Everything You Need To Know About The Winning 2019 Stab In The Dark Board
With its shaper, …Lost’s Matt Biolos
Spoiler alert: …Lost Surfboards’ Matt Biolos won the All-Stars edition of Stab in the Dark, earning top honors from Dane and Mick plus a runner-up from Jordy Smith.
This is Mayhem’s first SITD win in five attempts, but he’ll tell you that it counts as two-and-a-half wins, which puts him right at the top of the pack.
Below you’ll find one notable and two subdued quotes on the …Lost board by their esteemed riders:
Mick [gave the board 1st place]: “As soon as I jumped on this, everything felt connected. I pushed it as hard as I could and it would just stay in there. Best Mayhem I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some good ones.”
Dane [gave the board 1st place]: “I think it would work good at Salt Creek or something.”
Jordy [gave the board 2nd place]: “It felt really stable.”
Let’s chat with Mayhem about the board that made him king (for a year).
Stab: No longer the bridesmaid! How’s it feel to finally win one of these things?
Matt Biolos: That’s funny. I guess you guys saying “finally“, it’s a compliment, like you always expected it. I still feel like there’s a lot of luck involved. I never went into one of these expecting to win. But this kinda evens the score. With Dane and Mick both picking my board, it’s like winning two of them and getting another second.
It feels good to know the guys liked the boards. Especially Mick, because he’s such a finely-tuned, technical master. It’s a nice validation to our hard work with our CT team, because they really drive these designs.
Let’s talk tech. What is the name of the board you provided, and what are its prominent features?
It’s a Driver 2.0. The boards were shaped in Aus, at our factory near Kirra. I was there on holiday, with my family, so I whipped up the files, then Wayne Lowen transferred them from AKU to Shaped3D. I had to do a couple of them twice, then Tony C glassed them.
This was before the model was released. (Its origin is based on the board Griffin rode at Snapper/Kirra during his break out rookie run in ‘18. That board was an experimental shape I did for Kolohe, but he picked it up and said it was too small, so Griff snagged it.) Over the next 18 months I really started evolving the DRIVER from that board, and in July, I was almost ready to launch the 2.0, when Stab called to request the boards.
If I had to describe the board simply, it’s what I consider to be our status quo, high-performance, modern shortboard.
You’d be hard-pressed to say anything stands out as noticeably obvious. The rocker is moderate, with a more relaxed entry than years past, but not what you could call low. The tail rocker sits right in the middle of what I would consider a WCT tail rocker. The concave would be moderately deep at most, with a semi-shallow double racing through the fins. The noses have been widening over the last couple years, and the outlines in the tail more smoothly curved, with no dramatic hip or breaks. There is a healthy amount of rail rocker under the back foot, which allows the tight-radius arcs that Mick was doing, and provides that “tail lift” that Dane described. This is why I feel it’s a good and easy-to-ride board, even in moderate surf by moderately skilled “shortboarders”. It also explains why Dane felt it would be good “at Salt Creek”. It also makes sense why Jordy preferred it in the kinky, dumpy, quick waves in the beginning of the film, over the long arcing walls of J-Bay.
The deck would be considered a moderate vee deck, leaving ample thickness along the stringer, but angling rapidly to soft, forgiving rails. This means there’s not a lot of foam on the area halfway between the stringer and the rails.
The edges are tucked a bit through the front fins, to calm down the concave. Making it less twitchy, but they are really sharp through there as well.
I think the tails at 12” (where we universally measure tail width)—probably be wider than the other shapers, but the actual tail block would be considered almost slightly pulled. Our edges are prob ticked more than others though, and the fin placements have been adjusted a fair amount the last year, due to feedback from Kolohe, with great response from Carissa and Griff. I included these new (for us, at least) fin positions on these boards, which you heard Dane and Mick talking about in the film.
Dane and Jordy didn’t immediately pin your board as a Mayhem, for which they blamed its agnostic nose shape. What is the classic Mayhem nose, and why did you change it for SITD?
Oh, I dunno, I guess I like to make an aesthetically pleasing nose—I don’t feel like it matters, functionally, but I always liked the outline straight in the last few inches, contrasting with a touch of extra tip flip. I’m kinda an 80’s/90’s throwback, where shapers went to great lengths to have some defining looks to their boards. Guys like Stussy and Xanadu were influences there.
I give credit to Kolohe for the more modest nose tip. I didn’t change it for SITD, it was already changed. He’s always saying “No nose flip! I want it flat and wide”. He’s the boss, so who am I to argue?
The crazy thing is Mick though. Even though the guys knew the boards were built in and came from Oz (which should have thrown anyone off) and the board was aesthetically different, he still called it out as a Mayhem. That guy knows his shit.
Are any of your team riders currently on this board?
Pretty much everyone. Griff, Riss, Yago, Caroline, Coco, Crosby, and Kade. Kolohe still sorta beats to his own drum. I can’t say he’s riding the same board as the rest of the crew. He likes his boards extra stiff and firm. But they are close.
How would it go for average joe?
I think it’s a pretty easy riding board. Compared to the HP Shortboards of the past decade, it’s pretty idiot-proof. It’s got glide, it’s forgiving, easy to turn and has enough lift for everyday surf. Anyone who rides modern HP shortboards will easily enjoy it. Because of the specific instructions we got from Stab (saying they would be filming in South Africa, and assuming they would be surfing in solid, powerful waves) The SITD version is just a touch different than our standard production 2.0. The tail block is slightly pulled in, with less hip. The deck lines are specifically adjusted to hit the requested dims/volumes. So they are unique to themselves.
When and where can people buy this board for themselves?
Well, if you watch the movie, it’s clear I knew we won well before it’s release. Without giving that info away, I told my crew in USA and AUS that, “We did really good. I don’t know if we won, but they sent Fanning to interview me, and he picked it, so that’s enough for me! We should make a bunch of these.”
We made about 60 in the USA and I think 48 in Aus. We’ve been offering them to surf shops in both countries. We included the fourth original size (5’11”) as well (that it’s now clear was supposed to be for Julian Wilson) and I added a 5’9 based off Mick’s 5’10” as well as a 6’1” based off Jordy’s 6’2.5”.
You could use any foam in the world to make your boards. Why is Arctic your go-to?
Arctic has been our primary provider of foam for over a decade. They are proven to perform and give us a consistent core to test and produce from.
I’d like to say that I’ve been influenced by every one of the other shapers, or at least brands, in this comp.
CI was the first major brand that I ever saw a modern rocker with full concave bottom. The design, competitive and actual retail sales and marketing history of the brand will never never be equaled. I feel DHD and JS were way ahead of everyone during the first decade of the 2000s and continue to be impressed with their work. DH’s work with Mick as a test pilot is the most enviable of shaper/surfer relationships. Jason’s consistency is second to none.
Pyzel’s work with JJF has influenced the entire surfboard market over the last few years. We share the same distribution company in AUS, which I was stoked to have him come on board to. And Axle Lorentz…He and I have worked together for a long time. He was head shaper for …Lost Surfboards Europe for a few years, and we both are part of the PUKAS stable of shapers.
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