Al Merrick Photo: Motil

Al Merrick

“While no singular design or manufacturing first can seemingly be credited to Al Merrick, the founder of Channel Islands Surfboards has been more influential to surfers and surfboard designers than any single person over the last quarter century. Merrick was already a skilled and accomplished board builder when Simon Anderson’s Thruster came along. With California prodigy Tom Curren, and a bevy of other talented surfers, he was able to jump on this design and take it to new heights. We were all watching, including Kelly Slater. Under Slater’s feet, Merrick refined this design and took the rest of us along with him as he pushed into a bold new realm of minimalistic, precise, high-performance surfboards. Kelly Slater is the most influential surfer of our time, and he has done the vast majority of his surfing on boards built by Al Merrick. You do the math.”

Bio credit: MATT BIOLOS –