dont you think kelly sla-ten rides merricks for a reason?
That was my original argument. Along with Slater and his soon to be 10 titles, look at every other PIPE master, ASP title etc won on CIs. The list isnt just Kelly. But yeah, he rides them for a reason for sure. Al has been making crazy designs for kelly to try out for decades... So, if Kelly trusts him, so do i. Kelly surfs Florida Slop on his Al Merricks (Better than anyone on earth I might ad. He makes florida surf look like Indo when he rips ite, then he goes out to remote islands, along, getting shacked in perfect 20 foot barrels, all day, on a different Merrick... Then he shows up at Lowers the next week, and just houses every young up and comer that thinks they are on top of it, all on a different Merrick that is some strange 5'6 disc board... Kelly is winning world titles on shapes that we have never really seen before. Or thought of as high performance anyway. While every other guy is stepping their board size up, Kelly is in 10 foot surf on a 5'6, killing it. Kelly trusts him. So do I. I do not buy his boards, but I would never doubt the guys designs or skills.
I'm a board geek, so I grope a lot of boards. And I try to ride as many different shapes, from as many different shapers, as I can.
I think CI boards are all well designed, properly shaped, and expertly glassed. There's a reason why he's the most successful and most influential modern day, current shaper. And to say he's not a shaper, is a mistake. He's earned the right to have his designs CNC'd.
1979-New Image Surf Shop,Bobo, I bought a 6'8" swallowtail Channel Islands Tri-Plane Hull single fin shaped by Al Merrick with polished gloss light blue resin tint by Moonlight Glassing in their first year,followed by a 6'10" double wing pintail with a wavy rainbow stripe from nose to tail,then the best was a 6'2" pro shapes designed by Davey Smith,also incredible glass/color i can't possibly describe.these single fins were the best you could get,and no one knew Al Merrick.fast forward to the Sashimi deep six channel bottom,Flyer,Flyer II and then full circle the one retro board of any quality the Merrick Machado SFG 2, second generation single fin,i must be old,this hot stick takes me back to my childhood.i think i know my CI's,dudes,i was there the whole way,he is the best,but he ain't a fish,mini-mal or longboard shaper.never was.