Chandler built boards “for speed, not hotdogging.” And though Chandler was one hell of a shaper, and an even wiser mentor, why not build a board for both? A board that could maintain velocity through an Indonesian drainer, or glide over the bumps of a Californian burger? Al Merrick, the Chandler of the West Coast, may have found just the link. Team test pilot Nate Tyler clarifies. —Beau Flemister
NATE: So this model is actually designed by Rob Machado. It has a really flat rocker and a double concave through the tail with pretty deep V, which is a favorite of mine. It also doesn’t have a really wide nose so when a wave bowls up a bit, you can still do tight turns. I love that about this board because when I usually get small boards, they have really wide noses, which I end up just digging into wave faces when shit gets too steep. This board also has a nice, wide, round tail, which makes it transition nicely and keeps it smooth when gliding across smaller, junky waves.
I actually took this board to Indonesia on a trip recently and rode it in really good waves that were steep and tubing. Just all kinds of Indo-like conditions and it was radical. I had to approach the waves differently from California ones, but when I got it figured out it was great because the board would draw different lines than I normally would have. It was very responsive.
The board has an MTF (Merrick Twin Fin) setup. The twin-fin setup is usually really fun in smaller boards like this, but I think for this particular model, the normal thruster is a better call. Mainly because this board seems like it wants to be hotdogged.