Fan of the original CI Rookie? This awesome high performance redux, the Channel Islands Rookie 15, is intended for good waves, even as a bridge between your shortboard and step up.
Make no mistake, this is a high performance surfboard that demands performance waves and is suited for a more experienced surfer. Beginners, novices and possibly early intermediates should look for more forgiving options in a shortboard.
Hope you enjoy this Channel Islands Rookie 15 Surfboard Review!
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Have a question? Wondering if the Channel Islands Rookie 15 is the right board for you? Let’s talk about it in the comments…
+ This board loves a bit of juice! Great for powerful, punchy, hollow waves
+ Can be ridden as a slightly shorter step up style board
+ Really drivey, carries lots of pace and releases well off the top
+ Great high performance option for good surfers in good, technical waves
– This is not the board for average, everyday waves without a lot of push and power
The Channel Islands Rookie 15 model at 6’0 x 19 x 2 3/8 at 28.3L’s. Because of the narrow tail and tightly clustered fins, the fine gentlemen at the Onboard Store in Mona Vale thought this might be best paired with the Futures Fins AM1 medium Al Merrick template but Craig went to his staple Futures Fins AM2 large fins and they felt natural.
Standard CI Rook 15 dimensions and volumes may be found at the bottom of this page.
Best Wave Type
The Rookie 15 will handle average, everyday conditions with a bit of size and power but it comes alive in better, more powerful waves. This board can handle size (2x overhead) and can act as a shorter replacement for a longer step up board.
- Continuous rocker with more moderate entry lift to get you into steep, fast faces and a more aggressive exit rocker
- Medium rails for forgiving performance
- Pointy nose, tighter tail, straighter performance oriented outline
- Shallow single concave, this board loves to be put on rail
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If you haven’t already, check us out @BennysBoardroom on Instagram, this is the best place to find a sneak preview of what we are riding and where!
Hey, I’m Craig, and today I’m doing a review of the Channel Islands Rookie 15 for CompareSurfboards.com. The Rookie 15 I’ve got is 6’0 x 19 x 2 3/8. It’s the stock 6’0 dimensions. I think it comes in around 28.3 liters. The Rookie 15 has come off the original Rookie, which has been a bit of a staple for Channel Islands Surfboards for a few years now. Quite a performance surfboard, I think over the last few years with a few of the team riders riding this board, the team have made a few changes to it.
It has quite a fair bit of rocker, a lot of lift, like a lot of Al Merrick performance boards. A lot of the lift is through the nose. It’s not too curvy through the center. It looks actually like quite a fairly continuous rocker; nothing too aggressive, but then just a bit of a lift towards the nose. The bottom is a single, it doesn’t seem too deep to like a slight double concave through the fins.
I got this Rookie 15, it’s a 6-0 and it’s just in stock dimensions. When I was looking at it, I wasn’t quite sure, because a lot of boards these days are kind of shrunken down, the wide points a little bit heavier and they might be even a little bit higher. They might hold the wide point throughout the board a little more. I saw this, it was quite narrow through the nose here, just in front of the chest. The tail is quite thin for most rounded square boards, quite modern boards.
Experience in the Surf
The first few surfs I had were just around local beach breaks, they weren’t too great and I wasn’t sure how the board would go, because I thought it was more aimed towards performance waves. I did have a lot of fun on it, but it definitely seemed like a board that was egging for better conditions.
Recently, I went over to Indonesia and I was just surfing around Bali, after we had that big swell Indo/Aussie megaswell that everyone is going on about.
“I was able to surf Uluwatu on this board a couple of times. Not massive, probably 3 to 5 foot, and the thing was a dream.”
It’s a really drivey board. It has a lot of pace, but sometimes when you’re driving your boards when you have your step ups or your boards with a rounded pin or whatever, it’s hard to actually get release when you come up to get a turn off the top.
The narrow tail was very forgiving. To go from that drive, down the line pace and then maybe cut around or come straight off the top, it felt really good. It wasn’t too loose, it wasn’t too tight like a lot of other rounded squares. It just felt just right.
I also surfed over the other coast at Keramas, which I had some really fun waves. It doesn’t feel too big, most of my shortboards are about 5’10, 5’9. The 6’0 felt just fine. It actually made me feel like a long… Couple years ago, I used to ride shortboards a little bit longer. I think everyone did. Boards over the last few years have come down a lot in length. It actually brought me back to that feeling. It felt nice to have a bit more rail in the water to have along the board. I think with the lift and the rocker, it doesn’t feel like a big board.
28.3 liters is kind of my foam, but it actually paddled really well for that. It actually felt like maybe a little bit more. It definitely isn’t, and it’s quite a fine board. It’s not too chunky on the rails, definitely a medium rail, but yeah, I just felt it had a really good pace, it paddled well, and definitely in those waves, a little bit more juice, in the 3 to 5 foot range, quite clean conditions. Waves where you can surf quite well. The board definitely went really well.
With the fins, with most of my boards, I ride the large Al Merrick template by Futures Fins, which is the Futures Fins AM2.
I haven’t tried anything else. This just felt really natural. I wasn’t sure at first, speaking with some of the guys at Channel Islands Surfboards. I thought of maybe putting the Future Fins AM1 template, which is a medium fin, just because the Channel Islands Rookie 15 has quite tight tail. It comes in quite narrow, there’s not much space between the fins as you can kind of see. I just put these in and they felt really, really good.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed my time on the Channel Islands Rookie 15. Regarding pros and cons of the board, once again, this is a high performance shortboard.
I think if someone is going to buy a performance board for average little beach break conditions that don’t have much push, I don’t think this is a board for that. Once again, I said I surfed in some of my local conditions, kind of 2 foot but little punchy. The thing was fine. When I got a bit more juice when you’re heading towards, when you maybe ride a step up, or just before, the thing excelled. It was definitely a board for those conditions.
That is my review of the Channel Islands Rookie 15. I think if anyone gets a chance to check one out, it’s definitely a good board if you’re after something for maybe performance waves, a little bit more juice, and something that leads towards a step up but when you don’t really want a much longer board, like I said, it definitely has me enjoying having maybe a little bit more rail in the water than what I’ve been riding over years. It also brought me back to that really curvy and narrow performance board. I hope you enjoyed the review, thanks for watching.
Stock Standard Dimensions & Volume
Standard Channel Islands Surfboards Dimensions & Volumes available at the Channel Islands Surfboards website:
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