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.
Currently $595.43 USD
Review of: CI FishBeard
FLEX & FEEL
RAIL TO RAIL
My FishBeard at about one-years old, so she’s got a little grime on the wax. I opted for a Creatures of Leisure tailpad which may be sacrilegious on a fish, but I prefer it with one.
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. I also ride mine with a tail pad – the Creatures of Leisure Icon Fish pad to be exact.
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.
All in all, this board is good for anyone who wants a more high-performance groveler that rides more like a traditional shortboard and less like a fish.
If you are going for the more retro fish feel with tons of volume under the chest and lots of paddle power, I’d look elsewhere.
Frequents FP & Sebastian Inlet’s.