Chris Christenson (surfboard shaper)

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Chris Christenson
Born (1973-05-14) May 14, 1973 (age 48)
EducationPoint Loma Nazarene University
OccupationSurfboard shaper
Years active25+
Known forSurfboard Shaping, Surfing, Snowboarding, designing surfboards and other products in the Action Sports industry
Notable work
Greg Long’s two-time big wave world champion

Chris Christenson (born May 14, 1973, Whittier, CA) is an American surfboard shaper, craftsman, and outdoor enthusiast.


Born and raised in Southern California, Chris’ passion for surfing began at a young age. When Chris wasn't surfing the local beach breaks between Seal Beach and Newport Beach, he was exploring the snow at his grandparents’ cabin in the San Bernardino mountains, or was teeing up on the Long Beach Navy golf course. Growing up, Chris would often watch his next door neighbor shape surfboards in his garage, but it wasn't until Chris was 18 and on a golf/academic scholarship at Point Loma Nazarene University that he bought his first surfboard blank, borrowed his neighbor's tools, and shaped his first board – a moment that would forever propel him down a path of most resistance.

Shaping career[edit]

In 1992, Chris’ shaping career began with a six-year apprenticeship to shaping legend, Dick Brewer. It was perfecting the skill of shaping boards under Brewer, and the influence of his then neighbor, Skip Frye, that solidified Chris’ abilities to design and shape any size surfboard, which would later open the door to shaping big wave guns for the world's best big wave surfers, including two-time world champion, Greg Long. A reputation for being a punk rock, forward thinker,[1] with a connection to the past, Chris’ ability to craft diverse surfboards lead him to making big wave guns for good friend, and Todos Santos charger, Johnny Walla, and other heavy hitters like Brad Gerlach, Greg Long, Rusty Long, the Walsh brothers, Mark Healy, Danilo Couto, and Damien Hobgood. Chris is not only known for his ability to craft 10’ guns for big wave surfing's elite, but for shaping some of the best long and short boards in the industry – for long boarders like Scotty Stopnik, Mitch Abshere, and filmmaker Mikey DeTemple, to short boarder Sterling Spencer.[2]

Snow-Surf Crossover[edit]

Chris’ passion for the outdoors is as deep-rooted as it can be in Southern California. When he wasn't in school or surfing, Chris spent every free moment of his childhood at his grandparent's cabin in the San Bernardino mountains. Feeling the congruity between snowboarding and surfing, Chris’ passion didn't end on the mountain. Through the surf industry and snowboarding, Chris became close friends with famed big mountain rider, Jeremy Jones. Based on their love of backcountry snowboarding and surfing, Chris and Jeremy began a collaboration to create a snowboard that captured the congruence of snowboarding and surfing. Born of Chris and Jeremy's surf/design partnership was the well-received ‘storm chaser’- a swallowtail with a surfboard rocker and the ability for tight turns on groomers or in the deepest powder.[3]


Chris is an ambassador for sport and lifestyle brand Electric Visual,[4] surfing apparel and accessories brand Captain Fin Company,[5] Axxe Wetsuits,[6] and The North Face.


Chris’ boards are ridden by legendary big wave surfer, Greg Long, which have seen Long through two big wave world titles,[7] wins at the 2008 Mavericks surf contest [8] and 2009 Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau big-wave contest,[9] and multiple Billabong XXL awards. In 2010 and 2013, Chris successfully competed in the Molokai 2 Oahu paddle world championship – a formidable 32-mile Kaiwi Channel that separates the islands of Molokai and Oahu. Chris also maintains a 4.5 golf handicap.

Current Life[edit]

Chris currently splits his time between his home in Cardiff-by- the-Sea, CA and Swall Meadows, CA. When Chris isn't working, you will find him riding around town on one of his classic motorcycles, golfing at his home golf course, surfing the local breaks of North San Diego County, or with a truck full of surfboard blanks heading to his cabin in the eastern Sierra mountains. Located at 7,000’, Chris's cabin was one of 40 homes that burned down in the devastating Round Fire of 2014.[10] Chris has since rebuilt his home and has a workshop he can hand shape surfboards between back country splitboarding, fishing, and riding enduro.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "CHRIS CHRISTENSON: SHAPER SPOTLIGHT | Surfline San Diego | SURFLINE.COM". Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  2. ^ "Team – Christenson Surfboards". Archived from the original on 2016-08-18. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  3. ^ "Jones Snowboards".
  4. ^ Electric California (2014) "Electric: Ambassadors: Chris Christenson." Electric California. Retrieved September 16, 2014
  5. ^ Captain Fin Co. (2014). “Christenson Products” Captain Fin Co. Retrieved September 16, 2014
  6. ^ "AXXE Wetsuits - Kook". Archived from the original on 2017-05-24. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  7. ^ "Greg Long Crowned Big Wave Tour Champion". Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  8. ^ "Greg Long". Titans of Mavericks. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  9. ^ Thomas, Pete (December 8, 2009). "San Clemente's Greg Long Wins Eddie Aikau Big-Wave Contest in Epic Waimea Surf". Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times Blogs.
  10. ^ Deschenes, Nate. "Firestorm Ravages Swall Meadows; Shaper Chris Christenson, Community Endure". Retrieved 2016-08-03.