World-class shapers Darren Handley, Matt Biolos, Johnny Cabianca, Christian Bradley, and Dylan Longbottom on how to order a perfect couple of fibreglass travel companions.
Last time we asked Darren Handley, Johnny Cabianca, and Christiaan Bradley how to get the ultimate two-board travel quiver. In Part 2, Lost Surfboards‘ Matt Biolos and Dylan Longbottom from Dylan Surfboards step up to the plate.
Matt Biolos, Lost Surfboards
Matt Biolos started shaping out of high school in 1987 in California and over the next decade turned Lost, and the Mayhem model, into a major surf brand. Working early on with the likes of Christian Fletcher he now shapes boards for Carissa Moore, Mason and Coco Ho, Tyler Wright, Kolohe Andino, Joan Duru, Griffin Colapinto, Yago Dora, and Taj Burrow, to name a few. He turned 50 a year ago, surfs the local Cali beachbreaks regularly, and heads to Mexico and Indo each year with his sons for his quality wave fix.
“I’d take a 6’3” or 6’4” EL Patron which I call the gentleman’s shortboard. I’m not talking about what the pros would take, they take at least two boards to go down the beach for a surf in two-foot slop. I’m 90 kilograms, well, downhill with the wind behind me, and would go 20 1/2” x 2 3/4” and a volume above 35 litres. Under my arm, from a distance, it looks like a 6’0” because it is so well proportioned.
If you are on a trip you are hoping for better waves and fewer crowds than at home, so you can take that concern out of the board choice. This board has a squash tail and a shallower concave than I would normally ride at home, and with added tail rocker and vee under the back foot, it negates the high volume.
For the step up I’d keep the same size, but just have a pulled-in tail. The Sabo Taj, Taj’s model, would be perfect. I’d have it at 6’4” by 20 1/4” x 2 3/4” with a rounded pin. It rides like a 6’10” because it has a wider nose outline, but the tail is pulled in with lots of tail rocker. That keeps it loose and sits right in the pocket. That’s a bigger guy’s tube board for, say, a trip to the Mentawais or Maldives when you could get some epic sessions in good waves.”
Dylan Longbottom, Dylan Surfboards
Dylan made the transition from bricklayer to a world-renowned free surfer and big wave freak throughout the 90s and 2000s. Around 15 years ago he picked up the planer (as his father had before him) and started shaping boards. He is known for his big wave guns and tow boards that he makes for the likes of Chumbo, Matahi Drollet and Laurie Towner, but also crafts progressive sticks for Charley Martin, Kian Martin, Lennix Smith, and his daughter Summa. He is 50 and has shaping bays in Bali, Cronulla and Portugal, and is still doing big airs and charging the heaviest waves in the world.
“The first board in the bag would be a small wave, high-performance board in PU construction like my Mexican Model that has a slightly flatter rocker, touch fuller nose, more area in plan shape with a hip in front of the fins. So, for me being 80 kilograms and standing 6’0″, I love riding this board on little beachies, points, and reefs at an inch shorter than my height at 5’11” by 19 1/4″ x 2 1/2”. It’s a hip squash tail with single-to-double concave coming in around the 30-litre mark.
My second board would be a crossover between a step-up board and a high-performance board. I’d have it a couple of inches longer than my height. My Predator model is designed to suit waves from four to 12 feet and I can surf it when it’s barrelling or just good solid waves. It’s great in the tube and the little extra length helps to draw out my turns. I would glass this one super strong, so it lasts through my travels and I don’t want it too light for those good days anyway. I would make it 6’2″ by 19” x 2′ 9/16′ at 31.5 litres with a round rail, not too pulled in though, and a nice medium rocker with slighter concaves. It’s a solid, trusty shortboard that will handle any type of wave and is definitely a worthy travel companion.”