I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll ... blow up a surf mat? Mention inflatables and waves in the same breath and I'm picturing lifeguards paddling out after kiddies heading for the horizon. Equating surf mats with air beds is a cheap shot, but one the devotees are probably well used to. Anyway, I'm not sure you could call it a full blown (chortle, chortle) renaissance, but there seems to be a growing tide of interest in these "alternative" surf craft.
I've yet to see any evidence of them around Cornish coasts but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. There's clearly some passion out there for these puffed up products. Tips, techniques and feedback on the Neumatic Surf Mat as sold by Dale Solomonson are earnestly discussed in some detail here.
At around $350 / £180 each, I'm not sure that I'd want to splash out on something that comes with a puncture repair kit but over at Magic Seaweed they're flogging similar variants ranging from £18 - £80 quid. Still, that man George Greenough knows a thing or three about riding waves and he's been into these things for yonks.