Sean Mattison is an American former professional surfer and current professional surf coach and mastermind behind Kelly Slater's "nubster".[2] A fifth fin that was created by Mattison that some critics say helped Kelly Slater win his 11th ASP World Championship.[3] Mattison also is the designer of his own alternative high performance surfboards and surfboard fins named Von-Sol.[4]

Sean Mattison
Personal information
BornSean Mattison
(1969-03-24) March 24, 1969 (age 50)
Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
ResidenceOceanside, California United States
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Surfing career
Years active1988-1995
Best year1990 mid season rated #2 Bud Surf Tour, 1990 Finished 7th Bud Surf Tour (PSAA)[1] [Bud Surf Tour
Major achievements
  • United States Surfing Champion 2003
  • Gold Medal as Assistant Coach: 2009 Team USA ISA World Champions
  • Gold Medal as Team USA Participant: 2011 Team USA Master's Division ISA World Champions
Surfing specifications
StanceNatural (regular) Foot
Favorite wavesRight Hand Pointbreaks
Favorite maneuversFront Side Carves and Hacks

In 2009 Assistant Coach Sean Mattison along with Head Coach Ian Cairns founder of the Association of Surfing Professionals coached the 2009 USA Surf Team to a Gold Medal in the 2009 ISA World Championships. Prior to that win, the USA had not won a Gold Medal since 1996.[5] in Costa Rica; France: 2nd Place, Australia: 3rd Place.

Amateur yearsEdit

Mattison was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States on 24 March 1969.[6] Mattison moved to Atlantic Beach, Florida in 1973 and started surfing in 1974. By 1977 Mattison started competing in surf competitions at the age of eight in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Mattison grew up surfing on the east coast in the ESA also known as Eastern Surfing Association. In 1980, Mattison was a member of the ESA All-Stars with fellow professional surfer and 11x ASP World Champion Kelly Slater. Mattison also placed 5th overall at the NSSA Nationals and was a member of the NSSA national team. Mattison's amateur career was between 1977–1987.[7]

ESA East Coast Titles

ESA East Coast Runner-up

Pro careerEdit

  • In 1988, Mattison established himself as an elite surfer and earned himself a spot in the top 30 ranked surfers in the (PSAA) Bud Surf Tour on his rookie year.[10]
  • Mattison had his best year in 1990 when he was rated #2 in the (PSAA)Bud Surf Tour mid-way through the season and finishing #7 in the (PSAA) Bud Surf Tour.
  • Mattison won 2nd Place in the 1990 Body Glove Memorial Surf Classic.[11]
  • Mattison was on the cover of Surfer Magazine in 1993.[12]
  • Crowned 2003 United States Surfing Champion.[7]
  • Mattison was on a cover of a controversial Longboard Magazine in 2006 which had him surfing a "fish" rather than a longboard.[13]
  • Mattison won a Gold Medal with Team USA in the 2011 ISA World Championships in Punta Roca, El Salvador[14][15] Mattison was part of the USA Master's Team with former three time ASP world champion Tom Curren and fellow professional surfer Jim Hogan.
  • Mattison is a member of the Jacksonville Surfing Hall of Fame.[16]

Retail surf industryEdit

Sean Mattison was the General Manager and Chief Board Buyer for Surf Ride Inc. in Oceanside, California from 1997 through 2007.[17] Known as a surfboard specialist, Surfing Magazine did an article on Mattison called "Lord of the Boards".[18] When Clark Foam a surfboard foam manufacturer that supplied 90% of blank surfboards in the United States closed its doors,[19] Surfer Magazine ran its only cover in history that just has a surfboard on its cover with Mattison's quotes going across, "This Changes Everything"[20]

Surf coachingEdit

Mattison is the owner, operator, and head coach of Surf Coach USA.[7] Mattison has testimonials from some of the elite professional surfers in the world.[21]

  • 2012 ISA World Juniors Assistant Coach Team USA Copper Medal [22]
  • 2011 PACSUN Team USA in Peru 5th Place[23]


  • 2010 Founder Calvary Christian Surf Club
  • 2010 ISA World Juniors Assistant Coach Team USA in New Zealand - Bronze Medal [26][27]
  • 2009 PACSUN USA Surf Team ISA World Champions Assistant Coach Team USA in Costa Rica - Gold Medal [28]
  • 2009 ISA World Juniors Assistant Coach Team USA - Bronze Medal[7]
  • 2008 Athletics Coach Calvary Vista Christian School[7]
  • 2007 Athletics Coach / Surf PE Coach Calvary Vista Christian School[7]
  • 2005 National Surfing League "The Game" California Cup Pro Series Assistant Coach[7]
  • 2005 San Diego Sea Lions Water Coach Champions - Runner Up[7]
  • 2005 San Diego Sea Lions Assistant Team Coach Team Champions - Runner Up[7]
  • 2004 National Surfing League "The Game" California Cup Professional Series[7][29]
  • 2002 ISA World Games Assistant Coach USA Surf Team Durban South Africa[7]

Surfboard designEdit

Mattison is the designer of his own surfboard label Von-Sol Surfboards. Mattison having a former background in design collaborated with Mike Hynson to make the "Black Knight Quad" a four fin surfboard that had much success in design.[30][31][32] Mike Hynson is co-star of the hit 1966 surf movie "The Endless Summer" directed by Bruce Brown. Mike Hynson and fellow co- star Robert August travel the world in search for surf.[33][34]

Another notable design influenced by Mattison was, Kelly Slater's "nubster". A fifth fin that was created by Mattison that some critics say helped Kelly Slater win his 11th ASP World Championship.[35][34]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1990, Mattison married and had his first child in 1993.[9] In Their Own Words: Sean Mattison - PacSun USA Surf Team Assistant Coach Mattison and his wife are now parents of three children. Mattison won the [U.S. Open of Surfing] Master's Division the same year his wife competed and won 4th in the Women's. Mattison and his family were in an article for Coastal Living Magazine called Hang Ten Holidays.[36]


  1. ^ "Professional Surfing Association Of America".
  2. ^ "ESPN Kelly Slater's Fifth Wheel".
  3. ^ "ESPN Fifth Wheel".
  4. ^ "Von Sol Surfboards".
  5. ^ "Surfline, Team USA Takes Top Honors at Billabong ISA World Games".
  6. ^ a b c "Atlantic Video".
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Surf Coach USA Experience".
  8. ^ a b "Drift Magazine".
  9. ^ a b "Eastern Surfing Association".
  10. ^ "Surfline, Professional Surfing Association of America".
  11. ^ "Rookie Wins Body Glove Surfing". Los Angeles Times, 1990 Body Glove Classic.
  12. ^ "Surfer Magazine 1993 Cover".
  13. ^ "The Man Behind The Boards".
  14. ^ "Surfline, ISA World Masters El Salvador".
  15. ^ "ISA World Masters Punta Roca, El Salvador".
  16. ^ "Jacksonville Surfing Hall of Fame".
  17. ^ "Drift Magazine".
  18. ^ "Surf Coach USA Media".
  19. ^ "Surfer Magazine, Clark Foam Closes Its Doors".
  20. ^ "Surfer Magazine, This Changes Everything".
  21. ^ "Surf Coach USA Testimonials".
  22. ^ "Transworld Surf Magazine, Hawaii Wins Gold".
  23. ^ "Transworld Surf Magazine, Quicksilver ISA Juniors".
  24. ^ "Olas Peru ISA Juniors".
  25. ^ "Team USA ISA Juniors in Peru".
  26. ^ "Transworld Surf Magazine, PacSun Video".
  27. ^ "Transworld Surf Magazine, Team USA".
  28. ^ "Surfline, 2009 ISA Billabonag World Games".
  29. ^ "California Cup Professional Series".
  30. ^ "Surfride, Black Knight Quad".
  31. ^ "Boardworks, Mike Hynson".
  32. ^ "Boardworks, Von Sol".
  33. ^ "Surf Science".
  34. ^ a b "DEEP Surf Magazine".
  35. ^ "FCS Fins".
  36. ^ "Coastal Living Magazine".

External linksEdit