Arguably one of the most popular surfboard shapes out there is the Mini-Mal.
It’s a solid choice for both brand-new beginners and experienced surfers alike – providing versatility in small surf and clean point breaks – but can even be a good choice for bigger waves where you’d be over-boarded with something longer.
What is a Mini-Mal?
A Mini-Mal, short for Mini Malibu, is essentially a shorter version of a longboard – a Malibu longboard to be exact.
The Mini-Mal is a shortened version of the Malibu, usually in the 7′ to 8’6″ range.
The smaller size makes it even more maneuverable, easier to control, and easier to carry and transport, while maintaining the paddle-power and stability of a traditionally-sized longboard.
You can find a variety of design variations within the mini-mal shape like tail shapes and fin setups – each will perform a little differently depending on what you’re looking for.
The combination of size and stability make the Mini-Mal a good choice for beginners.
But experienced surfers shouldn’t discount the mini mal. It can be a super fun choice for those small, mushy days and a good choice when the surf’s too big for a log.
History of the Mini Mal Surfboard
Malibu longboards were designed for surfing the right point breaks of Malibu, California in the 50s-60s.
These longboards were designed for more maneuverability, but still fell into the 9-11 foot range.
They had pulled in, rounder noses with narrower rails and tails that facilitated more maneuverability for big turns and carves, while maintaining enough stability to hang ten and nose ride.
The growing popularity of surfing in the 60s along with the shortboard revolution can be attributed to the shrinking of the Malibu that resulted in the Mini-Mal – paving the way for the funboards of today.