Classic Malibu man Peter White must surely hold the unenviable title for losing the most boards in one night.
His Classic Malibu surf shop and factory was burnt down about midnight 27 January, taking with it more than 300 finished boards and 200 blanks along the way.
The only saving grace was the survival of his favourite, 40-year-old sander and his templates.
The good news is that Classic Malibu is back up and running at 16 Mary St, Noosaville, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
“No one was there and no one hurt, thank goodness,” his wife Janet, said of the fire that gutted the shop in Eumundi Rd, Noosaville, home to Classic Malibu for the past 15 years.
“The fire started in the adjoining dry-cleaning business, but unfortunately that didn’t help our cause with insurance.
“Everything was destroyed. Blanks in his shaping room had fallen and for some reason hadn’t burnt, and the templates were underneath. Also saved was his precious planer, which he had had for over 40 years; apparently they don’t make them like that any more.
“The boards lost in the blaze included all the shop stock, boards in for repair and others boards we had been looking after.”
White, who has been making boards for 45 years, started Classic Malibu in 1987, shortly after moving to Noosa.
Before shifting states, White made mainly short boards for Balin in Victoria. Once at Noosa he realised the points were suited to mals and for years was the only local manufacturer meeting the market demand for long boards.
The new shop Classic Malibu has a growing number of boards for sale as well as wetsuits and accessories.
Peter White has just about caught up replacing custom orders lost in the fire as well as making stock boards for the shop. He’s also taking new custom orders.
Call Classic Malibu on 0754 743 122 or go to www.classicmalibu.com
White, originally of Seaford, Victoria, featured several times in Breakway. In early 1977 Breakway editor Keith Platt caught up with him at Braunton, a small town in north Devon, England.
White and John Hall, of Dee Why, Sydney, were at that stage working for Britain’s leading board supplier, Tiki Surfboards.
Platt’s story – European winter – and its wide-ranging look at the British surf scene – “English surfers are starting to think about secret spots … many surfers still pass up a well designed stick if it has bubbles in the glass or a marked blank in preference to a sleek, unblemished, glassy red phallus that will never find its full potential until Waimea moves north into the Atlantic” – are in Breakway No. 40, March 1977.