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Chris Christenson Surfboards: A Comprehensive Guide

Who is Chris Christenson?

Chris Christenson is a surfboard shaper from Southern California. He's been shaping boards since he was just 18 years old after borrowing some tools and giving it a shot.

Chris learned from surfing legends Dick Brewer and Skip Frye, who taught him how to craft boards with beautiful, classic designs. He's gained a reputation for making top-notch boards for all types of surfing - from small waves to huge swells.

While Chris can shape any kind of board, he's best known for his retro fish shapes, mid-lengths, twins, and longboards - the kind of stylish yet functional boards that embody that classic California surf vibe.

Chris Christenson

Unlike many who chase fleeting trends, Chris Christenson is content with crafting boards based on how he believes a wave should be ridden. This philosophy has made his surfboards eagerly sought after by both enthusiasts and professionals alike.

While he excels at shaping shortboards and big wave guns, it's his fish, twin, mid-length, and traditional longboards that have become his hot ticket items. As FCS (Fin Control Systems) states, "One thing is certain, there's a special type of feeling you get when you ride a Christenson, and it's the very reason FCS has collaborated on a range of templates to complement his shapes."

What Makes Christenson Surfboards Special?

Christenson boards aren't just good looking - they perform amazingly too. Chris uses premium materials like EPS foam blanks, carbon fiber, and eco-friendly epoxy resins to make his boards super durable and high-performance.

Chris Christenson Surfboards

The Lane Splitter

One of his most popular models is the Lane Splitter twin-fin. With its wide outline and swallow tail, it rips in everything from knee-high waves to overhead conditions. The Hawaiian South Shore shop even offers an exclusive swallow tail version that's perfect for that twin-fin feeling.

The Ocean Pro (OP) Series

Then there's the Ocean Pro shortboard series with its high-performance designs for better waves:

OP1: This is Chris' go-to high-performance shortboard. It provides progressive maneuverability with forgiving curves and rails, allowing it to excel in fun waist- to head-high conditions for any level of surfer. The soft rounded squash tail provides release through turns.

OP2: A fast, high-performance squash tail built for punchy beach breaks.

OP3: An update to the OP1, adding a spicy swallow tail to make it looser and more versatile when waves get weaker and skater. A great option for still shredding hard on softer days.

OP4: Takes on a rounded pin tail with extra rocker for increased maneuverability.

Classic Construction

But what really sets Christenson apart is the incredible glassing work and finishes. His boards look like works of art but are built to last season after season.

While vintage in appearance, they use cutting-edge materials and technology like EPS foam blanks instead of polyurethane, plus carbon fiber and bio-epoxy resins that are stronger and more environmentally-friendly than traditional polyester resins.

Why Get a Christenson in Hawaii?

If you're surfing in Hawaii, a Christenson is a must-have. These boards just ooze that timeless surf style and craftsmanship that perfectly matches the vibe of Hawaiian waves.

The crew at Hawaiian South Shore in Honolulu are experts and can hook you up with the ideal board for your skill level and the local conditions. Whether you're a total frother or a weekend warrior, you'll treasure owning and riding a Christenson.

More Christenson Models

In addition to the Lane Splitter and OP series, Chris shapes a ton of other fantastic boards:

  • High-performance shortboards for bigger, hollower waves
  • Traditional longboards
  • Retro fishes and mid-lengths
  • Big wave guns like the ones ridden by pros Greg Long and Ian Walsh

He even collaborated with legendary snowboarder Jeremy Jones to shape the Storm Chaser, a swallow-tailed fish-style board for power.

So if you want a board that blends performance, durability, and head-turning style, get yourself a Christenson from the friendly folks at Hawaiian South Shore. Your surfing will thank you!

Questions you might ask about the Chris Christenson Surfboards

Answered here.

How do Christenson surfboards handle small waves?

  • Christenson surfboards, particularly models like the Lane Splitter, are designed to excel in a variety of wave conditions, including small waves. The Lane Splitter, with its wide outline and swallow tail, is built to last and can grovel in small waves effectively
Are Christenson boards suitable for overhead waves?
  • Yes, Christenson boards such as the Lane Splitter are suitable for overhead waves. This model thrives in anything from soft walls to tubes and is designed to perform well in waist- to overhead waves.
What Christenson model is best for beginners in various wave conditions?
  • The OP3 (Ocean Pro 3) model is highlighted as being user-friendly while still performing for advanced surfers. Its balanced rocker makes it the easiest board in the series to ride, making it a great option for beginners looking for a board that can handle various wave conditions.

Can Christenson surfboards be customized for different wave types?

  • Yes, Christenson surfboards can be highly customized. The OP3 model, for example, offers the ability to choose from different fin systems and construction processes, making it extremely customizable for different wave types.

How versatile is the Christenson Fish in different surf?

  • Chris Christenson's reputation for shaping versatile boards, including his popular fish shapes, suggests that the Christenson Fish would perform well in a variety of surf conditions.

What makes the Lane Splitter model adaptable to various wave sizes?

  • The Lane Splitter's combination of fish volume with a shortboard tail, along with its exclusive swallow tail design for Hawaiian South Shore, makes it adaptable to various wave sizes. Its design allows for speed down the line with easy rail-to-rail roll, thriving in anything from soft walls to tubes.

Which Christenson board shape is recommended for both soft walls and tubes?

  • The Lane Splitter is recommended for both soft walls and tubes. Its design, which blends a generous template up front with a drawn-in tail in the rear, makes it suitable for a wide range of wave conditions.

How does the swallowtail design on the OP3 affect its performance in weak waves?

  • The swallowtail design on the OP3 provides a fishier feel, making the board a bit looser and more versatile. This design enhances the board's performance in weaker and skatier waves, making it more fun when the conditions are soft.

What are the ideal wave conditions for the OP1 model?

  • The OP1 model is built for fun waves and is ideal for waist- to head-high waves. It is designed as a high-performance shortboard that provides progressive maneuverability, making it suitable for a range of surf conditions.

How does the construction of Christenson boards enhance their performance in different surf conditions?

  • The construction of Christenson boards, utilizing advanced materials like EPS foam, epoxy resin, and carbon fiber, enhances their performance in different surf conditions. This combination of materials provides stiffness, durability, and better adherence of the glass to the foam. While maintaining a vintage appearance, the cutting-edge construction techniques ensure high performance and a unique surfing experience.


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