Why Britt Merrick Of Channel Islands Shaped A Bonzer For Stab In The Dark
“If I said the board sucked, that wouldn’t be good for business and if his board won people would think it was rigged.” – Dane Reynolds.
If Stab In The Dark is the main event, then please consider the Shaper Series as special features.
Presumably you’ve already watched our 36-minute film, in which Dane Reynolds takes 13 of the world’s best (unbranded) surfboards to South Africa for 10 days of rigorous and unbiased testing and flexing.
In the Shaper Series, a joint with our pals at Swell, we delve a little deeper on the other side of the coin; we step into the shapers’ bays and syphon their thoughts and reasoning around their art, and the board they shaped for Stab In The Dark 2016.
So, what did we tell our shapers? Boards to be delivered by June 1 in either LA or Sydney. Surfer is 6’0” and 190 lbs (86 kg), but will remain anonymous. Shoot location, South Africa. Surfboard must be 6’0” but width, thickness and volume all open to interpretation. Oh, and blank, blank, blank. Completely void of all branding or recognisable features like unique carbon patches. This is not a paid-for board guide – our readers are too savvy to make informed decisions based off that. Yes, there will be honesty. Every board will have positives and conversely, every board will have negatives. And, there’s a chance the board could break first wave, first turn, first air. If it does, apologies, you’re out.
“It was a really fun collaboration,” said Britt Merrick of the bonzer he co-shaped with Malcolm Campbell.
“Well, I knew the surfer was Dane and I am Dane’s shaper, so I felt a little funny about doing it and actually offered to remove myself, but was asked to stay in,” admitted this episode’s shaper, Britt Merrick of Channel Islands. “I didn’t want to do for Stab In The Dark what I make for Dane everyday, so I took an alternative approach. I’ve been working with Malcolm Campbell who, along with his brother Duncan, are the inventors of the bonzer. We thought it would be a cool idea to throw a five-fin bonzer into the SITD mix. The board is pretty much what I make for Dane generally as far as the outline, deck and rails, but has a rocker with more entry curve and falls differently out the back with a vee in the last 1/3 suitable for a bonzer.”
“Fun for pointbreaks?” Scribbled Dane Reynolds in his notepad, along with: “Needs better waves.”
“The Channel Islands bonzer felt pretty weird,” said Mr Reynolds of his shaper’s alternative craft. “It felt like throwing a single fin on a normal shortboard. I think maybe I had the fin too far back. It would be fun for certain waves, like clean, three foot and punchy waves. When Britt saw that the ‘mystery surfer’ was six foot, 190 pounds he knew it was me, so he decided to make a funkier shape. Because if I said the board was shit, that wouldn’t be good for business and if his board won people would think it was rigged.”
In case you missed the memo, we’re giving away all of the boards submitted for this year’s Stab In The Dark. Flick over this way to exercise your SITD knowledge and take a shot at winning a priceless piece of foam.
And, you can purchase our SITD shaper logo tees, right here:
The Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Returns In 2023
Can anyone beat John Florence and Carissa Moore in a three-week window?
What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?
The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.
Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?
Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.
After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow
"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay
Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel
No Contest does Tel Aviv!
Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF
And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.
An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf
Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.
Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg
“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."
What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?
Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.
Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME
'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'
“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”
Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.
Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?
The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.
Watch Now: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’
Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…
How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World
Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.
The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare
"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble
‘I Thought He Was Gonna Grab A Machete… Then He Picked Up A Rock’
2x SSOTY Jai Glindeman’s drama (& left-tube) filled Sumbawa trip.