Britt Merrick Becomes Winningest SITD Shaper - Stab Mag

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Britt Merrick Becomes Winningest SITD Shaper

Here’s how he did it.

// May 31, 2023
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Britt Merrick is a big man, with a big truck and a big beard.

The first time I met him was in the dust-filled parking lot behind the oh-so-controversial Surf Ranch. He thought he was there to do an interview to build suspense in the final episode of SITD.

In fact, Italo Ferreira was hiding in a nearby RV, with a bottle of champagne and the Number 18 surfboard tucked away, ready to celebrate Britt’s 3rd SITD win.

Our pond-adjcaent interview setup was less than makeshift, a result of last minute changes to the plan, and I could tell Britt and his team manager Brent Power were less than impressed. But it didn’t really matter — within a matter of moments, Britt would realize he was the winningest Stab In The Dark Shaper ever.

Despite my excitement, I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to slow-roll him with some questions first — and hopefully understand the process behind building a Stab In The Dark winner.

Big man, small chair.

Congrats on making the final! Did you know it was Italo?

I didn’t really know, but when you guys gave us the board length you wanted, we started doing some sleuthing. I had a pretty good hunch, it was narrowed down to a few guys but I thought maybe it was Italo. I also thought it might be Kelly, just looking at the sizing. But then, you dive into what people’s schedules are, what’s going on in their lives, and it probably couldn’t have been Kelly. There’s always rumors too.

What rumors did you hear?

Umm, well… yeah, I may have heard from an unnamed photographer that it was maybe Italo. But, by then I’d already done my homework and figured it was Italo [laughs].

Did you know where it was?

No, I had no idea where it was. Well, we knew it was Brazil, but I was kinda hoping it was in that wave-pool in Brazil, with that double air section. I thought that would be pretty sick.

So, you wouldn’t normally make the CI 2.Pro in EPS right? 

Yeah, that wouldn’t really be the usual go-to. When we thought it was Italo, I was aware that he liked EPS boards. And, thinking it was maybe in the wavepool, I thought it made sense. Honestly, when I was shaping the board I had the pool in mind. But, I was wrong about that.

What’s the theory behind flattening the rocker on that board compared to the CI Pro?

Well, I’ve been working with both versions for the last couple years with Parker and the team. It’s just personal preference, a team rider who wants a whole lot of rocker will like the Pro, and someone who’s attracted to flatter rocker will like the 2.Pro.

We’ve had both in the mix for the last couple years. So, thinking about Italo and having seen some of his Pattersons, I noticed they were lower rocker than what I would normally put on the CI Pro — or what I shaped last year for Jack on the North Shore.

So you’ve won it before — twice — what does it mean to you? Do you take it seriously?

Yeah, honestly it means a lot. It eliminates other variables, like the prestige of having surfers on tour, or winning world titles. So much of that comes down to the surfer, whereas this is the only head to head contest between shapers. Same surfer, same general wave. 

I think from a shaper’s perspective it’s like winning a world title.

It was at this point celebrations commenced.

You can watch the celebration from Britt’s SITD win here.

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