With roots in Al Merrick’s trusted and proven high-performance shortboard designs, the Channel Islands Fever surfboard can still handle more average conditions.
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Hope you enjoy this Channel Islands Fever Surfboard Review for Compare Surfboards!
All the best,
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Synopsis of the Channel Islands Fever Surfboard
Pat Gudauskas’ signature high-performance shortboard by Al Merrick, this is the Channel Islands Fever Surfboard Review for Compare Surfboards! With roots in Al Merrick’s trusted and proven high-performance shortboard designs, the Channel Islands Fever still handles more average waves. This CI Fever just keeps moving and has a nice sweet spot.
The Channel Islands Fever in the words of Patrick Gudauskas:
“Overview: The Fever was born from a desire for an all-around performance board based on elements I love, Speed, Drive, and Flair. My Goal in designing this board with Mike Andrews and Channel Islands was to create a surfboard that I could surf in almost any conditions and have a hell of a good time on it. I wanted a more accessible Tour Performance board that anyone who jumped onto it would instantly feel the speed and zest for creativity.
Conditions: I like to surf my Fever in anything from 2-3 foot softer California style beach break and point break waves, to 6ft+ World Tour style waves, like Snapper, J Bay, Bells, Lowers, Haleiwa, and Backdoor. I prefer to ride it just above my groveler/small wave board, and all the way until I need a step-up or round tail surfboard. “
What We Rode
Craig rode the Channel Islands Fever at 6′ x 19 1/8 x 2 7/16 x 29.4 L’s which is a stock standard CI Fever size. He paired the board with the classic Futures Fins AM2’s and had a great time in the surf. He also shared a few insights comparing it to the 5’11″x 19 1/8 x 2 1/2 x 29.9 L’s he first owned.
Standard Channel Islands Fever dimensions and volumes may be found at the bottom of this page.
Best Wave Type
The Channel Islands Fever Surfboard is designed to go well in a variety conditions. It doesn’t get stuck in sub-par conditions. If you get to your local beach and it’s pumping. It’s six foot plus, it’s offshore and it’s barreling, you’re not stuck on this board that is more of a groveler.
- Based loosely on an earlier Channel Islands surfboard called the Remix
- Performance Shortboard
- Fin Configuration: Thruster
- Concave: Subtle Single
- Rails: Medium
- Rocker: Medium
- Nose Shape: Pointed
- Tail Width: Medium
- Wave height: Waist – Head+
- Break Type: Point – Reef – Beachbreak
- Outline: Straight
- Skill level: Intermediate – Expert
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Hey, I’m Craig, and today for Compare Surfboards I’ll be doing a review of the Fever by Al Merrick of Channel Islands Surfboards. The Fever that I have here is a stock standard 6′, which I think comes in at 6′ x 19 1/8 x 2 7/16 , which is 29.4 litres.
This is stock. I didn’t order it custom. I thought I’d stick to the stock dimensions because a lot of the boards I get are custom, which is not what most of you will end up buying. I generally order boards a little bit thicker and a little bit wider, just like myself, but I’ve also had this in 5’11″x 19 1/8 x 2 1/2 x 29.9 L’s . I’ve actually had two of them. I’ll get on to that a little bit more.
The CI Fever is a performance shortboard, which I think is designed to go well in a lot of conditions. It is the Pat Gudaukas’ pro model. Pat’s a top-level surfer who is unfortunately stuck on the QS (World Championship Surfing Tour Qualifying Series). Not where he really should be with his level of surfing, but it is what it is.
The Channel Islands Fever has a performance outline, and this is the type board I really like. A performance shortboard, which goes really well on performance waves, but also goes fairly well in fairly average waves as well. Flipping the Channel Islands Fever over, we have a subtle single concave throughout the board. It’s not too deep. It goes through the whole way, through the nose, and it gets a little bit deeper as it comes off the fins there and out the tail.
If you read up about the Fever (I won’t go into too much detail, because you can find on the Channel Islands Surfboards’ website), it’s based off a surfboard they called the Remix, which was done a few years ago. I think it was going to be a pro model for Dusty Payne when he was riding Channel Islands Surfboards a few years ago. But he moved on and then they didn’t go ahead with it, but you could still get it as a Remix. And I think the Remix was based off a combination of an MBM and a Rookie, which are two old CI models that are still really relevant.
Actually, I just ordered an MBM Plus. I’ve never had one before, and having a chat about this, I got quite excited, so I’ve got that and haven’t ridden it yet, but, anyway here to talk about the Fever!
Experience in the Surf
So, the Channel Islands Fever, here, is 6’0″. I’ve also had it in a 5’11”, which was the first one I got. I got it a bit wider and a bit thicker, and I was down the coast surfing this left wedge, and I got two waves, and the thing could do no wrong. I was like,
“This is the best board I’ve ever ridden.”
The next wave, I pulled into a barrel. The board clipped me in the back, knocked me in the back of the head. I thought I was bleeding. I was fine, and anyway, I kept surfing for a few hours, and the board just would not work after that. I’d slide out. I’d get stuck on turns. It wouldn’t move forward, but I kept pushing it for two or three hours because I was thinking these first two or three hours I got were amazing. When I got out I realised I’d smashed the fin box and I had cracked and split around the tail, so one of the inside fins was bending through every turn.
Anyway, after the excitement of that first couple waves, I went and ordered another one. The thing was amazing, and I’ve really loved it, but I thought I’d buy the stock, because most people, I think, watch the reviews and go with the stock dimensions. So I thought I’d talk about the 6′, that I’ve been riding, but also have a 6′ differentiation of the 5’11” I’ve got.
I’ve surfed this in a variety of conditions. Like I said, I rode that 5’11”, that’s really fun, left, I’ve ridden a bit since then. Last week, I actually rode this for the first time up in Northern New South Wales at a point break. It’s not so secret. It’s called Lennox Head. Long ride hand point break, you can do multiple turns, and I actually put on now, we’re going to Instagram now, Compare Surfboards.
I put a Go-Pro shot that I got. It was my first wave on this board. I’d never ridden it, and you’ll see in the clip if you see it, and we might actually put it in this review, is there are about six turns. The thing just felt amazing. From the first wave, it just felt like I’d ridden it a hundred times. Like I mentioned before, this is my kind of board. I like performance shortboards, but I also like ones that kind of can go in the whole continuum from really average waves.
They don’t get stuck in really sub-par conditions, but also, if you get to your local beach and it’s pumping, it’s six foot plus, it’s offshore and it’s barreling, your not stuck on this board that is more of a groveler. You’re happy with that board to sit along that whole continuum, and this is definitely a board that does that.
The 6′ felt great. I really loved it. It’s really good. The 5’11” it’s an inch shorter and it’s a little bit wider, only, I think, an 1/8 wider and a tiny bit thicker. That felt better, I think when things get a little bit small. There’s a little bit of volume under the chest, so it obviously paddles a little bit better.
This 29.4 litres feels fine for me. I’m trying to get everything around 29 1/2 litres at the moment. I think that 5’11 comes in at 29.9. It just feels a bit fuller on the rails, so it’s a bit more forgiving. Through turns, you can feel it pulls around, it doesn’t catch, and it does feel a little bit fuller on the rail, which is a bit more forgiving and nicer through turns.
But, there isn’t a huge amount of difference between the two, so if you are thinking of, you want to pull things down, bring it wider or thicker, the 5’11” still feels great, because I know, mucking around with dimensions sometimes can really throw boards out, and sometimes it’s best to stay the stock dimensions, because that’s how it’s been designed. But, with that 5’11” Fever, there are no qualms with it coming down a bit shorter and a bit thicker, a bit wider, it feels amazing, and I’ve loved surfing on both of them.
The 6′ obviously, if waves come up a little bit more, I like to go up an inch or two. It just feels nice to have a bit more rail in the water. You know, if you’re lengthening out your turns, you got more of a face, and more of a wave, having the longer rail and really having the length of your turns out a little bit more feels really nice.
On the bottom of the Fever, a fin setup: I’ve been riding the AM2’s by Futures. This is the large Al Merrick template, by Futures, and I ride this in almost everything, really. If I get a board, I stick to this, and if it doesn’t work I might stuff around with fins then. But, I know this fin. I’ve ridden it for the best part of nearly 10 years, and I know that it works, and it can give me a good kind of indication if a board’s working or not, or if I start need to look at something with a foil or what not, but this is the only fin I rode in it. Felt amazing. Didn’t need to stuff it around too much.
Channel Islands Fever Surfboard Review Summary
I think the Channel Islands Fever is really for most people that want to look at (and are capable of riding) a high performance shortboard.
I think it’s also a really good board if you’re not trying to have a quiver of 20 boards, and you want to have, you know, just one or two to cover most conditions. I look at surfing and surfboards in a bit of a continuum from really average waves, really grovely, crappy waves (you know, your weak summer, onshore stuff), to pumping six-foot winter offshore conditions.
The Channel Islands Fever sits nicely across that whole thing. It’s okay in more average conditions. You see people surfing the CI Fever on the QS in a heat when it’s howling onshore, one foot and high tide. It still seems to move really well. Then, like I said, it goes well in good waves, too.
I think it’s a real one board quiver, and it goes really, really well for a capable surfer.
I recently did a review of the JS Surfboards Air 17, and it felt very similar to the Air 17 by JS Surfboards. They’re both high performance shortboards that went well in most conditions. The JS Air 17 had a really nice sweet spot of foam and really kept on moving. I like a board that keeps moving. You don’t feel like it has pluses and minuses where it’ll stop, and this thing kept moving.
That’s it for this surfboard review of the Channel Islands Fever today. Hopefully, you get a chance to check one out. It is really shortboard for someone who’s looking for a board that’ll work across most (but not all) conditions. But you have to be a surfer who is capable of performance surfing. If that’s you, the Channel Islands Fever is the board for you.
I hope you enjoyed this Channel Islands Fever Surfboard Review for Compare Surfboards! Thanks for watching.
Stock Standard Dimensions & Volume
Standard Channel Islands Fever Surfboard Dimensions & Volumes available at the Channel Islands website: