CJ Nelson Outlier reviews?

slideright

Member
Oct 19, 2006
484
20
I’ve been eyeing the outlier. I’ve never bought a board from a larger brand so if there is a better alternative let me know.
Either way, if anyone has this board and has feedback let me know.
 

jory

Well-Known Member
Dec 25, 2005
624
490
United Kingdom
I have a 7’6

Buy one!............



In all seriousness, I’m not super stoked on buying from FireWire but I really like the board as do the couple of mates of mine that have ridden it.

I was interested partly cos I love the way CJ is surfing in his current renaissance period and partly because I had a spence hull once and the “hull feel” is a special feeling.

It’s probably best described as a cruisey midlength that has some of the proper hull forward trim and buttery feel but when you step back to turn it, it doesn’t have any of the hull weirdness to cut back and behaves more like a normal single fin egg.

It paddles ok, feels a bit like it’s pushing water ( like a hull) but that doesn’t translate into difficulty catching waves. It’s much more neutral than a true hull - you can just kind of Nurse it into waves and trim down the line. It definitely has that 2/3rds of the way up the board trim spot for speed when the wave steepens. It prefers to be close to the pocket.

It lets you do a hull style deep rail bottom turn and will carve Through a nice cutback with rail engaged. It’s easy to surf backside too.

I’ve ridden it up to head high so far. Had a a few compliments on its speed and lines from random other surfers. One friend asked if it had a propeller such was its lateral speed on a junky waist high day. I’ve only surfed it in beachbreak. I’m 5’6 and around 155. I can just duck dive it.

The thunderbolt tech makes it feel quite light but not in a skittery surftech way. It’s quite “alive” to surf.

There are other people who will make a nice single fin midlength for you for the money but honestly it’s a great board and none of those other shapers are easily accessible in the uk.
 

jory

Well-Known Member
Dec 25, 2005
624
490
United Kingdom
Also, I’ve had it set down next to a vaquero. They are quite similar templates and I suspect surf fairly similar. The vaquero had more foiled rails in the tail and a more contoured bottom. The outlier is roll up front into vee similar to the vaquero but the vee is quite subtle in the outlier and quite pronounced in the vaq.

CJ has had boards from Andreini in the past and it wouldn’t surprise me if the outlier was based on a vaquero he’d ridden.
 

GETWET

Member
Aug 14, 2008
105
21
oahu
I just picked up a 9'0" Outier.
First wave and first session was a blast. Love it.
Loose n fast. Very easy board to surf.
I have a custom noserider from Ryan Engle, his boards WORK!
 

JaM

Member
Jan 29, 2018
59
51
GC
I have a 7’6

Buy one!............



In all seriousness, I’m not super stoked on buying from FireWire but I really like the board as do the couple of mates of mine that have ridden it.

I was interested partly cos I love the way CJ is surfing in his current renaissance period and partly because I had a spence hull once and the “hull feel” is a special feeling.

It’s probably best described as a cruisey midlength that has some of the proper hull forward trim and buttery feel but when you step back to turn it, it doesn’t have any of the hull weirdness to cut back and behaves more like a normal single fin egg.

It paddles ok, feels a bit like it’s pushing water ( like a hull) but that doesn’t translate into difficulty catching waves. It’s much more neutral than a true hull - you can just kind of Nurse it into waves and trim down the line. It definitely has that 2/3rds of the way up the board trim spot for speed when the wave steepens. It prefers to be close to the pocket.

It lets you do a hull style deep rail bottom turn and will carve Through a nice cutback with rail engaged. It’s easy to surf backside too.

I’ve ridden it up to head high so far. Had a a few compliments on its speed and lines from random other surfers. One friend asked if it had a propeller such was its lateral speed on a junky waist high day. I’ve only surfed it in beachbreak. I’m 5’6 and around 155. I can just duck dive it.

The thunderbolt tech makes it feel quite light but not in a skittery surftech way. It’s quite “alive” to surf.

There are other people who will make a nice single fin midlength for you for the money but honestly it’s a great board and none of those other shapers are easily accessible in the uk.
Nice, I like the look and sound of the outlier although I have not seen one in the flesh. Have you still got your Howard mini? I get the impression cj rides his outlier in more peaky conditions but the only footage I have seen is at the surf ranch. How do the two compare.?????
 

jory

Well-Known Member
Dec 25, 2005
624
490
United Kingdom
They’re quite different even allowing for the howard being 6’10 and the outlier 7’6

The Howard is still probably my favourite ever board to surf but it needs at least a shoulder high face and a bit of go in the wave. It’s got roll into quite a lot of panel vee so it’s not great at generating speed in a slack wave but it’s really smooth and drivey carve around on a wave that’s the right size. It’s pretty confidence inspiring and it’s top end is way above my wave comfort zone! I tend to surf mine on the bigger days here and it’s also been amazing at the wave pool - enough glide to go over flat spots but short enough to fit in the wave there. The pics attached are probably it’s smallest size that it works in and the wave is quite punchy there.

B96A396D-1E9B-46F7-9E22-23258A98CE83.jpeg
3C85C2DB-DD7C-4917-8EF8-738C2C558F68.jpeg


The outlier has a very different feel. The Howard is very much an egg style thing and feels much more “performance” (in a very smooth way) if that makes sense.

The outlier has a lot more of a hull feel than I expected and is much more of a cruisey board. As others have said, you are very aware of the belly up front, it definately has that buttery slippy hull feel as it goes over on a wave ( the howard doesn’t have this) and it definitely rewards a full rail crouched bottom turn like a proper hull. It also definately has a forward trim spot that the board accelerates in a high line of a steep section like a hull does.

What’s great about it is that it turns much more like a single fin egg from the tail without the classic hull weirdness. You can engage the rail and wrap a proper cutback like a normal single fin egg and not the weird half cut back stall back into the pocket a true hull enforces.

Waves wise I’ve used it in smaller surf so far as I can only just duck dive it. Sure it will “go” in head high stuff as well but would need a tiny bit more nursing than the Howard.

So between waist and shoulder high plus so far. It’s not a board you pump for speed but it will cover a lot of ground and beat sections with a climbing and dropping flow - like a hull it will cover a lot of lateral ground on a drawn out bottom turn. It bogs a little in a flat section but generates its own speed as the wave steepens. It works great in lined up waves because of that but it’s good in junky peaky surf too as it will race through steep spots as they form ahead of you in the mush and it’s easy to cut back to the pocket.

Second session on it was super onshore two foot junk and I was linking waves right through well enough that someone asked me if it had a propellor underneath!

I really like the outlier. Reckon it will be fun at the pool when it reopens. it’s definitely a different design ranch to the howard
 
Last edited:

Artz

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2018
1,114
935
Florida
They’re quite different even allowing for the howard being 6’10 and the outlier 7’6

The Howard is still probably my favourite ever board to surf but it needs at least a shoulder high face and a bit of go in the wave. It’s got roll into quite a lot of panel vee so it’s not great at generating speed in a slack wave but it’s really smooth and drivey carve around on a wave that’s the right size. It’s pretty confidence inspiring and it’s top end is way above my wave comfort zone! I tend to surf mine on the bigger days here and it’s also been amazing at the wave pool - enough glide to go over flat spots but short enough to fit in the wave there. The pics attached are probably it’s smallest size that it works in and the wave is quite punchy there.

View attachment 27911 View attachment 27912

The outlier has a very different feel. The Howard is very much an egg style thing and feels much more “performance” (in a very smooth way) if that makes sense.

The outlier has a lot more of a hull feel than I expected and is much more of a cruisey board. As others have said, you are very aware of the belly up front, it definately has that buttery slippy hull feel as it goes over on a wave ( the howard doesn’t have this) and it definitely rewards a full rail crouched bottom turn like a proper hull. It also definately has a forward trim spot that the board accelerates in a high line of a steep section like a hull does.

What’s great about it is that it turns much more like a single fin egg from the tail without the classic hull weirdness. You can engage the rail and wrap a proper cutback like a normal single fin egg and not the weird half cut back stall back into the pocket a true hull enforces.

Waves wise I’ve used it in smaller surf so far as I can only just duck dive it. Sure it will “go” in head high stuff as well but would need a tiny bit more nursing than the Howard.

So between waist and shoulder high plus so far. It’s not a board you pump for speed but it will cover a lot of ground and beat sections with a climbing and dropping flow - like a hull it will cover a lot of lateral ground on a drawn out bottom turn. It bogs a little in a flat section but generates its own speed as the wave steepens. It works great in lined up waves because of that but it’s good in junky peaky surf too as it will race through steep spots as they form ahead of you in the mush and it’s easy to cut back to the pocket.

Second session on it was super onshore two foot junk and I was linking waves right through well enough that someone asked me if it had a propellor underneath!

I really like the outlier. Reckon it will be fun at the pool when it reopens. it’s definitely a different design ranch to the howard
Nice review.
 
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