- WSL / Ed Sloane

Britt Merrick is part of one of the sport's great shaping dynasties. His parents began Channel Islands in 1969 and grew the business into the gold standard of performance shortboard manufacturing.

Today, Britt is CI's lead shaper, working hand in glove with some of the sport's biggest names. Raw talent only gets you so far. Surfers at the elite level rely heavily on their shapers to give them the best possible chance at winning, which makes the master craftspeople such as Britt Merrick and integral component of the sport.

"My earliest memories are literally being in foam dust and playing in foam dust," Britt told Dave Prodan on the latest episode of The Lineup podcast.

Dane Reynolds throwing it out in Round 3. Dane Reynolds is one of the team riders who have become synonymous with CI - WSL / Kelly Cestari

After spending hundreds of hours standing in the doorway of his dad's shaping bay, Britt began crafting his own sleds at the age of 18 and is now continuing the family legacy, which includes 20 World Titles won on CI boards. Many of those Titles belong to Kelly Slater, who had a long a fruitful relationship with the brand for a large portion of his career.

A perfect wave on a small day at Teahupoo  in Tahiti is still a magnificent sight. 2010 Kelly Slater had a long relationship with the CI brand - WSL / Steve Robertson

Other legends who owe a part of their success to CI shapes include Tom Curran, Lisa Andersen and Sofía Mulánovich.

To this day, the most exciting thing for Britt is making boards for elite surfers -- and he readily admits that this also remains the biggest challenge in shaping.

The stacked Channel Islands team includes Dane Reynolds, Michael February and a surfer Britt works very closely with, Lakey Peterson.

For an in-depth look at what it's like to shape for some of the world's best -- how a shaper really works with their team -- and much more, check out The Lineup.

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