About Mackie Designs


I have been shaping surfboards of many varieties since 1983, firstly under the influence of Terry Fitzgerald learning the basics while surfing for his company Hot Buttered. These basics have influenced the way I shape to this day. I can still hear Terry saying ‘put the nose vee in’. This breaks the water to allow the cleaner water to run underneath your board like a speedboat running along at high speed.

I finished up riding for Terry in late 1984 and started shaping for a company in my local area of Cronulla called Express Surfboards in Heathcote. Owner/shaper Paul Armstrong kept a watchful eye on me and helped develop my shaping to the point where I could shape channel bottoms and other styles of boards. I was then offered a position at Emerald Surfboards by Richard Herbert, where I did production stock and custom orders. This position was a great opportunity to hone my shaping skills from 1987 to 1989.

I started Southerly Change Surfboards in Ulladulla in mid 1989 and in the late 1990’s until now have run under the name Mackie Designs.

Around 1997/98 I got interested in wider thicker boards than the thinner shapes that were around at that time.

The influence of Andrew Kidman’s film Litmus showing Derek Hynd riding a Skip Frye Fish brought back many memories of guys riding fish style boards in my younger days. This led to a suggestion by my brother in law to make a fish template. I began shaping something close to a traditional fish outline though with the foil of the boards around at that time and a little more thickness.

I started snowsurfing in 1995 and began cutting swallowtails into old snowboards, revisiting a memory of an article on Dimitrije Milovich and his Wintersticks in a Surfing World magazine. This is where I got my inspiration to put side cut in my fish boards. From there I incorporated flex in the tail to load and release stored energy creating whip then speed into and out of turns.

Single fins are another board I love to shape as I grew up riding many and have continued to ride and shape them. Respect to what the many masters have shaped in this field has led to what I put into my single fin shapes. I keep them clean and simple, they are a joy to ride and keep you honest to the basis of classic surfing.

I call this range Smooth Glide as this is what you get while surfing one.

My shapes have continued to evolve over time and have many influences running through them. The continual change in surfing and shaping keeps me keen to continue developing my shapes and the best of these developments bleeds through into my customers boards.

I hope you may find what you are after in your surfing while riding one of my shapes.

Michael Mackie