The Best Ever Alternative Board
– Kolohe Andino
Kolohe Andino is one of the worlds most precise and technically skilled competitive surfers of his time and California/USA’s hope for Olympic Gold and a World Title. On tour he surfs extremely fine tuned performance short boards basically surfings equivalent to a Formula 1 car.
Matt Biolos is a legendary highly skilled surfer/shaper who shapes boards for the worlds best competitive surfers including world champions like Carissa Moore, rising stars like Griffen and Crosby Colapinto, and progressive free surfers like Mason Ho and Ian Crane. A huge part of Matt’s success as a shaper is his understanding of the needs of the everyday surfer and how to apply design and shape concepts developed for the worlds best into board designs that make surfing easier and more fun for the average recreational surfer. Matt takes his hard earned world tour shaping skills and makes us all surf better…
The K.A. Swordfish is what happens when you flip Matt’s entire program upside down and a board designed for everyday surfers and average surf excites a world tour surfer and Matt works to elevate the performance of a fun board into something extra special.
Watch Kolohe put the K.A. Swordfish to the test in this clip by Jacob Vanderwork.
The Inspiration for this board came from the top. After putting a few fun filled, bar raising sessions in on the RNF-Retro, where Kolohe did some of the best performance fish surfing we have ever seen, he came to me and wanted to take the concept further. “That thing is so fun. I feel like I can’t get off it, but really, I’d love to have one with more of a nose. Closer to a regular shortboard up front, but don’t change the tail or anything else.”
I went to work. By Stretching the nose out, and adding a few inches to his 5 6” RNF-Retro, I realized we needed to add a bit of nose rocker as well. The first thought was that we are really creating our own spin on off of the classic Clyde Beatty style “Rocket Fish”. A Post Modern, performance retro-re vamp, which contains the RNF-Retros dual side cut outline, low tail rocker to deep vee and wide swallow, but souped up with an elongated, pulled in nose and a bit of rocker up front.
The first board was a veritable home run with Kolohe surfing it soft, often gutless, winter trestles peelers, with speed, power and retained momentum through every turn. Well documented on video, he proudly proclaimed it his “best ever alternative board”. It’s got all the skate and playfulness of the fish, but the nose gives me more to push against up front. More drive through turns and more rail to lay in the water. Who are we to argue.”
“The board made such and impression that he proceeded to push me to bring this feeling into some of his contest boards.” ~Matt Biolos
How does Lib fit into all this? We started working with Matt 8 years ago on the Lib X Lost project and have had some great successes with grovelers like Puddle Jumper, Puddle Fish, Bean Bag and hybrids like the RNF Redux and others but, have always wanted to edge a bit closer to high performance shapes without going all the way to a full blown contest blade. We are also surf nerds and have followed Kolohe from his grom days until now and pull for him in every contest hoping to see him bring that World Title home to San Clemente. When Matt mentioned the KA project to us a possible model that would only be released in his traditional PU and our Lib EcoImpact construction we got really excited! The K.A. Swordfish quickly became a favorite with our in house crew and voila here it is in a surf shop near you!
For the Libs Matt scaled the dims up just a bit to better match the needs of the average surfer but stayed true to the design. 5′ 6”. 5′ 8”, 5′ 10”, 6’ 0″ and 6′ 2”.
For those fortunate to be fit and rip, we are for the first time releasing a Team Rider “Exacta” model. An exact replica of Kolohe’s magic 5′ 9” X 2.38 x 29 liter weapon.
All the Libs are handcrafted in our Eco Impacto construction and feature our new BRR Bottle Rocket recycled PET rails. FOCII nd FCSII compatible fin boxes.