5’9” x 18 7/8” x 2 1/4”
“The #4” by Channel Islands Surfboards
Weight: 175 lbs
Denpasar international airport is bustling with tourists swarming Bali from all over the globe. One of them, Ashley Osborne (Julian Wilson’s gorgeous girlfriend), happened to be on our flight and is waiting to clear customs in front of Yadin Nicol. Yadin is dragging the biggest boardbag I’ve ever seen, with eight brand new Channel Islands stuffed inside. In Bali, you’re only allowed to enter with three. “This is perfect,” Yadin tells me. “Stay just behind Ashley. Hopefully this customs officer gets sidetracked flirting with her.”
“How many boards you bring to Bali?” The officer asks Yadin, peering down at the monstrosity from behind his desk as he hands Yadin back his passport.
“Ahhh, just a few. And they’re old — they have paint all over ‘em.”
“You’re only allowed…”
“Excuse me, sir.” It’s Ashley. She kindly interrupts the officer. “I’m sorry, but I think you still have my passport?”
With his own passport back in hand, Yadin takes off and never looks back. Caught up in Ashley’s glowing smile, the officer doesn’t even notice.
YADIN: For this trip I brought eight boards. A couple step-ups, a few shortboards and this #4 — which is technically a groveler, but shaped more like a shortboard. I brought all new boards here, so I didn’t want to count on them working. I needed to have options so I didn’t end up pissed off if none of ‘em worked, and I got super lucky I didn’t have to pay the customs dude on the way in. [laughs]. That’s the biggest scam; you know they just pocket the cash. On this trip, the board I thought looked the best — a copy of the board I rode in Morocco with Dane [Reynolds] and loved — went pretty bad. So it happens. But luckily all other seven feel good. I’m pumped I brought this one. It’s the perfect board to ride while we’re waiting for this next swell.Photo: Corey Wilson
Bali is the first time I’ve ridden this board, and it feels pretty good, especially this morning out at chest high, wedgy Car Parks. But, when I ordered this one, I kind of blew it. I asked for a bit more V out of the tail than normal and I think it lost a bit of its drive because of that. Also: This one was glassed a little too heavy. It has double 4oz fiberglass on the deck and the extra weight makes it feel like it lost some squirt. The thing is I’ve been using Arctic Foam, and it’s great — super light and squishy, but I’ve been demolishing boards, and then it turns out this board wasn’t shaped with Arctic, which is why it came out heavier than normal. Regardless, I think I need to go back to single 4oz glassing even if they fall apart quicker. When I get home I’m gonna order another one and tweak it just a little bit, because this model is mental.Photo: Corey Wilson
I don’t like having blank boards. Before this trip, I got bored of all my normal paint jobs. I always thought the old school stealth bomber thing looked cool, so I found a drawing of one on the Internet and that’s where this came from. It took me a little bit to spray, I’m not gonna lie. [laughing] I’m glad this board works; it’s the worst when you spend a ton of time coloring a lemon. Either way, Channel Islands will be stoked, when I’m done riding it I’ll give it back to them and they’ll have a wall hanger or something.Photo: Corey Wilson
When I pick up a new board I can pretty much tell straight away if I’ll like it or not. I get my same boards over and over. I don’t change much. You can never know exactly how a board will go, but you can always tell if it’s got a chance or not.Photo: Corey Wilson