A couple of months ago when we interviewed Byron Bay shortboard pioneer, Bob McTavish, he praised Al Merrick for a board the legendary Channel Islands founder/shaper made for Tom Curren in the 1980's, which McTavish called "the first perfect shortboard."
"We kicked off the Shortboard Revolution in the late ’60s and by the mid ’80s it was done," he said of Merrick's design.
Coming of age in the late-80s and '90s, the Momentum Generation certainly didn't feel the same. As the punk music raged louder, the boards got narrower. And though Slater, Machado, Frankenreiter and others of the tail-sliding, Gen X ilk were able to push the performance level on these well-rockered blades, plenty of surfers struggled on the new age designs, especially in marginal conditions.
"Some of the team guys were coming back to my dad and saying, 'I need more get-up-and-go, speed and flow, in lesser waves," says CI scion Britt Merrick in our newest Design Forum video, which celebrates the twentieth anniversary of CI's best-selling surfboard of all time, the comparatively user-friendly OG Flyer.
"Taylor Knox was one of the first guys to get one," Merrick recounted. "He was so stoked because he actually didn't know he could surf that well in smaller waves. It revitalized his surfing."
In the video above, Merrick runs us through what made the OG Flyer such a refreshing design back then and what keeps it resonating two decades later.