Al Merrick has some of the most famous surfboard shapes in the world. In recent years, he's moved to a production style where they are popping out blanks using a machine and sending these off to glassers all around Southern California.
I've got to say that I've been disappointed by their quality control of the output of their surfboards. Sometimes boards are glassed a lb too heavy and it just makes for a really disappointing experience.
I will say though I own a Al Merick flyer model and this has been nothing but magic for me. This board is the ultimate Socal mush shortboard. Anything below head high and you're in business.
My advice to someone interested in buying a Channel Islands surfboard by Al Merrick is to make sure the glass job is top notch.
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About the reviewer
Hayes Kim (hayeskim)
I'm a socal native who grew up in the real OC. Went from OC to UCLA and became addicted to the internet. Now I reside in the westside, surf El Porto(crappo for some), and love all things drumming.
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Al Merrick, founder and shaper for Channel Islands Surfboards, rose to fame in the early 80's as the shaper for Tom Curren. Curren's surfing took the world by storm and with him the Merrick brand became world renowned.
Born in Bradley Beach, New Jersey, during World War II, Merrick jumped around to Florida, eventually making his way to Southern California. Merrick began surfing at the age of 10 in Encinitas and eventually went on to surf for Surfboards Hawaii. After high school and a short stint at Palomar College, Merrick became inspired to pick up shaping through the influence of John Price and Dick Brewer. Around this time the shortboard revolution and the move to Santa Barbara(Rincon right down the way) inspired him to experiment and refine ideas that were taking place at that time.
Well, after Curren came the best surfer this world's seen in Kelly Slater jumped on board with Al Merrick propelling Merrick shapes into the 21st century. Still renowned for his hand shaping abilities, he's adopted new techologies to help produce consistent shapes for the world to surf. Now Merrick reserves hand shaping for his very best surferes to experiment and push surfboard shapes into the future.