A sequel with a lot to prove, the original Flyer was a ubiquitous all rounder that worked wonders for most surfers. I don’t find the Channel Islands New Flyer (Swallow Tail) by Al Merrick surfboard as well rounded as the original but it is capable of producing a great ride in the right conditions.
+ Handles larger, more critical waves well despite the curvy outline
+ The quad plus swallow tail is fun and playful in slightly smaller waves
+ Overall, the ride is quick and responsive + Merrick’s signature hip tail, swallow tail or squash, is a winner for turns
– I don’t find the New Flyer as versatile as the original
– I like the New Flyer in bigger, better waves but there are other boards I prefer when the waves are smaller and more average
The Channel Islands New Flyer (Swallow Tail) surfboard by Al Merrick at 6’4 x 21 x 2 7/8 @ 40.2L’s of volume. See the full standard Channel Islands New Flyer surfboard dimensions with volumes at the bottom of this page. Know your volume sweet spot? Read ‘Know Your Volume, Catch More Waves‘
- Stacey Surfboards Snake Eyes Surfboard Review: an incredible, versatile all rounder
- Pukas The Game Surfboard Review: great, standard beach break all rounder style board that I found also excels in better waves
- Channel Islands Fred Rubble Surfboard Review: another Merrick ‘small wave’ design that I prefer surfing in bigger, better waves
Hello, and welcome to Benny’s Boardroom! I hope you’re well; I hope wherever in the world you are you are getting great waves. This is the New Flyer surfboard by Al Merrick and Channel Islands, and this is a board with a lot to prove. The original Flyer was one of those surfboards that everybody seemed to have. It was ubiquitous as an [00:00:30] all-rounder that worked in everything. I mean, something that you could surf when it was knee-high and mushy all the way up to overhead and solid.
I don’t find the Channel Islands New Flyer as versatile as the old Flyer. I’ve heard this same feedback from other people so I don’t think I’m alone. This board, I think, works really well when the waves are clean, a little bit more lined up and maybe shoulder high to a couple feet overhead and even a little bit hollow. I think it excels in those conditions, unless you have the swallowtail and you surf it as a quad, in which case it is a little bit more playful in smaller surf. [00:01:00]
I think you’re not going to get as much out of the Channel Islands New Flyer surfing smaller, weaker waves as you might have if you had the old Flyer. That’s just my personal opinion but I know others that feel the same way. As far as the outline and the rocker and the bottom contour is concerned, there’s nothing groundbreaking about this board. It’s got a nice, wider, shorter, fatter outline that pulls into a nice nose. It’s got the signature Al Merrick hip tail. You can turn this thing really hard.
On my backhand, actually, I love surfing this board because you can get the board on rail really quickly and then come up and just punch the board into the pocket. That nice pulled in tail doesn’t hold you back at all. It doesn’t restrict you. The rocker has a little bit more kick in the nose, and again that’s I think where that’s what helps the board perform when the waves are a little bit better.
The New Flyer has a little bit more rocker than I think you would want to have in a smaller, weaker wave board, and flat throughout the center, and then you can see it’s got a kick in the tail. The bottom contour is a fairly standard, single [00:02:00] concave that flows through to a double and then vee out the back, as you can see. So good for transitioning rail to rail, which, I think, compliments the swallowtail.
Overall, a great board to ride. Fun and fast for the waves that I surf and for what I like to get out of a surfboard. But again, to me, the New Flyer is better in that better wave range.
If you think otherwise, love to hear your feedback in the comments. Thank you very much for watching. If you dig what we’re doing, be sure to Subscribe [00:02:30] and thank you very much for watching the show.
Stock Standard Dimensions & Volume
Channel Islands New Flyer by Al Merrick dimensions and volume from the Channel Islands website:
|Standard Dims||5’4||18 1/8||2 1/8||21.7L|
|Standard Dims||5’5||18 3/8||2 1/5||23.0L|
|Standard Dims||5’6||18 5/8||2 1/4||24.3L|
|Standard Dims||5’7||18 7/8||2 1/4||25.0L|
|Standard Dims||5’8||19 1/8||2 1/3||26.4L|
|Standard Dims||5’9||19 3/8||2 3/8||27.9L|
|Standard Dims||5’10||19 1/2||2 3/8||28.5L|
|Standard Dims||5’11||19 3/4||2 4/9||30.0L|
|Standard Dims||6’0||20||2 1/2||31.6L|
|Standard Dims||6’1||20 1/4||2 5/8||34.1L|
|Standard Dims||6’2||20 1/2||2 5/8||35.0L|
|Standard Dims||6’3||20 3/4||2 3/4||37.5L|
|Standard Dims||6’4||21||2 7/8||40.2L|
|Plus Dims||5’4||18 1/2||2 1/8||22.1L|
|Plus Dims||5’5||18 3/4||2 1/5||23.5L|
|Plus Dims||5’6||19||2 1/4||24.8L|
|Plus Dims||5’7||19 3/8||2 1/3||26.4L|
|Plus Dims||5’8||19 3/4||2 3/8||28.0L|
|Plus Dims||5’9||20||2 3/8||28.8L|
|Plus Dims||5’10||20 1/4||2 4/9||30.4L|
|Plus Dims||5’11||20 1/2||2 1/2||31.9L|
|Plus Dims||6’0||20 3/4||2 5/8||34.4L|
|Plus Dims||6’1||21||2 5/8||35.3L|
|Plus Dims||6’2||21 1/4||2 3/4||37.9L|
|Plus Dims||6’3||21 1/2||2 3/4||38.9L|
|Plus Dims||6’4||21 3/4||2 7/8||41.7L|
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I am 6'0" 190-195. I had custom New Flyer at 5'11" 20 1/8 wide and 29/16. The board was magic for San Clemente and surrounding areas. I rode it in 1 foot trestles to double over head beach break. Best board in years. A magic board that can never be replaced. I ordered another one but went 20 3/8 wide and 2 5/8. I sold it two weeks later. You just never know.
Picked a 5'9" x 19 3/8'"x 2 3/8" (27.9L) two years ago. I am 5' 10' and 165 lbs (75kg). Surfed it in 3ft slop to overhead point breaks. I'm lazy paddler, so I like to make really late drops and this thing just handles it yet if the waves are small, you can catch most waves with a little effort. Unless you're exerting a pressure on the back foot, the board doesn't seem to generate much speed down the line. Prefers lined-up clean faces. For fins, I've used AM-1 Blacksticks, TP1's and Jordy larges. For most conditions, I'll use the blacksticks. If its chest high or bigger, i'll go Jordy's and for head high +, I'll use the TP1's for absolute control and to conserve speed. When the waves are working, this is my go to board!
Wazup guys, went to Maldives last september for a 8 day trip, surfed Pasta Point pretty much all the time... I'm 6'3'' (1,91), 188 lb (+ -85 kg). Took 2 boards. 6'3'' 19 3/4 2 1/2 Channel Islands Flyer 33,3L, and a 6'6'' DHD Commander, that must be around 34,5L...Rode the Flyer 95% of the time, from waist high to a couple feet overhead... Worked great. Took two fin sets, futures... The AM-1 honeycomb felt a lit bit looser and faster than the AM-2 Techflex, IMO...
I just got a NF swallow tail 5 fin , love it .. Surfed so far 1-4 ft solid Sth swell to peaky 2ft suckers . #4 Looks like a 1981 Simon Anderson original ; I’ve owned an original and the NF has so much more speed which gives you drive as well with hold when you drop the rail hard down . For mush maybe a motor boat or JS revolution .
I agree with the "limited range" but for me its sweet spot is waist to shoulder. In "bigger" punchier waves I need a straighter rail. Unless I get my foot all the way back over the leashplug I tend to slide out. Maybe it is technique and/or because i'm a light footed lanky surfer . Still love the board in small waves.?
Thanks for the reviews, loving it! I've just ordered my 2nd New Flyer and have found it to be the most well-balanced board I've ever owned. I very rarely find myself in over 4ft these days (unless travelling) so it's pretty much a one board quiver for around home. I was sliding out on steep take offs as well, but upped my fins to 7s (I hover right in the middle of the recommended weight range for 5s and 7s) and it was perfect without compromising maneuverability. If I ride my Fred Rubble in well-shaped, or bigger waves, for a few days straight the new flyer does start to feel a little boaty. I don't want to pay $810 for a new board, but this thing just works for me.?
Just picked up a 5'7 x 18 7/8 x 2 3/8 (27.5L) Flyer Squash, took it straight to VERY onshore Serangan (Bali) and it was amazing. First impression was like it was an old faithful. Amazing board full of drive and incredibly nimble in the lip, and so easy to use - I am looking for an all-rounder for Bali and I think this is a perfect fit. Had my eye on this board a while, over other more trendy models on the radar at the mo. Very highly recommended. Great review too, btw. Always fun to watch.?