BMBW crew in Sweetin’s Oz Edit

Austen Sweetin slash
You call that a slash? This is a slash.

Austen Sweetin unleashes his new series “Boardslide Worldwide” with a trifecta trip down under. This surf, skate snow shred-about includes some sick Bowly Down Under clips with BMBW riders Wombat, Forest Bailey, Blair Habenicht and Phil Hansen keeping it 90 as they board slide the world!

Film and edit by Sean Lucey

The post BMBW crew in Sweetin’s Oz Edit appeared first on Bent Metal Blog.

A Living Legend… Lib X Lost Rocket Redux

Lib Tech x Lost Rocket Redux

Before Instagram and the endless charade of social media surfboard model marketing melted our minds, real word of mouth made one little board iconic throughout the surfing world… The ROCKET.

Shane Beschen
Shane Beschen building an Icon before the feed
Noah Burdoe
Noah Budroe with the original swallow pin tail Rocket

“Birthed from a broken blank and the brains of Beschen (Shane) and Budroe, the original Rocket was simply to be a board for baby Beschen (Noah) to learn on.

Once ridden by Shane, everything changed, and he felt compelled to bring us his fabulous find to be refined. Happy accidents have been a staple of progression since the beginning. As we started fine tuning and building them for the boys, we knew we had something special.” ~Matt Biolos

Lost Rocket on Lost TV
Shane lays the rocket on rail from “5’5” Redux

Fast forward a year, and the 2009 video release of “5’5 Redux”. The ROCKET was a star of the show, ridden by a parade of guest rippers cutting loose on the little weapon. From Bros to Pros, the ROCKET was soon a global hit, being enjoyed by surfers of all shapes, sizes and skill sets.

The first ...lost Rocket surfboard
Shane and Chris Ward ponder the places the Rocket might go – “5’5″ Redux”

Now, more than a decade after its initial release, the ROCKET returns. A re-incarnated Redux for the new generation to enjoy another run of fun… The ROCKET REDUX.

Griffin Colapinto
Griffen Colapinto Reduxes off the top

We’ve strived to retain all of the original ROCKET design details and magic: The extremely low and fast entry rocker, counterbalanced by a hyper-extended tail curve, for instantaneous down the line drive and playfully precise turning. The deepest of concaves, created by a straight centerline stringer and a curvaceous rail rocker lends lift and liveliness. The wide tail and parallel, bullet like, outline provides plenty of speed and hold. The hooked diamond “Rocket” tail adds bite and hold in firm, rear footed carves.

Ian Crane on the Lib Tech x ...lost Rocket surfboard
Ian Crane putting his foot down

While the ROCKET REDUX stays true to the original ROCKET, to bring a serious performance boost we’ve: Refined and cleaned curves, made the rails a bit more refined, and updated some details just enough to keep up with the things we’ve learned since.

Ian Crane
Crano boosting over Texas

For our Lib x …lost Colab we have 5 sizes and have bumped up the width and volumes just a hint for extra speed and power in a wide variety of conditions, including summer slop.

Lib Tech Surf Factory
Sam putting love into a fresh batch

Handcrafted in the USA near Canada in our environmentally Nicer Dang Difficult to Ding ecoIMPACTO construction with our new BRR recycled PET rails. FOCII FCSII™ compatible fin boxes.

Lib Tech x Lost Rocket Surfboard

Check out RIPPER Kade Matson loving the Lib x …lost Rocket Redux.

The post A Living Legend… Lib X Lost Rocket Redux appeared first on Lib Tech Blog.

Michael Akira West on the 686 Archetype & Infinity Face Masks

We asked 686 Founder and Creative Director Michael Akira West a few questions about the design and construction of the recently launched Archetype and Infinity Face Masks. Read what he has to say about the importance of the material choices, fit and innovation that 686 has brought to daily use face masks.

With so many companies making face masks, why do you find it important that 686 bring the Archetype and Infinity Face Masks to market? 

We’ve been producing face masks for over 20 years in the Winter and Outdoor markets. Over the past few years, we’ve been exploring our own daily face mask designs internally, inspired by the social norm in many Asian countries of wearing a mask when you are feeling sick to protect others during allergy season. Specific to the Archetype and Infinity, we used our technical fabric knowledge to create a pair of products that we felt addressed the market with a technical perspective and allowed us to add our signature graphics to as wellWe wanted to incorporate technology, graphics, fit and function into reusable products that would lastIt took some time to conduct testing, source the proper fabrics and produce responsibly, but I am extremely proud of the final results. Our goal is to create purposeful products that solve problems and make a better user experience and I feel we have done that with each of these designs respectively. 

686 currently makes two different face masks, the Archetype and the Infinity. Can you tell us about the differences between them? 

Our two models have some similarities but are vastly different.  

The 686 Archetype Face Mask:

The Archetype Face Mask is built for maximum coverage and long-wearing protection. We partnered with Swedish innovation company Polygiene® and utilized their innovative ViralOff finish on all the fabrics. ViralOff is an antimicrobial treatment applied to the inner and outer layers of each mask to protect the product from contamination. It also reduces the need to wash your mask until noticeably soiled. The Archetype was designed with a precurved fit and 4-point strap system that eliminates as many “air-gaps” as possible. It was important for us to minimize these airgaps that can form around the edges of the face masks in order to maximize the air that actually flows through the mask layers and ultimately has the opportunity to be filtered by the design. This strap system was also in direct response to first responders’ needs of straps that go around the head for long wearing comfort. This design removes the strain that the earloops on other designs may put on the ears during prolonged usage. 

The 686 Infinity Face Mask:

The Infinity Face Mask is inspired by the traditional pleated daily face mask as we have come to know it, but heightened through design and material where possible. We innovated the materials by introducing anti-microbial Polyester-Spandex and Merino Wool blend. We inserted an adjustable internal metal strip for a customized fit across your nose bridge. We made sure the ear loops were as comfortable for prolonged wear as possible. We added a pocket that fits a PM2.5 filter if you want even more filtrationbut will also fit a N95 or surgical mask. The added layers of fabric from the Infinity Face Mask helps to protect the surface of an N95 or surgical mask from moisture and other contamination which extends these masks lifespans. 


Which mask do you prefer for different activities personally? 

I use both masks regularly. They both will work throughout the daily range of activities, but because I have access to both, I usually choose to use them in different settings. When I want limited exposure on my face and would like maximum protection in larger public settings, then the Archetype is my go-to. The straps are very comfortable and adjust to my head, even if I wear a hat. I also like that I can drop the mask and straps around my neck when not in use. It keeps the mask close but not on my face. While I am constantly washing my hands and minimizing touching common surfaces, with the ViralOff finish, I know that if I touch my mask, the contamination will be minimized by the finish treatment. The Infinity is simple and easy to use for general settings like in the office or going to run errands at the store. It’s quick to put on and take off and super comfortable. Plus, three come in each pack so I can keep one in my car or hanging by the door for quick trips as well as keep them in rotation with my laundry. 

What makes the 686 Archetype Face Masks stand out? 

The multiple layers for different forms of protection and filtration and our Polygiene® ViralOff partnership are key components to this offering. We combined technical fabrications that have been proven in the outdoors with new technology to create something we are proud ofIt was imperative in our design process that we create a mask that stays dry to the best of its abilities in order to maintain high air filtration. We brought out Merino Wool blend from our GLCR outerwear into the lining of the mask. Our Merino Wool blend is moisture-wickingnaturally hypoallergenic and contains natural antimicrobial properties. Our Poly Spandex outer layer minimizes moisture retention vs. common cotton masks that naturally attract and retain moisture. We added a Polyamide layer that we have never been used before in our design in order to achieve a bit of structure in the mask shape as well as extra filtration. In the end, the Archetype is a design that is packed full of technology, but outwardly can still be skinned with beautiful graphics and colors.



What is Polygiene® Viraloff and how does it work?  

Polygiene® ViralOff is a special antimicrobial treatment applied to the inner and outer layers of each mask to protect the product from contamination. ViralOff is not intended to prevent disease. It is used for protection of the treated product.  


ViralOff works by using silver ions to attract and deactivate microbes that land on the surface of a textile. ViralOff passes ISO18184:2019 testing. Presently the FDA does not have a testing protocol for approving health claims of fabric treatments. However, you can read more about the testing Polygiene has performed via their websiteViralOff is also safe against the skin as it does not interfere with the natural bacterial flora. 

Why is the Archetype made of a 4-layer construction and what made it important to choose those materials? 

Each layer’s material makeup is specific to its function. From external to nearest face, the layers go like this: The exterior layer is made up of a stretch Polyester Spandex material. The stretch aids in comfort and fit while the synthetic Poly-Spandex blend will absorb less water than natural fibers like cotton, resulting in better consistent filtration. The next layer in is made of Polyamide Nylon and is an ultra-thin reinforcing layer. This thin layer adds a bit of form to the mask shape, helping it not collapse when you inhale as well as providing extra filtration. The inside layers are both Merino Wool Blend which is naturally hypoallergenic, moisture wicking and antimicrobial. The two layers also include a pocket for an optional PM2.5 filter. The outer and inner layers are finished with Polygiene® ViralOff to help control contamination on your mask.  


Can you explain how a 4-layer mask still remains breathable?  

In order to be effective at protecting yourself and those around you, a face mask needs to be breathable. We wanted to provide as much filtration as possible but adding layers would have been counterproductive if it meant the air you were breathing in wasn’t passing though the fabric of the mask but was sneaking in through gaps at the mask’s edge. The four points of attachment across the head and face allow you to properly adjust the mask accordingly to your comfort. We used flat lycra straps to enable comfort and stretch options for different environments. Having 4 separate anchor points to secure the mask allows the wearer to customize the fit for their exact head shape. This means that they can ensure maximum protection by minimizing how much unfiltered air the wearer breathes in while also not creating a fit that’s so tight in spots it becomes uncomfortable. The goal really is to maximize performance without sacrificing comfort. Think of the Archetype as a fitted baseball hat that is formed with an articulated design that maximizes seal and comfort to offer a fit that you wonfeel the need to constantly adjust and can be comfortably worn over extended periods of time 


Is there anything special about the fit and what makes these masks so comfortable? 

Comfort is key especially if this is part of your daily wardrobe. We took a similar approach to face masks as we would to any of our technical apparel – combine the right fabrics and fits to create comfort and protection. Stretch is a key component that has been incorporated throughout the fabrics. All of the fabrics are highly pliable to conform to your face but have enough rebound and body to ensure they don’t collapse onto your mouth as you breathe in. We also utilized the same Merino Wool blend fabric on the inner lining layer of both face masks that has been proven to be comfortable around the neck and face of our GLCR collection of jackets. This Merino Wool blend is naturally smooth, soft and hypoallergenic which aids in the next to skin comfort. 

Where do you see the future of face masks? 

I understand that people have their own personal beliefs about face masks, but I do believe that in some form face masks will be here for the near future – especially for those who travel. I see a future where face masks and other “protective products” are designed in a way that doesn’t make you look like you’re going into surgery nor into the battlefield. These products should look casual but contain hidden tech that provides protection and a confidence that the product works to protect you and those around you. This heightened aesthetic of protection is the same purposeful design concept I have applied to outerwear for over 25 years. Outerwear is designed to protect you from the elements, but it also allows you to create a fashion statement while wearing it. Whether it’s a waterproof jacket or a face mask or anything in the future, the ultimate goal is to make the product look good while functioning to the best of its ability. 

What is 686 doing to help out during the global pandemic? 

We are utilizing our resources and manufacturing capabilities to provide gear to those in need. We are working with organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs and other local organizations to provide face masks to children and adults in need. Another program I am excited to announce is that we are working with our outerwear factories to manufacturer a run of protective coveralls that will be donated to local frontline workers as well as those in the mountain towns that have provided us with so much over the years. In these times, it is especially important to remember that many of our mountain communities have small hospitals and we need to minimize the impact in these towns as much as possible so we can continue to enjoy the outdoor access that they provide.

Air’n Psycho Active

Aaron’s Ultra high performance Psyco Active Air’N Pro wake surf model

Aaron Witherell on the Air'n Psyco Active wakesurf board

Aaron Witherell loves his pro wake surf shape but, his relentless drive for progression and performance had him asking… ”What if it was even better?”

Mike Olson and our experiMENTAL division answered that question by wrapping his proven, speedy, precise catch-free shape in a blanket of aerospace technology. Our new Psyco Active construction combines the liveliness and response of carbon with ultralight, smooth riding, impact resistant, environmentally friendly INNEGRA fiber. Faster response, more pop and control… the world’s best wake surf shape just went Psyco Active!

What’s Psyco Active Construction all about?

The key ingredient here is Innegra. Innegra is a high modulus polypropylene that is UV stable, tough, durable, impact resistant, long lasting, light and absorbs vibrations and recyclable. Spunds amazing!! It gets better, we mixed it with Carbon that is light and extremely lively, responsive strong and poppy.

Mike Olson

Lighter and Stronger

Mike Olson celebrates unidirectional Carbon in the warp and Polypropylene in the weft! (He celebrates glass weaves more than the rest of us 🙂

Aaron Witherell sunset wakesurf

Speedier Schwack

Aaron celebrates fast response and extra control with a boat drenching bucket chuck!

Aaron Witherell air

Bigger Boost

Aaron celebrates lighter weight,and effortless pop with a little tail high tosser!

Aaron Witherell on the Air'n Psyco Active wakesurf board

Smoother Smooth

Aaron celebrates smooth water a smooth polypropylene ride with a smooth frontside blaster!

Psyco Active wakesurf board

Yes there is even more Carbon

Unidirectional carbon deck reinforcement (This lives under the pad but its working for you).

Air'n Psyco Active

The post Air’n Psycho Active appeared first on Lib Tech Blog.

In My Eyes: A Video Series by 686 Founder and Creative Director Mike West

686 Founder and Creative Director Michael Akira West just released a video series featuring Brand Founders and their unique perspectives on success, overcoming challenges and continually moving forward. His new series In My Eyes aims to provide inspiration for a future generation of creative entrepreneurs. The unedited and raw format was filmed during an entrepreneurial class, taught by Mike, at the University of Southern California Marshall Business School’s Grief Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.


Q: We all know you as the founder of 686 and an entrepreneurial outdoorsman. How did you become a professor at USC, and what spawned the idea to bring in these entrepreneurs as guest speakers for your class?

A: I was a student at USC in the Entrepreneur Program from 1991-93 and I just wanted to be part of the community and part of the university because I wasn’t really the best student or the best alumni. I started my business while I was at school and there were a few teachers at USC who pushed me along and made a world of difference, so the school meant a lot to me. So I’ve always had the mindset of, “How can I actually be a part of this with a new generation here?”

There was a speaker who started a few companies and came to USC when I was a student there to speak and he changed my world too. He was a director at the same program and I kept in touch with him and he asked me to come back as a guest speaker about 13 or 14 years ago… and I was hooked. So about three years ago an opportunity came up to be an adjunct professor at USC, and I jumped at it. 

As for the speakers, back when I was in school the experience of having speakers was quite different, but it still had a profound impact on me because you’re not listening to the same teacher all the time. So I wanted to have that as part of my class structure; to have real-world people come in and share their experiences.

Q: What inspired you to film these classes and put them out to the public?

A: Good question. I teach in the graduate program at USC and it’s quite expensive and quite challenging just to get in. And while in no way do the videos serve as a substitute for the class structure – it’s a three-hour class and one hour of that is a speaker – I really wanted to showcase this experience just to get more eyeballs on it and really help with some of the problems in the active space. 

I’m a big fan of doing it your way and doing it for the right reasons, and it’s really challenging to do any of that stuff now and maintain a business. So hopefully there’s an opportunity for the next generation to see certain things and say, “Wow, that’s interesting. I want to look into that a bit more.” So that was my main motivation – to get someone else moving and doing their own thing instead of saying they can’t do it.

Q: Why did you decide to put this out to the public for free when so many resources like this are asking for some sort of payment?

A: I’m not in the business of speaking or promoting myself. Because I’m a founder and an owner, I’m put into that spotlight, but I don’t necessarily want to be there. I want the brand to be bigger than me. So we’re not here to monetize this. This is for the people. This is for someone who can find some sort of motivation or the momentum to do something instead of saying they can’t. 

When I was talking to some other media companies they would ask, “Hey dude, can we tape this and have it in our gateway?” That defeats the whole purpose. I just wanted to push it out for free.

Q: What do you hope comes from the In My Eyes Videos and who are these really for? 

A: It’s more for people who don’t have a great deal of access to things or don’t know where to start. When I started I didn’t have access to a lot of things and I just had to make it happen. That’s why all the speakers I’ve had are founders; because when you can see things from their point of view, that can be a first point of connection. Hopefully people are saying, “Hey, I can relate to that,” or “These people are just like me.” That’s really the connection – that you can do this, that you don’t have to have all these accolades. You can just have an instance of success doing your own thing.

 Q: What made you specifically seek out these speakers? 

A: Most of them are my friends and my counterparts. In the active outdoor space it’s very tight, because a lot of the founders don’t really operate their companies anymore. I get a whole range of speakers who are über-successful and who have ridden off into the sunset to the ones who are still very much in it – and even some who are maybe not as successful. I wanted to get a range of founders, as well as different genders and ethnicities.

Q: What sparked you to become an entrepreneur yourself?

A: I didn’t know what an entrepreneur meant even though I applied to USC’s entrepreneur program. I couldn’t even spell the word right. Entrepreneurship to me is not about having a portfolio of companies and moving on to the next thing and scaling and then getting out of it. For me it’s about really being motivated to make change in the world that you believe in. Your sense of motivation isn’t determined by monetary or egocentric values. It’s really just trying to be part of something that you can eventually pass on.  

Entrepreneurship to me is more about a commitment to life experience, doing the things you love and having it not just be about the work, you know?

 Q: What do you have planned for the series in the future? Will there be another round of speakers? 

A: This is my second round and my intention from the very beginning has always been to showcase the speakers. I’m planning to do it again, but we have to social distance part of our classroom here at school so that’s going to make it interesting. We’ll see how it goes; there are no expectations except that hopefully people will check it out. 

With a lot of the speakers who come here, the conversation is pretty open and honest. They’re not trying to sell anything; they’re just sharing the good and the bad from their experiences, and I think there’s still a lot of value in that.

Q: COVID-19 has spawned a time for creativity and discovery. Can you speak to some of the things you have learned from this time in history? How will they translate into the future outdoor and snowsports market?

A: I started my company during the Los Angeles riots in 1992, and all the things that came from that revolved around my need to be outside and away from the city. It’s been kind of reminiscent of why we started here in LA in terms of trying to bring better experiences and not just sell stuff. If anything, COVID has focused on making sure those experiences are enhanced and have a more positive manner. We’re a purpose-based company, and we’re trying to figure out what that really means, and how it’s going to better your life through activities, indoor or outdoor.

Our point of view has not been, “Oh, we gotta hit that quarterly figure” or “We’ve gotta be bigger.” We don’t have to do any of that crap. I just have to do what feels right. The challenges are bigger for sure – I’ve been the only one coming into the office, everyone else is working remotely – but for the most part, the company has been okay. You want to make sure as an owner that the company’s focus and drive are maintained, and we’re working through it, but all of this gives everyone a chance to keep questioning where your focus is and where it should be. If you don’t, then why are you doing this?

In My Eyes, Season 1

Mike Shinoda is an American musician, singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, and graphic designer. He co-founded Linkin Park in 1996 and is one of the band’s vocalists as well as rhythm guitarist, keyboardist, primary songwriter and producer. Linkin Park is among the best-selling bands of the 21st century and the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold over 100 million records worldwide.

Amanda is the founder and lead designer of SEEA, a San Clemente California progressive women’s surf brand founded in 2011. SEEA is dedicated to the pioneering women who first braved the waves, and to every woman who has ever searched for a suit that is feminine, comfortable, and fun.

Selema Masekela is a beloved commentator, journalist, musician, and producer best known for his work presenting NBC’s Red Bull Signature Series; ESPN’s Summer and Winter X Games, which he hosted for 13 years; his cultural reporting in South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup; hosting E!’s Daily 10; and co-founding Alphanumeric in 1998. In addition to his hosting, producing, acting, writing, fashion, and voice-over work, Selema offers his name and time to the charity he co-founded, Stoked Mentoring, a nonprofit action sports organization for at-risk youth and also serves on the board of the Tony Hawk Foundation.

Jeff Kearl is currently a Managing Director at Pelion Ventures. He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Stance, co-founded Precedent Investments in 2012, served as a Venture Partner at Zetta Venture Partners, was the Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of Arteis, Inc, served as the Chairman of Skullcandy, Inc. but that is just the tip of the iceberg when noting his career. Jeff also holds a BA in Marketing from Brigham Young University.

Iva Pawling is chief executive of Richer Poorer, a San Juan Capistrano apparel company founded in 2010. Richer Poorer’s T-shirts, bralettes, socks, and sweats are sold at more than 900 retailers around the world. Pawling and co-founder Tim Morse have owned the company twice, having sold it and then bought it back in 2016.

Matt, Kolohe and the K.A. Swordfish

The Best Ever Alternative Board

– Kolohe Andino

Matt Biolos and Kalohe Andino with the Lib Tech Swordfish surfboard
Matt, Kolohe and their Lib X Lost creation

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 words 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.

Kalohe Andino Magical inspiration
Magical inspiration

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.”

Kalohe Andino with Swordfish prototype
I want all this and more…

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.”

Kalohe Andino
Kolohe wet rail driving with power and speed

“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!

Lib Tech x Lost KA Swordfish surfboard
Sam putting the finishing touches on an all American beauty

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”.

Kolohe Andino
Pre Swordfish session psyching
KA Swordfish Surfboard

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.

Lib Tech KA Swordfish Surfboard
Kolohe floating a frontside on the Lib x Lost Swordfish

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.

The post Matt, Kolohe and the K.A. Swordfish appeared first on Lib Tech Blog.

Unity. Solidarity. Equality.


I started 686 in 1992 during the heart of the LA Riots. It was a tumultuous environment that drove me to do something positive with the goal of being closer to nature. Twenty-eight years later, unfortunately, some things haven’t changed. Racism has no place in what we do and will not be tolerated. As the world becomes more divisive, we need to be more inclusive than ever. We all have a lot more to do and over the coming days and we will be publishing our own action plan towards furthering equality. We encourage our community of adventurers, athletes, advocates, reps, retailers and partners to take action as well and be part of the solution. Unity/Solidarity/Equality

– Michael Akira West, 686 Founder & Creative Director 

For more information, education and ways you can act, see below.

Anti-Racism Resources from GoodGoodGood Co:

Justice For George Floyd Petition:

American Civil Liberties Union:

Campaign Zero to end police violence:

An interesting Op-Ed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

The Crak’n Project (Wake Expansion Theory and the P. A. D.)

Mike Olson grew up surfing in the ocean where every wave is different and in recent years began using the consistent wake behind a boat as the perfect environment to experiment and test surfboard design theories. In the course of his experiments he became obsessed with designing a wake surf board that would have the feel of a high performance ocean surfboard behind the boat.

Mike Olson surfing in the Pacific Ocean
Mike Olson in the Pacific Ocean

Wake Expansion Theory

The ocean is huge and wakes are small… you can’t create a bigger wake but, you can experiment with board design to create a more efficient faster, looser shape that will expand the usable area of the wake and create a more surfy feel.

Mike Olson with the Lib Tech Crak'n Wakesurf Board
Short, narrow, straight, square and fast

Straight is fast… so he straightened the rail lines. A hard tuck is fast so he put a hard skim like tuck on the rails. A wide tail block is fast, accelerates quickly and has lots of pop for performance surf airs… so Mike put a nice square tail with scallops on it for grip.

Lib Tech Crak'n Wakesurf Board
Wide fast poppy tail with scallops!

He also needed the board to be responsive, quick turning and fit the tight transitions of a wake. He narrowed the plan shape for quick precise rail to rail transitions and he used a much higher surf style rocker than is traditionally used on wake surfers to allow deep carves in small spaces.

Dina Olson on the Lib Tech Crak'n Wakesurf Board
Short with lots of rocker matches a wakes contours perfectly… Dina Olson feeling surfy!

The addition of narrow shape and high rocker can tend to slow a board down… this is where Particle Acceleration Dish (P.A.D.) comes in.

Particle Accelleration Disk

Water particles flowing across the bottom surface of a board and dipping through a shallow concave dish remain laminated to the board but, have to move faster across the bottom surface of the board than particles moving straight under it… the result is lift and speed. Mike experimented with various options and put our dish concave right between the front fins to insure it was in a consistently highly pressured area of your board. The speed P.A.D. creates more than compensates for the narrow plan shape and deep rocker allowing you to downsize your board, travel to formerly unreachable regions of your wake and enjoy that deep rocker surfy feel.

PAD technology on the Lib Tech Crak'n Wakesurf board
The Particle Acceleration Dish micro concave between the fins

How do we know this isn’t just a monstrous, slippery conspiracy theory… Mike built the same Crak’n board with and without P.A.D. and the difference is night and day… P.A.D. is much faster… more speed is more surfy and more surfy is more fun… that was all we needed to know!

Aaron Witherell on the Lib Tech Crak'n Wakesurf board
Aaron Witherell Crak’n a floaty frontside 180
Lib Tech Crak'n Wakesurf Board
More rocker than any other model in our wakesurf line… Art by Ben Lardy

The post The Crak’n Project (Wake Expansion Theory and the P. A. D.) appeared first on Lib Tech Blog.

Zim Zooms

Have your next meeting from the Holy Bowly or an endless pillow field or a tasty (that’s right tasty) barrel with our Zim Zooms! Our staff photographer, Tim Zimmerman aka #zimstagram is sharing some of his most epic shots to set as backgrounds for your next meeting. Some of the benefits of Zim Zoom backdrops are; putting a smile on your coworkers faces, finger boarding the Holy Bowly, briefly transporting you and your team to a time and place unconcerned with whether the 3rd quarter ROI on SEO will be DOA…


  • Download!
  • Go to Zoom
  • Click Settings.
  • Click Virtual Background…
  • Click on +Add Image and choose your desired Zim Zoom
  • Sit back and be the coolest one in the meeting

The post Zim Zooms appeared first on Lib Tech Blog.

Mason Ho and the Magical Bean Bag!

Mason Ho fins first
Mason Ho fins first


Freak Flag Bean Bag surfboard

There’s almost nothing better than watching some of the best surfers in the world rip the boards you built. We had that pleasure last week when Mason and the Ho family dropped their “Magic Bean Bag” edit featuring our Lib x …lost exclusive Freak Flag Bean Bag. Skip to da vid!

The story of the FFBB from Lib Tech Co-founder Pete Saari:
“Working with Matt Biolos is always fun and interesting. A few years back Matt sent us up some weird seventies colored, flat, round double enders called Bean Bags. Mine was a green 5’6”. We were stoked to get the surprise boards but, the shape was as funky as the name and logo. Cannon Cummins our local grom got right on his and was catching waves like crazy and flying down the line everywhere. I didn’t actually ride the thing for about a year… when I did I fell in love with it instantly. It was amazingly fast… speed is absolutely everything in our soft summer waves and some of the fickle spots that we ride that are almost always smaller than you’d hoped. It became my ‘secret weapon’ longboard substitute at hike in spots where the log can be way too heavy or sketchy to carry. When you hike in you never know what you are going to get wave wise and I ended up riding the Bean Bag in all kinds of conditions, big and small. The small wave speed was amazingly fun but, on bigger days with some juice in the swell all the energy coming out of the wide tail was a bit wild and challenging to keep under control.

...lost Bean Bag surfboard
Matt Biolos’ …lost OG Bean Bag

After riding it for about six months I asked Matt if he could make a Bean Bag with a narrower tail to make it just a bit more versatile and quick rail to rail without losing that magical speed and playfulness. Matt got excited and mentioned something about a guy in Florida with the same input and we didn’t hear from him for a bit. A few months later Matt presents the “Freak Flag Bean Bag” winged version with a super cool logo package and some tripped out psychedelic resin tint art work for our design and production crew to sort out how to incorporate into the build. The initial logo had a skull on one side and a weed leaf on the other… we loved it, but our sales squad got scared and asked for something a bit less radical, so we settled on some nice groovy peace signs. The winged version was everything we hoped it would be… still fast and fun, but now it actually had some of Matt’s world tour performance mojo in it and you can take all that speed and do amazing things with it in a nice wide variety of conditions. Most of our crew has FFBBs in their quivers at all times these days… this little freak stick can turn an average day into something special!

Pete Saari on the Lib Tech Freak Flag Bean Bag
Pete Saari lava lamping on the FFBB

Move forward to this spring and Matt sends a 5 2” Lib Tech Freak Flag Bean Bag over to Hawaii as an “Easter Egg” for surf legend and the still frothing charger Mike Ho. Mike gets on it and has some fun sessions we hear about and see hints of…

Mason Ho on the Lib Tech Freak Flag Bean Bag surfboard
Mike Ho found his easter egg

Then, Mason who seems to ride and rip just about every condition on every board imaginable inevitably get his hands on it and has some amazing fun sessions. Mason tells Matt he absolutely loves it and that he has five minutes of footage and a full edit in the works…”

Mason Ho on the Lib Tech Freak Flag Bean Bag surfboard
Mason maxing the stoke meter

“Brah, I honesty can’t even comprehend how fun this board really is. I am baffled. I works like nothing I’ve ever owned. You can rip it, do little tricks on it. Cruise it and ride it like a longboard. Im blow away how good it really works” ~Mason Ho

Mason Ho and the Lib Tech Freak Flag Bean Bag Surfboard
When he isn’t riding it backwards Mason bagged some amazing basics
Mason Ho blast on the Freak Flag Bean Bag
…which always sets him up to fly his freak flag.

Check the full @riordanpringle featuring @cocodabarrelkilla and fam maxing the fun and performance meter the Magic Bean Bag… aka the Lib x Lost Freak Flag Bean Bag.

“Make sure you stick around for the hang five challenge, and Pops, Mason and Coco dualing it out for precious tip time.” ~Matt Biolos

Mason Ho hang 5 on the Lib Tech Freak Flag Bean Bag surfboard
Mason a solid contender in the nose ride challenge
Lib Tech Freak Flag Bean Bag surfboard

A radical small wave design based on maximum surface area for lift, stability and unbridled speed in tiny surf. Inspired by the original “double ender” Bean Bag, Lib Tech’s “Freak Flag Bean Bag” features a refined, winged outline for tighter turns, added bite and faster transitions rail to rail. Tip-to-tail vee bottom, for forgiveness and on rail surfing in the smallest of waves. It also features a flat (low center of gravity) and stable deck, with forgiving rails. This board is meant to be surfed very short. Unlike most extremely wide and short boards, it has the ability to be surfed aggressively from the tail, and up onto a rail, without sliding out… “Get off the Couch, toss your LazyBoy and fly your Freak Flag!”

Mason Ho and Lib Tech surf
Mason ripping the FFBB

The post Mason Ho and the Magical Bean Bag! appeared first on Lib Tech Blog.