Lost and Mayhem were not always household names. A little over two decades ago, Matt Biolos’ssurfboard label was just beginning to gain traction in Southern California, where his short, wide, thicker boards were helping the average surfer rediscover their stoke for speed. "Guys buy my boards, and it's two-foot Trestles, and suddenly they're out there having the time of their life,” Matt once said. “I don't know. I'm just a big fat dude and I make boards that work for me. Which means they work for a lot of other people too."
But perhaps the greatest evidence of his genius and contribution comes in the form of the …Lost library of surf flicks. Sometime around the mid-1990s, …Lost’s surf videos began to dominate the VCRs of the various coastal towns. Full of vulgarity, Jackass-style stunts, and drunken debauchery, the videos were a hit with the new generation of disillusioned, punky young rippers. But as much as the filler content entertained us, it was the surfing that truly drew us in.
5'5" x 19 1/4" VHS Films like Lost at Sea, Lost Across America, and especially 5'5" x 19 ¼" showed us not only what the stable of …Lost riders could do on a surfboard, but also what the right surfboard could do in a variety of waves. When 5'5" x 19 ¼" Redux came out in 2009, stubby, wide, high-volume fish/hybrid boards were a commonly accepted part of surfboard culture and design.
But when the original film came out back in 1997, most of the world was still trying to jam their pudgy piggies into Kelly Slater’s longer, narrower, rockered-out glass slippers—and most of us looked downright ridiculous doing so.
Matt Biolos and the crew at …Lost figured out 10 years before everyone else that short and wide equals more speed, and more speed equals more fun. Test subjects like Cory and Shea Lopez, Andy and Bruce Irons, Chris Ward, and even Tom Curren were riding fish-inspired surfboards nearly half a foot shorter than everyone else, and having a blast doing so. The fuller outlines and noses of these boards led to more projection down the line, even in fatter waves, and their decreased length made them maneuverable both on the face and in the air.
By 2009, nearly everyone had a stubby shred stick in their quiver, so Redux was going to have to deliver something special if it were to maintain the signature cutting-edge offerings of …Lost, let alone outshine the original 5'5" x 19 ¼". Not only did the early films feature surfing that was completely different than what anyone else was doing at the time, but they had that funny homeless guy riding shopping carts down stairs and lighting himself on fire.
The updated version needed something groundbreaking if it were to make the same impact, and once again, …Lost delivered. Not only did Redux feature the highest-tech aerials and a 260-pound beast of a man pulling into barrels on a tiny fish, but it ended with the greatest reveal in surfing cinematography—Skeleton Bay in Namibia, and Cory Lopez’s first ride at the break.
That endless, machine-like lefthand sandspit has come to be known as the best wave in the world, a mile-long grinding barrel that is heavy, technical, and fast as hell. So what better board to pioneer the wave than a short, stubby …Lost fish hybrid? In one short video segment, Cory showed us not only what the best wave in the world looked like, but also what exactly a short, high-volume board was capable of in below-sea-level sandbar perfection. Since that time, better waves have been ridden at Skeleton Bay, some featuring barrels as long as 40 seconds. But none rivals Cory’s first wave for pure stoke and shock value, as the world discovered Skeleton Bay for the first time, and was reminded, more than a decade after the original 5'5" x 19 1/4", what exactly Matt Biolos and the …Lost crew were capable of.