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Anacapa Pro Standard from Al Merrick

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Anacapa Pro Standard from Al Merrick
Imagine that a company wants you to review a new product. You are thinking wax or maybe sunscreen. Not so…Instead, upon your doorstep, wrapped in cardboard like some massive Christmas gift on steroids is a brand spanking new, six foot one inch, brilliant white, squash tail gem designed by Al friggin Merrick! Yes, Al Merrick of Tom Curren-buried rail roundhouse-10 second tube ride-Kelly Slater-championship-deluxe-shred machine fame.
Merrick has created Anacapa, a new line of boards geared toward the surfer who wants a board without having to fuss with all those “imperfections.” Sure, these boards are not hand shaped individually; however, they are based on Merrick's own hand-shaped blanks. Technology has refined the board building process to create a more affordable board, and it's amazing to see just how perfect this board is.

Named after one of the islands in the Channel Islands group off the coast of Santa Barbara in California. The Anacapa line was designed by Al Merrick with the recreational surfer in mind. The Anacapa consists of four models, each selected to be included in the line based on different characteristics. The models include The Bandit, The Glider, The Trifish, and the Pro Standard.

Purists might say that imperfections are all part of the process. It’s true that there is a certain intrigue and excitement associated with the intricacies and subtle nuances that come with a hand shaped stick from your local shaper, but heck, some folks just want a perfect board they know will afford them optimum ripping capability, and if the pro model can be consistently produced the way mine appears, a surfer really can't go wrong.

The first night with my trial board was drenched in anticipation. Standing in the corner of my bedroom and oozing the magic that only a perfect outline, flawless glass job, and a feather light blank of fresh foam can ooze, the 6’ 1” was begging for a dawn session.

Riding this board was great. The combined effect of the wide squash and concave bottom offered loads of maneuverability. Carving very loosely on the wave face without totally spinning out, The Anacapa Pro Model is a perfect fit for ambitious surfers with a creative flair. I would suggest this size for surfers a bit smaller than myself only because the same thin rail and midpoint (18 1/2" wide and 2 1/4" thick) that give this board so much possibility off the lip could pose a paddle problem for the over 175 pound crowd. Bigger surfers should opt logically for the bigger models instead.

While I’m not a fan of tail sliding, some surfers love it, and the small fins that come with this board offer some tail slide potential in meatier waves. The slight rocker and single concave provide some serious drive off the bottom, especially in more powerful surf. However, any surfer who is in fighting shape should be able to put this baby through the motions in any conditions. I was especially impressed with the responsiveness of this board.

The Verdict

The Anacapa 6’ 1” Pro Model is a perfectly shaped board that is a great fit for surfers who are flexible and fast; love light, responsive boards; and weigh under 180 pounds.

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