Twin fins are making somewhat of a resurgence in our humble little community. Whether that's a retro-inspired shape, something with a little more curve through the wide point, or a modern take on an all-time classic, seems the lineup is packed with these whippy little shred sticks.
But taking the progressive twinnie to the next level are Channel Islands, here, with their own unique spin on a pocket rocket. CI have been punching out twinnies for quite some time, but it wasn't until Britt Merrick picked up a retro template, updated the rocker and tweaked some of the finer details to bring the twin into this generation.
Pushing forward on that template and design, CI have teamed up with Surftech to produce the latest iteration of the twin: Channel Island Fusion Dual Core Twin Fin. It looks...complex. And, aesthetically, it is, until you really take a peek under the hood of what's happening here.
What Surftech has set out to achieve here is a marriage of EPS and PU foam in a blend that takes positive aspects from both types and turns them into a cohesive unit. The theory is that the central EPS core will increase buoyancy, helping you paddle into more waves. Yet the PU rails are supposed to help you to drive through your turns, to give increased hold and a snappier release in waves. That's all coupled with a fast and loose feel that a twin is built for.
But, does it work? We've been testing this board at MSW HQ – and this whip feels more grounded in performance than a pure-bred twin fin, which is the aim of what CI's going for here. It's fast, sure, but then most twins share that characteristic. With two fins, this board actually felt too loose. But after sticking a trailer fin in the back to negate some of the more skatey feel, it really came into its own – certainly offering more control through the turns. That may just be a personal preference after years of exclusively riding a thruster setup on shortboards but I'd recommend trying both setups (and a variety of different fins) to tweak out what works for you.
The tech specs say to ride this 2-4” shorter thann you are tall and 1/8” to 1/4” thicker than your normal shortboard. I'm 6'1” and 82kgs and tested the 5'8” x 19 1/14” x 2 3/4” hitting the 29.2 litres mark and I was surprised at the amount of float under my chest.
With that volume under the chest, it paddles well, all that foam packed into the wider point meant you can steam into the lineup. The wave range this was tested in included 2” wind slop (thanks, Cornish summer) to shoulder-head high conditions, howling onshore conditions and shoulder high with a gentle offshore. If you're looking to fit this twinnie into your quiver, it sits in rather a unique niche. Think, well above a groveller but having the characteristics of a retro twin with a performance-inspired edge, meaning it's a whip you can paddle easily, while still able to perform manoeuvres, you can chug rail into wave face without fear of blowing the tail, given all that hold in the PU outers.
The general consensous is, the CI Fusion Dual Core Twin Fin takes a little while to get used to, if you're coming onto it from a performance thruster. But when everything clicks and you iron out your own tweaks, it's a board where you can almost let the wave do the work for you – really don't have to over surf this sled to make it perform. Given that, it's going to be extremely difficult to return to a thruster once you've experienced the drive, speed and all-round feel of this particular twinnie.