Fin Talk 8: Mick Mackie


 Mackie Surfboards

For decades now Mick Mackie out of Ulladulla, NSW Australia has been blending the past with the future to create surfcraft that are uniquely his own.  The in-cut outlines,  wide square tails,  carbon flex swallow tails, and distinctive foam distribution are just some of the hallmarks of Mick's design wizardry.  True Ames could not have been more excited to connect with Mick to create a fin line that combines Mick's design theory with TA quality and functionality. We knew that Mick would offer templates that could open the minds of surfers everywhere to explore what is possible when you step outside of the box.  Check out the interview below to hear Mick's take on the collaboration.   


TA: Going back to the start, what was your first experience with surfing and surf culture? What was your first love, snowsurf or traditional surfing as most of us know it?

MM: My first experience with surfing was riding Styrofoam or Coolite boards from about 7 years old learning to stand up and surf small waves at Cronulla, near Sydney and holidays to south coast of NSW Australia. Traditional surfing was my first love. Snowsurfing came many years later when I was in my late twenties.

Mackie Surf Design
TA: Had you experimented with shaping before joining the “Hot Buttered” crew led by Terry Fitzgerald?

MM: I had stripped back an old single fin at my grandparents place and shaped it into something much thinner and smaller when I was 11 years old. I also made a couple of back yard boards with a friend when we were about 14 years old. From 16 years old I was doing repairs for a local surf shop and at the Gordon and Smith surfboard factory.

Mackie Mini Thruster

TA: There seems to be a theme in your fin line up of more base than usual, and additional rake in templates.  What is the concept behind these designs, and what boards do they excel in?  

MM: Yes my fin designs are designed firstly for drive and hold to be able to draw smooth lines. The extra rake to a smaller tip allows a smooth transfer through turns with some performance added when surfed correctly. They excel in fish or any modern hybrid shape.

TA: You’re well known for shaping “deep side-cut” fish, has this always been a board you’ve enjoyed making and riding? How does the Sidecut Keel work in concert with this design?

MM: My side-cut fish and round squares have been developed from 26 years or so of inspiration from the snowsurf side of things, i.e. Dimitrije Milovich’s original Winterstick from the late 70’s and Taro Tamai’s Gentem designs from Hokkaido, Japan. After snowboarding for years I thought that some of the curves on these snowboards would blend well in surfboard design. It’s an ongoing process, something I very much enjoy surfing and shaping as the side-cut design has proved itself to be a formidable design application in surfboards.

The side-cut keel works pretty much the way I explained previously as a smooth
drivey fin with the hold and performance needed in the style of board they suit, i.e. fish and even modern hybrid style boards.

Mackie Quad by True Ames

TA: We could not be more stoked to introduce your new quad set to the TA lineup. They are quite unique as well! Can you talk about the design characteristics of the template, what boards people might enjoy them in and how you like to surf them?

MM: Yes they are quite unique to what’s around on the market these days. As far as the shape or template of the quads go, I am providing a fin that wants to surf smooth lines and still be loose enough to pull through tight turns when needed. They are based off my side-cut fish keel but have less base and have a narrower tip to offer that bit more performance. The rear fins have a 70/30 foil to soften the feel through the end of your turn, by providing a slight release feeling. They work in a range of boards from fish to hybrids and guns. I am most interested in riding them in my side-cut round square
designs. This quad setup could even be reversed and set up as a keeled twinzer just to add something else to the mix. Just a thought…

TA: We really like the template of the Smooth Glide single fins.  They look like versatile fins, what boards do you pair these fins with?

MM: My smooth glide fins are designed to offer a controlled ride with plenty of drive but be easy to pivot and run through turns. They are suited to longer mid lengths, classic guns and even longboards.

TA: Any interesting George Greenough stories you can share with us?

MM: As far as any interesting Greenough stories- I remember going to see Crystal Voyager at a cinema when I was 12. My father dropped me off at the cinema so I was by myself and sitting watching the film alone. I was instantly transported to another zone-watching George foil fins, build a yacht and surf his own flexible equipment. This left an indelible mark on me showing me what could be possible not only within surfing but also inspired me to follow the surfboard building craft.

All photos are courtesy of Mick Mackie. 

Please head over and check out Mick's website.  For custom order inquires reach out to