• 04.16.2021

We’ve been getting a lot of questions on the differences between our brand new Neck Beard 2 and the super popular Rocket Wide. And rightly so—there’s a ton of legit buzz about both in recent weeks and months through several film projects, IG clips and rider tested reviews like these:

Project Wide

Dane G Breaks Down the Rocket Wide

The Electric Acid Surfboard Test

Surf n Show: Neck Beard 2

Patty G on Neck Beard 2

While both boards are epic in their own right, we thought you’d find it helpful to understand the features of both to help decide which is best for you. Let’s start with a quick review.


Since this past summer, the Rocket Wide has brought more smiles to peoples’ faces than any other CI model in 2018. Designed by CI shaper Mike Andrews, with R&D input from the Gudauskas brothers, we tapped into the same levels of fun and performance its user-friendly cousin has—the Rocket 9—and set out to make a board that could address small and gutless waves (aka a Groveler).

What we didn’t expect was that this small-wave design would have far more range (versatility) than we ever imagined. Both our Pro Team and Noel Salas’s rider review blog Surf n Show were impressed with how well the Rocket Wide paddles and grovels. At the same time it provides high-performance shortboard attributes, unlike many groveler boards that lose maneuverability in exchange for float. The Rocket Wide has become the go-to board for weak surf, but if you rock up and it’s shoulder-to-head high, there’s no need to worry about being on the wrong board.

The Rocket Wide features low entry rocker, a wider nose for better paddle power, and wider tail block to skate across flat sections. It’s a shorter, fuller, curvier skate machine designed to lift the fun factor when the waves are not at their best. And if looking for an added gear and pop, we recommend getting one with Spine-Tek Reflex Technology (more on that below).


This newly released model was inspired by Stab’s film project The Electric Acid Surfboard Test. We revisted Dane Reynold’s unique take on a high performance step down and updated it with new bottom contours, rocker and a slight tweak to its outline in the tail.

Meant to be ridden slightly shorter than your height, this board loves to be surfed aggressively, stuffed in tight corners and generally be anywhere around the lip—and especially above it.

The unusual wide “chop tail” provides more surface area, which combined with a single-concave bottom provides higher top end speeds—making it ideal for boosting (as seen by Dane, Eithan, Patty G, etc.). We don’t fault anyone for doubting the wide tails’ ability to turn well, but our team riders have reported you can lay into carves or cutback with as much force as you can muster. In Noel Salas’ recent rider review on the Surf n Show blog, he said “The NB2 deserves to be called a ‘One Board Quiver.’”

Lastly, our pro team guys like Eithan and Patty G report that for those that like doing airs, this board is perfect for launching and landing with ease—especially if you get it with SPINE-TEK for added pop.


If you’re looking to solve your needs for small, gutless waves, the Rocket Wide in most cases is the way to go. Although both models are considered to be versatile, the Rocket Wide gets the nod over the Neck Beard 2 in the less than stellar type of conditions due to better paddling and trim speed in the super mushy stuff. That said, also need to factor in skill level. The Rocket Wide works better for average to below average skill level, but is thoroughly enjoyed by those that are highly level. For those of average to well above average ability looking for a more aggressive, high-performance board in average to above average conditions we recommend you go with the Neck Beard 2.


-Increases turning efficiency and responsiveness—redirect faster and more acutely.

-Lively and sensitive under your feet.

-Surfer achieves greater output from less input—increase stamina and session time.

-Loads up on energy (potential), springs back with energy (kinetic).

-Maintains constant memory—returns board to its natural shape after each turn

In addition to increased performance, CI’s ecologically friendly Spine-Tek built boards are constructed by hand in our Santa Barbara factory, where each one is ECOBOARD Verified by Sustainable Surf. When combining your favorite model with ECOBOARD construction, it helps us all reduce our footprint—and that’s a big win for everyone.

Our team and customers alike say that Spine-Tek’s Reflex Technology provides added performance that you can really feel in the form of pop. Just ask Eithan Osborne who swears by it, saying it helped him win the Stab High Best Air award and 20K!

If you have more questions about the Rocket Wide, Neck Beard 2 or Spine-Tek construction please email us here or click on our live chat option here at the bottom right.

  • 04.16.2021