Gear Review: LIB x …Lost Puddle Jumper

Did you hear? Lib Tech and …Lost have teamed up! My god, what is this? Snow and surf companies can’t collaborate! That’s like, so backward dude.

Incorrect. It’s actually very much forward in a few ways.

To start, this is not the first time snow and surf companies have collaborated on a product. Back in 2015, Bataleon Snowboards put out a special version of its Camel Toe powder board in partnership with legendary longboard pioneer Bill Stewart. I’m sure there have been others as well, especially in the pow riding department.

That said, this might be the first time a snowboard company has contributed something new to the surfing world. If you don’t know what all this hype is about, let me explain.

When Lib Tech first announced they were making surfboards a few years back, I for one was not sold on the idea. Others would agree – I spoke to several surfers who hated the shapes that LIB came out with originally. That’s because LIB decided to make their own shapes, without any help from experienced surfboard shapers.

LIB had one big thing going for them though, and I saw this first hand on a surf trip to Cape Cod in 2015. I walked into a surf shop and was checking out the new LIB boards – one of the salesmen saw me and came over to give me a run-down of the boards. Before I knew what happened, he took a board out, threw it on the ground fins up, and stomped directly in the center with both feet. Everyone in the shop who saw this had a look of horror on their faces – that is, until the board popped back into shape perfectly about a half second later.

I say this because LIB’s surfboard construction is truly insane – what other surfboard material is capable of popping back into shape after a board-snapping blow like that? Nothing I know of. Firewire? Yea ok, test that theory and see what happens.

Lib Tech’s surfboard material is no doubt a heavily guarded industry secret – that said, they explain what they can here on their website. I can tell you from experience that it is lighter than foam/fiberglass, slightly more buoyant, and much better at not snapping in half. Also, the material doesn’t absorb water. That’s key since the material does puncture relatively easily, so be careful when putting it down on pavement or rocks. The good news is you can cover any punctures with stickers and be totally fine thanks to the material.

puddle jumper web 2

The Review

Around the time I saw proof of LIB’s insane materials, LIB went and teamed up with …Lost to produce some of …Lost’s shapes with LIB’s insane space-age construction. The result was a line of boards that performed really well (just ask surfers) but were virtually indestructible. The best part? When I got my LIB x …Lost Puddle Jumper, prices for these boards were about the same as your average brand-name fiberglass shaped board.

I own a 5’3” x 20” x 2.32” LIB x …Lost Puddle Jumper with a volume of 28cl. Keep in mind that because of LIB’s materials, you could get a LIB board with a little bit less volume than you normally would and it would still float just fine. I am a smaller guy, and this is the shortest surfboard I have ever ridden, but this thing floats and rips even better than my 5’6” stubbie with the same volume. For someone who mainly surfs in New Jersey, I ride this board during 90% of my sessions. It will make a 2-foot day into something amazing, but that is what they designed this shape for. Credit where it’s due, hats off to Matt Biolos and …Lost for this shape. Best small wave board I have ever ridden.

I say that because this thing generates speed very quickly. That extra volume/float combined with some cool shape features like a concave bottom that transitions to vee in the tail make it almost effortless to fly down the line on a weaker/smaller day. I also love the fact that this thing is shorter than my average shortboard because it makes it so maneuverable, especially on those smaller days. I have been able to do things on this board that I never have before.

I have ridden this board in waves up to 6 feet. For a small wave board, it held its own and frankly, it made me love this board even more. Anything bigger than that though, and I would want something a little longer and skinnier. For waves from 3-6 feet, I ride this board as a thruster (it has 5 fin boxes so you have options). My favorite setup is with the small lightweight FCS PC-3 fins. That’s because for me these fins are the perfect happy medium between twitchy/loose quad and less responsive larger fins. Speed is not an issue as a thruster thanks to the clever shaping by …Lost, and the response and power from these fins are immense.

Keep in mind that LIB’s fin boxes are their own design, but they will accommodate most major brands of fins. LIB’s fin boxes actually have a pretty cool feature – you can adjust the spacing of your fins by sliding them forward and back within the fin boxes.

A closer cluster = more twitchy, quick pivot and loose turns.

A spread-out cluster = more drawn out, gradual turns.

This adjustment actually makes a big difference in the feel of your board, for both thruster and quad setups. Experiment with it, find your sweet spot and mark it with some permanent marker.

Speaking of quads, this board is a riot when ridden as a quad. The first time I set it up like this, I almost got bucked off. The setup was very lively, almost too much. Speed was noticeably faster than the thruster. Turns were easy with instant response and crazy pivot stomping right on the tail. For this, the cluster was closer together than centered. Later, I tried spacing out the cluster as much as possible and it made the twitchiness go away for the most part, but it still had that looser, faster quad feel. Side note – I would love to try this setup with a nub fin as the 5th fin.

Bottom line: I love this shape from …Lost, and I love Lib Tech’s construction. It’s everything I wanted in a small wave board, at a reasonable price, and hopefully with a really long lifetime. That said, I would not recommend you purposefully try to stomp on your board to test its strength.

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Snowboard Season Ender 2015/2016

Well, winter is over and spring is (finally) here for real on the east coast. Despite the low snow numbers here this season, it was still my best season ever. Still scored, and I go out more days than I ever have. Looking forward to next year, but for now I’ll be enjoying a slightly warmer ocean. Cheers!

Mountain Mission: My Backyard

This week’s video of the week is a special backyard edition. My roommates and I built this in our backyard out of the 2+ feet of snow Winter Storm Jonas dropped in late January. It was a bitch to keep from melting but it was worth it!

Shred Season is Upon Us!

I’m back! After a few months of being busy but also being lazy, I finally have time to sit down and write something.

Well, we haven’t had much of a winter here in the east, but I think I’ve been out riding more this season than any other. Why? Well…it’s because I’ve caught the bug. I’m saying I can’t get enough of snowboarding. I just can’t help myself.

Do you suffer from the same condition? Maybe for you it’s a skateboard, a surfboard, a bike, or an instrument? It’s all the same to me. Most of us have a passion, and I’m dedicated to pursuing mine. If that’s you too, then you found the right blog.

I have been busy stacking clips this winter – edits are coming soon! To give you a small taste, check out this backyard video from when Winter Storm Jonas gave us a real taste of winter. Check back soon!

Music for Shredding // Pt. 3

For part 1, click here.

For part 2, click here.

If you haven’t already looked at parts 1 and 2, you should do that. I wasn’t planning on doing another music post but lately I’ve discovered too much good music to keep it to myself. The songs in this post are all over the map but the one thing they have in common is that in my opinion, they’re all really good tunes. They’re also all electronic, but I’ve really been digging that lately.

Lemaitre is a producer from Norway. He has a bunch of great songs out there, and Continuum is probably his most popular. That doesn’t mean it isn’t sick though. If you like it also check out the song Keep Close.

Madeon is another sick producer, based in France. Stay Awake is an awesome track that really gets me pumped and focused. This isn’t your average, repetitive dub step track. It’s actual music. Ellie Goulding does the vocals on this track as well which makes it even better. Check out Technicolor and You’re On for more tracks from Madeon with a similar vibe.

Synchronice is yet another incredible producer. He’s based in New Jersey. Maybe I’m biased since he’s a good friend, but every new track he comes out with blows me away. His remix of Taking Over by Favright is no exception….damn it makes me want to dance. Synchronice also did a sick remix of Dazzle Me by Oh Wonder which you should definitely check out. The piano melodies in this track get stuck in my head all day. If you want to check out one of his original songs listen to The Only.

And finally, here’s a track from Washed Out. This guy is a sick chill wave artist and all his songs have that super relaxed vibe. I think Feel It All Around is actually the theme song for Portlandia, if you’ve seen it. If you dig this song check out Eyes Be Closed for a similar groove.

There you have it! If you have any suggestions or comments, leave one below and let me know.