Founded in 1969 by shaping legend Al Merrick, Channel Islands surfboards have been at the forefront of surfboard construction longer than most of their team riders have been alive. And it's those team riders, among them Kelly Slater, Tom Curren and Dane Reynolds, which have been the driving force behind Channel Islands' constant innovation and refinement. Channel Islands' range is one of the broadest out there, with models to suit seasoned rippers and novice surfers alike. What they all share however is total functionality.
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"The driving force behind Channel Islands Surfboards is the demand on design created by the world’s greatest surfers; allowing for the highest performance surfing possible. To provide the most dedicated surfers in the world with the most advanced, performance enhancing designs is my passion.” - Al Merrick, Designer/Shaper
When Clark Foam ceased operations in 2005, Al Merrick embraced epoxy technology with vigour, rapidly becoming a leader in the field (whilst continuing to manufacture polyeurathene/polyester resin surfboards on a large scale). Another big moment for Al Merrick came in 2006, when snowboarding giant Burton aquired his Channel Islands label, allowing the two companies to pool their resources.
Al Merrick has been and is the shaper of choice for Tom Curren, Kelly Slater and Dane Reynolds - perhaps the three greatest natural-foots in surfing's history. And it's not a case of Al Merrick paying them more money than the other guys (that carry-on is for the clothing sponsors). They simply wanted to ride Al Merrick's boards because they feel comfortable on them. And who are we to argue?!