Channel Islands “MINI” Surfboard Review by Noel Salas Ep. 4

Click to buy:

No obligation, but these links & ads help support the site and keeps the reviews coming! If you decide to buy somewhere else or would like to support the show, please donate at

This video is about the “Mini” by Channel Islands. Noel Salas reviews the latest small wave board in the CI line up. This is a review about how the contours of the Mini surfboard work and flow together. Come and enjoy the footage of surfing and talking about what makes this small wave so special and unique. Channel Islands Surfboards is pleased to announce a surfboard design collaboration with Kalani Robb and MINI. By incorporating our common passion for performance and having fun we developed a versatile surfboard that performs in a unusually wide range of conditions. The MINI offers a ultra relaxed rocker, wider nose, wider squash tail, thinned rails, and aggressive single to double concave with vee out the tail. Taking a page from Al’s popular Skinny Fish design the MINI incorporates all the speed and wave catching ability of a traditional fish with the performance benefits of a squash tail. Designed to work best in knee to head high surf. This board is best positioned as your go to groveler in your quiver. Ride this board 3″ – 6″ shorter than your height.
The Mini I am riding in the video is 5’3 which is 6″ shorter then I am and the Channel Islands website is very good at helping with this information on all of their models. I suggest having a range on the volume for all the different board types, i.e. small wave boards, normal short board, and your step up. My range at 170 pounds is 26 on my normal short board to 29 on my small wave grovel boards. I hope this helps and I hope you enjoyed the surfboard review. Cheers!!!


Marco Renzi says:

+SurfSHow : Can this be considered a small wave board? What about changing stock size to 5’5 x 21 x 2 3/4?
I’m 181x 180lbs intermediate surfer….surfing small waves the most of the time…

shinonuma115 says:

i swear everytime i saw the surfing footage you showed, i thought it was kelly slater. Not just the bald head lol but your style too. You rip bro!

Luke says:

this board looks great under your feet. better than most boards you have demoed.

Andrew Palfery says:

Hey Noel, great insightful reviews. I was going to get a Pod Mod but now am thinking Mini / Hi 5? after watching your vids. How does the Pod Mod compare (positive or negatives) to the Mini?

Surf n Show Reviews says:

Sandro, Thank you for the encouragement and I am so stoked on the Channel Islands that I don’t have the Rusty Panda in my sights at the moment. Sorry that I can’t give feedback on that board. I the Pod Mod up next, then I have another board that has not been released yet and I can’t talk about just yet. Stay tuned and I hope one of the boards I eview soon will inspire you to try one out. Cheers!!!

manuelott29 says:

hi, your reviews..keep it up..i would like to hear from a real surfer about the benefits of a short board with good amount of volume..i am 44 years old now.i used to surf when i was younger and now i am back into surfing,feeling a little lost with the volume calculators..i am 5 foot 6 inches and 150 my age the board formula spits out 45 liters and up..that is too much to deal with in the water..i can paddle,duck dive,late take offs,ride the face of the wave with no issues..i have a 5.5″ joe and it feels just right..please comment..thanks..

Surf n Show Reviews says:

Marco, Thank you for the comment and I recommend the Pod Mod as it is more forgiving and easier to surf in my opinion. The Pod Mod is more responsive too and it can handle a bit bigger surf than the Mini. Both boards are very fast but I had more fun on the Pod Mod and it was easier to maneuver. I hope this helps…..

krusher74 says:

“The sharp rails gonna grip the water” (2.04) if your gonna do surfboard reviews you need to know your physics basics. Water grips curves, releases from sharp edges.

Surf n Show Reviews says:

Hey guys I will be posting the Pod Mod in a few days and it goes off!! I have to tell you if you are looking for a high performance small wave board then you might want to wait for the Pod Mod review before you make a decision on a small wave board.

fazorba says:

I have 95kg 1.65 height. You think one mini 6’1 around 43 L to much for me? Thanks

Surf n Show Reviews says:

Andrew, the Pod Mod is a good grovel board and it will work good in a little over head too. The Pod Mod is my favorite small wave board and I even got to ride it at Lowers over head and it went mental. I will pst the Review this week and you can judge it for yourself as I grovel and surf some waves with some power.

Maynard Lim says:

noah, really digging the reviews and you rip!! thanks for putting these up. I have a high 5 now and digging it!

Daniel Goldwing says:

Hey Noel,
Thanks for the quality review. I have a question: Did you find turning the board in tight arc required considerably more effort than when surfing your standard performance shortboard?

Surf n Show Reviews says:

Andrew, After riding the Pod Mod and the Mini i feel like the Pod Mod is more high performance and more versatile when the waves get a little bigger. (3-5) Out of all the CI small wave boards the Pod Mod is my favorite.


I’ve had my Mini for around a month and surfed it many many times so I can give some good feedback. Just go out and get one. I got this as a grovel board for when my New Flyer is not quite giving me what I want and I am truly blown away. This is the easiest funnest board to ride I’ve ever had. Don’t think you can’t surf high performance on this thing because you can tear the bag out of anything that moves. I’m 43 years old, 5’7 and 81 kg’s and ride the stock 5’5 which comes in around 29.6 litres. I’ve been surfing for 30 years and surf everyday there are waves on the Gold Coast Australia.
I seriously have not had a bad surf on this board. It’s not temperamental at all. You just stand up and the thing picks up speed like a rocket. It’s surprisingly responsive and goes wherever I want it to go. It has no problems getting vertical and you can hit the lip as hard as you can with ultra smooth landings and smooth transitions into your next turn. For me it is a magic board. Even my friends have been commenting on how fast it looks and how well I’m surfing on it (my mates aren’t normally ones for praise either).
I’m riding it with the Futures AM1 fibreglass as a thruster. As a quad I’ve settled on the FG AM1’s in the sides with the medium Channel Islands FRP quad rears (ridiculously loose but still not out of control). I’ve also surfed the Lge FRP sides with the Lge FRP quad rears which is what Noel is surfing in this video and it went great. I like the smaller fins because the waves I surf require more pivot then the waves Noel is riding. I like the fibreglass fins because although the fins are small for my weight i can push them as hard as I want and they still hold. I can’t ride medium honeycomb AM1’s as they just don’t feel like they engage enough for me. There is a massive difference in feel and drive. I’ve also surfed the CI Tech 2 mediums in the sides with the medium CI FRP quad rears and it went great as well. I would ride those if it got a bit more powerful and the mini was the only board in my car.
I’m also surprised at what this board can hold size wise. Even though it is super flat it handles sucky waves no problems. It would easily surf well overhead waves if it wasn’t top to bottom.
For me the only bad aspect of the MINI is I can’t get off the bloody thing because I love it so much.
Go get one now.

Sandro Fonseca says:

Nice show, congratulations! What about to review the new Rusty Panda model? I am interested in one and You’re the one to listen as it’s noticeable that You are a surfer, not a free talker. Rusty Panda model, please!

Mohd Hafizhzar says:

can u review about puddle jumper high performance.?

CG WGGW says:

Noel, question about poly vs. EPS if you don’t mind. Being any board HP or groveler. I am hung up on EPS being associate to groveler boards only. What are your thoughts on EPS and Poly as they play in towards a High Performance board or a groveler. I just picked up a custom mini in EPS and the thing is a blast.

Sam Trenary says:

Would you recommend the AMT twin fin for the mini? Was wondering how that would perform

Alessandro Sozzi says:

keep those vids coming man!! that’s a good quality review and greatly reinforced by the shots of you surfing!! Cheers from Italy!

Scott says:

Best online reviews by a MILE! Thanks for doing all of these reviews, would be nice to see you on a variety of boards which included brands other than Channel Islands but I’ll take what I can get! Keep up the good work… Great job!!!

Surf n Show Reviews says:

What a compliment and Kelly is one of my favorite surfer. We both know that there is only 1 Kelly slater but I have watched so much of his surfing that sometimes I think the brain starts to mirror what it is looking at all the time. Thank you again for the compliment….

Surf n Show Reviews says:

Marco, Yes this is a small wave board. You can order one custom with those dimensions but I recommend focusing on Liters of volume and not too much on the DIMS. Make sure you have good volume on the smaller wave boards because you have to generate your own speed. Your volume and skill level should go hand and hand. Error more on the board floating you good in small waves. You will go faster and have more fun!!!

Dan Choi says:

Another sick video Noel! How did you like this board in different wave sizes? Looks like you surfed it in everything from waist to HH plus. Was there a sweet spot?

Andrew Palfery says:

Cool. my dilemma is do I need a grovel board as well as pod mod? Can pod mod grovel as well as hi 5 / mini? Thanks

 Write a comment


Do you like our videos?
Do you want to see more like that?

Please click below to support us on Facebook!