Classic Malibu’s factory outlet not only has an extensive range of boards in stock but also makes the boards it sells. We are always happy to take customers on a tour of the factory to show them where their next purchase comes from and how it is created. But, for those of you who are unable to make it into our factory outlet, here is a guided tour of the store, the factory and behind-the-scenes:
The store is the front line to the customers and where all the glitz and glamour is going on. Boards, fresh from the factory, gleam on the racks, with everything from 5’5″ shortboards to heavy, traditional, ten-foot island guns gracing the walls.
Along with over 200 boards in stock, we have a wide selection of everything a dedicated surfer could need, from a range of waxes, fin keys, wax combs and paraphernalia to reef booties, board bags, fins and legropes for any board or need. And if it isn’t in stock, we can get it in ‘specially’.
This is where the magic happens. Dirty, dusty and hotter than a Swedish steam room on fire in the long summer months, the shaping bay is where our boards get whittled from abstract blank to highly refined board with over 45 years’ experience behind every stroke. The door is often securely closed to allow our shapers their time and space in which to focus, but occasionally you’ll get a voyeuristic glimpse into their world.
With custom orders, much of the discussion and refinement happens in the shaping bay, a board being shaped in stages, customer and shaper conferring on every aspect of the board’s final design.
The Glassing Room:
From the shaping bay, the blanks enter the glassing room and begin the process of becoming a finished board. The boards will return to the glassing bay later in their manufacturing for finish and gloss coating, but in this first stage, the decals and logos get added and those beautiful, radiant resin tints are expertly created.
Far from simple, it takes a great deal of skill and talent to apply not only the resin but the fibreglass, ensuring the cloth is smoothly, seamlessly lapped around the rails and an even finish is obtained.
Stinky, sticky and messy, the glassing room is far from a truly pleasant working environment, which warrants even more kudos for the guys who spend their work hours in here.
Sanding, fin-plugging, repairs and spraying…it all happens in various corners of this labyrinthine factory. A wander down these corridors is likely to make you pre-spend your kids’ college fund, such is the wealth of desirable new boards continually being created.
Always a hive of activity, it’s a noisy hustle-bustle, air compressor churning, drills buzzing sanders and polishers whirring and grinders…grinding! And every so often curses and stresses as deadlines for custom orders loom ever-nearer.
But, at the right time, and with the proper authority and permission, this can be a fascinating, inspirational place to be.
The Polishing Hole:
This den of filth is where the mundane becomes exquisite. A gradual process of sanding and polishing produces the flawless sheen on our glossed boards, making the colours vibrant and adding a touch of class to an otherwise matte finish.
It’s a labour-intensive, painstaking job and a grubby place to be, but the outcome is exceptional. So, if you ever meet a polisher, give him credit where credit’s due and never think he’s just a polisher: he’s a talented, patient man who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty for you.
These are the places and the processes we go through to bring you the highest quality, hand-crafted surfboards, off the shelf or custom-shaped to your specific desires.