These boards pretty much mimic the longboards of the 60s in length,
width, thickness and plan shape. Where they differ is in their profile,
rails, fins and weight. While they retain fairly substantial flat
or semi-flat planing areas in the mid section, often with a concave
in the nose to aid in nose riding, the tail section kicks to allow
tighter turns. While still forgiving, the rails provide more drive
and holding power and the weight is considerably less than the original
The standard fin setup is an adjustable box centre fin with removable
side fins for added drive, stability and holding power. You can
ride these boards in tiny to large waves, in either the more traditional
way - emphasising style and grace - or you can push the limits in
the more radical Longboard style, adopting as much of the Shortboard
repertoire as you can manage.
While they are easy to paddle and stable they are not ideal boards
for beginners. Because of their length they take some skill to manoeuvre.
A Mini Mal is a better choice for a complete novice, however if
you're returning to surfing after a few years lay-off, or just want
to put some fun into those small swell days, a Modern Mal is the
perfect vehicle; you won't believe how much fun you can have on
one of these.
Recommended range of basic specs:
Length - 8'10" - 10'
Width - 22" - 24"
Thickness - 2 1/2" - 3 1/4"
Nose Shape - platypus, round, tugboat
Tail Shape - full range
Bottom - full range
Rocker - low - moderate