THE BOARD

Channel Islands Say:

The Channel Islands OG Flyer is best as an everyday board in everyday conditions, The Flyer has a single concave entry to double through the middle and a vee exit, Al’s signature bump squash, slight down rail and a subtle nose beak. To be ridden approximately the same length as you are tall. The Flyer is easily the most ridden and enjoyed all around board in our history. 

Spinetek is a precision engineered stringer spine utilising a unique composition of fibreglass and resin. Spinetek is based on the principals of elastic energy, to flex under pressure and then return the surfboard back to its natural rocker, providing surfboards with a more lively and responsive feel.

 

We Say:

I love this board. I’ve always been a fan of The Channel Islands OG Flyer, the outline and extra foam, and Taylor Knox ripping on one when it first dropped. But then throwing in the Spinetek just added to the spiciness of it all. Once you get used to the bounce that the spine provides you really feel the extra pop and energy return through turns, seriously, it’s a weird but amazing feeling. Hard to describe and seeing no one was filming me making it rain in the Ments, you’ll have to take my word for it.

At it’s best it made me feel like I was surfing at a level that could easily have me taking down a heat or two in a 3star QS (I wasn’t), overall the Channel Islands OG Flyer in Spintek is an awesome board.

SHAPE

Back in the day when it initially dropped, the shape of the OG Flyer was noticeably shorter, wider and thicker then the boards most were riding at the time. In today’s shapes, it’s almost a just general shape/look given the specs of boards have gotten shorter and little tubbier for everyone. Would it be fair to say that the OG Flyer helped set the stage for the modern shorter, wider, performance shortboard? Should I go as far to suggest that the Dumpster Diver and then the Neckbeard are the children of the Flyer in some weird surfboard family tree…

The dimensions of The Channel Islands OG Flyer I tested was 5’10’’ x 19 1/4’’ x 2 7/16’’ (29.4 ltr volume). That’s around a regular size for me right now, but if you’re a fit surfer I’d suggest maybe dropping an inch or two off your current shorty. For me, there was more than enough foam to float me through dead sections without feeling boaty on bigger, pushier waves.

Overall though, you’ll be running something that’s – ideally – two inches shorter than your regular and it’ll have a good amount of beef under your chest too. The rocker has a medium entry and exit point giving it nice drive but still snappy enough to whip it around when needed. And on the bottom, you’ll get a single concave into a double with vee out the tail – which I love. I seriously love vee out the tail, it just makes rail to rail transitions (and thus, you’re chrisbrownwraparounds better) so much easier.

channel islands flyer review

WAVE TYPE

The Channel Islands OG Flyer is mostly aimed at being a funner board for smaller waves up to about head high (maybe a touch overhead). The sweet spot for it is about 2-3ft and a little junky. It’s good enough in clean, walled waves but shines when it’s a touch junky (almost morning sickness) and you need that spark slash ability to get over dead sections, etc. I’ve ridden it up to about 5ft and at that stage you have to start really concentrating more when you’re coming off the bottom, sneaking late drops or just driving through big turns.

If you’re looking at this board as a daily driver I imagine if you got the five fin step you might switch it up as a quad and get a different vibe. Possibly stretching the wave options out a bit, especially in tubes or complete junk with my guess being the four fins would give you more speed through tubes, but provide some lift (and speed) when it’s junky. Something to stay aware of anyway, if

Overall though, 2-3ft summer fun and you’re on point. Which is demonstrated via the clip below which I found when tripping through OGFlyer hashtag. It’s of a grom by the name of Jackson Butler who kicks it around Encinitas. The clip really does show the spark and type of wave it’s best suited to.

PERFORMANCE

The Channel Islands OG Flyer is a great board to add to your quiver, if not be your daily driver. It works in a variety of condition across a variety of skill levels – from intermediate to full level pro (as exampled by the below clip).

I rode with JJF Medium fins in it (Futures) and they felt good underfoot – drivey, snappy, yada yada – I’m not going to pretend I know what fins do here. I did try another template, some black stix, those things made the board feel like I had an anchor on it. So maybe avoid that fin and just stick to the John’s.

The Channel Islands OG Flyer just works. It’s hard to put any more words around that. It’s a great go-to board, it performs in the majority of conditions you’re going to ride it and it’s got some history if you need nostalgia in your life.

Overall, you’re getting a board that you can tear the bag on, trim across neatly on or just awkwardly get in the road of others on. It’s a fun board that performs in a variety of wave conditions.

 

VERDICT

It was mainly me riding this board, but weirdly enough at the same time, one of my mates got an identical – old mate Bautista. So I got some words from him about the Channel Islands OG Flyer to help give you two verdicts.

Lincoln: I love this board. I’ve always been a fan of Channel Island OG Flyer, the outline and extra foam, and Tom Curren ripping on one. But then throwing in the Spinetek just added to the spiciness of it all. Once you get used to the bounce that the spine provides you really feel the extra pop and energy return through turns, seriously, it’s a weird but amazing feeling. Hard to describe and seeing no one was filming me making it rain in the Ments, you’ll have to take my word for it.

At it’s best it made me feel like I was surfing at a level that could easily have me taking down a heat or two in a 3star QS (I wasn’t),  overall the Channel Islands Flyer in Spintek is an awesome board.

I’ve had mine about ten months and it’s still holding up pretty good minus a few bumps and bruises here and there. If you do snap a nose, crack a rail, etc get it out of the water straight away and let it dry out well and truly before fixing it (or taking it to get it fixed). As epoxy is like a camel in the desert and it’ll suck up the entire ocean.

Ryan: I love the spring out of bottom turns top turns that the Spinetek construction gave me. It’s quite noticeable and once used to it, pretty amazing. But the Spinetek construction, like all epoxies, is best in waves where there’s a light onshore blowing or no wind at all. The main thing I learnt is that the Channel Islands Flyer isn’t a groveller, I found it went best in 2-3ft waves where it worked in a variety of waves.

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OG Flyer in Spinetek
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The Channel Islands Flyer is widely available globally, anywhere that stocks Channel Islands Surfboards are most likely going to have one of these to run your hands over. Actually, CI have such a wide net of distribution you can probably walk into any surf store and find one, or have a staff member tell you where to get one. Need to know the closest? Hit up their retailer page for more info.

Alternatively, you can get all Web 2.0 and buy one online direct from Channel Islands or if you’re in Australia, hit up Onboard.

Price wise you’re looking at around $1100 AUD (or $885 for the PU option), which ain’t cheap but you’re getting a new technology that works and will be noticeably strong with that carbon Spinetek sitting in the board. So the board ‘should’ last you a lot longer as well.

DimensionsVolumes
Stock LengthWidthThicknessLiters
5’618 1/42 3/1623.6L
5’718 1/22 1/425.0L
5’818 3/42 5/1626.4L
5’9192 3/827.9L
5’1019 1/42 7/1629.4L
5’1119 1/22 1/231.0L
6’019 3/42 9/1632.6L
6’1202 5/834.3L
6’220 1/42 5/835.2L
6’320 1/22 3/437.8L
6’420 7/82 3/438.8L

If you enjoyed this review you can visit our Product Reviews page for more, including a recent run of Springsuits and Boardcovers. We’ll have more Surfboard reviews coming soon 😍

Again, if you’re interested in buying a Channel Islands OG Flyer hit the links below:

Buy from Channel Islands’s Online Store
Check Channel Islands’s Stockist list