Jared Neal: mini surfboard fan

It wasn’t just longboarders making waves at the Hyundai Malfunction Surf Festival today, with SUP and retro riders ruling on day two of competition at Kingscliff.

In building 3-4ft conditions, competitors tore into the clean waves on offer, carving up across the Shawline Plumbing Retro, Twin Towns Panel Repairs over 40’s and Greenline Stand Up Paddle (SUP) surfing divisions.

Coffs Harbour ace Jared Neal, 26, showed he couldn’t just ride longboards, ripping it up on a board of a bygone era (pre 1981) to accrue the highest combined heat total (16.00 - out of a possible 20), which included a strong 8.5 and a backup of 7.5, in Round 1 of the talent-packed retro division.

Riding a Mark Richards twin-fin his Dad picked up for $20, Neal unleashed his backhand attack on the reeling right-handers, blending a vertical approach with razor sharp cutbacks to easily beat Justin Holland (11.00, Kingscliff) and Dane Chalk (4.8, Miami).

“They’re always a bit of fun,” he said.

“I’m always riding different types of boards – longboards, single-fins and twinnies, so it doesn’t matter what I’m riding. It was just good to go surfing with just three other surfers in the water.”

Joining Neal in the quarterfinals of the Retro division included reigning ASP Men’s World Longboard champion Harley Ingleby (Emerald Beach), Gold Coast ripper Dane Pioli (Rainbow Bay), Cameron Gleave (Kingscliff), Jordie Brown (Victoria), Brett Caller (Byron Bay), Matt Aldridge (Coolangatta) and Dodger Kremel (USA), who all posted opening round wins.

Retro surfboards come in a variety of shapes mainly with a Single Fin or Twin Fin set ups.

The SUP riders continued to shred on an alternative mode of board to the traditional longboard, launching a surfing-style blitzkrieg in the afternoon’s heats.

Sunshine Coast surfer Woogie Marsh (Peregian Beach) utilized his full arsenal of moves to beat Jackson Close (Currumbin) and Ross Hassum (Burleigh) with one of day’s top combined heat totals (18.00).

The powerful natural foot was on fire from start to finish, netting a 9.25 and an 8.75 to storm through to the quarterfinals of the SUP division.

Fellow Sunshine Coast surfer Keahi De Aboitiz (Noosa) was just as impressive amassing two strong rides (8.5 and 7.5) to power through to quarter-final contention.

Also through to the quarters is Beau Nixon (Tookley, now Tweed Coast), Noel Graham (Lennox Head), Paul Jones (Gold Coast) and Roger Saunders (Mini Water).

The Twin Towns Panel Repairs over 40’s division didn’t go unnoticed, with riders turning the clock on the high performance stakes.

Leading the way was Scott Downing (Wollongong), Brett Keast (Burleigh), Mark McNamara (Currumbin), Glen Cunningham (Bargara) and Nigel Beckham (Currumbin).

Competition will continue tomorrow with the quarterfinals of the Greenline Stand Up Paddle Surfing, plus Round 1 of the Robert August Over 60’s, quarter-finals of the Shawline Plumbing Retro and opening rounds of the Scales Seafoods 9ft Amateur and Amateur Women’s divisions.

The ‘Malfunction’ started off in 1984 as an excuse to get together with like minded surfers. After 27 consecutive years the Malfunction can truly lay claim to being one of the world’s truly iconic surfing events.

But it’s not all about the surfing. The prestigious, 5-day long surfing festival encompasses a range of lifestyle activities including the Kingscliff Surf Film Festival as well as surf music, fashion pageants, surf vehicle displays, book signings, surf lessons and more.

In all, 16 divisions have been included in this year’s festival, which features competition suitable for a range of abilities from family to elite level. These include:

ASP LQS Men
ASP LQS Women
Scales Seafood's 9ft Amateurs
Lets Live Women Amateurs
Aboods Crane Trucks U18's
PCYC Tweed Heads U18 Girls
Twin Towns Panel Repairs Over 40's
Dukes Longboards Over 50's
Robert August Surfboards Over 60's
Pacific Concrete Pumping Over 65's
Shawline Retro
Old Mal
Over 10'6
Greenline SUP Surfing
Rip Curl Expression Session
Greenline SUP Racing


SOURCE: Surfing Australia