The Channel Islands Fishcuit. Another blast from the past, the Fishcuit is still standing (in CI’s lineup)…still strong…still a great option in small, gutless surf!
I have had two Al Merrick Fishcuit’s in my time. I broke the tail clean off of my first one while surfing knee high shorey’s at Curl Curl (see the full write up for pics if you can stomach the carnage). But do not despair, Fishcuit died doing what it loved, making the most out of small, flat faced, weak surf. This board flies in the tiniest, weakest waves you can find.
This is the Channel Islands Fishcuit review. I hope you dig it!
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+ Fun alternative craft to help you squeeze maximum fun out of tiny, weak waves
+ Surprisingly nimble given the thickness, width and complete lack of rocker
+ Extra easy paddler, flies down the line once you are up to your feet
– That super wide old school swallow tail is great down the line but holds the board back a bit when turning
The Channel Islands Fishcuit at 5’10 x 20 1/2 x 2 7/8 @ 40.4L’s. I played with a lot of different quad fin setups on my Fishcuit but my favourite fins for this board at the Futures Rasta Quads…they’re a fantastically versatile template. See the full Channel Islands Fishcuit standard dimensions and volumes at the bottom of this page.
Best Wave Type
Small (knee to chest high), clean runners or small, mushy / average onshore slop. Just small. And weak.
- Short, fat, wide, thick board
- Oblong groveler style outline
- Big double barrel concave running through the spine of the board
- Slightly pulled in nose and super wide swallow tail
- Quad fin setup
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Hey! Welcome to Benny’s Boardroom. Hope you’re doing well. We’re taking another blast from the past today, this isn’t the newest model in the Channel Islands Surfboards range but this is another oldie but a goodie. This is the Channel Islands Fishcuit.
The Fishcuit is one of the first really short fat wide thick boards that Channel Islands released to meet the need of surfers going into summer conditions or those tiny wave conditions. Those days where you’re looking at it and you probably should be surfing a longboard. Those crumbly little flat, slow rolling peaks. They came up with Fishcuit to help you to deal with those types of conditions. So I’ve had a Fishcuit; I’ve actually had two Fishcuits. This isn’t my Fishcuit. I got rid of the Fishcuit long ago, just because I have a serious surfboard problem, and I traded it in for other boards.
The Fishcuit has always had a special place in my memory as being one of those boards that I had such a fun time on when it was really tiny, because you can get up and you can plane across flat sections and you can fly down the line on this thing. It’s just a super fun, fast outline for surfing waves that really have no push. So a lot of boards have come along since then that have this kind of wider, kind of more oblong groveler style outline where you kind of have width running through the entire plane shape and then you’ve got thickness running throughout the board as well. Thickness that runs all the way up to the nose here, thickness all the way through the foil carries right out to the rail and all the way through to that kind of tail at the back, you know this little Fishcuit tail that you can see, has a lot of thickness kind of through here as well.
And this board you’ve seen Rob Machado riding this thing, you know in small waves, and as Rob Machado does just tearing it to pieces. But you’ve also, I’ve seen Dane Reynolds surfing this in Thomas Campbell’s movie Sprout, I think it is, surfing at a pretty good size Rincon you know about head high a little bit overhead, and still just throwing this thing around and having a blast on it.
You and I probably (definitely) won’t be able to surf the Fishcuit quite like that, because Dane Reynolds is Dane Reynolds, but it just shows that it can be pushed and can be surfed quite aggressively. A lot of other groveler outlines that you see these days, still width that runs all the way through to the nose here, I mean a little bit more width through the nose, but the Fishcuit I like how it kind of pulls into this narrower nose up front, because it just helps it to dig a little bit more and just feel a little bit more lively. These boards are intended to be surfed quite small so you really do want to be able to throw it around as much as possible.
The Fishcuit has a big double barrel concave through the back there, that you can feel. If you run your hands down you can feel that the concave starts through here and it literally comes through and kind of has a big hump through the back there, that helps you when, you know, you’re going and doing a turn in those kind of small, flatter waves you get all that water flow kind of shifting off through here and through those back two fins, and then you can switch it and transition round the railing gate going through those other two fins as well. So that’s, you know, the bottom contour that you find on kind of these really wide groveler outlines to be able to channel the water and make it feel like there’s a little bit less bulky and width back there then you’d hope for.
That is the Channel Islands Fishcuit, an old model but a good model. This came out around the same time as the Channel Islands Biscuit, which it is a similar groveler concept but with a nice round tail on the Biscuit. Again, if you see one of these sitting on the racks, pick it up for your small days because it’s a great little board that will get you up and going when it’s tiny like, knee-high even a little bit smaller.
I would normally surf, you know, these wide tail boards with my favorite kind of fins at the moment, the Futures Seaworthy Quads [Shop the Futures Seaworthy Quads…], but in this case I have been surfing it, or rather what I was surfing it, was actually fins that were closer to these Futures Rasta Quads, which is why I have these in here now. The Rasta quads are really versatile fin by Futures Fins, I mean I surf these in big wave boards and I’ve surfed them in all-rounders, and I’ve surfed them in kind of small to medium size wave boards, and I’ve also surfed them in these kind of fatter, wider, shorter outline boards as well. They just go really well, they’re great all around utility fins. I think every person who likes quads should have a set of these Futures Rasta Quads in their fin quiver.
That is the Channel Islands Fishcuit, a little throwback to the past, you know, this little flat, fat wave beast. I hope you enjoyed that review, you know, if you had a go on the Fishcuit, which so many people I know out there have, because it was, it’s quite a popular board and has maintained its popularity, please let me know what you think, and thank you so much for watching Benny’s Boardroom.
Stock Standard Dimensions & Volume
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