Are Channel Islands Surfboards Still the Best?
Whilst this is a matter of opinion, a lot of people will agree that Channel Islands Surfboards really stands out. Al Merrick has come up with some awesome stuff. Short boards like Fred Rubble and The Proton are some fine example of his work.
The Biscuit was voted the best board in 2008 and the company has just kept on growing from there. They designed boards especially for pro surfers as well as for the average Sunday surfer, so you could say that there is something for everyone.
I just caught an update on ESPN of a lawsuit being filed again CI surfboards, which was a massive surprise. Tom Gregg claims that he lost all his nerve movement when one of their boards did him some damage. Apparently the fin came crashing into his leg. It sounds kinda fishy to me – an ugly way of cashing in. Don’t you think this can happen with any board?
So, what make a surfboard company stand out. Is it the shaper?, is it the marketing of the company? There are a lot of surfboard shapers starting out, hoping to make it big, but this doesn’t happen most of the time. Al Merrick is one of those guys who hit the big time and surfers like Kelly Slater and Dane Reynolds will tell you that it’s not just marketing. Anyone can do that.
Channel Islands Surfboards and Al Merrick
It all began in Santa Barbara in 1969 when Al Merrick decided that he was going to do what he loved most. This is one of the oldest companies that exists and the genius behind it is known throughout surfing circles.
Kelly Slater is on the team of designers, helping the company to go further all the time. With pro riders giving their input like this, the company is able to fulfill the requirements of the average surfer. At the end of the day, everyone is happy.
Once you have been surfing for a while, you may want to think of upgrading your boards. Channel Islands surfboards has boards designed by a lot of guys, taking them to the next level. You will start to see the difference once you take the next step. However, it is important only to think about this once you have some experience, otherwise you are going to get frustrated. Some of these boards are super fast.
I have reviewed quite a few boards on this site by CI surfboards, but there are over 30 boards so there is always space for more.
I thought we would have a look at The Proton
A while back I wrote a post about the Dumpster Diver, which was designed with the help of Dane Reynolds . Well, Dane gave a lot of input into this one as well. If you look at and CI review, you will usually find that it has been voted as the best board at some point.
The Proton was voted tops in 2009, and although that was a while back, this is still very popular. If you are advanced and looking for something to take you up a notch, then this may be something to get you there.
It’s basically a deep single concave with a continuous rocker. The rails are full. You will get a good session with waves that are waist high as well as those that are head high. With Channel Islands, you can order your boards to your liking and depending on the wave you are most likely to be surfing in, so anything bigger and you would need it to be adapted slightly. Another option is the Proton Step because that is going to handle the bigger stuff.