Archive for category: News

Jamie Sterling – West Aus Wave Hunting

By Jamie Sterling

I live for chasing swells on a days notice. Anxiety and adrenaline started from the minute I received an email from Harro stating there was some good storms approaching West Aus. I was sitting in Teahupoo, Tahiti. I just surfed 10-12 ft Teahupoo the same day I received the message from Harro. Immediately I emailed the boys at Red Bull for some travel help and they approved it. Now it was time to pull the trigger.

Jamie_Beach.jpgI emailed Harro once more to confirm the mission was a GO! It all happened fast and smoothly. I was on my way to Sydney then to Perth the next morning. Harro met me at the airport in Sydney and we proceeded onto Red Bull to gather the rescue sleds. The next morning we were on the flight to Perth. We met Paul Morgan at the airport who I just met in Tahiti and surfed the same big swell with him at Teahupoo. Upon our arrival in Perth we went to the car rental agency to pick up our two 4wheel drive vehicles. All the logistics were going great. Next stop was to pick up my Red Bull Jet Ski at Red Bull in Perth. Alfy Carter was also waiting there with all his equipment ready to charge. We had all the heavy machinery and enough Red Bulls to keep us awake forever. A few stops in Perth to buy food and we were off.

After driving for 4 hours we were smashed. We pulled off the road in the middle of west Aus and all slept in the dirt for 3 hours. As we lied down it started to sprinkle rain. We were all so tired we just pulled our sleeping bags over our heads and took cover. We got back on the road in time to make it to the destination where we planned to surf. As we arrived we found out that the wave we set out to find was too far out to drive Jet skis. We opted to head to the ugly slab Cyclops. Morgs and Alfy had a go. I didn’t want anything to do with it. Its not a wave you surf, you survive! Both Alfy and Morgs survived it and we called it a day. I was disappointed! Cyclops was the last wave I wanted to surf and we went there on my first day of the trip. Luckily there was another swell two days out that would offer waves worthy of me travelling to Aus to surf.

Jamie SterlingThe second swell proved to be bigger and better. We left the area of Cyclops and headed to our next destination where there was a few spots to choose from. One of the waves I surfed a few years ago. A great left hander that served up some fancy tube time. The other wave we found on a day when the swell was dropping and we were driving down every 4wd track in the vicinity looking for possible places to tow-in. From the beach you could see it capping and the right would run down the reef. It was so far out we couldn’t really see if it was a wave or a piece of Indian Ocean mush.

The next morning we were out the door before the sun came up. It was our last chance to get some surf. The day turned out to be a special day. We scored the left at first light. We all bagged some good tubes then proceeded to go on a 30 minute bouncy jet ski ride down the coast in search of the right hand bombie we scoped out the day before. When we pulled up to the slab smiles were beaming. It was 8-10ft with Jamie Sterlingsubterranean holes in the ocean folding over. I was stoked to be able to get a mix bag of waves on this West Aus wave chase. We named the right hand bombie Poodles. We each had a handful of great rides at the powerful outer reef before our petrol was running low. We all made it back to the beach safely and in good spirits.

Flynn & Daniel Jones Visit SoCal for the WQS

Flynn Novak and Daniel Jones recently visited Southern California to compete in the Trestles WQS event held in San Clemente. The event took place from April 24 – 28, 2007. The waves were not that great during this time period. So what do Flynn and Daniel do to train during waveless days in SoCal?


Flynn and Daniel like to go to The Wavehouse located in Mission Beach, San Diego. The Wavehouse, if you didn’t know, is a standing, barreling wave that doesn’t depend on ocean swells to deliver you a ride. Here’s Flynn in a familiar spot, the barrel.


One of the perks of being a pro is free access to private sessions after hours. One night a bunch of the Matuse team riders (Flynn Novak, Daniel Jones, Tyler Reid, Mason Hartman and Luke Rife) had full reign over the standing wave. Other guests were Shane Magnusson of Maui and local San Diego ripper Ryan Bracker.


Here Flynn gets a nice hack as the flash goes off to capture the moment. No doubt he honed that move on the end section at Pipe.

The night was full of frosty beers, insane maneuvers and hilarious wipeouts. The wave is known to take you out hard if you are not careful. Although the bottom is covered by a thin layer of foam padding it still hurts if you get tossed upside down on your head from 7 ft. up. Watch that rail, the water moves fast and is only about 10 inches deep. Here Daniel Jones carefully maneuvers back into the barrel wearing his 4:3:2 Hoplite fullsuit.


Thanks to The Wavehouse for opening its doors for us after hours. We all had a blast and helped to keep all the riders entertained while waiting for a swell. A small NW swell did filter in for the contest which made for some exciting heats.

Flynn_contest3.jpgAs always, wave selection and luck played a huge part in the success of all the riders. Flynn Novak and Daniel Jones both exited in the round of 64. Unfortunately a big south swell never made it to Trestles. A good showing for both riders but we’ll look to see better results when they visit their next stop in the paradise known as the Maldive Islands. A left hander called Pasta Point should bode well for the two goofy footers. Pray for clean ground swell and light winds.

Mikala Jones & Flynn Novak Earn Automatic Entry to Pipeline Masters

Matuse riders Mikala Jones & Flynn Novak gain entry into the prestigious Pipeline Masters competition to be held December of 2007. Mikala finished equal 13th & Flynn finished equal 5th in the Monster Energy Pipeline Pro. The top 13 competitors from the February competition gain a wild card entry into the main event. These wild card entry spots are the most coveted entry spots for any pro competition held world wide.

With Fuel TV, live webcasting and the perfect Pipeline theater setup millions of viewers will witness the highest level of surfing competition. Matuse is proud to have two guaranteed riders already in the competition. An additional Matuse rider who has made a past Pipeline Masters event appearance is Jamie Sterling. We look forward to seeing our guys stamp their names into Pipeline history.

Flynn Novak Flies High

Flynn_newspaper.jpgThe eyes of the surfing world converge every year on the North Shore of Oahu during the winter months. February marks the event for the Monster Energy Pipeline Pro. The event is a crucial event for North Shore locals like Flynn Novak who is a Matuse rider. The event allows the top 13 finishers to gain access to most prestigious surfing event called the Pipeline Masters held every December as a wild card entry. The Pipeline Masters is the last event for the professional surfing series of competitions. The event allows people to make or break their careers at this very dangerous wave.The image seen here is of Flynn Novak during his round 3 heat. The waves were pumping at a solid 8-10 ft. As you can see Flynn is exiting the wave after scoring a barrel ride at the infamous Pipeline. This photo was released to the Associated Press for distribution around the world as the official photograph for the Pipeline competition. This photo was scanned from the cover of the Honolulu Star Bulletin dated Wednesday, February 7, 2007.

The caption below the photo reads: Flynn Novak of Haleiwa took a flying leap off a huge wave yesterday during the third round of the Monster Energy Pipeline Pro at the Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore. The contest is one of the most dangerous on the surfing circuit. Novak advanced through rounds three and four, with one more day of competition to be held on Friday.

Two Founders Want to Avoid Growing Too Big Too Fast

By David Berlin

January 28, 2007

Matt Larson and John Campbell, founders of the San Diego-based wet suit company Matuse, still get goose bumps when they talk about visiting Japan to get a special kind of rubber for their wet suits.

ut_john.jpg“It was like meeting Elvis or something,” Larson said.

Land is at a premium in Japan, but the home they were visiting in the suburbs of Osaka had gardens and orchards and a giant pond with a bridge.

As the business partners walked in the door and took off their shoes in adherence to Japanese custom, they heard classical music twanging in the background. “You just knew something special was going to happen,” Larson said.

And in came Kiichi Yamamoto, founder of Yamamoto Corp. and now in his 80s.

Yamamoto and his company have created rubber materials for everything from the Apollo 11 spacecraft to modern cancer-research equipment.

Campbell and Larson, both 26 years old, use the special rubber to make what they call “the Rolls-Royce of wet suits.”

“It was just a totally surreal moment because it was kind of the culmination of a lot of long nights and, like, hoping and praying and wondering if we could reach that stage,” Campbell said on collaborating with Yamamoto.

ut_suits.jpgCampbell, a Del Mar native who graduated from Torrey Pines High School before earning a bachelor’s degree in English at Dartmouth University, was a textiles exporter before founding Matuse.

Larson, originally from Long Beach, had been in the retail industry since he was 15, and had previously worked as a concept designer for big-name surf industry companies such as Body Glove and Excel.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University and a master’s degree in philosophy from UC San Diego.

Meeting through work, the two hit it off and started talking at a local Starbucks about materials that could make a better wet suit. In the summer of 2005, they founded Matuse.

A typical wet suit is made of neoprene, a petroleum-based material that is also used to make mouse pads and beer cozies. Matuse wet suits, with Yamamoto rubber, are made from an environmentally friendly material.

The rubber is made from limestone instead of petroleum and is designed to last almost four times longer than neoprene, Campbell and Larson said. Average wet suits cost about $80. Matuse suits, which are manufactured in China, are about $150.

“They’re 40 to 50 percent more expensive but 100 percent better,” said Dylan Farr, an associate buyer at ZJ Boarding House in Santa Monica, one of the largest surf shops in the country.

“Matuse has a pretty good suit for someone that’s just come out of nowhere – it keeps you warm, has good performance, and not a lot of rashing.”

The plan is to avoid growing too big too fast, Larson said.

“When we talked about our philosophy at Starbucks, we talked about developing principles that go with that,” Larson said.

“We’re not in any rush to develop products. We want to make sure that everything we do is very well-thought-out, meticulous, and well-designed, so that when people look at our logos, that’s exactly what it personifies.”

As for the meaning of Matuse, the name isn’t culture-specific. Japanese people think it’s a Japanese word and Italians have thought it’s Italian, Campbell said.

Campbell and Larson are the only official employees at Matuse, but they were quick to point out that a number of people have helped them.

Campbell’s father, also named John B. Campbell, is a founding partner and provides most of the funding for the startup company. He also provides space for his son and Larson at his law offices near Sorrento Valley.

Several professional surfers have helped promote the Matuse name. La Jolla native and former Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam is a shareholder in the Matuse venture.

Former Procter & Gamble director Jamie Wallace of Rancho Santa Fe sits on the board of advisers, as does Fred Marinello, Campbell’s high school art teacher.

In San Diego, Matuse suits are available at Mitch’s Surf Shops in Solana Beach and La Jolla and the Point Loma Board Room.

“Our approach to things does set us apart. (Surfers) want something that’s not going to fail on them. A lot of other companies, I’m not sure they were pushing the envelope,” Campbell said. “It’s ichiban.”

Ichiban is a Japanese word that loosely translates into “being the best,” Campbell said.

“We’ve got to be ichiban ichiban ichiban!”