge dent in the established mat surfing market, and the beloved Hodgman Converse was phased out of production. Only poorly made rafts from overseas were available. While their thinner, more pliable construction allowed the cheapies to surf well, their durability was a major drawback. Nothing worse than a great session in the water coming to a halt when a seam blew out...and that seemed to happen every 3rd or 4th go out!
A lack of quality mats on the market and the realization among the world's best mat riders that more pliable mats performed better led to the development of the heat welded, all nylon surf mat.
The original 4th Gear Flyer, created in California 1984, was a complete redesign of the traditional 4 pontoon surf mat. It sported three large pontoons, with a stabilizing I-beam in each of the main sections. And the results were breathtaking! The speed and handling of this new generation of surf mats redefined the sport. Big, powerful waves that were once off limits to even the best mat riders were now ridden with joy and confidence. And small, junky waves became a creative canvas too, as the new-age mats boasted more bottom end performance than ever before.
Over a quarter of a century later, 4th Gear Flyer mats continue to flourish, with 7 models now available, and more being developed all the time. No matter the size of the mat rider, or the size of wave he or she rides, there's a 4GF for them!