Retro Tripper Surfboard Review
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Matt Biolos and the crew at …Lost have always loved short, stubby, fish-inspired shapes. In fact, they have two full-length films featuring nothing but fish hybrids: 5'5" x 19 ¼" and 5'5" x 19 ¼" Redux. These films and the performances of the …Lost team on short, fishy boards went a long way toward re-popularizing the fish and hybrid design for modern surfers (in addition to revealing crazy waves such as Skeleton Bay in Namibia).
True to its ethos of constant fun and refinement of board designs, …Lost will be releasing a new fish-inspired shape in mid-April 2022. Based on the RetroRipper design, but shorter and with a fuller, more forward template, the Retro Tripper is intended to serve as a modern alternative to the classic fish shape.
Matt Biolos made the original Retro Tripper for himself in preparation for a trip to Salina Cruz in Mexico. He loved it so much he made a second one for a boat trip in the Mentawais, then started shaping them for his team riders to test. During the STAB Electric Acid board test he made two for Mason and Coco Ho, and they ended up shredding the heck out of them, even in larger, more powerful waves. That was when Matt Biolos knew that the design was legit and needed to be added to the …Lost lineup.
The Retro Tripper features a beaked nose, wide template, low rocker, flat deck, and down rails to increase both paddle and planing speed. The modern bottom contours (rolled vee to mellow single concave to double concave vee through the tail) make the board forgiving and easy to turn from rail to rail, while the winged pintail works well with the board’s twin-fin feel. The Retro Tripper comes stock with a twin + 1 fin setup, allowing for the classic twin-fin experience or a more modern ride with a middle stabilizer. Finally, the classic fiberglass construction features a single-sided opaque lamination, paying tribute to the classic, understated aesthetic of the 1970s. The board comes in a range of sizes from around 5'0" to 6'0", and between 22 and 35 liters.
Black Sheep Carbon Fiber Construction from …Lost
…Lost has always been the black sheep of the surfboard industry, intentionally going against the grain to create boards that are fun and functional, rather than trendy. Ironically, that “no cares given” approach and commitment to boards that ride as well as they look has led to …Lost being one of the trendiest and most popular board brands on the market.
But Matt Biolos’ committed following of world-class team riders and loyal customers hasn’t made him any less of a black sheep, which is why …Lost’s latest board construction process is called exactly that: Black Sheep.
Boards build with the Black Sheep process start with a 1.5-pound virgin EPS blank, which is topped with a layer of Triax-NFC (no crimp fiber), which is a high quality, multi-directional carbon fiber. The carbon fiber is layered only on the deck, and then sandwiched between four-oz D fiberglass on both the deck and bottom. The unwoven, non-crimping fibers of the carbon fiber provide a more natural flex serve as a lively “stringer” that gives the board flex memory and a lot of snap through turns. The lack of woven fibers also eliminates 90-degree, rail-to-rail carbon, which helps prevent weak points and fissures. The carbon on the deck also distributes the pressure from the surfer’s feet out toward the rail, creating a more responsive board with greater drive, stability, and control.
Like all carbon fiber boards, those made with the Black Sheep process are susceptible to overheating if they are left out in the sun, due to the black color of the carbon fiber. This extreme overheating can damage the board, causing bubbles and delamination. If you are going to invest in a high-quality, high-tech board, you should so with the intention of treating it right and ensuring that it stays as strong as possible for as long as possible. Keep your board in a reflective board bag whenever it is not being used and do your best to keep it out of the sun. Don’t leave it in the car or out on the beach under direct sunlight. If the board gets dinged, dry it out before repairing and ensure that an expert in carbon repair gets it back into good working order. If you take care of your Black Sheep board, it will remain strong, durable, and responsive for years.