Stab Magazine | The Long Lineage Behind The The Best (High-Pro) Surfboard In The World

The Long Lineage Behind The The Best (High-Pro) Surfboard In The World

How three generations of Merricks produced the “Stab in the Dark” winner. 

cinema // Apr 10, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Prior to Stab in the Dark, Mick Fanning described his experience with epoxies as “slim to none.” Then he reiterated, that he didn’t like epoxies. But similar to many turned off during the dawn of the epoxy surfboard because they floated too high on the water, in past years, his perception of the alternative to PU is shifting.

As Darren Handley, Mick Fanning’s shaper of over 20-years (and the man he disqualified from Stab in the Dark because, as he put it, the board was ‘cheating’) stated, with epoxy and the recent proprietary blends so popular today, the trick is to turn the rail down. That way instead of planing, they can dig into a wave and create a lively feeling while not skipping out.  

“This is a good board,” he muttered in a garage on a rainy afternoon in Japan. “Definitely in the top two.”

Like generations of samurai sword makers, Number 29 was breathed to life through three generations of Merricks: Al, Britt, and Isaiah. Collectively, they put together what Mick deemed the winning ride.

From Tom Curren’s Black Beauty, to Kelly Slater’s glass slippers and Dane Reynold’s scruffy Neck Beard, Al and son Britt have been at the surfboard game together since Britt was born back in ’72. That tradition is continued with Britt’s son Isaiah, who came in to bring some 21st Century expertise. 

For the epoxy-oriented incarnation of Stab In The Dark, father, son and grandson broke out a rocker design that Al’s been evolving for years.

That means it works – there’s good reason the world’s best choose CI.

Isaiah, came in to dial in the Spine Tek technology that gives the board its flex and strength, “solving” some of the issues commonly associated with epoxy. Channel Islands’ shaper Mike Andrews was also brought in to work on the project.

What they came up with was a version of Pat Gudauskas’s model, the Fever, built with EPS foam, epoxy resin, and Spine-Tek, it is Eco-Certified approved by Sustainable Surf.

The winning dimensions are 5’10 1/2” x 18 5/8″ x 2 5/16″ 26.4L.

Oh, and we’re giving away six replicas of the Stab in the Dark boards Mick rode. 

Here’s how to enter:

Click the link at the bottom of this page. It will take you to a Survey that’ll ask four things (Awayco Members and those who’ve boughten Stab in the Dark, Electric Acid or Stab High Pay-Per-View will all be entered twice – if you’ve boughten all four: Awayco, SITD, EAST and Stab High; you’ll be entered five times).

1. Take a screenshot of your Stab in the Dark receipt and upload it.* (If you didn’t buy, no worries, just enter your email at the bottom)

2. Answer whether or not you’re a member of Awayco (Awayco members will be entered twice into the raffle). Sign up for Awayco here. 

3. Enter the email that corresponds with your Awayco profile.

4. Tell us which local spot you think your Mick Fanning Stab in the Dark replica will fly best.

5. Not an Awayco Member, all good. Just slide your email into the number five slot. 

We’re keeping this giveaway open for another week and a half, and you can watch Stab in the Dark starring Mick Fanning by tapping any of the links below.



Google Play  


Dynamic Link


Your Stab in the Dark Replica awaits, here.



*To qualify, you can also upload an Electric Acid Surfboard Test receipt (bought or rented!) or a Stab High Pay-Per-View receipt. If you’ve bought two or all three, upload them all. 


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 4

The energy drinks are here. They’ve got millions of dollars, and they want your head.

Dec 2, 2022

‘Saturn’ Orbits Into Southern California

Quiksilver's newest film made landfall in Encinitas, and we were there to document the occasion.

Dec 1, 2022

The Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Returns In 2023

Can anyone beat John Florence and Carissa Moore in a three-week window?

Dec 1, 2022

What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?

The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.

Dec 1, 2022


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.

Nov 30, 2022

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

Nov 30, 2022


Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel

No Contest does Tel Aviv!

Nov 29, 2022


Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022


Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022

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.'

Nov 27, 2022


“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

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.

Nov 25, 2022


Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022

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…

Nov 24, 2022


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.

Nov 23, 2022

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

Nov 23, 2022