Surfing is a funny thing. It is a sport (or whatever you want to call it) that lets grown adults behave like pimply highschoolers, raging with hormones. A grown adult who spends his day in a suit and tie sitting behind a desk making very adult phone calls will put on a wetsuit, paddle out, and scream at a child for dropping in. A grown adult can pull up to a parking lot in a car their insurance job pays for and judge another grown adult’s choice of surfboard. “Fuckin’ longboarders,” they’ll say, tucking their too-small-for-the-conditions board under their arm. “Can’t even ride a real surfboard.” Then they’ll paddle out and flop around screaming at children and not catching any waves because they refuse to ride the right board for the conditions because somewhere along the line, they were told that it’s not cool. Like a grown adult flopping around on a tiny board is cool.
The same thing goes with mid-lengths. They are fun. If you’re not a professional surfer, they are a blast. If the waves aren’t all that great, as is often the case with Joe Public the Surfer, a mid-length is a lifesaver. Everything is a little easier, as long as you don’t want to jam things off the lip. Get in early, take a high-line, and cruise. Link a few flowy turns together. You’re not getting paid, after all, so you should be having fun. Mid-lengths get shit on a lot by those grown adults who can surf well enough to think they’re good, but not well enough to realize they’re not. Unless you’re a professional, ride whatever you want, whether it’s a regular shortboard, a mid-length, a longboard, or a boog. Because you’re not getting paid. You’re having fun. Rant over.
A long, long time ago, we posted a seemingly innocuous clip on this website. We titled it Devon Howard, Style, and a 7’2″. As you would expect, it was Devon Howard (very stylish) surfing a 7’2″. The video blew up. It blew up, I suspect, not only because Devon Howard surfs incredibly well, but because the average viewer enjoyed watching what could be done on a mid-length. Now, Channel Islands has released a board for the everyman — a far better idea than releasing a board that some like Kelly Slater might ride in the ’90s (hello, you rockered out thin little planks, you ruiners of everyone’s fun for a decade).
The CI Mid, according to CI, is “inspired by the clean, longer-railed lines drawn by traditional eggs and single-fins,” and “stands apart from other midlength designs in shoulder-high to nearly double overhead point surf, where surfers are able to lay down flowy, arcing turns with total confidence, speed, and control.”
So next time you see some middle-aged man stepping out of a Porche with a board that he can’t surf who’s giving you a stinky eye over your 6’8″ egg, just remember that you are the lucky one. Because he’s not having any fun, and you are.