Channel Islands Surfboards Team Rider Kelly Slater Wins Landmark 10th World Title on His Own Board Design
Kelly Dedicates his Win to the Memory of Andy Irons
Riding for Channel Islands Surfboards since his early teens, surf legend Kelly Slater has now won his 10th ASP World Title on his own personally designed Channel Islands Surfboard called the Semi-Pro.
The Semi-Pro is a 5’9″ 181/4 21/4 RP model that incorporates what Kelly has learned throughout his years working with Channel Islands founder Al Merrick. Kelly created the Semi-Pro shorter than the average board he typically rides in competition. The board measures at his height 5′ 9″, but still features the back half of his 6′ 1″ short board. It also features a very curvy rocker that fits well in the pocket, creating the perfect all-around board that can ride closer to the power source of a wave.
“I took the template off my 6’1 Tangent model that I’ve been riding for the last couple years,” said Kelly Slater. “Yet I still wanted a board that was shorter, so I had to take length of the nose and not width out of the center. I kept the wide point a little further forward of center (about two inches to be exact) so it still rides like a longer board. This is important because I feel the outline is really crucial in allowing the board to feel loose and maintain drive. After the first two events this year, I came back to California and watched myself on film and totally redesigned my boards from that point on. I wanted my boards to fit into different parts of the wave, so I added a lot of curve in the rocker. Next, I added a lot of concave to the bottom for lift because I needed to offset the amount of curve I had in the rocker to keep me above the water. I wanted to design something that fit in a wave like Dane’s Proton model does. I like how his board looks in hollow waves. I wanted to design something that had a little bit of that feel to it but also had enough lift to ride well in the small mushy stuff. I think I found a pretty good combo with the Semi-Pro.”
Kelly met Al in Huntington Beach when he was 14 years old and has worked with Al on boards ever since. He became the youngest surfer to win a World Title at the age of 20, and now at age 38, Kelly is the oldest and only surfer to win 10 World Titles. His win at Trestles and in Portugal, along with this weekend’s 45th win in Puerto Rico, marks the third contest that he has won on this magic board.
“Al told me he wanted to see me win a contest on a board that I made,” said Kelly Slater. “So to win a world title and three contests on a board I designed from the ground up including the rocker, bottom curves, and the outline, it just feels really good. I never considered myself a shaper, but a designer. Now that I have shaped some boards over the last few years, that knowledge really helped me design this board. I’m super stoked with the outcome because this was taking a big chance riding something that’s totally unproven.”
“I’m so proud of Kelly,” says Al Merrick. “Not only has he achieved the incredible feat of a tenth world title, but he did it on a board he designed all by himself, which is a wonderful accomplishment in itself. Kelly and I have established a friendship over the years, and even though he has been instrumental in the growth of Channel Islands Surfboards as a brand, it’s our personal relationship that has been so rewarding.”
“It was such an honor for me to be in Puerto Rico and watch Kelly achieve this amazing feat,” said Jake Burton, Founder and CEO of Burton Snowboards and Owner of Channel Islands. “To witness such an epic moment in surf history is something I’ll never forget. All of us at Channel Islands and Burton are ecstatic and overwhelmingly proud of Kelly.”
The Channel Islands Semi-Pro will be available at local surf shops in February 2011.