Over the Summer months of 2011 Phil and I took a step down memory lane in constructing three old style Mals. These are custom surfboards we love to make using the old methods of construction which include gluing the blank together with solid timber stringers, tailblocks, volane glass,pigment and tinted resin carefully cut fibreglass overlaps hand laminated fins and finally a gloss finish.
I’ve always envied Plumbers and Sparkies as these tradesmen have uncovered more golden oldies than the surfboard collectors who sometimes have to pay top dollar.
While engaged on a redevelopment site in Mornington builder Burnie Everitt also discovered gold in the form of Red Pine, a rare timber today but highly prized in the past for use in architraves, window sills and more.Bernie cut and dressed this timber to produce some unique characteristics for a 9’6″ traditional mal. Two half inch stringers, a one inch centre stringer, tail block and a handmade laminated fin gave him a real sense of ownership in the project.
This particular “Okanui” was glassed in volane with a light blue tint resin and then polished. See photos below.
Tony Walkington, the ranger at Pt Leo had always wanted an old fashioned Mal, but one also big enough to take the weight of his young son for tandem surfing. I shaped this board at 10’2″x 23 1/2″ x 3 1/2″, a very stable craft with a rolled bottom and area pintail.
Peter Lucas was yet another surfer looking for something special in a new mal. He sourced some rather heavy two inch thick teak planks and once templated to suit the blank, Phil jigsawed four sections out to reduce the weight before gluing up. Peter also wanted an original D Fin to suit the style of the 60’s. A glassed on timber replica was added.Check the fin in our photo,s.In 1964 when we were introduced to surfing by our older brother Peter every board had these fins. Plugs are a definite no-no in these replicas so we simply glass a nylon loop into the stringer.