Best Mini Mal Surfboards

If you’re looking for your first surfboard then you’re reading the right page…this is designed to help those of you who want inside information on which is the best Mini Mal surfboard to buy. The Mini Mal or as it was once known, the “Mini Malibu Board”, is typically between 7 ft and 8 ft 6 in length and is the perfect starting point when looking to begin your journey as a surfer.

In modern times the Mini Mal is the perfect combination of two very different board designs. It has a longer full nose and thickness, and combines with a shortboard tail and fin setup (3 fin aka Thruster), giving you volume and manoeuvrability.

Quick Verdict

The NSP Mini Mal not only looks great but it is the perfect board for beginner and intermediate surfers who want to level up their craft.

With this Mini Mal you can guarantee that you will catch waves. It’s high in volume, so not only is it easy to paddle, but it’s suitable for all surfing conditions.

Should I buy a Mini Mal Surfboard?

The Minimal is usually the first board a learner will start on – high in volume, this floaty board is perfect for starting to catch waves on and getting you to your feet faster! Never underestimate the importance of the Mini Mal when learning to surf. While it may not look as cool as the shortboard, remember, this was the high-performance short board for a whole generation, meaning the quickest way to progress with surfing will be with the help of this board. 

The Mini Mals are similar in shape, no matter what brand or length. They will often be available in different forms of construction for first-timers and we will outline these options below so that you know what you are going to be get for your money. 

Ideal for learning to surf or if you choose just to surf a few times a year
Catches waves easily
Works in small surf or sloppy conditions (aka the UK summer surf!)
Rides well in onshore conditions
Tough and hard to snap
Very good resale value – look after it an get your money back!
Hard to duck dive
Not suited to larger/hollower waves
Lacking for a high performance surfers
Harder to travel with due to size

Our Top Mini Mal Surfboards

Circle One Mini Mal Razor Surfboard

Circle One Mini Mal
  • Length: 7’6” 
  • Width: 21 1/2”
  • Thickness: 2 1/2” 
  • Volume (Ltr): 46.3L
  • Mini Mal
  • Hybrid
  • Construction: Epoxy Laminate

This playful floater combines style and manoeuvrability – if you are looking for the perfect all rounder this Mini Mal board is really going to give you value for money as well as last you a long time. It’s a mid length board that has the egg shape locked in, but is slightly fuller through the front half. Its tail is a rounded pin and has the thruster fin set up.

The graphics on this surfboard are simple but cool. If you are looking for a surfboard that makes you look like you know what you’re doing then this is a perfect pick. It’s light which gives it great response while on the wave. At 21 inches wide, it has perfect balance to help keep you steady on your feet, while all those litres are going to make catching waves light work. It’s buoyancy makes it nice to paddle on and holds up well in small to overhead conditions.

This Mini Mal surfboard is perfect for any ability, which gives you some peace of mind if you choose to buy it, as you won’t outgrow it based on your improved surfing skill set. The better you get, the more joy you are going to get as this doesn’t feel still like a longer board would. This makes it a great first time buy for anyone.

Torq Softboard Mini Mal Surfboard

Soft Mini Mal Surfboard
  • Length: 7’6″  
  • Width: 23”
  • Thickness: 3 5/8” 
  • Volume (Ltr): 77.1L
  • Mini Mal
  • Fin System VFS
  • Construction: Softboard with EPS foam core

If you’ve ever spent any time on the UK coast, then you will definitely have seen these boards everywhere….you’ve probably even been hit by one a few times too. The reason I say that is because they are great go-to beginner surfboard and work well as a Mini Mal start up.

This Mini Mal surfboard is the beginner’s dream. With it’s soft foam forming the base, those falls and tumbles into the water while you are learning will not cause you any harm, as this is purpose built as a entry-level beginner board.  It is Soft Tech’s beginner range and is purpose-built for newcomers to surfing. With 77 litres of volume it is one of the best Mini Mal surfboard equivalents you can find if you are looking for an entry level board or perhaps you are a larger surfer looking for something with some extra buoyancy.

As mentioned the 77 litres will mean that it is easy to catch waves and paddling will not be a problem as you are going to stay on top of the water easily.  The knock on effect will mean that as you progress duck diving will not really be an option, however you will get lots of fun out of this board and due to its durability it will mean that when you come to sell it you should be able to get most of your money back if not all of it. 

If you have a family or kids, this board will be perfect as it means you can take your children out on the waves and not have to worry about whether they’re going to hurt themselves,  that might also be a benefit for all the other Surfers around you as you’re not going to hurt them either. This board is suitable for small sloping waves and around head height. It has a variable fin system which is soft tech’s own design, it is also FCS compatible. The fins have the added benefit of being soft fins with an added flex, which again add to the safety of this board. 

NSP Protech Funboard

Mini Mal for Beginners
  • Length: 6’8” – 7’6”  
  • Width: 21 – 21 3/4”
  • Thickness: 2 3/4” 
  • Volume (Ltr): 42.1 – 54.4L
  • Mini Mal/Funboard
  • Fin System FCS
  • Construction: EPS/Epoxy

The NSP Funboard is a really high-quality surfboard that is going to allow you to go from beginner and continue to grow throughout your surfing experience. The outline of the board is what you could describe as the classic egg shape,  the tale is rounded and the rails are round and very forgiving on your turns. 

The benefit of this board is that you can purchase it with more variable sizes to choose from. If, like myself, you’re short in stature then you might prefer to grab a slightly smaller board as you don’t need the volume and length as much as possibly a larger person.  This means if you choose to buy the 6’8” version you are still going to get 45 litres of volume, which will allow for easy paddling and lots of easy to catch waves, while still allowing good manoeuvrability.

This is a good contender if you are looking for a board that is going to help you learn the basics and then allow you to grow and have more fun as you advance.  Perfect if you are looking to spend more than just one week a year on the waves. 

Indio Endurance Mini Mal

Wide Mini Mal
  • Length: 7’0”
  • Width: 23’ 1/2”
  • Thickness: 3″ 1/2
  • Volume 68 Ltr
  • Construction: Epoxy Eps
  • Mini Mal
  • Fins: 3 Fin Thruster

Indio is a funky brand that is churning out some very high spec surfboards that are suitable for all users and abilities. We highly recommend the Endurance mini-mal, it does not disappoint when it comes to helping you catch heaps of waves regardless of the conditions. 

The Endurance has clearly branded itself correctly as it’s aim is to help all newcomers on their surfing journey. This board has a low rocker which is going to help you keep your speed when on the waves and also allows for an easy paddle. The 59 litres of volume will also help with your paddling needs and ensure you are not over exerting yourself when trying to paddle out. 

The thicker rails on this board mean that you have that extra bit of time to pop up and get the most out of the waves, which just adds to the overall enjoyment that this board brings. I personally like this board because I can never trust the summer surf in the UK. This board means that you’re going to be shredding no matter how small the waves are, so if you don’t spend all your days at the beach, it’s perfect for having fun on small days. Another bonus is that this board is versatile enough that you can enjoy those bigger days too.

Overall a great option for new and intermediate surfers that want to get the most of their trips to the beach.

Torq Mini Mal Funboard

Best Torq Mini Mal
  • Length: 7’4” 
  • Width: 22”
  • Thickness: 3” 
  • Volume (Ltr): 56L
  • Mini Mal/Mid Length
  • Fin System 2x Futures

“I want a user-friendly, versatile board that combines the ease of a mini-mal with the agility a shortboard”. 

Look no further, this high-volume all-rounder takes some beating. Part of the beauty with this board is that when the waves aren’t pumping you have a board that will allow you to get amped to get out there. The Torq Funboard can also be surfed rail to rail, and give you performance when the surf picks up a bit. You will be able to paddle early and easy on the front-end foam. This Mini Mal goes well in pretty much everything. Yes it is great fun when it’s small, thanks to its large surface area, high volume and flat entry rocker – but the more narrow tail is responsive and provides a solid grip on those steeper faces.

You are should seriously consider buying this board if you want to squeeze every last penny out of your cash. The fact that it is stable and full of volume will allow you to get the reps in, catching lots of waves in the early days. The versatility of its shape is going to let you progress and not feel bored after a few years – a great option for any surfer. 

Circle One 7’2 Bamboo Round Tail Mini Mal Surfboard

Circle One Bamboo Mini Mal Surfboard
  • Length: 7’2”  
  • Width: 21 1/2”
  • Thickness: 2 1/2” 
  • Volume (Ltr): 46L
  • Mini Mal/Mid Length
  • Fin System FCS
  • Construction: EPS/Epoxy 

This board will probably stand out when compared to the other Mini Mals in this article as it is slightly shorter in length and lower in volume, when compared to the other Mini Mals on this list and it is also made from Bamboo. However, I suggest you read on as this board can be suitable to all surfers. 

The volume of the board will allow a stable base so that beginners can catch waves on this board and it’s straighter rail line will allow intermediate and advanced surfers a more dynamic up and down performance, meaning that they can link those turns easily and get a good carve on top and bottom turns.

This surfboard is going to thrive in pretty much any conditions which is why it is a good all rounder.  If the swell is small you’re going to catch lots of waves easily and also benefit from being able to ride them well whilst cutting out a few shapes before the wave dies. Advanced surfers will have the benefit of an early take off and the longer rail line is perfect for handling a larger, chunkier sized face.

The rocker when compared to more standard shortboards is fairly low, but in comparison to a normal mid-length surfboards is definitely high, which helps with being responsive to turns and allows you more sensation under your feet.

Circle One Pulse Mini Mal Surfboard

Mini Mal Surfboard
  • Length: 7’6”  
  • Width: 22”
  • Thickness: 2 3/4” 
  • Volume (Ltr): 52.8 L
  • Mini Mal/Mid Length
  • Construction: PU 

When I picture the classic Mini Mal surfboard, this is the image that springs into my head. It has the unmistakable egg shape and offers the smooth soul style of top notch longboarding without all the restrictions.

Medium to high volume rails within the mid-section will offer high stability when standing and give you the added advantage of strong paddle power. This is great if you’re not surfing every week as those shoulders soon tire after a few paddles.

The rails have a hard bottom edge in the tail which will allow speed in turns and transition. High soft rounded rails in the nose help for catch free turns. This is a fantastic all-round board, and great addition to any quiver. You have the option of a single fin, 2+1 or Cruiser either way you will not be disappointed with this board.

If you are wondering if this board is suitable for you, the answer is yes, as any ability rider is going to have a great sesh on this Mini Mal board.

Vision Shoot Out Mini Mal Surfboard

anns cottage mini mal surfboard
  • Length: 7’6”  
  • Width: 22 1/4”
  • Thickness: 3 1/4”  
  • Volume (Ltr): 63 L
  • Mini Mal/Beginner Surfboard/Funboard/Foamboard
  • Fin System Futures
  • Construction: Softboard 

The soft deck option should not be overlooked if you are looking to buy a Mini Mal, therefore I have tried to review a variety of options so that there is a fair comparison  for you to make informed decisions.

The Vision Shoot Out surfboard is made from EPS materials that are durable and lightweight meaning that it is not a big slog to carry this board from the beach to the sea.  This board is a lot tougher and more durable than other traditional “foamies” but they are still very user-friendly.

This mid-long length surfboard is ideal for beginners or larger surfers who will benefit from having increased volume.  Having previously surfed with some larger gentlemen, who were beginners, they really benefited from having the extra volume as it means you are going to get lots of opportunity at catching waves – at the end of the day this is what surfing all about. This Mini Mal is going to make the day fun as it will help provide an easy paddle out to the breaking waves.

Fear not more able surfers, if you are more experienced, you are still going to have a fun time carving out wide turns and practicing your nose riding. 

Olaian 7’0” Hybrid Mini Mal Surfboard with Fins

Mini Mal Hybrid
  • Length: 7’0”
  • Width: 22”
  • Thickness: 2”
  • Volume 63 Ltr
  • Epoxy Resin with PU hot coat
  • Mini Mal
  • Thruster FCS1 Fins

Suitable for all ability levels, this 7’0 mini mal will guarantee waves in almost all conditions.

A recent holiday to North Cornwall with very little swell meant that my weeks surfing was a bit of a washout. I was waiting ages for suitable waves to get my shortboard going, whilst also paddling frantically to try and catch as many waves as I could. With this board you are certain to have fun in even small conditions.

The 63 litres will mean on small waves you’ll have an easy paddle and a quick pop up to maximise the wave. The narrower tail allows for some neat turns, so don’t be worried thinking that you’re getting a log to ride if you buy this board. It’s lightweight and fairly robust thanks to the laminated epoxy resin and wood stringer. It’s a perfect board for a new surfer who wants to learn their trade and improve by catching plenty of waves.

Alder Surfworx Ribete Mini Mal – 7’6” Softboard

Alder mini mal
  • Length: 7’6”
  • Width: 22” 1/16”
  • Thickness: 3” 1/8” 
  • Volume 76 Ltr
  • Construction: High Density Closed Cell Foam Core
  • Mini Mal
  • Thruster FCS1 Fins

This is foamy for anyone looking for a mini mal shape that is going to help them on their surfing journey. Alder have worked exceptionally hard on their range of foamies and this is one of their premium boards. These boards are of a very high specification and you will be sure to have some great fun on this funky mini mal. With 2 stringers running through the middle, it gives good tension and shape to the board. A cheap foam board will not last you a long time, where as these boards are premium and will give you lots of longevity out of the board. The extra tension in the board will give even feedback as you ride it, so you can begin to trust your board and feet as you begin to make turns. 

As you would expect from a soft top mimi mal, the extra thickness and float make for a very easy paddle. You wont be duck diving in this board, but you sure as hell will catch a lot of waves. The smooth base makes for a fast paddle and the board offers great stability, which is perfect for starters. The fins and leash come included and are really easy to fit into place. If you want a soft top mini mal then look no further.

O’Shea 7’6” Mini Mal Surfboard

best mini mal surfboard
  • Length: 7’6”
  • Width: 21.5”
  • Thickness: 2.8” 
  • Volume 57 Ltr
  • Construction: Epoxy Eps
  • Mini Mal
  • Fins: Thruster

This review needs a disclaimer because my first ever surfboard was made by O’Shea and I’ve since developed a nostalgic love for their products. Now that I have given you the disclaimer, I will try to maintain an honest review of the O’Shea mini mal surfboard. 

O’Shea have managed to create some of the best quality EPS epoxy surfboards on the market. The EPS epoxy gives you increased strength and a greater resistance to dings. This gives some peace of mind when buying it, as you can guarantee this board will last you a long period of time. The shape of this board gives great stability, and the even volume that is evenly distributed means that any standard/ability of rider will be able to enjoy their time on this. It’s really easy to paddle so heaps of waves are on offer. A perfect choice for a first time surfboard.

Which Mini Mal Surfboard should I buy?

The Soft-top Mini Mal

For first timers, the most popular Mini Mal will be the soft-top, which nearly all surf schools use. As the name suggests the soft exterior is a sponge that is very forgiving when it comes to wiping out, which if we are honest, is going to happen lots on your surfing journey from beginner to expert shredder! Even the fins are more flexible if accidentally land on them. The pro’s are that it’s a great board to learn on or if you choose to just surf a few times a year, however those looking for increased performance should consider a moulded board. These “pop-out” boards are generally more responsive

Epoxy and Polyurethane Hand Shaped (PU) Mini Mal

This is a level up from the soft top Mini Mal, but still hard wearing. The epoxy construction, like an nsp, is slightly lighter and even more responsive but are also extremely tough in construction and probably the most popular board on the market in terms of value for money.  Using technology for the lightest most responsive shapes available.