Water News

Behind the Boards: An In-Depth Chat with Matt ‘Mayhem’ Biolis

Kolohe Andino, Taj Burrow, Julian Wilson, Travis Logie, Mick Fanning, Dusty Payne, Brett Simpson – it’s an esteemed list of wave-riders and all have played a crucial part in the reigniting of Matt ‘Mayhem’ Biolis as a premiere shaper to the world’s best surfers. Biolis, whose Mayhem shapes gave rise to the …lost label and spawned the likes of international stylists Cory Lopez and Chris Ward in the early 1990′s, has been at the forefront of US surfboard building for the past two decades. The man single-handedly re-launched the retro fish phenonenom with …lost’s seminal flick “5’5″ x 19 1/4″” and has led the scaled-up volume movement over the past several years, now mentoring rookie Andino’s first foray amongst the world elite. During a shaping stint in Australia, STAB Magazine caught up with Biolis to get his input on Kolohe’s new sticks and shaping for the future. This…is their story…

A breakfast with Matt ‘Mayhem’ Biolos in which the unusually specific nature of Kolohe Andino’s boards are discussed; Stab’s theory that Mayhem succeeds because his surfboards are designed for average surfers first and then filter upwards rather than vice-versa; and the discovery that Kolohe’s pops Dino and his speed runs at Uppers were responsible for creating the outline of surfboards ridden by every monster airing kid…

It is a gloomier than usual Sydney summer morn when I scoop up California’s Matt Biolos at the Sydney factory of his shaper pal and occasional biz associate Mr James ‘Chilli” Cheal.

In an industrial zone a few clicks from the beach, we see Biolos a fittish man of middle age, unshaven but not derelict, Jewish but not orthodox, grinding out boards for punters who’ve paid $80 over retail to taste his meats.

Can y’believe it? Taj Burrow and Kolohe’s personal craftsman ruining his lungs for surfers who may or may not’ve ever loosed a fin in their lives? Considering not one of those 100 sleds has my name on it, I don’t know whether to be stunned or jealous. “Every name on the order form is someone you wouldn’t know,” he says thirty mins later when we’re socking javas at the Armchair Collective in Mona Vale. “But, that’s what we’re here for! That’s what pays the bills!”

It’s a pet theme of Mr Biolos’, the importance of looking after the lil man first and believing rewards will follow. “That’s what makes surfboards so special. It’s the only piece of equipment made the way we do it.”

I lay out my theory that his success is strongly related to…

For full story, check out STAB’s ‘Kolohe and Mayhem in Numbers’

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of ActionHub. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.

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