Greetings, Shredderz! If, like me, you grew up on a steady diet of late 90s and early 2000s surf magazines, who went out of their way to look down their noses at most longboarders not named Joel Tudor, you are probably shocked to hear that Channel Islands is releasing a longboard model called the CI Log. CI has made longboards before, but from my vantage point, these efforts always seemed half-hearted. It’s fascinating to see the label that practically invented mass market, high performance shortboards moving into the world of longboarding.
Not only is the CI Log a longboard, as the name suggests, it was developed by Devon Howard alongside Wayne Rich. Rich is widely considered one of the world’s pre-eminent longboard shapers, and it’s cool to see CI enlist his talents in developing both the Log as well as the complementary fin. Is this the first CI model to leverage a shaper that wasn’t Al and/or Britt Merrick? I can’t think of any others off the top of my head.
The CI Log comes on the heels of two other high profile Howard collaborations with CI — the CI Mid and the TPH Single Fin. While CI’s shortboard business is in no danger of slowing down any time soon, it’s cool to see Howard’s expanding portfolio at the world’s largest surfboard manufacturer. I think this speaks to the broader shift happening within surfing itself, where more surfers are embracing many different styles of boards.
Last but not least, I couldn’t help but compare the CI Log release to “Out of the Rafters”, a new video from longtime CI team rider Dane Reynolds’ Chapter 11 TV.
“Rafters” features Reynolds and others sampling some boards from CI’s rich history of producing high performance craft for the best surfers on the planet. It’s surprisingly heavy on the ultra narrow, super rockered potato chips of the Momentum Generation. There’s a great tidbit in there about how Kelly Slater’s boards in the mid 90s were influenced by Shane Herring and Greg Webber. Kelly would later enlist Webber for some designs when he left CI and started Slater Designs. While it’s easy to look at the mid 90s boards and laugh at them, it’s very cool to see how these shapes came about, and the reasoning behind the initial designs.
Between these two videos, there’s plenty going on with CI Surfboards. And isn’t it ironic that the edit featuring Dane Reynolds and a bunch of young, limber rippers on thrusters is the one that’s more focused on the past; and the edit with forty something Devon Howard on a 9’9″ log potentially heralds the future of one of the all time great surfboard labels?