The Mini Mal
The Mini Mal surfboard design, also known as the Funboard or Hybrid board, is a great universal surfboard. It was originally fashioned after the Malibu Surfboard. A mini-mal is similar to a longboard in shape but it’s a smaller version. A Mini Mal will range from 7'0" to 8'6" in length. Here are reasons why every surfer should have a Mini-Mal.
Great for beginners - If you're a beginner, the best surfboard for paddling, catching waves and getting the most stability is a longboard. A mini-mal is a great alternative to learn on. If you're not too big and heavy, you can still get great paddling ability and stability from this board. Perhaps you feel that you're athletic, a fast learner, you're comfortable in the ocean or if you’ve had previous success learning to surf in Hawaii your first time out. This would be a great option for you. This could be considered a transition from a longboard. You might get to a comfortable level quickly and want a board with more maneuverability.
Versatility - This board is versatile enough for surfers of all skill levels to enjoy. Beginners can feel comfortable learning on this board and experienced surfers can have more fun on this than a long board. The wide nose still gives you the advantages of a long board for paddling and nose riding but the smaller size will give you some added maneuverability and control.
Less cumbersome - Longboards are often quite big and cumbersome for many people. They are heavy, hard to carry, and difficult to transport especially if you have a smaller vehicle. A mini-mal can possibly fit in your sedan. Don’t take for granted that it can be much easier to carry than a longboard if you had to walk a mile or two (like Trestles) to your surf destination. When you're out in the lineup and sitting on your board, you'll find turning your mini-mal around would be much easier and less awkward than turning your longboard.
Small surf days - Many shortboarders have a mini-mal stashed away in their quiver for those days when the waves are small. Although you won’t be popular in the lineup, it’s a nice change of pace and a lot of fun to be able to catch waves further outside than you normally would on a shortboard. Sometimes there will be weeks of no swell and small waves, but rarely will it be too small to get out there on one of these. Get a mini-mal and have some fun with it.