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Ultimate Guide to Mini Mal Surfboards

Sunshine, glassy lines peeling down the horizon, and a mini mal surfboard waxed and ready to shred. Now that's a combo worth living for.

A mini mal surfboard is the ultimate board choice for both beginner surfers and experienced surfers alike, the perfect board for small wave cruising complemented with a bit of flair.

By taking the shape and functionality of a longboard and squishing it down into a much smaller model, you're left with a mini longboard surfboard designed for pure versatility. So whether you want to simply have some fun on a mellow day or if you are looking to improve the core fundamentals of your surfing, a mini mal surfboard is the way to go.

What Exactly is a Mini Mal Surfboard?

First conceived as a unique and slightly more progressive way to ride the peeling and perfect longboard waves of Malibu, California, originally called a 'mini malibu' surfboard; a mini mal surfboard is essentially a combination of a longboard and a shortboard, a type of fun shape or hybrid ranging from 7'0-8'6 ft in length.

The nose of a mini mal surfboard is nice and chunky, the width and volume allowing for easy paddling and wave catching ability. This keeps you nice and stable down the line and allows you to stretch your front foot out for a little cheater five action.

The thick rails begin to mellow out towards the tail of the board, and mini mal surfboards feature thinned-out tails (often pintails) and a tri-fin set up for shortboard-like turns and maneuverability.

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The Best Mini Mal Conditions

Perfect runners in Malibu, California. Photo: Dylan Decker.

A mini mal surfboard can handle a rather wide range of wave conditions.

Because of their high volume in the nose, a mini mal will catch thigh-high waves with ease. A beginner surfer will enjoy their ability to better control this board versus a longboard, and a mini mal surfboard is highly suggested for learning the basics of riding down the face.

Experienced surfers can use this mini longboard surfboard to fulfill a small wave fix, and can enjoy mixing up shortboard-like turns with the stylistic and old school approach of longboarding.

If you know what you're doing, a mini mal surfboard will handle conditions well over head-high on mushy and slow waves. These mini log surfboard shapes, however, should stay at home when the waves are barreling, steep, and fast.

Should I buy A Mini Mal Surfboard?

A mini mal is one of the best investments that you could add to your quiver.

Most of us love yanking out our shortboards, no matter what the waves are like, and some are willing to suffer a lack of wave count just for the chance to perform a single radical maneuver.

A mini mal surfboard, on the other hand, forces you to tone back your surfing as an experienced surfer, and this manifests a natural appreciation surrounding the simple aspects of surfing. A slow ride down the face, a mellow cutback, an extra floaty floater. Just taking it easy!

So not only will you catch more waves when they are small, but you'll still be able to move your mini Malibu board around on them, utilizing the tri-fin set up and thinned out tail to rip it up with an old school style that simultaneously progresses your shortboarding.

And for the beginner surfers, a mini mal is exactly the type of board you seek. Not only does its outline provide to you the volume and buoyancy needed to catch extremely small waves for learning, but this board has the capabilities to take you from beginner surfer all the way to intermediate.

So instead of purchasing a longboard and then a fun shape, you can knock out two birds with one stone by instead going for a mini mal surfboard until you feel ready for your first shorty.

It really comes down to the fact that we all want to surf 24/7, but sometimes mother nature simply says no to that idea. With a mini mal surfboard, we can still take advantage of those dribbly and small days for a surf session built on blissful fun that would, without a mini mal, be otherwise deemed 'flat' and 'unrideable'.

So surf more with a mini mal!

Small wave fun on the Aloha Fun Division .

A Mini Mal Buyers Guide

Although a 'Mini Mal' is the general term for this type of board, there are a ton of unique varieties and subsets of mini surfboards that fall under this general definition. Because of this, you want to make sure that the mini mal surfboard you purchase is one that is best suited for your body type and preferred style of surfing.

Take advantage of the Boardcave Board Engine to find a board with dimensions personalized to exactly who you are as a human and as a surfer.

Then, think about the different kinds of mini mal surfboards and what type catches your attention!

    Mini Mal Foamies

    A foam mini mal is ideal for a beginner surfer who doesn't want to spend too much money on their first board, and who enjoys the less intimidating feeling of foam under their feet. It is common for beginner surfers to feel afraid of their surfboard, and a foamie helps to negate this.

    A Pop-Out Mini Mal

    A pop out surfboard is the next step up from a foamy. These surfboards are crafted by machine and not hand-shaped by a professional shaper.

    But that's not always a bad thing.

    A pop-out surfboard gives us the chance to purchase a board that performs better than a full-on soft top, but in a way that is still affordable, as the machine-made nature equals cheap production.

    If you have caught your first waves and are looking to progress into the basics of riding down the line and performing your first turns, a pop-out mini mal surfboard is an excellent, affordable, and functional option.

    Epoxy Mini Mals

    Epoxy surfboards are extremely floaty and durable. This brings out the best in a mini mal surfboard, as it further adds to the wave-catching prowess of these types of boards.

    As well as this, epoxy boards are very light. This means that your mini mal will easily catch small, mushy waves, and it is light enough to throw it around for some fun and cruisy little hacks and smacks on the lip.

    For experienced surfers who want a long-term addition to their quiver, or for beginner surfers alike, an epoxy mini mal surfboard is never a bad choice.

    Hand Shaped and PU Mini Mals

    If you're a talented surfer who knows exactly what he/she wants out of a board, specifically a mini mal, then a hand-shaped option is going to give you the epitome of mini mal surfboard performance.

    These boards are light and quick, lighter than epoxy even, so if your goal is to perform maneuvers on small waves that your shortboard cannot catch, think to browse PU mini mals or have a mini mal shaped by your favorite shaper.

    Check out the range of we have beginner and mini mals . .

    Mini Mal Surfboards on Boardcave

    Once you've determined the type of mini mal you want to ride, and after you have gone through the innovative Board Engine, it's time to take your quiver to the next level and have some fun!

    At we have a range of Mini Mals ready to customize and order directly from a list of leading Surfboard Brands online.

    The thing about these mini log surfboards is the simple fact that they are never going to let you down. Where shortboards and small waves can lead to frustration, mini mal surfboards lead to sheer smiles.

    They say the best surfers are those who are having the most fun, so go ahead and be the best with a mini mal. Your sunburnt smile will surely show it!