Surfboard Design, Catching a Wave From Old Hawaii
By CLAIRE MARTIN
In 2008, Dan Malloy, a professional surfer, received a package in the mail from Australia. In it was a thin, rectangular slab of wood with one rounded edge. It was a board like none he had ever seen, remarkable for being so slender and for lacking contours or fins.
Mr. Malloy, then living in Lompoc, Calif., took the board to a nearby surf break. He propelled himself into a wave, stood and then panicked. “I thought, ‘Oh, this wave is way too fast for me, and there’s no chance I can make it,’ ” said Mr. Malloy, who has surfed for decades. But he did make it, and soon was gliding effortlessly through the water — and really fast.