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Lost’s 25th Anniversary and the RNF ’96
When you work in the surf industry, it is fun to see all of the new brands that pop up and to watch and see which ones stand the test of time and become established companies. …Lost is one of those success stories, starting out as a sort of punk, grassroots surfboard label in Southern California and growing into one of the most respected surfboard brands in the world.
This year is …Lost’s 25th anniversary, and here at Hawaiian South Shore we have been working with Matt Biolos and stocking his boards almost from the beginning—for 22 of those 25 years!
To celebrate …Lost’s 25th anniversary, Matt Biolos is re-releasing the RNF ’96—one of the surfboards that first got …Lost started.
This round nose fish was the star of the 1995/1996 film 5'5" x 19 ¼", and helped start the fish renaissance in the late 1990s. A hybrid shortboard with a rounded nose, swallow tail, extra width through the middle of the board, and was ridden a few inches shorter than a normal shortboard, making it a great performance groveler back when grovelers hadn’t even been invented yet!
Over the years, the RNF has gone through a number of different versions, including the RNF Retro, RNF REDUX, and the RNF Quint. Through it all, the board has remained one of …Lost’s best sellers, due to the fact that it is so versatile and fun to surf, and makes average to poor waves (the type that we surf most of the time) enjoyable. But the classic RNF ’96 has always maintained its popularity, due to the fact that it started the whole movement and was such a timeless design when it was first created.
To help celebrate …Lost’s 25th anniversary, we have a new stock of RNF
’96 boards on the way to Hawaiian South Shore, just in time for surfing season here in Town. Come celebrate this piece of surfing history with us and grab an RNF ’96 for your first surf!
- Rocker curves: Remain engrained to the original proven curves.
- Outline curves: Both nose and tail were usually the same width at 12” and remain true, but with more precision, including added curve and width around 6” from the tail. One “secret” about the original’s success was that, unlike most all other “fish” the tail width on ours was closer to that of a typical HP Shortboard. This allows much more control off the tail than typical fish designs.
- Bottom Contours: The classic single concave to double concave, accelerating vee combination are defining design elements and hold true to adherence.
- The Thickness Flow, Deckline, Rails, and Tail Foil: They were all over the map in those rudimentary hand shape days. Each board was different, with most of them having noticeably different curves and thickness from one rail to the other.
- In re-creating these boards, which one is correct? In the end, I went with gut feeling on what would work best.
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.