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7'6" x 22" x 2 5/8"
-airbrush fade spray rail and bottom, clear deck, faded pinline-
Functional mini mals in the 6’10” to 7’6” category are an all but forgotten part of the late 80’s and early 90’s. A forgotten art if you will. My first custom board I was given from Dad was a 6’5” glass on thruster mini mal with triple ply stringers and a wooden tail block. It was a Bear and pretty sure it had a decal that said “HYBRID” on it. Fuck I wish I still had that board. Ronnie Woodward had shaped it in the shaping bay out the back of our house that is now part of the boat shed. Fucking iconic or what?
Anyway I rode this thing into the ground. Every arvo after school. All day everyday on the weekends. Straddie, Diggers, Sandon, Broken Point. It lapped everything up. Paddled in super easy compared to the 2” thick wafers that all my childhood friends were riding at the time. It literally geared me up for a lifetime of riding boards that were FUNCTIONAL and not just what the masses said you simply had to ride because fashion demands it.
Hutcho would always take a narrowed out 7’6” mini mal with him to the Ments when we went every year through the early 2000’s. He’d be absolutely shredding and catching waves way earlier than the rest of us. He clearly knew what was up.
I had all but forgotten about the mini mal as I had been on the fish trip through the late 90’s and then displacement hulls through the 2000’s and early 2010’s. Then of course everything comes full circle and once again the mini mal was back on my radar. Hutcho had shaped a custom for one of our local mates and it felt phenomenal. 7’6” and this dude was going upside down on his backhand every turn out at Broken Point. Froth ensued and immediately made a replica 7’6” with flame spray top and bottom (clearly an ode to Johnny Utah). First surf revealed the trim of the midlengths we had been making for the last 10 years but then step back and engage the rail and fins and WOWZA. Full blown shortboard performance whenever you wanted it. Big hacks. Roundhouses. Even a little bit vert if you wanted. It did it all. It took me back to being 7 years old and I never want to return.