Kelly Slater for Channel Islands

Do we talk enough about Slater and Al Merrick’s longtime partnership? Slater obviously has strong opinions about his equipment, and I would love to hear a more in-depth account of how he and Merrick collaborated over the years, during Kelly’s utterly dominant run in the 90s. I think a lot of us remember these 90s boards for their low volume and exaggerated rockers, but hindsight is always 20/20, and it’d be rad to understand more about how these shapes came to be. Everything is cyclical, and I suppose it’s only a matter of time before these concepts are dusted off and reimagined. In the meantime, here’s a Channel Islands Surfboards ad from 1998, featuring Kelly fresh off his miracle come from behind sixth world title, cementing him as the greatest surfer ever years before he turned thirty.

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