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Board of the Week: Channel Islands Taco Grinder



Board Design

Al Merrick's newest step-up designed for barrel hunting

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 27 March, 2015 - This winter Channel Islands disrobed their sleak, sexy, and utterly quiver-worthy step-up, the Taco Grinder. Built for true performance surfing in waves of consequence, the board was everywhere you looked in Hawaii this season, and you'll be seeing lots of these under the feet of the CT's best, as the tour heads to bigger and better waves.

The Taco Grinder's outline is familiar and yet foreign—a little curvier, a little fuller than the traditional step-ups that most of us let gather dust during the summer. The bottom features a simple single concave throughout its entirety, with fuller, chunkier rails and a little added flip in the tail for pivot and maneuberability.

The increased volume, thickness- and rail-wise, means you can consider riding it much shorter than traditional semi-guns. Where you might normally think to grab something a foot, foot-and-a-half bigger than your standard shortboard, CI recommends going only 2" to 6" bigger. What does this mean for your surfing in waves of consequence? Easy paddling without the sacrifice of maneuverability—a board that can get into the big stuff, handle heaving beach break, but still go vertical, still go on rail.

While winter might have just ended here in California, we're hoping to having the Taco Grinder on the wall—softly singing its siren song of beachbreak barrels in our ears from the racks on which it lays, unused—will get us on a plane, chasing the next big south swell somewhere warm. And hollow.



Ashton Goggans

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