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WIN AN OUTER ISLAND SUPERMAL After 40-odd years of designing, shaping and surfing Outer Island boards, Mitchell Rae has quietly achieved guru status throughout the industry, with pockets of devotees all over, particularly travellers who get away to a favourite paradise from time to time.
Mitchell began applying the distinctive "spirit eyes" to the nose of his boards after seeing them on fishing boats on his first trip to Bali in 1972. He's done countless trips to Indo since, just got back from his second in the past 12 months actually, and while he may be in his 60s he still takes the drop.
Raised at Dee Why, Mitchell started on longboards, lived the revolution, and has ridden and shaped every style of surfboard since. Surfing with George Greenough at Lennox in the early '70s, he began experimenting with flex designs, a passion he still pursues on varied shapes. He also travelled extensively to Hawaii shaping mini and big-wave guns, and these days there's many a high profile surfer with an Outer Island in the quiver.
And so to the SuperMal, the eight-footer Mitchell labels "The Prince of Mals".
"If I had to chose one board this is it. At 8'0" x 21 ½" x 2 ¾" it's a balanced design for broad-range performance. And I shape them right through the size range, sometimes with a wider nose as full noseriders for pointbreaks. The measurement set can be adjusted to suit different-sized riders.
"There's a forward trim spot where the board will motor at top speed, you can tube ride and climb and drop, thread the barrel using the spiral chine entry. From the tail, you can carve tight arcs, crack the lip, do shortboard cutbacks and s-turns . . . from the middle you can draw elegant lines, do old school rail turns, feel the power and glide.
"The SuperMal will ride everything from beachies to Ulu barrels, you always have the right board, whatever the ocean is offering. And these designs will ride real waves where mortal mals fear to go. It's my 'shipwreck board', and I always have one in my quiver."