Channel Islands FishBeard Review
I’ve had my Channel Islands FishBeard for about five months and still absolutely love it. It’s pretty much all I’ve ridden all winter because how many different types of waves it works in.
This board is meant to be a hybrid between a Neck Beard 2 – a wide-nosed user-friendly board – and a keel-fin fish – something that absolutely hauls ass down the line but can get funky wit it. It’s also a bit of a hybrid in the sense that it does a lot of things a typical shortboard will do but it has the desired down-the-line speed capabilities you look for in a fish.
FLEX & FEEL
RAIL TO RAIL
I’ve surfed this board in all that the Sebastian and Ft. Pierce Inlet’s have thrown at me this last winter, including the standard 2-3’ wind chop we get most days, to the occasional overhead days, to the rare few feet overhead barreling epic days.
As you might imagine from a fish, it performs really well in the smaller stuff, carrying a ton of speed and allowing me to turn more vertical than I’d expected from a fish. Its massive keel fins – I went with the recommended Futures AMK Keel Fins – also hold surprising well on steep faces when pulling into tight little barrels.
The only place I don’t really love surfing this board is during the really big wind chop days. You know, those days when a peak will teepee in front of you out of nowhere and you have to turn and try to stick the landing and immediately engage the fins to come back up the face. It’s those waves that require the immediate engagement of a center fin that I don’t like the FishBeard on, although I did find myself doing some interesting Donavon Frankenreiter-esque knock knee turns as a result.
Frequents FP & Sebastian Inlet’s.