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Biolos: The Pro Board Is Everything!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

"Anyone can fucking make a bat-wing-quad-swallow-tail wood keel…"

Yesterday afternoon, I was seated at a cafe specialising in splendid organic dishes on Bali’s Bukit peninsula. I generally prefer a Spanish paella to modern fusion, but the beggar cannot be the chooser as they say, particularly in these parts.

Across the small wooden table was the surfboard shaper Matt Biolos. He is a great character whom I’ve written about many times and who, earlier, had ridden a six-eight channel with tenderness and freedom in six-foot waves. (In contrast, my campaign, on a five-nine, was comedic.)

Shortly after being served, he leant over the organic avocado-and-quinoa burrito filling my plate and swiped my 2013 issue of What Youth (#4, Creed McTaggart cover).

“I’ve got a story in this,” he said.

The story, actually too short to be a story if we’re to be frank, more like a three-paragraph muse, was a riff on why the pro surfer board is…everything… to a shaper.

I enjoyed the piece so much I asked Matt to reprise and expand on the idea.

“The high-performance surfboard is the most elevated form of the craft,” Matt says. “There’s no fucking doubt in my mind that the ultra-light, white, high-performance, fall-apart, minimalist pro surfer board was and always will be the highest form of surfboard manufacturing. Why? Because of the scrutiny and the detail needed to please the most discerning customer that can possibly ride a surfboard. And that’s a pro athlete.”

To the trend for resin-tint cutie pie sleds he says, “Anyone can fucking make a resin tint. And anyone can make a bat-wing-quad-swallow-tail wood keel. Spend some time and do it. It’s bitchin’. (But) it’s a hobby.”

Listen to the seven-minute audio interview here.