It all started on the Merrick Family fishing trips… With a keen eye, Al would observe the river water moving over the rocks, noting how the different shapes and formations changed the water flow and created turbulence. He’d then take sticks of varying shapes and sizes and see how they’d pivot and react as he twisted them against the water flow, all the while thinking of surfboards and fins.
What Al observed would become the foundation for CI’s library of world-renowned surfboard rockers and the original FCS CI fin template. A fin template that would grow in popularity to become one of the most widely used with recreational and professionals alike.
The new CI Upright came from a need to balance the CI fin offering. Where the original, highly raked CI fin is more suited to classic down-the-line thrust and drawn out turns, the reality is, most surfers are riding smaller waves and beach breaks that require quicker turns, and a fin that allows for more pivot.
Going back to those sticks in the river… Al and son Britt recognised a flat, straight stick turned really quickly against the current. In this case, the flat stick represents a fin with minimal rake… an upright fin.
“You’ll find the CI Upright will help you in small waves and steep, quick waves, any time where you need quickness of response and the ease of top to bottom transitions”. – Britt Merrick
Where the original CI fin is suited to bigger, better open face waves, the CI Upright has a high rate of return and responsiveness, which means it’s ideal for beach breaks and little waves where we you need to generate speed quickly.
“The CI Upright will lend itself to any board, but given the lower sweep, it will really suit grovellers and small wave boards where you need a little more get up and go” – Britt Merrick
Like with anything that exhibits the FCS & CI logo, there’s a great deal of R&D that happens before the product hits the shelf. Following some solid testing by Britt himself, he then eagerly handed the fins to the CI Team for final approval. Watch the video above to see Yadin Nichol ripping on the new fins.
SurFebruary is a fun annual event in February, where participants raise money for cancer research by catching a wave or getting in the water every day – rain, hail or shine.
This episode sees Rich catch up with Mick Fanning on his recent trip to the US to chat about what he’s been riding, the development of his iconic fin template and how he came to embrace the FCS II system.