Cj Nelson Boards.

ShipFixer

Member
May 31, 2021
33
64
San Diego
Been some good contributions on this thread....and hard to argue with a concensus these boards are putting grins on folks faces...why the hell else would we surf?

The common underpinning is obviously the appreciative characteristics of a well built, light board with pop - excellent paddler, highly responsive to minor adjustments, fast down the line.

Makes one wonder how many of the fans have ridden customs with similar properties, vs a Nelson being their first exposure to light and highly responsive..

the LB's I ride achieve this by using either Red or Blue US Blanks, depending on length, and glassed 4/4,4 in S cloth...highly responsive with plenty of pop, have yet to break one in Oregon winter beachbreak, have yet to lend one to someone who didn't rave about how responsive and fast they were to ride.

so, more than one way to get there...conversely, with the wait time for a custom from the majority of shapers these days...not surprising the Nelson's are flying off the shelf..
I've owned or ridden custom or "usual suspect" LB's, mid lengths, fun boards, and mid lengths, including a big fish thing that was more or less designed for mushy San Diego summers. The best straight up comparison is between the Thunderbolt Silver boards, with heavier glassing, and a fancy local to high end PU board, and I would include the Smooth Operator in this camp since it's glassed heavy. Shape aside, the construction feels like the PU boards in the good ways with a little more spring in torsion, particularly off the tail. Usually really stiff or oversize fins will make a board feel dead and stiff to me, so I could really feel flexy fins, especially in mush. On the Thunderbolt Silver boards (in my case, Sprout and Neo Classic), stiff fins don't deaden the board and I find myself preferring stiffer fins (I'm 190 lbs, so take that into account).

On the lightweight Red boards, they are lighter than the light PU boards like my old 8'0" fishy thing and have much better spring to them. It is more subtle than the heavier boards that exaggerate bending movements, but again...I am preferring really stiff fins like NVS G10 quads to stuff I used to like a whole lot. Worlds away better than any EPS longboard, except the Timbertek ones which I think are more "ok" like a PU board with a damped feel. I think the bigger a standard EPS board gets the more corky it feels...my original beginner board is a pretty ok, standard log shape but its pretty dead and corky...completely dependent on fins for feel. Same with some oversized hybrids I have tried in the continuous search for a better summer cheater board.

I would say if you like to put any power at all through the fins off the back foot, particularly for pumping...it's a big difference in fin and rail feel. Stomp on the tail with a stiffer fin and try to say it's not better :lol: If someone is just strictly trimming and gliding or riding from the middle, they might never see much difference.

I still like the PU Smooth Operator way more than most things, but if I could get the same kind of thing in Thunderbolt anything I would go for it. Not a whole lot of mid length or other Thunderbolt options yet. I thought the Mid 6 looked interesting in photos, but if I recall correctly, when I checked it out at the store the rails were a lot softer than I thought it would be.

I don't think toughness is really the reason to buy or not buy any board. But...I've never owned a board this resistant to damage, period. The first thing I did with the Moe when I left the store was to whack the rail across the sharp edge of my truck door. Not a scratch. The other day I thought it had a crack, but just as I started to do the first few rubs of sandpaper...gone. Nothing. I thought Timbertek was super tough but this is crazy stuff.
 

ShipFixer

Member
May 31, 2021
33
64
San Diego
Probably for the same reason I don’t try to boil an egg in cold water.

Would you try to go off roading in a Lamborghini Aventador S? Have you tried to?
Now you're just throwing things at the wall and hoping it sticks :lol: If you even looked into the boards, you'd know half the appeal of the Silver boards in particular are "shaped like, with similar mass and feel to PU" for old schoolers. There are cases where its apples and oranges, but this is same horse for the same course.

The super light boards may not be what you're into. But the Silver...you should give it a shot then make an opinion. I like them both, for different reasons...partly because I like to surf a whole lot of different things.
 
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ShipFixer

Member
May 31, 2021
33
64
San Diego
While I wait patiently for my 9'3" Parallax in Thunderbolt Red to arrive in the first week of July, I have a question for those of you who own this 9'3" model in Red constuction.

Do you know the actual physical weight of the 9'3" Parallax? Any replies will be greatly appreciated.
Is that with or without the secret motor installed? #secretsurfboardmotor
 

miscreant

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2016
2,567
1,313
Now you're just throwing things at the wall and hoping it sticks :lol: If you even looked into the boards, you'd know half the appeal of the Silver boards in particular are "shaped like, with similar mass and feel to PU" for old schoolers. There are cases where its apples and oranges, but this is same horse for the same course.

The super light boards may not be what you're into. But the Silver...you should give it a shot then make an opinion. I like them both, for different reasons...partly because I like to surf a whole lot of different things.
These exchanges are entertaining.

I am grateful to live in a time and place where we have opportunities to surf many boards until we finally find out what we like.

My position is , and always has been: all the tech one can muster won't (objectively) make a board good or bad. It just makes a board different. The person riding the board determines if the board is good (for them) or not. It is a subjective thing. Ryan Burch on a chunk of foam, the Caribbean islander dude on that plank of wood. CJ Nelson on a purple thundercat. They're all having a good time.

I've got a grip of boards that I like. I hope I can be honorable to them. It would take the rest of my life to ride them like they deserve. The last thing I am trying to do is chase down some board recommended by a stranger on the internet because they are some particular construction technique. Why would I give a shit about the "silver boards"? If they are built to be similar to my current boards, what is the motivation? I'd be able to drink Kool Aid of a familiar flavor? At this point, no sequence of words will inspire me being interested in the thundercat thingies enough to seek out and demo one. Simple. My opinion has nothing to do with them being good or bad. I have no objective opinion about the feeling of the board by choice. So, I am not saying the boards are good, I am not saying the boards are bad. I'm saying:

You like thundercat thingies. cool.

I don't know about them. cool.

some people buy into the tech marketing thing. cool.

some people have fun on no tech type boards. cool.

honestly ... if people are stoked on JC Nelson fancy boards.. that is rad. It is great they have found something they like.

Now, lets say I'm on a trip sometime , somewhere... and I stumble across one as my only opportunity to shred or something. let's say I give it a go... and then I like it.

Well, then shpifixer... I'll let you know what I think.
 

SMUKES

Well-Known Member
Jun 23, 2009
3,040
988
USA California
Now you're just throwing things at the wall and hoping it sticks :lol: If you even looked into the boards, you'd know half the appeal of the Silver boards in particular are "shaped like, with similar mass and feel to PU" for old schoolers. There are cases where its apples and oranges, but this is same horse for the same course.

The super light boards may not be what you're into. But the Silver...you should give it a shot then make an opinion. I like them both, for different reasons...partly because I like to surf a whole lot of different things.
I "could" look into one, but I support my builder friends here and get too much fun outta customs. Some of us are no longer searching.
 

Glide&Flow

New Member
Jun 1, 2021
5
18
CenCoastCa
I know I’m a new jammer, so obviously I don’t have any clout, but it seems as though this thread has been a little hijacked and that a fair number of words have been spent in an unwinnable battle. I really appreciate the technical info that ShipFixer has contributed, and I guess he shared his knowledge because of others poo pooing Yu San’s tech, but I seriously don’t understand continuing on debating the merits of CJ’s boards with folks that have never ridden them or have any interest in riding them. Sure it’s important to argue about the environmental issues with the construction as well as the problems with the Chinese manufacturing/shipping and the disappointing acquisition by Firewire, but again I doubt anyone on this forum takes all those kinds of factors into account in making most of their various purchasing decisions. But hey maybe you do and then, well you’re a better man than me.

None of the shapers that I have any interest in getting boards from are losing customers to the Thundercats. They are all booked out 4 months to a year. So let’s not kid ourselves and say that they aren’t getting enough support.

For those coming to this thread late, you will read posts from people that own and ride CJs boards and have good things to say about them. You will see many posts from people that have never ridden them yet repeatedly mock the technology and voice their negative opinion of them. Add me to the list of owners who will still buy and ride custom PU boards but can’t deny the fact that my 9’9” Parallax is a ridiculously fun piece of equipment.

Like a wise man once said, I frickin love this board…Thundercats Ho!
 

Artz

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2018
1,107
932
Florida
Not really. I mean, who am I to judge what you like? Who other than oneself is there to judge what one likes.

However, there are characteristics of a board I gravitate towards. The characteristics attract ME. Weight, momentum stuff like that...a cruise-y connected to the water type of thing.

hence the : cold water boil egg... off-road Lamborghini.
A better analogy would be a WWII vintage Jeep vs a modern Jeep.
 

SeniorGrom

Well-Known Member
Mar 20, 2012
3,307
2,299
USA New Jersey
A better analogy would be a WWII vintage Jeep vs a modern Jeep.
I think I understand the comparison, vintage/new, analog/digital, but from my automotive perspective Jeep has mostly been of mediocre to sometimes poor quality. Once a Chrysler product (poor too), now owned by Fiat. So the analogy is lost on me.

Too I’m not closed minded on tech infused longboards. Surf the heck out of my FCD Beavertail (XPS/Epoxy), and my custom Channin (EPS/Epoxy) ghost shaped by JP. A couple of my favorites and exceptional surfing boards.
 
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