Creatures of Leisure Pay Tribute to Unsung Hero John Malloy
Who is John Malloy?
Chances are you have never heard of John Malloy. I would, however, bet my full quiver of surfboards that you have used a John Malloy invention during your time as a surfer.
John pioneered the use of urethane cord in surf leash design. He also invented the stainless-steel bearing swivel. Both of Malloy’s early contributions to surf leashes are todays industry standard. John went on to found the international brand Creatures of Leisure.
A Creature of Leisure – The John Malloy Story
While John Malloy has remained under the radar, his contribution to surfing and surf equipment are now being recognised in the documentary “A Creature of Leisure”, narrated by 7-times world champion Steph Gilmore.
The 25-minute film details John’s life of adventure, his passion to improve surfers’ experience in the ocean, and how he turned a nomadic lifestyle into an iconic living. The archived 16mm film footage is a beautiful glimpse into John’s life and Western Australia at the time.
What John has done in his time is pretty incredible. By giving people like me the confidence to push things harder and further, he’s had an almost immeasurable impact on what’s possible on a surfboard today. A dead-set legend that’s as humble as he is inspirational.
Mick Fanning (three time world champion)
A Brief History of John Malloy and Creatures of Leisure
As a young man John Malloy hitched a ride out of the USA on a freight-liner. He landed in South Western Australia in 1974 with very few possessions.
John’s early attempts at surfing the heavy Indian Ocean waves made him realise that the primitive surf leashes of the mid seventies were simply not up to the job.
He worked out that the bell cord used for all leashes at the time was an inferior product for the task at hand. John co-founded Pipelines Legropes, and introduced urethane as the material of choice. It was obvious that the new style of surf leash was far superior to the earlier versions and demand grew virtually overnight.
John then started Creatures of Leisure in 1987, taking leashes to the next level by inventing a stainless-steel bearing swivel that didn’t seize up in salt water. He also pioneered the DNA Flex Mould, solving the age-old problem of leashes breaking where the cord met the ankle cuff.
Over the next couple of decades, Malloy was able to improve the durability of the leashes to a point where returns reduced to almost zero. His company could then focus on improving comfort and reducing drag. It’s a legacy that still lives on in Creatures of Leisure to this day.
John’s philosophy of testing, getting better and just giving things a go, still sits at the heart of everything we do here. He may have retired a few years back, but that influence remains critical to us and will for a long, long time. We hope to continue doing John’s innovative spirit justice and think this film captures his impact on all of surfing in a way that does him proud.
Shane Partington (Creatures of Leisure Collective Director)
Creatures of Leisure is now established as the leading surf leash and accessories company on the planet. They have developed industry leading traction pads, board covers, surf luggage and car roof rack systems. COL sponsor multiple world champions and are extremely proactive in the support and development of young, up and coming surfers.
A Creature of Leisure – The John Malloy Story is a fantastic documentary that I believe every surfer who has strapped on their surf leash, without a second thought, should watch in order to learn more about the wonderful character that is John Malloy.