After purchasing the brand in 2006, Burton Snowboards has now decided to sell the Californian surf brand Channel Islands Surfboards back to a group led by members of the Channel Islands management team. Founded in Santa Barbara in 1969 by Al and Terry Merrick, the company is now headquartered in Carpinteria. Al Merrick’s son, Britt, runs the company and will also lead the transition. The transaction from Burton to CI Surfboards LLC is expected to be completed early next year. All employees will remain with the company at the time of closing and all athlete contracts will be transferred to CI Surfboards LLC without any changes to existing contracts.
In a reader survey conducted last month by U.S. surf magazine Stab, Channel Islands Surfboards was named the most popular board brand of 2020. Regarding the acquisition of the brand, the magazine said in an article: “While the sale figure is unknown, rumors have circulated that the purchase price was around $6m […].”
The company says it has experienced one of the most profitable years in more than a decade, mainly because surfing has become much more popular again due to the Covid-19 situation. In a recent blog entry on its website, Channel Islands wrote that the “driving force behind the brand’s success is greatly attributed to its star-studded team of surfers that worked closely with them to create and build the world’s best surfboards designed to help them win competitions and world championships.” That team, over the past four decades, included surfers like Kelly Slater, Tom Curren, Lisa Anderson, Kim Mearig, Adriano De Souza, and Sofia Mulánovich, who have earned a combined total of 20 World Champion titles. Today, surfers such as Dane Reynolds, Lakey Peterson, Mikey February, Parker Coffin, Sage Erickson, Bobby Martinez, Pat, Dane and Tanner Gudauska, Yadin Nicol, Eithan Osbourne and many more continue to build on that legacy.