The Channel Islands Sampler surfboard is the latest board from the Al Merrick surfboards camp.


Channel Islands surfboards for Europe are shaped in the Basque country at the Olatu factory using only the finest blanks, glasses and resins. All the boards are finished under one roof by the expert in house team with regular contributions from members of the California team who fly over regularly. CI surfboards are in the best possible hands to guarantee high quality finishing and maintaining the reputation of Al Merrick’s surfboard brand worldwide.


We’ve had a couple of Samplers to surf and here’s what we think,  it's a Channel Island surfboard that’s easy to understand, and it literally does exactly what you expect it to. It’s perfect for 90% of surfers out there and is a practical board for everyday surfing, your new ‘go to’ stick. Like the Dumpster Diver its flat, has a flat entry and centre rocker, and nice curve out the tail so it paddles well and gives really nice early wave entry. There is a generous single concave running the whole length of the board, with a double through the fins, it releases off the tail very easily. The vee provides kick off the tail and allows you to turn the board far more easily than you might imagine. The fuller front half of the board and exaggerated and slightly forward of normal Merrick hip are key ingredients here. Along with a wide tail the board has the surface area to deal with flatter sections whilst keeping the speed up so you can still hit the lip. The Sampler is an everyman surfboard suitable for low level intermediate surfers and up who surf less than perfect conditions more often than not, surfers like us! It sits between a groveller and shortboard and for the majority of surfers will act as a one board option. According to Channel Islands The CI Sampler surfboard will be surfed 2 inches shorter and a little thicker than your standard shortboard. My normal volume is around 30 litres and I surfed a 5’ 8” Sampler at 28.2 litres, I would have probably gone for a 5’ 9” out of choice but the 5’ 8” worked surprisingly well given I was in a 5mm hooded wetsuit so definitely go shorter rather than longer if you’re undecided.  

Ideal conditions for The Sampler surfboard is knee to head high average to good surf but if the odd decent set comes through The Sampler has the features to step up and maximise your performance. Born out of Dane Reynolds’ input The Sampler is actually a practical board unlike some recent CI surfboards.  It’s a good addition to the line up of surfboards for CI, its filled gap for those who don’t want a swallow tail on their go to board!


Channel Islands Sampler In Action


If you’re pondering which fins to use its pretty standard fair to be honest a medium size FCS II Reactor thruster set up is fine in their glass flex or performance core construction, we also surfed it with the medium FCS II Fanning fin, these worked great too good and zippy. If you’re planning on travelling with The Sampler we’ve got travel surfboard bags a plenty from Ocean and Earth and Global surfboard bags amongst others.  


Don’t forget you can order a custom Sampler through our online customiser tool, its currently available in standard PU. Trading in an old board is also an option, all the details are available here. You can also get a new Sampler on 0% again all the details are available online here.

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