LIBTECH X LOST
When Mike Olsen started LibTech in 1977, most people had no idea that he’d one day be selling commercial surfboards. LibTech started as a snowboard company, creating lightweight alternatives to Burton and Sims, which dominated the market in the early years of the sport. But the company was actually founded on money that Olsen made by shaping surfboards. His roots have always been in the surf scene—it just took 30 years for the rest of the industry to recognize the value of his environmental focus. Olsen stopped shaping with polyurethane blanks in the early ’80s, long before epoxy boards became a mainstay in most surf shops. But his sustainable surfboards wouldn’t hit the mainstream market for another two decades. In the meantime, Lib Technologies was quickly becoming a major player in the snowboard industry.
Long-time team rider Jamie Lynn was at the forefront of snowboarding innovation in terms of performance in the 1990s, and has always demanded the same from his boards. Lynn has been with LibTech for over 20 years, and recently riders such as Travis Rice have gone on to join the
LibTech team, attracted to the durable, high-tech boards and the company’s reputation as one of the most environmentally conscious brands on the market.
As the brand developed, Mike was joined by Pete Saari, a fellow snowboard enthusiast and board builder. Mervin Manufacturing, which is the umbrella company that owns Lib Technologies, was acquired by surf giant Quiksilver in 1997, and at around the same time, Mike and Pete began to ramp up their experimentation with applying their durable and sustainable materials and techniques to surfboards as well. Although majority control of the company moved to Altamont Capital Partners in 2013, Lib Tech continues to make both industry leading snowboards and innovative, alternative surfboards, and is rapidly gaining traction in the surf market.
Lib Tech’s focus on environmentally sustainable boards has led to the adoption of a manufacturing process that does away with the need for sandpaper, solvents, and brushes, further minimizing waste and pollution. The process is also healthier for board builders, and reduces the buildup of waste from leftover board building materials. Excess materials are ground up and used as mulch in the yard surrounding the Lib Tech factory, and between 40–50% of the materials used in creating the board’s cores are recycled. The epoxy construction leads to stronger and more durable boards that don’t often snap, and are relatively impervious to dings.
Epoxy boards like Lib Tech’s offerings are often criticized as being overly buoyant and chattery in the wind, but many people feel that Lib Technologies has overcome these hurdles with their latest models. The wide range of shapes include high performance boards, hybrids, grovelers, and even a number of models from …Lost shaper Matt Biolos.
Whether you are a crossover snowboarder looking to diversify your LibTech quiver, a longtime surfer looking for a sustainable alternative to your polyurethane board, or a beginner searching for your first surfboard, LibTech is a legitimate option in a market saturated with pretenders.
Below is a list of boards that are available by category to make selecting a board easy. Staring at the top with the most advance boards to the easiest riding fun board for everyone to enjoy.
…Lost and LibTech Team Up to Build the Ultimate Shortboard
Surfboard shaping has always been about innovation. From Tom Blake’s first fin to the shortboard revolution, from the twin fish to the thruster and quad, from redwood to balsa to foam, innovators are always looking for ways to build better boards and improve the surfing experience. New fins, new templates, new designs, new materials—there are an infinite number of ways to ride waves, and just as many ways to tweak the modern surfboard.
But what if you want to get radical in your surfing, but not in your shape? What if you just want a standard shortboard—except better? Tougher, stronger, lighter, more environmentally friendly—but with the same familiar curves, that same PU feel? Matt Biolos from …Lost has been making some of the best shortboards in the world since the mid-’90s—Surfing Magazine even named him Shaper of the Year—and now he has teamed up with LibTech to release a number of his best models with their cutting-edge technology. And for those who love the feel of a standard shortboard, Matt has made sure to include one in his LibTech line.
The marriage of …Lost designs with LibTech construction has resulted in the ultimate shortboard—lighter, stronger, faster, better for the earth, but still that timeless feel of ripping on a shredstick. When it comes to progression, there will always be room for new advances and improvements, but sometimes the tried and tested shapes are the best. When you can combine these classic shapes with space age technology, you get the best of both worlds.