Xmas 2016 was a classic Australian East Coast summer with heat waves and nothing but week after week of dribbling Nor East wind swell.
I new things were looking bad when they started talking about setting the all time record for the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, meaning there would be no south swell and relentless winds from the north.
(All my best Xmas holiday surfing has coincided with terrible and treacherous conditions for the Hobart!)
I knew I'd need a new board to take on the micro conditions. But I didn't want to make a long board, I like the way they catch waves, I just don't like the way they surf.
So I started thinking about how to get what I wanted from a Mal, from a board that I'd enjoy being able to surf.
So I bought a mini mal blank and stretched my favourite template to 6'8" in length.
I looked at some rocker profiles of some long boards and aimed to replicate those cruisey bottom curves.
Mainly I tried to keep as much foam under the chest as possible.
I put some pretty deep and pronounced double concave through the fins to give it a bit of squirt and a bit of single concave through the middle to keep it up on the surface like a hovercraft.
Then I watched a bunch of youtube videos of crazy old Geoff McCoy and adopted his thinking about soft rolled 'domed' nose.
Then, with the tropical conditions in mind, I started painting.
I took her up the north coast where the conditions were the same as Sydney. She went great on the one footers, catching the little swells like a cruise liner but turning and cutting back like a twin fin.