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San Clemente Journal

How to Paint an Olympic Surfboard ...

Mar 23, 2020 10:22AM ● By Rebecca Parsons

Ryder putting an initial color on one of the “Lost” boards that Olympian Carrissa Moore will be taking to Japan to represent the US.

by Rebecca Parsons

13-Year-Old Local Artist Ryder Biolos’ art will be featured at the Historic Surfing Event in Japan this Summer.

Growing up in a family of surfers and the daughter of Matt Biolos, the owner of Lost Surfboards, it seems like a no brainer that Ryder Biolos is destined for a life as a surfer. While she does surf, Ryder has forged her own path and is making her mark on the surf world via her art. 

Ryder and her siblings grew up going to the Lost Surfboards factory in San Clemente. While their dad worked, they’d mess around with foam blanks that the employees cut out for them, painting and shaping them into mini boards. While her siblings enjoyed putting their artwork on the boards, Ryder loved it. 


When she was just six-years-old, Ryder found a broken board at the factory and painted it in her own, unique style. Not only did she enjoy the work but she excelled at it and as a result, began making frequent trips to the shop to paint. By the time she was 10-years-old, her dad brought her on as an official employee and she began getting paid to paint boards. 

When she first started working at the factory, Terry Shin, one of the main artists for Lost Surfboards, took her under his wing and helped her learn the craft. Between her dad’s artistic talent/expertise and Shin’s direction, Ryder’s quickly learned the skills of the trade.

The first board Ryder was paid to paint was for 28-year-old surf legend, Coco Ho. Not only was Ryder honored to be painting a board for a professional female surfer, but Ho was also her favorite surfer, making it an exciting way to launch her career. Ho is also one of two female athletes to make the 2020 Olympics Surf Team.

Now, at age 13, Ryder is well versed in the art of painting boards. She’s painted boards for a number of professional surfers and prominent figures in the surf industry including three-time world champ Carissa Moore, two-time world champ Tyler Wright, the other 2020 Olympic qualifier Caroline Marks, WCT competitor Kolohe Andino, WSL junior champion Kirra Pinkerton, pro skateboarder Sky Brown, and adventure filmmaker Alison Teal.

After three years of working at the factory, Ryder has settled into a routine. Every other day, after school, she hops on her e-bike and peddles to the shop. There, she changes into her paint clothes and gets to work. 

First, she’ll look at the order and see what the surfer has requested. If they’ve asked for something specific, she’ll paint that, otherwise she’ll use her own discretion to paint something to match their personality. For example, when she paints boards for Coco Ho she uses pastel colors because Ho prefers girly things while she uses bright, poppy colors for Carissa Moore because Moore is a bit of a tomboy. 

To create her art, Ryder uses Tempura paints and works directly on the foam. To get a faded, brush stroke look, she chops up brushes and then presses lightly to get the desired effect. If she’s unsure of exactly how to draw something or tape up a section, she’ll consult Shin but for the most part, she works on her own. After she’s finished painting, she’ll pass on the board to get glassed and delivered to its new owner. 
Ready to get glassed.


While Ryder has painted boards for both men and women, she prefers working with women. The styles come to her more naturally and she enjoys creating the feminine designs. 
“It’s hard for me to design boards for guys because they want manly styles that I’m not very good at,” says Ryder. “I’m more into girly things.”

When Ryder’s not painting, she enjoys paddling out on her longboard or hitting the slopes to ski or snowboard. Her family travels a lot and she’s been to nearly every stop on the world tour, including Australia, Bali, Africa and Spain. Between heats, she chats with the pro surfers who have become her friends, or paddles out to catch a few waves.

Although Ryder loves working for her dad, she hopes to become an interior designer or architect someday. She loves houses and design and is constantly reorganizing her room and helping her mom decorate the house.

“I’ve been incredibly excited to join Ryder and her family at Lost headquarters over the years to paint a board for my Alison’s Adventures films,” says filmmaker and surfer Alison Teal. “Ryder is a beautiful soul and an absolute joy to work with. She is so full of girl power and kindness and has a bright and colorful future in whatever she decides to do.” 

To view Ryder’s art, check out her Instagram: @artbyryder