CI TEAM WORKOUTS… Then & Now



CI’s monthly Team Workouts date back to mid-1980s, where Al Merrick would run mock heats with the team, coaching and critiquing the young guns on competitive surfing, making them run stairs and do some basic physical training (which was quite rare for surfers in those days).

“The Workouts really formed a super powerful competitive crew in California during those days,” recalls Britt Merrick who was just a grom then, not to mention a participant. “My dad’s idea on this wasn’t just to help train the surfers but to instill the same kind of team spirit he felt as a member of the Swamis Surfing Association back in the ’60s.”

Britt recalls that sense of “team” was also reinforced by their customized shirts and jackets specially reserved just for those on the CI Team: “After the workouts, we had everyone cruise over to our house for a BBQ, and my mom fed them all. While the Workouts and the team gear were definitely epic, the BBQs were what really drove home the whole family vibe we had going, which translated to a strong team that won a lot of events.”

CI Continues the Workout tradition with help from Blake Howard, Britt Merrick and Chris Keet. You can learn more about how to get involved by contacting chris@surfhappens.com or @cisurfboards_sbtore.

(above) Jabe Swierkocki (below) Tommy Curren

A long list of great surfers have been part of these Workouts over the years, including: Dana McCorkle, Tim Smalley, Neil Agezi, Joey Alejandro, Tom Curren, Joe Curren, Chris Brown, Steve Dwyer, Alexis Usher, Dave Oates, Goeff Brack, Brian Aresco, Keith Leatherwood, Matt Mondragon, Shane O’Farrell, Chris Defrates, Billy Deredorf, The Malloys, Donnie Solomon, Dane Reynolds and many more! Please feel free to shout out anyone we didn’t name, including yourself! Additional help and input from seasoned guys like Chuck Graham and Sam George were extra beneficial for the kids, and the legacy of the teams’ presence over the decades speaks for itself.

Photos by Jimmy Metyko, Nilus Mattie & Chris Keets