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Artist Series, Honolulu, HI: Jason Lee

Born and raised in Honolulu, Kolea Surfboards’ Jason Lee has always been inspired by Hawaii's richly diverse population and its melting pot of ethnicities—stemming from migrant workers who came to the islands for a better life. “We're all taught, from the time we're kids, to respect our elders and other cultures.” Drawing from this uniquely beautiful heritage, the values of workmanship instilled in him from a young age and a deep passion for surf culture, Lee started shaping his own surfboards ten years ago when he couldn't get other shapers to attempt his designs. Years of research and development, and testing his boards in Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand, eventually led to designing custom-made asymmetrical surfboards—or ASYMS, as he likes to call them. Unlike traditional designs, asymmetrical boards are custom-shaped and tailored to the riders’ preferences—with uneven design elements (rail lines, edges, rockers, fins, concaves, etc)—allowing a highly personalized and optimized surfing experience.

Asked about how he interpreted the Psycho Bunny brand and the process behind incorporating is own artistic point of view, Lee shares that he first became aware of the brand some years ago, when an incredibly colorful & eye-catching pair of dress socks caught his eye—something he had not really seen for the typically monotonous accessory. “People respond to color.” The Psycho Bunny line combines perfectly with the boards Lee creates; slightly irreverent, color-saturated, bold—and rooted in traditional forms but maneuvering skillfully from outside the box.
Commissioned by Psycho Bunny, who gave free reign and creative agency, Lee has created a vibrant series of six custom-made ASYM surfboards named The Malasada Enabler—which playfully references the tasty Hawaiian-style confection. Rendered in epoxy resin, each piece is one-of-a-kind and features the artist’s distinctive signature colorwork.
For Lee, surfing—although athletic—is above all an individualistic experience. That freedom of expression is what makes the sport so unique. “Consumers buy surfboards off the rack that are homogenized to the point where they look identical to each other. Kolea Surfboards is all about honoring the riders' unique expression.” On why mid-length-sized boards in the 7” range were chosen for the Artist Series, Lee explains that he specifically designed them for riders who seek the paddling ease that longboards provide, but without the extra length & swing weight in the nose. “Also, you don't have to be a pro athlete to ride them. Weekend warriors love this board. And if you like malasadas, this ASYM will allow you to indulge without punishing you for your dietary indiscretions. Aloha!” The Malasada Enabler series boards will be on display and available for purchase at the newly-opened Honolulu Psycho Bunny store at Ala Moana Center.

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