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Santa Cruz’s CJ Nelson is arguably one of the best nose riders. He has starred in films such as Sprout, The Present, and A Paradigm Shift, and in particular, his section at Scorpion Bay in Sprout maybe some of the most technical traditional longboarding ever featured on film. He is one of the few nose riders to comfortably switch his stance on the nose and does so with impeccable style.

Although notorious for being a bit of a partier throughout his career, CJ is now vocally sober and strives to set a good example for the young people in his wake. He also aims to equip the next generation with the tools to carry on his legacy of traditional longboarding and has developed a number of signature nose rider models. His latest models with Carve Sports are a stellar addition to our lineup here at Hawaiian South Shore.

Built with the traditional noserider in mind, these boards blend proven shapes from the 60s with modern twists that open up a whole new world of potential on the nose. These boards are an updated take on the boards that CJ grew up surfing. (His dad’s vintage logs are what taught him the value of style and glide.) Leading the logging revolution in the Pleasure Point area, a region that is known for drugs and hard living, CJ is now a vocal advocate of meditation, mindfulness, and a healthy diet. He also maintains a home in Mexico, where he regularly logs some of the world’s best point breaks.

The CJ models that we carry feature proven shapes blended with top-quality glassing to make them the obvious go-to log for anyone serious about noseriding. But the boards also have versatility built into them so that they can do more than simply go straight. They aren’t high-performance longboards, but they can be turned and nose-ridden with equal comfort, and are perfect for lined-up, hollow, waist-to chest-high point breaks. If you are looking to take your noseriding and traditional longboarding game to the next level, you would do well to learn from the best. Watch CJ ride the nose, and then pick up one of his boards. You’ll glean years of experience from him through the shapes that he has designed and chooses to ride. CJ is one of the best for a reason, and this shows in his board choice as much as it does in the way he perches on the front of the board, right in the first 30 inches.

CJ Nelson Surfboards:

Colapintail, Guerrero, Haven, Neo Classic, Outlier, Sprout and Parallax


Yes, they are made overseas, in a factory run by Japanese board builders who pay close attention to the smallest of details. It’s amazing how much time goes into building a single board. One of the first of many steps is that they make their own EPS foam, and then insert a T-shaped stringer. The stringer is strategically placed to keep the center of the board ridged and the nose and tail Flexable. The next step is to glass the EPS foam with a 6oz cloth on the bottom and top, and then to encase it with PVC. They let this cure precision mold form the rocker of the board. This process will produce the exact same rocker as the original, tested board.

After curing, the board is glassed with high-quality fiberglass. The result is a board that is aesthetically pleasing, but also stronger than any comparable light board on the market. Yes this is the same board that you see Guy Takayama beating with a hammer.

As you know, we are very selective about what we carry in the shop. These CJ Nelson boards were recommended by our trusted team rider Jerry. He recommended the Almond surfboard several years back, and was spot on with that.

Another reason we decided to carry these boards is because the technology is truly awesome.  It’s lightweight and way stronger than any other board we’ve had in the past 20 years. Did you see the video online with Guy Takayama at the Carve Sports warehouse? They beat the board with a hammer, and it’s really amazing to see. It’s the same construction. Carve Sports is similar to Surftech. They make boards for a couple different shapers using their technology.


The CJ Nelson Longboards


The CJ Nelson fins (Flying Diamonds)