Stab Magazine | Channel Islands' New FishBeard And CI Mid Boards, Explained

Channel Islands’ New FishBeard And CI Mid Boards, Explained

Also, scenes from the release party last night. 

hardware // Jan 17, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

New decade, old boards (with a modern twist). That seems to be Channel Islands’ marketing direction in 2020.

Last night, at their flagship location in Santa Barbara, the world’s most iconic surfboard label revealed two new models designed for nostalgists of various bents. 

With team members like Dane Reynolds, the Coffin and Gudang brothers, and Alex Gray in attendance, lead shaper Britt Merrick and brand manager/egg specialist Devon Howard explained and displayed their new crafts, the FishBeard and the CI-Mid, to an audience of candied-up minors and slightly inebriated adults. 

We will now attempt to take what we’ve learned about these novel crafts and relay it to our audience. 

First up, the FishBeard.

As the story goes, Parker Coffin said it first: “A Neck Beard 2 would work sick as a twin-fin fish!”

So, Britt and the CI team got to work redesigning the back half of the NB2 template and rocker, paired the board with Al Merrick Keel Fins (AMK), and the FishBeard was born. 

As its name suggests, the FishBeard merges the NB2 and the CI Fish, sitting somewhere in the middle of the two in terms of performance capacity. As you can see in Parker’s clip above, the FishBeard is clearly capable of dicing a wave to bits, but it also has the fast, loose, flat-spot-covering ability of the standard twin. 

And while it won’t make the board work any better, we do appreciate CI pulling out the old ’80s logos for this retro-modern craft. I guess we’re a bit nostalgic, too. 

Fishbeard Color TopBottom Square black

Next up is the CI Mid, and we know what you’re thinking: why the fuck would I want to ride a mid-length?

Fair enough, you finely-tuned wave punisher you. But before you become irreversibly incensed, tell us that the elegant sliding of CI surfer/brand guy Devon Howard doesn’t look at least semi-enticing:

 Frankly, we don’t know all that much about the machinations of mid-lengths, so we’ll take Dev’s word for it: 

Inspired by the clean, longer-railed lines drawn by traditional eggs and single-fins, the CI Mid infuses that vibe with the crispness, sensitivity, and freedom made possible by modern features synonymous with Merrick design principles. Boasting a moderate midlength template with low entry rocker and foam forward for ease of paddle and effortless trim speed, the CI Mid scoots, squirts and swivels thanks to contemporary features like double-barrel concave, graduated rocker, and hard, slightly tucked rails through and off the tail. We’ve also designed an all-new custom 2+1 fin template for this board with our neighbors and friends at True Ames Fins in Goleta, California.

Essentially, this is an old guy board with young ripper refinements. If you live by a small, righthand point or are surrounded by more “free-spirited” surf folk, this board might do you some favors in the lineup. 

At the very least, it would make a great wall-hanger. Gosh she’s purty!

Screen Shot 2020 01 16 at 12.49.51 PM

Ashton Goggans’ CI Mid shipment is sure to arrive soon. If you see him in your local lineup, beware. The man will go. 

You can order either or both of these boards here. 


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