One would be hard pressed to think of a better word to describe Al Merrick than LEGEND. He was named one of the “10 Best Shapers of All Time” by Surfer Magazine and is a member of the Surfer’s Hall of Fame.
As founder and owner of Channel Islands Surfboards, Merrick has shaped for more championship titles than anyone in the world – thanks in part to Kelly Slater, who rode CI for all 11 of his world titles. Tom Curren won three world titles using Merrick’s boards. Four-time world champion Lisa Andersen surfed Merrick’s boards, as did world champions Kim Mearig, Sofia Mulanovich. Outside of the CT, surfing greats Rob Machado, Taylor Knox, Shane Beschen, Tim Curran, Yadin Nichol, and Dane Reynolds have had Merrick in their quiver.
He’s a great get for Scott Bass’ Icons of Foam event at this year’s Boardroom Show.
“Ten international shapers will replicate one of legendary Santa Barbara shaper Al Merrick’s classic surfboard designs during the Icons of Foam Tribute to the Masters Shape-off presented by US Blanks. One shaper will be judged the winner and will receive $1K and their name etched into the Mike Marshall Perpetual Trophy.”
THE SELECTED TEN SHAPERS
-From the Boardroom Show website
Nick Palandrani is the defending champion and represents Nor Cal (Santa Cruz, Ca.). Palandrani is the shaper / owner of SOURCE Surfboards.
Zack Flores 17 years old, from Encinitas, Ca. Zack joins Taz Yassin as the youngest shaper to ever shape in Icons of Foam Tribute to the Masters.
Matt Kazuma Kinoshita heads up his Kazuma label out of Maui, Hawaii. Mentored by 2014 Icon of Foam honoree Ben Aipa.
Chris Christenson represents San Diego and was essential when formulating the shape-off concept / rules; a judge at the first shape-off in 2007 honoring Mike Diffenderfer.
Jon Pyzel. Originally from Santa Barbara and representing the North Shore of Oahu, Pyzel shapes boards for current WCT WSL World Champion John John Florence.
Gary McNeill hails from Kirra on the Australian Gold Coast. Accomplished surfer/shaper owns an Australian Title and makes boards for Dave Rastovich.
Wayne Rich from Santa Barbara, Ca. The first shaper selected by the CI crew for this competition. A two time champion (Yater ’10; Ekstrom ’11).
Ryan Sakal is a second generation shaper from Leucadia by way of Huntington Beach. The best surfer of the bunch? He’s in the conversation.
Johnny Cabianca – Brazilian ripper who shapes out of the Basque region of Spain. Builds boards for WCT WSL World Champion (’14) Gabriel Medina among many others.
Rex Marechal. Shaping since the late ’70s, Rex moved to Australia from San Diego in 1992 & represents NSW Central Coast. Older Seaside crew still claims him.
“Al Merrick’s surfboard designs are above reproach. You’d be hard-pressed to find a surfer that hasn’t ridden one of his boards,” said The Boardroom’s Executive Director Scott Bass. “These ten shapers, although highly competitive, realize their time in the shaping bay honors Al Merrick as well as the sacred craft of surfboard shaping.”
“We’ve selected quite a crew of shapers,” said honoree Al Merrick. “They are all talented craftsmen. It’s going to be a fun event. I’m quite humbled and I look forward to a great shape-off at The Boardroom in Del Mar.”
The Boardroom Show takes place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on May 6 & 7, 2017.