Channel Islands Goes All-In On High Performance With The CI Pro Model
The SITD winning board is designed to go wherever you want it to — except maybe one foot slop.
It’s been a moment between World Title drinks for the Channel Islands crew, but it’d be impossible to say they haven’t been perpetually at the forefront of performance shortboards.
Currently boasting one of the world’s best all-round teams, the surfer-owned Santa Barbara board builders have racked up 20 World Titles over five decades. They raised their last of eleven title toasts to Kelly Slater in 2011. Since then, Adriano de Souza won his crown on their boards in 2015 and Lakey Peterson came close with a 2nd in 2018 and 3rd in 2019.
The CI hexagon has also been a staple in many of our beloved surf clips [see: everything Dane does].
Of late, CI has partially shifted towards creating alternative performance sleds, which, paired with the brilliance of Mikey February and Devon Howard, might allude to why they won this years Stab Reader Poll.
But how did they manage to win Stab In The Dark?
Allow the CI Pro to explain
Britt Merrick worked with long time team rider Parker Coffin to develop the SITD winning sled, which was a tuned-up iteration of the best-selling Two Happy model. “We chose this board for SITD because it’s the latest, most high-performance thing that we are working on. We wanted more curve, and the ability to turn in tighter pockets, and so we just kept tweaking the rocker together,” said Britt after winning.
Of course, Parker enjoyed the process. “There really was a lot of direct communication back and forth with Britt,” he says. “I feel like he is a really understanding shaper, so the more I could communicate what I was trying to feel and where I wanted the board to do what, we just kept moving on little things like that. We made incremental changes throughout it all and then we got to where we got. I felt like the true validation that we got, that we created something special, was that it translated to other surfers. Even as it started being distributed through the team, other surfers had success on it and the cherry on the top was the fact that Jack rode it in SITD and ultimately gave it the win.”
In Parker’s evaluation, the best features of the board are how fast and hard you can turn in the critical parts of the wave. Explaining that “if you can do that, and flow from maneuver to maneuver that’s when you have a good surfboard.”
That sentiment was echoed in Jack’s explanation of what makes a good shortboard, which he laid out in Episode 1 of Stab In The Dark: “You want to be surfing with no limits, you want to be flowing through turns with no glitches, going around corners as fast as you can, and to be linking turns as fast as you can. That’s what a shortboard is meant to do. It should do whatever you want, without thinking.”
“This model demonstrates we are still in it to win it and was validated by the recent SITD win and the fact that our pros that are riding it are climbing the tour ranks and loving it, shows us we’re onto something,” says Brent Power, CI’s international team manager. “The feedback we’ve got from team riders has been phenomenal. It’s so nice to have a board that hits the mark, and it covers such a broad spectrum of surfers, from super groms all the way to CT surfers, so on that side it’s been insane to be able to please so many surfers all around the world. The CI Pro will play a major part in getting our next world title.”
This all sounds very appealing, though most of us don’t exactly exist on the spectrum between super-groms and CT surfers. Maybe we’ll check in after we’ve tried bashing this thing around in one-foot O-side slop.
Though the CI Pro probably won’t singlehandedly tear down Marcio Zouvi’s WSL empire, it does have potential to be Lakey’s trusted blade on her crusade to the top. We’ll find out.
Either way, what CI has lacked lately in World Titles, they’ve made up for in marketing prowess, tapping into the guys and gals we want to see, with the shapes we want to see them on.
The above clip is no different, with the entire CI team putting Britt’s latest creation in the curvy spots it craves.
Click that red button for a high-performance demolition derby.
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