THE BOARD

Chistenson said :

“Still probably the most versatile design of all surfboard craft. If you were stranded on an island for the next 10 years and were only allowed one board this would be my recommendation. Tested from Cardiff Reef to Ulu Watu, Waikiki to Pipe, this is a very trustworthy design. Double foil fins with low cant and toe complimented by the twin pin tail allow this board to reach high speeds and insure hold whenever on the rail.”

We said :

I love this board, it had been on my wish-list for a while and I was at ‘little kid froth levels’ when I grabbed it from Onboard Byron Bay.  The only downer was I had to get the fat boy model as I’ve packed quite a few kgs in recent months – taking the 5’8 model which runs at about 36l !!

The board itself is dreamy to ride, more so if you’re the type of surfer who takes their time when approaching the wave. You can really draw out long carves and get around sections, it’s fast and paddles really well too. If you’re a stuttering, over energetic, snappy surfer I’d suggest getting something different or get the Christensen Fish in very small specs.

SHAPE

The board I’ve been riding is a 5’8 x 21 1/4 x 2 1/2 – 37 litres, big boy model, and is running wooden keel fins that are glassed in (gives the board an extra 25% performance boost – but if you get fin systems try the Keel Fins from FCS (I’d grab the Modern Keel Template) or Futures (i’d be grabbing the K2 Template. both brands have great options.

Like all his boards, the Christenson Fish is beautiful – to hold, to look at, to ride – from the black rail spray, to the cloth lay up, polish and wooden fins, the entire thing just looks and feels amazing under your arm. The board shape itself is inspired by the retro fish of the ’70s but has some modern tweaks to it to make it a little more rider friendly. You’ll find it pulled in at the tail, with rails that are  and a deep single concave (almost looks like a vent of sorts) running down between the fins. 

WAVE TYPE

This is a board that goes is most conditions up to about 3ft, anything over and you’re nursing it, sliding out or just not really having fun (besides going super duper fast). Ideal wave type would be 2ft running along a nice bank, nothing to sucky or too fat – think some nice wraparounds, sections to race, etc. It’s brilliant for easy riding…

If you want to step it up tho, and get your Asher Pacey on, then it’ll handle 4ft and it’ll handle sucky waves – sort of. I just don’t think it’s really built for that, or more precisely, where you’ll have the most fun on it. I’d surfed it a bunch of times out at Dbah at both 1ft up to about 4ft and while I went 35km/h (thanks Rip Curl) it wasn’t letting me surf how I would have liked.

PERFORMANCE

I probably rode a model that is 2inches longer then I should have, and this most likely impacted my ability to really give it a nudge and ‘perform’. But, personally, I’ve always enjoyed twin fins a little bit bigger then recommended, etc I like the extra float, cruising and general easier to ride vibes I get from it. I’m not riding one to do try snaps, airs or finners, I’m riding it to cruise and enjoy not having to flap around like a stage 5 bottom turner…

But if you want to rip, then get the board about 6 inches under what you normal ride and rip in. The board will hold through carves, the trick is to make sure you really lay it over and push. If you’re the surfer who does turns that end with a snap then you’ll find this thing might slide on you more often then not. Learn how to use the rail and you’re dialled in on a board that will give you plenty of smiles, clean you those stuttering lines in your surfing and generally have you stoked more often than not.

VERDICT

You could really go out and buy a zillion variations of twin fins right now, such is their popularity, but if you’re looking to only get one. Grab this Christenson Fish or a Mark Richards Retro 80 (cause everyone needs an MR in their quiver).

Beyond that point, the Christenson Fish is such a fun board to ride – paddle power, trim speed, ability to throw on rail or just do some slo-mo carves – it’s all there. Get fixed wooden keels if you can, no idea if it changes performance but it just makes the board look deadset amazing.

The biggest point I’d say look at is the size you pick, Christenson suggests you drop 6 inches from your shorty and I’d say that’s pretty good if you’re reasonably fit, on weight, etc. But if you’re a little chubby, ain’t super fit or an advanced surfer then aim for 2-4 inches shorter, you’ll have way more fun with the extra volume and enjoy the forgiveness you’ll get from the board too. And overall, isn’t that what we’re all chasing, more fun in the water ?

Go get order one now from ::
Christenson Direct via Web
Onboard Industries if in Australia.

The Christenson Fish isn’t widely available, you need to know where to look to find at a retail level. Onboard Industries in Australia are the distributors, so check with them for a direct purchase or a run down on local retailers near you. In the US, hit up Christenson direct for a run down on where to get a board or Hit up their retailer page for more info.

If you do go and get a Christenson Fish (or any of his models – we got a review on the Cafe Racer next) couple it up with his Captain Fin Co fin templates.

Price wise you’re looking at around $1200 AUD, which ain’t too bad considering this is a board that’s got a strong glass job, looks amazing and is a board, I think, you’ll have in your quiver for a long, long time.

5’0″20 3/8″2 5/16″28.54 L
5’2″20 1/2″2 3/8″30.31 L
5’4″20 3/4″2 3/8″31.44 L
5’6″21″2 7/16″34.58 L
5’8″21 1/4″2 1/2″36.94 L
5’10”21 1/2″2 9/16″39.75 L

If you enjoyed this review you can visit our Product Reviews page for more, including a recent run of Springsuits and Boardcovers. We’ll have more Surfboard reviews coming soon, with the Christenson Cafe Racer up next.

Again, if you’re interested in buying a Christensen Fish hit the links below ::

Buy from Christenson’s Online Store
Check Christenson’s Stockist list

Or hit Onboard direct, they’re probably the best place in Australia to get one.


Images via : Onboard Industries and Christenson Surfboards