Brainchild of Dane Reynolds and Al Merrick, the Channel Islands NeckBeard excels in the average to mushy conditions you love to hate. Fast and loose – and apparently good for airs – this skatey small wave creation will have you tearing apart even the worst conditions.
+ Fun, fast, loose yet forgiving
+ Easy to catch waves and generate speed
+ Great shape for airs (apparently )
– Limited wave range – better for average waves
– Too loose in larger, higher quality waves. I found the NeckBeard’s outline difficult to control once the swell went beyond overhead
The Channel Islands Neck Beard by Al Merrick at 6’2 x 20 1/2 x 2 3/4 @ 39.2L of volume and the weird, funky, cool Futures Solus thruster fins.
Best Wave Type
Mushy, onshore cr*p and any other sectioning, average wave you can find from waist to head high. This is the only board I’ve ever owned that feels better in lower quality vs. higher quality waves.
Immediately after purchasing the NeckBeard by Channel Islands, I was told by the kindly young proprietor of foam and resin that the core purpose of the NeckBeard is to “boost airs.” I haven’t and probably never will land and air (anytime I end up in the air while surfing it is purely accidental and usually ends badly) so I was mildly apprehensive going into my first surf on the Channel Islands NeckBeard.
The conditions at a beach break close to my home were not ideal: head high but a little bit onshore and dumpy. Still, there were a few fun runners sneaking through.
After my first wave, buyer’s remorse subsided. The Neck Beard took a steep drop despite the wider nose and catapulted me down the line. I found the board fast, responsive and, importantly, lots of fun to surf in average conditions.
Later, I took the NeckBeard out in slightly larger waves at more lined up beach break and it still performed well although I felt myself longing for something slightly less skatey and with a bit more rocker for better waves.
Overall, the Channel Islands NeckBeard is a fantastic, fun board that will get a lot of play if you live in a place where quality waves are the exception, not the rule.
Have you ridden the NeckBeard?
Standard Dimensions & Volume
Channel Islands Neck Beard dimensions and volume from Channel Islands website:
|5’6||19 1/4||2 1/4||26.5L|
|5’7||19 1/2||2 1/3||28.0L|
|5’8||19 3/4||2 3/8||29.6L|
|5’9||19 7/8||2 4/9||30.4L|
|5’11||20 1/8||2 4/7||34.3L|
|6’0||20 1/4||2 5/8||35.5L|
|6’1||20 3/8||2 2/3||37.3L|
|6’2||20 1/2||2 3/4||39.2L|
|6’4||20 3/4||2 7/8||42L|
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Rode the square tail and felt the same. Super Skatey and super fast! Definitely would be a handful when the swell gets too punchy (>4ft). Mate ended up getting the rounded squash version and that was a lot easier to handle while maintaining it's grovelling abilities. He reckon's its the best groveller he's had!