Sometimes, when it comes to surfboards, shorter is better. This has never been more true than in the case of the Lost Puddle Jumper – a Lost brand fun board, designed by Matt Biolos.
Surfing Small Waves
When it comes to surfing small waves you’ve got four three options:
Struggle on a conventional shortboard
Use a longboard, which allows for easy paddling but less manoeuvrability
Use a short, fat board that allows for easy paddling with greater manoeuvrability
Try a SUP
We prefer the third option. Why? Because it’s more fun being able to execute little turns on the face of the wave than it is hanging five. A tiny board also enables you to change direction abruptly, and attempt high performance moves that are impossible on a longboard. If you’re into cross-stepping and trimming on your log, then that’s cool. This review is for the rest of us.
You see, in small conditions you can still snag the occasional good wave. It may only be two foot, but if you catch it you are eternally thankful that your surfboard is high performance enough to actually have some fun.
The Lost Puddle Jumper is a board designed to maximise small wave fun potential. It looks like an egg that has had its fattest edges shaved off, but instead of just leaving it there, shaper Matt Biolos has carved some high performance characteristics into the otherwise hefty nugget of foam.
While this board is classed amongst the Lost range of “Lazy Toys”, I can assure you that the Puddle Jumper is no toy. It is an example of expert craftsmanship by someone who surfs well enough to understand how subtle tweaks to a board’s characteristics can produce radical results. Many may copy, but only a few, like Matt Biolos, succeed.
How does it ride?
The wide shortboard outline means that this board rides… like a shortboard. You’re dealing with less board on either end, which means you can pivot easily, while the breadth and volume means that you can paddle into small stuff without problem.
On the wave face the concave bottom funnels water out through a vee in the tail, while adding lift, which will provide the rider with a familiar surfing experience. Nothing funky or out-of-the-ordinary here, folks. This board is plug and play – no learning curve or major stance adjustments required.
And that’s exactly why the Puddle Jumper has attracted a huge, and growing, tribe of fans.
Who is the Puddle Jumper for?
This board will suit all surfers, from relative beginners transitioning from a mini-mal, through to advanced surfers who will actually jump across puddles. I’d be inclined to recommend it for intermediate surfers who need a fun board but want to keep their surfing fresh, so it doesn’t feel alien when they get back on their shortboard in good conditions. It’s a perfect addition to a high performance quiver.
The Puddle Jumper is the opposite of a board like the Sci-Fi, as it features a smooth outline, conventional squash tail and full tail block. No wings or funky bat tails on this craft. Intermediate surfers looking for a predictable, yet fast and manoeuvrable, small wave board will appreciate the Puddle Jumper most.
Lost Puddle Jumper Tech Specs
Bump squash tail with wider tail block
5-fin options – thruster, quad or quad plus finger fin (we like quad with two medium and two small fins)
Lost are now offering the Puddle Jumper in Lib Tech construction technology and, if you can, we highly recommend getting this option.
Lib Tech’s new phase 3 ECO-ISO construction pushes performance, durability, environmental materials and process to new levels. At the heart of the board is Nitrogencell foam that is loaded with nitrogen and has engineered elongated cell structure for maximum compression strength and energy return. Nitrogenecell will not absorb water and is 25%-40% recycled material and we recycle 100% of the offcuts into new foam.
Having seen some Lib Tech boards I can say with confidence that they look and feel high quality and durable. They don’t have a plastic, hollow feel, like some other EPS core surfboards, and the use of Nitrogen is certainly something unique. The fact that it won’t sponge up water after getting damaged is certainly a massive plus.
Quote from the Shaper:
“This is the most excited I have ever been about a small wave surfboard. Personally, it’s the best small wave board I have ever ridden. I have never made a claim like that about any board before”
– Matt Biolos
Lost Puddle Jumper Reviews
From Benny at comparesurfboards.com
The promise of a board that strikes the right balance between wave catching ability & speed generation in tiny to small surf while still feeling lively, precise and maneuverable has yet to be fully realised…until now. This board nails it. It paddles like a beast, handles bigger waves and steep drops and feels fast, precise and nimble through turns.
Due to the hybrid design with generous widths, the Puddle Jumper is very accessible for all ability surfers. The board’s design is focused on small wave performance with a looser, faster, modern approach. The smooth, wing free, squash tail design features a full tail block for added lift and the ability to generate speed in soft conditions.
After riding this little beauty in a range of small to medium surf it’s pretty clear that this could well be a revolutionary find. In small clean conditions this board is lively and really manoeuverable with a ton of down the line speed when set up as a quad. In weak and small swell it felt responsive due to the bottom contours (concave to vee through the tail) but it really came alive when there was a bit of push behind the swell period and especially in sucky beach conditions between 2-4ft. In bigger surf it had a lot of drive and was great at handling a couple of steep drops due to the shortboard characteristics of the nose and the tail as well as the subtle shortboard rocker throughout.
By Tim Hanrahan from Coastalwatch.com
The Puddle Jumper by Lost Mayhem Surfboards is a fun board and really easy to ride on small waves up to shoulder height. It’s an amazing groveller with a nice thin tail so you can jam it in the pocket when need be.
You would usually ride with a little more literage than your normal boards because it’s designed for really small conditions.
The Puddle Jumper is great for summer because it’s flat, wide, short, light, goes fast and turns on a point and has the flexibility of the five-fin setup.
This board had a really low rocker so you have a lot of surface area in the water and that just helps you to hold your speed and that’s something that you’re really looking for in a summer time board.
Being stringer-less with the Caron Wrap Technology the Puddle Jumper definitely had that spark and x factor that brings out that extra bit of liveliness in your surfing.