It’s a Pod…with a round tail. The uber versatile Channel Islands Pod is an oldie but a goodie. Loved by the masses, it rides fun and fast.
The wider outline has a good amount of volume throughout but not too much. This means it’s a wave catching beast but still feels lively and sensitive.
Having owned the standard swallow tail, I have to say the round tail is less forgiving but feels more performance tuned.
+ Great overall shape for striking a balance between wave catching / speed generation and performance
+ Hides volume well through the foil
+ Fun, fast, lively ride in a variety of conditions – a great all rounder
+ The round tail gives it a performance boost
– Unlike the swallow tail CI Pod, I felt the round tail was a little less forgiving. I really had to concentrate on getting my feet in the right place on the board to get the most out of it
– Don’t be fooled into thinking this is intended for the tiniest of days, it’s not! Get a groveler for that
The Channel Islands Pod model at 6’2 x 20 3/4 x 2 5/8 @ 37.3L’s of volume. I started riding my Pod with the Futures F8 Blackstix 3.0 large thruster fins but they didn’t feel right. The boys at Futures indicated that the Pod doesn’t like too much fin and they recommended the slightly smaller Futures Tech Flex thrusters, which felt much better. See the full Channel Islands Pod dimensions and volumes at the bottom of the page.
Best Wave Type
Stomach high to overhead beach breaks, reefs and points in average, everyday conditions.
- A long time global favorite for punting since 2000. The Pod is built to fly
- Deep concaves with a foiled nose and a swallow tail keep the Pod lively and maintains its high performance
- The ‘snub’ wider round nose puts volume forward without catching or feeling bulky, which planing and wave catching ability
- Wider, more forgiving outline makes the Pod a great option for surfers at all ability levels
- FCD Fark Review: a slightly thinner outline but the plan shape is frighteningly similar
- Bing Surfboards Bulb Review: similar wider outline, the Bulb is a smooth operator suitable for a wide variety of wave sizes and conditions
- Haydenshapes Hypto Krypto Review: can’t look past the Hypto when talking about wider all rounders that eat lots of different wave types
Hey this is Ben, welcome to Benny’s Boardroom! This is the Channel Islands Pod; an oldie, but a goodie. This surfboard has stood the test of time for many surfers. The reason why I thought I would review it today is (A) because it’s a great board with a design that is still very relevant today and (B) because this one has a round tail.
The standard tail shape for a Pod is a swallow tail. I’ve actually had a swallow tail so I’m in the unique position to tell you what the difference is between … well, what I felt the difference was between the swallow tail and the round tail Pod.
The Pod is a very, very versatile machine. This board is loved by the masses. It’s one of those boards that I think a lot of surfers have had in their quiver – or something like this – and have had in their quiver for a very long time because it handles a lot of different wave types. It doesn’t mind junky stuff, it likes better, cleaner stuff. It can handle quite a variety of wave sizes. It does have a slightly wider outline but:
“It’s not so wide that you can’t surf it when it’s bigger and better.”
In general, it has a good shape that’s conducive to catching waves easily, having a bit of fun and it’s quite a stable, easy board to ride as well. It actually works for a lot of different ability levels of surfers. I’ll talk you through the things that I thought were different about this versus the swallow tail Pod.
The swallow tail was a utility board for me. I found it very forgiving, very easy to ride. Now, it’s been years since I surfed that board and my surfing has changed. My style has changed, and I hope, I’ve progressed and gotten a little bit better.
The thing I noticed right away about surfing this Pod versus what I remember of the old swallow tail Pod was, it just didn’t feel quite as forgiving. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think that this board actually felt more performance tuned than what I remember of the Pod that I had before although I had almost exactly the same size almost exactly the same volume. This board, I felt that if I didn’t have my feet quite right on the board, then it just didn’t quite work. I really had to be surfing quite well and have my feet in the right place in order for me to really get the most out of this board.
“The swallow tail Pod is a touch wider in the tail and perhaps was a little more forgiving.”
You can see that the outline of the board, obviously we’ve talked about, is a little bit wider, but not very wide. The foil, or the distribution of foam throughout the board is pretty generous but, there are no really bulky points. The deck up front here is quite flat actually, a relatively flat deck. There is a bit of foam distributed throughout here. You see if you come up to the nose, it’s actually quite thin with a little bit of nose rocker but, there’s quite a lot of hidden foam throughout here so that the board doesn’t feel bulky but, it does make it very easy to paddle into waves.
The Channel Islands Pod generates a lot of speed; flies down the line, actually. Also, if you look at the Channel Islands rocker, you can see the rocker point from in the midpoint of the board here, it kind of starts to drop and has this continuous flowing rocker that again, just kind of kicks up at the last second there. That is, I’m starting to realize more and more, that it’s a typical Channel Islands Surfboards style of rocker.
What that translates to that the board will get you into waves that are a little steeper, a little bit better. It will feel a little bit more lively and maneuverable. I know a lot of surfers who are very good, advanced surfers who surf this board in really good, powerful waves and literally just throw it all over the place as if it was just a high performance shortboard. Very good design overall, very versatile design.
I was surfing my Pod with these Futures EA Tech Flex thrusters. I actually started by surfing the Futures Blackstix 3.0 large thruster fins, the F8s, the new ones with the maroon bases, which are quite large fins. The Blackstix have a very high ride number if you’re very familiar with the Future fins ride number system, which is pretty cool and is just being rolled out now. That means that the Blackstix are very good for speed generation, less so for speed control.
These Tech Flex thrusters sit on the other end of the spectrum. They’re not all the way at the other end of the spectrum, but they are a little bit stiffer, they’re better for kind of controlling speed. I was surfing those F8s in the beginning I didn’t really gel with the F8s, I didn’t gel with the way they felt. I went and talked with the guys at Futures. They said that for this type of board, this style board doesn’t like to have too much fin. So, I went down to these medium fins that are better at speed control, not speed generation. It really, I think, helped me click with this board.
That is the Channel Islands Pod, with a round tail. I think this is an Australian special, actually, from Onboard in Mona Vale. Many people have written about this board and love this board. It’s one of those things that’s just loved by the masses. If you’ve had one I think giving the round tail a go would be awesome, especially if you surfed your swallow tail for years and years and years, just to have that little bit of different feel in ride would be great.
Please, let me know what you think of the board in the comments. Share this video if you enjoy it. Please, hit the subscribe button if you haven’t because, we will be coming up with some cool stuff in the future and I will speak with you again soon.
OUTRO: Hello Pod board. You and I are going to go and surf in some delicious, delicious wavies.
Stock Standard Dimensions & Volume
Stock standard Channel Islands Pod dimensions and volumes from Channel Islands website:
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I have a Pod with a round tail in a 6'4, rode it hard all summer up here on the Gold Coast. Its so easy to paddle and I think its quite fast. I've been surfing it from everywhere from snapper to beach breaks in poor to average surf. It can take drops like a champ too!