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Dane Reynolds, Shane Beschen And The True History Of One Of Channel Island's Most Divisive Tails

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Dane Reynolds, Shane Beschen And The True History Of One Of Channel Island's Most Divisive Tails

When Dane Reynolds uncracked the Santa Monica Surf Case containing the purple and yellow, chopped-tailed thruster, we'd be lying to you if we told you it was the first time he'd laid eyes upon the beaut.

"I'm certain I've seen these boards before," Dane admitted. 

Truth was, he'd spotted the new whip pretty quickly while visiting the Channel Islands factory a few weeks before Stab's trip to Mexico, Dane's first in 11 months. With the electric swirl, lack of logos, and glass-on thrusters, it surely stood out from the pack. 

 

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Dane Reynolds, happy to have an old friend amongst the strangers.

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We'd tapped Britt Merrick, Nathaniel Curran, Scott Anderson and the Carp crew at Channel Islands with making a Neck Beard, updated with what Dane had been feeling as of late, and they were more than obliging. 

Ever critical, Dane was quick to note the board as an outlier during one of the trip's early days. 

"I still just don't understand the Neck Beard's role in this project," Dane was quick to offer, after a four-hour session at one of the myriad rampy right points.

"A thruster's like a Swiss Army knife, it's pretty much good for everything."

With the broad array of equipment we'd compiled for the project, the Neck Beard served as the top end of the Normal spectrum. 

From the first day to the last, Dane was conscious not to overdo it on the Neck Beard, putting in plenty of time on the other shapes to give them their due attention. But every time that chopped-tail came out of the truck, fireworks ensued. During the final day of filming, while watching Dane punt air after air, a very sunburned Mini Blanchard, Dane's longtime filmer and co-conspirator, claimed his performance on the Neck Beard and the [no spoilers] during the trip to be one of the finest he'd ever seen Dane put together.  

 

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Channel Islands/Britt Merrick 5'9" Neck Beard 2.

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Britt Merrick

“Whatever the surfer wants to feel, whatever he dreams up, whatever lines they want to draw, I want to make that happen.”
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Photography Alan Van Gysen.

While sitting in the editing bay with Sam Moody back in Los Angeles after the Acid Test trip, working on the EAST Shaper's profiles, Stab Senior Editor Morgan Williamson mentioned he might have something from Shane Beschen about the Neck Beard. After filming an interview with Beschen about some other historic Channel Islands, but with the mics still hot, Shane offhandedly took up the subject...

"Did you ever hear that one of Dane's boards was an MBB3, that he chopped the nose off or something? Did you ever hear that?"

Well, truth is, the story's a lot more complicated than that. 

Click in to the edit above, and scroll south for a look at about ten percent of the visual bounty Stab lensman Alan Van Gysen brought back from Mexico. And if you want more Neck Beard 2, check out Stab resident hi-fi nerd Mikey C.'s interview with Britt about the new model, available at all Channel Islands retailers internationally. 

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Dane Reynolds

“It’s got a lot of different stories that don’t really go together.”
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Dane Reynolds

"One of my boards had a drawing of Shane Beschen with a neckbeard."
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Channel Islands/Britt Merrick 5'9" Neck Beard 2.

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Channel Islands/Britt Merrick 5'9" Neck Beard 2.

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Channel Islands/Britt Merrick 5'9" Neck Beard 2.

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Dane Reynolds

"It opened my mind to smaller equipment."
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Always authentic.

Photography Alan Van Gysen
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These guys were epic. They pulled up plastic patio furniture and watched the show for hours, screaming their heads off every time Dane took off.

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