spooning the mal ?

…has anybody done this ?

I’m figuring I could take one of the blanks [pictured] down to maybe 3" thick or more on the rails, then grind out the guts till it’s 2" thick [max] in the middle , and thinner in the tail. Epoxy glass job.

Not a fibreglass guts section spoon a la Greenough, but leaving some foam in there still …

I’d be interested to hear if people have done this with a WHOLE mal blank [I realise there have been spooned noses before]

The bottom I’d keep flat, not hulled. Rails fairly hard and ‘blocky’. Tucked under edge, then softer in the nose, hopefully.

So, your thoughts ? ideas ? Any experiences of this type of design gladly received !

… thanks !


'Sounds like the Gordon & Smith “Waterskate” design by Tom MOREY, back in the 70’s, eh? I think I have a few shots, I may post them later if you like.


'Sounds like the Gordon & Smith “Waterskate” design by Tom MOREY, back in the 70’s, eh? I think I have a few shots, I may post them later if you like.

Yes…please do, thanks !

…ESPECIALLY if you have any shots looking from the tail toward the nose , so I can see the ‘inside’ of the rails, and how deep the ‘scooped out bit’ was …

  cheers ! 


Chipfish, all right, here we go! That’s the first I could find. (G&S ad in SURFER, volume 13, Nr 2, July 72)

More will follow, if only I can find them. I know there was another ad in which the board (a shaped blank, in fact) was put upon a scale to show the weight (or lack of, for that matter), and the angle of view was exactly what you’re looking for, showing the rail from the rear of the blank. Anyone out there remembers that ad?

GREAT stuff , " Balsa" !

Thanks HEAPS for those shots !! ( my SURFER mag collection starts at around 1974 -'75… unfortunately, AFTER that model ? G and S have / had some GREAT ads, eh ? )

I wonder what size THAT board was …about 6’- 6’9 , I’m guessing ?

yes, if you could dig up that tail to nose view, it would be E-X-X-X-C-E-L-L-L-L-E-N-T-T-T !!! [to quote Monty ]…


 thanks again , balsa !! 

  [you'll be the first I'll send a shot to if I can make the spooned mini/mal happen successfully !] 

    ben   [aka "chip " ]

chip - i believe there is a whole thread on this somewhere in the archives(?) i know it’s been done on some 7’8" hulls, and standard shortboards as well.(hpe you can find that thread, as it had a ton o’ info )

Hi, Ben! (My name is Guilhem, by the way). Thanks to you, I’ll gladly look at your shots when you send them. Incidentally (and I swear that I had not read your thread before) I started just two days ago to shape a scooped-out deck 6’ 4". How’s that for telepathy? Real strange. I had this blank lying on racks in my workshop for a long time, some shape I had begun and never completed, you know… And then, the old waterskate idea crosses my mind, the blank is an old Burford from years back with enough thickness to pull it out, reach for the planer and GO! I’ll send photos, too, when finished.

By the way, I checked the archives: try and get in touch with “Balsa Bill” (What? Another “Balsa”?). He’s THE guy to know all about the G & S Waterskate, he was working there at the time. Look for the “G & S Waterskate” thread a while back.

thanks “balsa” !

are you a Queenslander then , Guilherm [ ? with a Brazilian name ? ]

I just posted a burford in the 'let’s see some artwork ’ thread…

okay , it’s 1.30am here in perth now, I think it’s time to sleep…

ben  ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz......

YES… Bill Clark, one of the shapers at HANSEN, made one for himself in 1965 or 1966. It was 9’6 or 9’8 as I remember. You could feel the effect of the lower CG when paddleing ,and when surfing.

Ben, I had seen your Burford board. Looks fine. Sorry, I’m no Queenslander but… French. Living in Guéthary, near Biarritz. “Guilhem” is a French south-eastern version of “Guillaume” which is French for “William”. Some Burford blanks somehow found their way across oceans into my shop a few years ago, I really liked them. Very nice to shape.

Generally, the wider you make the nose (over 15"), the LESS spoon you can apply (nose kick).

Narrow pointy noses can have tons of nose kick.

Mals are our version of the funboard, with noses as wide as 18", and if you apply shortboard nose rocker, it will push, then stick, then toss you over the front if you hit that area while riding.

It will push as you paddle, forcing you to paddle from farther back, negating any advantages you have from the float of the mal.

Bad idea!

…which , if true, raises an interesting issue…

I want to be able to noseride, tuberide, turn well . I wasn’t planning on having much nose rocker at all , just plan on scooping out the deck.

  1. How would losing volume from the deck affect noseriding on say a 9’ mal ?

  2. Will it make it feel a bit more ‘squirrely’ on the face/in the pocket ? [I suppose the cheater five like in the photo above may be the ‘tube crouch’ of choice].

  3. How about on waves like “gatordave” posted about, where you’re [hopefully] right up on / near the nose in a ‘steep’ [but not yet tubing] section ?

The proficient longboarders here…what are your thoughts / experiences of this…and has anyone got tips on how to design a board around 9’ to be able to noseride, trim, turn well and hopefully hang in well when it gets steep ?

I’d be hoping to do it as a single fin [boxed] only…? WILL a big deep raky fin be best for this , do you reckon ?

 thanks, any sharing of people's experiences of this greatly appreciated ! 


[Or, since it may only be used in chest high and under summer waves, would ‘spooning’ it cause it to be too much of a sinker / slow paddler ? …not what I’d really want in a mal!]

Slower, flatter waves need flatter, faster rocker! The kick nose is a no no.

If you want to stand on the nose of your mal, then you have to concentrate on the tail shape, rocker, bottom contour, and outline…of the TAIL! The nose, if wide like maybe 16.5", takes care of itself, concave or not, rockered or not, flat or not.

Thinning the deck front area has little effect on noseriding, but makes it easier to whip turn into place, allowing you more tries at scootering up to the nose.

Noseriding boards, in general, are slow turning, sluggish riding, heavy, unresponsive boards when you are NOT standing on the nose.

thanks for that info Lee ! what bottom contours do you recommend ?


…imagine an 8’-9’ x 23" x 2" [with about 3" rails] version of this, people ? [ But, minus the flextail, though]…

Small waves lacking power and steep shape.

NO concaves, as they tend to eat up (absorb) some power.

So flat bottom, hard down rails all around, slight V out the back to loosen the tail at speed and to allow for power banking bottom turns.

Keep some thickness out thru the back, as you don’t need to sink the tail or rail in weak waves.

Would be lousy in good overhead waves, but you can’t make one board to do it all.

Single fin is fastest, throw in a wing/hips if you like pivoty, snappy turns.


“…You could feel the effect of the lower CG when paddleing ,and when surfing…”

… so, did it feel good or sluggish, do you remember , ‘Thrailkill’ ?

I guess I don’t want it to feel ‘boggy’, if you know what I mean.

Did you ride it much in under chest - high waves ? … how about Bill…is he still around to talk to ? I’d LOVE to have his input on this if he’s still around ?

 cheers mate, any help appreciated. 

And thanks , too, leeD…it sounds like my hard edge in the tail idea’s on track, then…and turned down rails I certainly am used to , and LIKE ! [cheers !]


Howzit Chipfish, I told you I would post shots of my scooped-out 6’ 4" when finished. Well, it’s not really finished, but enough to show what it’s gonna look like, so here they are:

Unfortunately, the shots are not so good, sorry…

I made some 6’8"ers with rails like that.

Need to apply lots of fin, as water doesn’t wrap the rails, decreasing holding power.

Very loose, best for bouncing off the lips, and you picked a nice, gunny template.


Thanks a lot, LeeDD. (Coming from you, I appreciate comments even more.) What size fins would you recommend for a 5’ 8", 140 lbs guy? (Not me, but a much younger boy who’s going to test that board. I’m planning to give it to him if he likes it.)

I’m always a day late and a dollar short.

Prolly 5" tall tri setup.

Depends if target rider is a snapper or a cruiser, in general. Of course, he can surf, we know that. Said tri fin sizing is slightly big, but with those loose rails, might be just the ticket.

If you are glassing the fins on, it’s easier to trim down 1/4" at a time than to make it bigger.

If box, you already know.

I liked those rails in 1975, and still like them now. Loose, fast, great for rebounding, quick snaps.