So we all know Kelly Slater won Pipe Masters this year, but what was that little slab he was riding? After scrutinizing his miniature board from afar, the boys at Channel Islands untangled the mystery of Kelly's equipment. As usual, the board was the brainchild of Al Merrick and Kelly Slater – two minds always pushing the boundaries of surfboard design.
Channel Islands' Travis Lee explains:
"Kelly worked with Channel Islands’ CAD software and library of designs to marry a 7’0″ K-step and a 6’0″ K-board into a completely original 5' 11" with the wide point pushed forward. Once our in-house CNC machine milled the blank based on Kelly’s specs, he walked the board over to Al's shaping room to have him put his finishing touches on the Deep Six.
This 5'11 x 18 1/2 x 2 1/2 round pin enabled Kelly to get into the hollow waves earlier and deeper allowing for adjustments that only a shorter board can provide. The Deep Six is the latest in Kelly's quest to ride boards shorter than normally thought possible in surf conditions all over the world."
Well, now you know. While it's tough to say whether this is the future of Pipe-specific boards or not, we certainly know it works…at least for one person.