CJ Nelson has ridden a lot of surfboards throughout his career. He is considered one of the most accomplished traditional longboarders in the business, was dominant in the 1990s and early 200s, and has won the Duct Tape Invitational and MexiLog Fest.
His line of boards with Thunderbolt represent some of the most advanced traditional logs on the market, and his Sprout design in particular is considered to be one of the best noseriders ever made.
CJ Nelson has recently been turning heads with his Parallax design, which combines a forgiving outline and rails with a fast, trim-happy hull on the bottom. CJ Nelson recalls having numerous “aha” moments in his surfing career—things as simple as borrowing a shortboard from a buddy who was bigger than him and seeing his wave count double; lowering rocker in a log and carrying more speed on waves; bumping up thickness on a longboard and watching both paddle speed and trim speed increase. He notes that many of these benefits come with very little sacrifice—that you don’t actually lose very much by adding these elements.
That was the principle that he brought into his design of the Parallax. When designing a board, CJ Nelson always strives to make something that he and other expert loggers can enjoy, but that a beginner could also graduate to from their soft-top and immediately be able to surf.
He wants a board that makes catching waves easy, because he’s tired of seeing frustrated people in the lineup and feels that everyone deserves to feel in control in the water—to catch waves when they want to and enjoy surfing. The Parallax is built for exactly that purpose.
The hull bottom is simple and forgiving, but also paddles fast and flies down the line even faster. It is responsive and maneuverable, but also feels great trimming in the pocket. In other words, it makes surfing easy and fun—and that’s exactly what it should be. If that’s not an “aha” realization, I don’t know what is.