Channel Islands Twin Fin
Lubricate: To minimize friction and allow smooth movement.
My first wave, a three-foot backside left-hand sandbar drainer, and the board felt lubricated. The sensation was oily, buttery, and fast. She went off the bottom quickly, to the top before I was ready for it, and my rhythm was a step behind. My fault, not the boards. I was holding onto a leashed, rambunctious, excited Golden Retriever puppy that wanted to chase down birds. She was ready to go. I wasn’t. On my next wave (a waist high, lined up, front-side right, with plenty of opportunities to score at least two solid turns) I took off, sunk into a mid-face turn using the inside fin and projected out in front of said opportunities before I had a chance to gain my bearings. One turn, twenty yards and I’m out the back of the wave wondering how to hold this board back. She is quick. She wants to run, jump, chase balls and generally spring about. Instant speed. There is simply no better quality to have in a small wave board. No amping up to top gear. No languid pumps to get her going. This board is 0-60 in a snap.
Next wave is very peaky, and, if I play it correctly, only offers one top turn opportunity. Paddling into it I think, “go into the flats, lay out a nice bottom turn, throw it up into the lip.” My actions follow through on my thoughts and the straight up projection and release through the turn is pure, quick and solid. It happened fast. I didn’t even get a chance to enjoy it. Boom. One solid ten o’clock connection in the books and I’m loving the possibilities this board offers me.
My next wave of consequence offers a section down the line; a section that requires squirt to get around. I take off and stay high with a quick fin-engaged check turn, then drop down with speed. The section topples and I carry speed. Driving in the flats the board stays in the turn (thanks to the thinner rail) and releases with all the momentum and velocity to easily negotiate the section and plenty of spirit under my feet to engage the next turn.
An absolute sign that the board must look as fast from land as it feels under my feet: a guy paddles out and asks me what I’m riding.
“A Channel Islands Twin,” I tell him.
Lubricated is what I’m thinking. This board feels lubricated.
Dims: 5’9” 19.75 2.5 30.7 The CI website suggest riding the board shorter wider and a touch thicker than your daily driver tri-fin.
Rocker: Moderate to low entry, straight through the back mid-section, tail rocker increases into vee off the tail and concave within the vee.
Rail Type: tapered, thin helping to hold rail through the back half of turns. No spinouts.
Special Features: Twin fin with third fin option stabilizer box. Wing swallow. Board oozes with design history.
Fin Set-up: My favorite Akila Aipa Futures twin set
Intended Conditions: Knee to head high waves. Reefs and points.
Go to CISurfboards.com
The CI Twin. Refined from a historic personal Merrick circa ’79.
All good. No should.
I love this board and absolutely recommend it to any of you looking for a small wave speed demon that carries its spark through turns.
FYI I’m planning trip to Austin, Texas @ NLand Surf Park and hope to get some images from that trip to post here.