Al Merrick & Technical Info

Photo: Tover

"Since 1970, Channel Islands has been dedicated to performance and quality through hard work, innovation, and originality. In the last 28 years, my business, along with my surfboards, has grown from a local grass-roots operation to a cutting edge organisation, catering to the best surfers in the world. I started with hard-core surfing and quality in mind and these guidelines have brought Channel Islands Surfboards through two decades of constant change in the surf industry. As we move into the twenty-first century, so will Channel Islands with innovative design and quality as our main focus.

"I have never drawn on fads or trends to dictate my ideas and direction. Instead, the driving force behind Channel Islands Surfboards is function and quality, to allow for the highest performance surfing possible. To provide the most hard-core surfers with the most hard-core performance oriented surfboard is job one!"

Al Merrick, Owner/Shaper


Image courtesy of Kahuna Kalai, Ltd.

Computer Generated Boards

In striving to provide the finest and most advanced surfboards possible, Channel Islands works with Kahuna Kalai, Ltd. (KKL). The KKL machine incorporates state of the art cad design and computer numerical control machinery to pre-cut foam blanks. Al uses this tool by shaping a "master board" (what he feels is his best  board), and sends it to be scanned and inputted into a computer program which interfaces with the cutting machine. All of the design features of this particular shape (thickness flow, rocker, outline, contours, etc), are recorded by the computer. The program can then dimensionalize these shapes to the size ordered, while preserving the characteristics of the master board.

From this original master board, blanks are pre-cut by KKL which Al and Channel Island's shapers fine tune to replicate Al's exact design specifications. He has made master boards for each of his designs including shortboards, semi guns, guns, etc. The result of using this shaping tool is that not only are "off the rack" boards the closest possible to Al's shapes, but our team riders and customers can also order custom made boards to their own dimensions (and any other requests like a squash tail, round pin, channels, etc), and not only get a custom made board, but one which is made with Al's best designs.


Channel Islands
Onboard Industries
Unit 4, 76 Darley Street
Mona Vale NSW 2103
Tel: (02) 9997 8266
Fax: (02) 9999 2498
Email: onboard


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