Mandala surfboards...

Hi swaylockians,

I realize Manny is probably very busy these days. I’d like to order a board and just want to know if any of y’all know if he is even taking orders? Can’t reach him either by phone, e-mail, or carrier pidgeon (the pidgeon got lost, dangit).

thanks for the help,


I just got my board from Manny a couple weeks ago. I did wait about five months for it, but it was worth getting the board that i wanted. I think he is in Indo right now, but hew should be back within a couple weeks.

Hi, i think Manny is in Indonesia right now, so try to call/write him in some time.

His boards are worth every penny and a long wait.

Good waves!


“I did wait about five months for it”

twenty weeks ???

geez mate , you’re keen !!

you could have made yourself at least five of them by then [? for the same price?]

Chip. Word! but it wouldn’t be Mandala though…

I have heard some folks have waited longer for Pavels…

I know I would have lost interest in about 3 weeks…what? oh I change my mind, I would like a pro shortboard shape instead… another month later, oh crap I change mind again make that a longboard. no wait I change my…


(+) (+)



I ordered one in March, and still no word on when the board will actualy be here in Hawaii. I think he might be back to taking orders…but I’d guess you’d just better be prepared to wait. I talked to him in August and he said just another month…but I didn’t get my hopes up. I am hoping I get my 6’1" bonzer before the winter season is over this year. I have heard great things from everyone who has ever seen or ridden his boards, so I’m hoping mine is no exception. Waiting so long has had its positives though…I read as much as I could on Swaylocks and now make my own. Manny even helped me with the template for the board and the quad fin template he uses. He’s a great guy, and hopefully his boards are even better.


You can call these guys or hit up mandala’s website.

Mollusk Surf Shop

4500 Irving Street (at 46th)

San Francisco, CA 94122

(415) 564-6300

He makes really great boards, but there are other fish / quad etc shapers (including yourself).

IMHO I’d only buy and wait that long for a board from a good shaper like Mandala just so I could copy it or study it

"IMHO I’d only buy and wait that long for a board from a good shaper like Mandala just so I could copy it or study it "…


I’ve yet to make my own board. But after lurking for many months now here at swaylocks I am quite aware who is putting out da kine surfboards.

Who knows, maybe one day I’ll make one.

Thanks to all who responded.


I have a killer 5’10" Shipman Fish that you can buy today. No wait ,never used. We can make you a custom in about four weeks. 1 fin, 2 fins, 3 fins, quad fin, ect.

You can buy a blank for less than $65 ,maybe it’s time to build your own board…

7 month wait for a Mandala…???..???

5 months, not a chance, It would have to be personally delivered with a note from his mum as to why it took so long and a slab of beer to keep me happy. 5 months ! want to be good, 5 months!

would you wait five months for your car to come back from the garage that was fixing it ?

would you wait five months for your wedding photos ?

would you wait five months for a checkout chick at a supermarket to serve you ? [do you think THEY wouldn’t get the sack , if they made you wait even twenty MINUTES ?!]

Right …

then WHY THE F*** would you want to wait five months for a blooming SURFBOARD , of all things ???

And WHY should shapers be allowed to get away with it ? WHO do they think they are , gods or something ? It’s pathetic , I reckon .

I hope they lose your , and lots of other people’s, business.

Only in the surf [and possibly building industry] would such shoddy service exist .

I don’t care HOW “popular” or “busy” the shaper is …that is just plain UNACCEPTABLE !!


Well, personally I like boards from yard sales- recycling and instant gratification all in one. That being said- in an industry full of people with “challenged” people skills and ethical lapses- Manny Caro who shapes Mandala surfboards is one of the most very honest, caring, kind, and ethical fellas you can find. If he was into big middleaged jewish women I would want him to marry my sister. No ghost shapers, no shortcuts. You buy a Mandala- you get a board he shaped himself from the get go, glassed by the master- Tony Mikus. He has so many orders he is going through them one after another. Buying a board from a higher production outfit your wait might be 6 to 8 weeks and that’s cool- so many good shapers around Santa Cruz (I am a big fan of Haut, Mel, Arrow, Coffey, Junod…). Skip isn’t taking orders, Pavel is backed up too.

A one person operation like Mandala isn’t McDonald’s, cranking 'em out like Big Macs.


If he was into big middleaged jewish women I would want him to marry my sister.

Please post pictures…gotta love those twinfins

Dude- she’s a quad.

Ah, did you really think you could post such vitriol without getting one back?

Manny was recently a backyarder, like many of us, who started putting out something so nice that he couldn’t ignore the request of friends and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends, and strangers on the beach, and you get the picture. he started taking orders to support his habit, and now the word is out, he’s backed up a few months.

for those with the patience to wait, they will be rewarded with a true piece of functional art. I’ve seen about ten of those things, (mollusk is just around the corner) and they are Real Nice.


what is this world coming to? are people’s attention spans so F**king short they cant wait a bit for a good thing? no wonder McDonalds is so sucessful, and no wonder the surf industry can keep stamping out cheap disposable pieces of crap, because of people like YOU! (of course I’d be surprised if any of those I’m addressing have read this far, it might have taken more than 20 seconds, and I’m sure they have lost focus by now)

Should manny concentrate on ways to make his operation cheaper and more efficient, sacrificing quality and craftsmanship, just so some attention deficit case can get their board in three weeks? that will be the only way he would lose my business.

Last I read, bert’s boards are backed up at least a year, do your comments apply to him as well?

Last I heard, it’s a free-market economy, and issues like this are self-adjusting. I’m sure manny has told everyone it will be a while, but they are still lining up, so there must be a reason to wait. So go have a big mac, stroll down and order a factory made piece of crap you’ll get in three weeks, and forever be stuck in mediocrity.



He has so many orders he is going through them one after another

I take it you mean the boards are shaped in the order that deposites are placed? Not in the case of the 2 boards I ordered. I would have loved to try his boards after seeing them ‘advertised’ on Swaylocks and Surfermag and was willing to pay to have 2 imported to the uk (not cheap) and ready for the constant delays but I found out that Manuel had posted a picture of a board on Surfermag that was ordered way after mine but made sooner. That was a slap in the face so I cancelled losing half the deposit.No respect from me then.

Go local. Work with a local shaper to get what you want.

It is kind of funny that you mention waiting for your car for that long, as i was disappointed when Manny’s quad didn’t make it in time for my trip to El Salvador. However, having a my transmission break down 5 times in the last 4 months (under “warranty” at the same shop) somehow put the board in perspective. The main difference being that I have other boards and could and did ride in the meantime, and I knew I would be waiting a while. Car pooling is great, but I have missed beach trips and swells cause my car doesn’t go. That is just not cool.

“… but I found out that Manuel had posted a picture of a board on Surfermag that was ordered way after mine but made sooner. That was a slap in the face so I cancelled losing half the deposit. No respect from me then.”

But if Manuel had finished YOUR board ahead of someone else’s order… then you’d still be bad-mouthing him in a public forum?

Howzit?!? It’s kind of funny to me that all you knuckleheads have waited over 30 years to get on the fish program. Why cry about waiting a few months? Stevie’s design was a response to the 7’6" single fin era. A lot has happened since then. Although the design has some good points, it’s old news. Steve’s been making some nice ones over here, but when I see them they’re still looking like an old kneeboard. Yeah, Toby, I didn’t know that he ever learned how to stand up. Aloha…RH



Ah, did you really think you could post such vitriol without getting one back?

I dont see any vitriol in the other posts just astonishment and gentle ‘taking the piss’. Mine perhaps was the most bitchy but compared to the praise heaped on Manuel my experience is just a small percentage.

Pretty sure also that those who have posted to this topic aren’t the ones to buy ‘factory crap’ and they know what it takes to make boards well.

I would be interested to know how many are in the waiting list for a Mandala and therefore how much deposit money is held at one time. I am pretty sure that a blank doesn’t get bought as soon as a deposit is paid so there must be quite a bit.Even allowing for a paltry 3 boards shaped a week then for a 6 month waiting list thats $11,700 in advances held at one time. Whew that seems quite a bit. Have I got that wrong?

Other companys I deal with deduct money from credit cards just before the item is dispatched but I can understand that Manuels non refundable deposit is to cut down the wasters who pull out or change their mind after waiting 6 months.

Slightly uncomfortable discussing the mandalas when Manuel is away but I know he’s heard this all before.

Inevitably there was going to be an anti mandala backlash and even perhaps a Pavel and Bert one in future if they fail to live up to our expectations.

I find that every seasons I am surfing different so what I am looking for in a board changes so prefer to trust a local shaper with a reasonable turn round time to make my boards