Channel Islands CI 2.Pro Surfboard Review

Channel Islands CI 2.Pro Surfboard Review

Following a victory of “Stab in the Dark” 2022, where Jack Robinson selected the CI Pro as the winning board in Hawaii, Britt Merrick of Channel Islands wanted to develop a board that worked in waves the average surfer would encounter on a daily basis. With R&D from Parker Coffin, Britt fine-tuned a new model and entered it into 2023’s “Stab in the Dark.” Since the new model has the same DNA as the original CI Pro, the latest iteration was named the CI 2.Pro (two point pro, not 2 Pro) – appealing to a broader audience and better suited to the waves of SITD’s new venue in Brazil.

From the moment Italo Ferreria stood up on the 2.Pro, it was obvious that there was a magical connection. When it was all said and done, Britt Merrick and Channel Islands surfboards were back-to-back “Stab in the Dark” winners.

I love the performance of the original CI Pro, so I was excited to get my hands on the new CI 2.Pro. I made a few minor tweaks and went with the Spinetek construction. Now that I’ve got many solid sessions on the CI 2.Pro, read further for more feedback on the performance, tech, and fin recommendations.

Where the CI Pro may have been the board you ordered for that trip of a lifetime to Indonesia, the CI 2.Pro is the board you order for those good days at home, no matter where home may be – a lower rockered CI Pro better suited for the everyday surfer in everyday waves.

Highlights and Features

  • Large sweet spot
  • More user-friendly than the CI Pro
  • Relaxed rocker adapts to a variety of conditions

History of Shaper

Britt Merrick in the shaping bay.

Britt Merrick is the lead designer and shaper at Channel Islands Surfboards, creating boards for some of the world's best surfers in Carpinteria, California. The son of Al Merrick, Britt has been around surfboards and surfers his whole life.

Channel Islands currently makes boards for surfing icons Dane Reynold and Bobby Martinez and is responsible for shaping the boards under Kelly Slater’s feet for all 11 world Titles. High-performance surfboards that push the boundaries as far as progression have always been CI’s bread and butter.

If you have a few extra minutes, read through our interview with Britt Merrick himself!

Channel Islands CI 2.Pro

CI 2.Pro Surfboard Logo

Surfboard Design

The CI 2.Pro has the same outline and bottom contour as the CI Pro. However, the new model features a slight single concave throughout, going into a subtle double concave through the fins. This causes the board to sit in the water, creating a connected feel, especially when turning at high speeds. To the touch, the rails are soft and full. The curvier outline paired with the forgiving rails provides for extreme rail-to-rail surfing. It comes stock with a squash tail; however, it works amazing with a round tail, which is the route I chose.

CI 2.Pro Entry Rocker

The most significant difference of the CI 2.Pro versus the CI Pro is the rocker. The CI Pro is the most rockered board in the Channel Islands lineup. It was designed originally for the North Shore of Oahu and, as a result, works best in pumping barreling surf. However, the rocker limited the board when the waves were less than epic. The results are clear as day in both SITD seasons: the CI Pro excels on the North Shore barrels, whereas the CI 2.Pro excels on the beach breaks of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil, which is where the 2023 SITD was held.

Overall, both the CI Pro and the CI 2.Pro are suited more for the intermediate to advanced surfers. Although, with the toned-down rocker, the CI 2.Pro is definitely more user-friendly. With a bit of extra volume, the 2.Pro can even work for lower-level intermediate surfers.

CI 2.Pro Glassing


The CI 2.Pro is available in PU, EPS, and Spinetek construction. The board comes stock in PU. For my custom build, I went with Spinetek technology. In my experience, Spinetek is the equivalent of adding about a liter of volume. It paddles a bit better and is much more durable than PU.

Because of the lightness and flex of the Spinetek, I ordered mine with 6oz glassing, which makes it even more durable. It sits a bit higher on the water, which takes some getting used to, but it is very snappy and responsive through turns. To top it off, Spinetek is Eco Board certified, meaning it has a smaller carbon footprint than the same board constructed in PU. 

CI 2.Pro Rails


My first impression of the CI 2.Pro was how well it paddles compared to the CI Pro. The improvement in paddling is a combination of the relaxed rocker and EPS construction. Nonetheless, the board glides effortlessly through the lineup. The lower rocker allows it to catch waves earlier and in less critical take off spots than the CI Pro. Bottom line: the CI 2.Pro maintains speed through the flat sections better and can still perform when the waves get steep and hollow.

As mentioned above, the lowered rocker is a notable difference between the CI Pro and the CI 2.Pro. The mellow rocker makes the board way more adaptable to conditions seen on a day-to-day basis. I found this true as I had great sessions on this board in soft high tide conditions when I usually grab a groveller. That being said, even with the lowered rocker, the CI 2.Pro still works well in good (steeper) waves. Because the 2.Pro has increased paddle power to get me into waves early. I often find myself choosing this board on days I previously may have grabbed my CI Pro.

Because I went with thicker dims and stronger glass than my CO Pro, I found the 2.Pro to be slightly more difficult to turn. In my case, the Spinetek/EPS construction and how the board sits more on top of the water contribute to its turnability. That said, once I got used to that feeling it was an easy adjustment to make and did not hinder performance.

CI 2.Pro Board Design

Fin Recommendations

The CI 2.Pro comes stock as a thruster. If you like quads, you can order the 5-fin setup; however, it’s designed to work best as a thruster. Depending on the conditions, I have been going back and forth between two different fin sets. 

Most of the time, I use the Jordy Smith Honeycomb Tri Fin. It has an excellent all-around template where the center fin is slightly smaller than the side fins, allowing the board to free up during maneuvers and giving it a more snappy feel. I use these on most average day-to-day conditions.

The second fin set I’ve been using is the John John Florence Tech Flex Tri Fin. These are stiffer fins, with all three fins being the same size. They have a bit more hold to them but can still turn well when pushed. I like to use these when the surf has a little more power and steepness.

The fins mentioned above work well, and you’ll find that most thrusters pair well with the CI 2.Pro, regardless of your preference of rake, material, etc.


Relevant Blogs

Final Thoughts

Overall, I am very satisfied thus far with the CI 2.Pro. Which isn’t surprising, considering how much I loved the CI Pro. Essentially, the folks at Channel Islands took a proven board and made a few minor tweaks, resulting in a more user-friendly board that works in various conditions. Where the CI Pro may have been the board you ordered for that trip of a lifetime to Indonesia, the CI 2.Pro is the board you order for those good days at home, no matter where home may be. 

And the best part? You don’t have to be anywhere near pro level to ride one! I highly recommend this board to any intermediate to advanced surfer looking for an all-around board when they need more performance than a groveller.

If you have any questions about the CI 2.Pro or any of the Channel Islands surfboards, feel free to comment below, email us at, or call us at 1-888-546-6176. See’ya in the water!





Spencer is a long-time member of the Cleanline family who started out as grom washing wetsuits behind the original Cleanline on 1st Avenue in Seaside. He has worked most positions in the company from managing our Cannon Beach store to providing knowledgeable customer service for our Ecommerce department. These days he works part-time answering the phones and writing blogs while also selling Real Estate locally on the Oregon Coast. When he's not working he's either surfing, traveling, or hanging out with his dog Wyatt.