Behind the Brand: If you went looking for the most progressive hub in San Clemente's freethinking surf scene of the mid-'80s, you'd have been hard pressed to find a place more tolerant than Herbie Fletcher's Surf Shop, where Matt Biolos started his shaping career. While the friends Biolos was running with didn't strike him as unusual, Christian and Nathan Fletcher, Matt Archbold, Dino Andino, and the rest of the San Clemente misfits were anything but normal, and Biolos fit the mold. He learned shaping and design from a whole host of respected craftsman working nearby: from Jim Fuller, Randy Sleigh, and Reno Abellira, to Timmy Patterson and Mike Hynson (who lived in a motor home parked in the shop's lot one summer). In 1993, Biolos, whose shaping name was "Mayhem," started putting "…Lost" logos on T-shirts that he sold out of the shop. Not surprisingly, they found an audience in San Clemente. Soon after he started putting the logos on his boards, too, which were getting the attention of surf rats roaming the halls. Chris Ward and Cory Lopez were two of the first prominent names to build foundations with Biolos. Shea Lopez and Shane Beschen followed, and things steamrolled from there. Today, many of the world's best surfers, including Andy and Bruce Irons, Jordy Smith, and countless others have working relationships with Biolos, who's shaping skills and business acumen has made ...Lost one the most successful board labels in the world. Today, Biolos owns the old Herbie Fletcher shop where he started. Its new name is certainly consistent with the role he's assumed in the community...it's called Catalyst.
About his Most Popular Models: Matt's progressive shortboards are always in demand. "Most of my top guys are riding a little bit of everything," he says. His SD Series is designed for all types of waves, while The Rocket and The Round Nose Fish top the list of his many hybrid models.
Taking the Pulse:"We're having a blast with our "Convertibles" right now. Those are our boards with 5-fin boxes that they can be ridden as thrusters or quads or even 5-fins. The bottom line is they cost a lot less than two boards and because they're customizable you can make them work in anything."Shop Talk
What was the biggest design related lesson of 2008? "Don't be afraid of shorter, fuller boards and plenty of tail rocker…They keep things exciting."
What trends would you like to see continue? "When the quad thing started to gain momentum five years ago only a handful of guys were making them well (Cole/Stretch, etc.), then the explosion came and a lot of bad quads got made. Now, five years later, right when we have them dialed in really, really well, you see guys—most of who've never tried anything different in their life—saying they're dying. We've been working close with Tyler Calloway at FCS, and we're making insane quads with really dialed fins right now…they're just a ton of fun."