SHAPER SPOTLIGHT with C.J. Chaisson

 Name – CJ Chaisson 

Age – 31

Occupation – OKC Broadway Subscriptions Manager

Years surfing – 11

Homebreak – Scripps

# of boards shaped – Not including my lesson board, working on my 5th.

  1. What first got you interested in shaping your own surfboards and how did you hear about SHAPER STUDIOS?
  • Surfboards are expensive. And I thought making my own would be cheaper. As well as I could make whatever I wanted. And I probably followed Shaper on Instagram for a few years, talking about how much I wanted to make boards until my girlfriend bought me a shaping and glassing lesson for my birthday. Best gift ever!
  1. Did you have any experience with the shaping process before coming to SHAPER STUDIOS?
  • None whatsoever.
  1. Name your 3 favorite surfboard shapers?
  • Answering this question took me a lot longer than I thought it would, mostly because there are SO many shapers out there…And then I started thinking of all the glassers out there..But this is what I came up with, in no particular order.

Roger Hinds, Jeff Mccallum, Ryan Lovelace.

  1. What is your favorite era of surfing in terms of design, style, and personalities?
  • I hate to say it, but right now is pretty rad. Since I’m currently experiencing the “ride anything” mantra, I’m beyond stoked on that. However, it would’ve been rad to be alive when Chris O’Rourke was surfing Windandsea, or to see guys pioneering at Pipe.
  1. What countries have you surfed in and where is your favorite wave in the world?
  • I’ve only been to a few countries, Hawaii (not a country, but ya know..), Costa Rica, and Mexico. Hawaii was a completely different experience and pretty terrifying. Costa Rica was a lot of fun. Mexico is always a good time. But, my favorite wave in the world is right here in San Diego.
  1. What do you do when you aren’t surfing or shaping?
  • Outside of working a lot, not much haha. I’ve been listening to true crime podcasts recently. The reason people do the things they do is so interesting to me. It’s a bit morbid, but I’ve been learning a lot about serial killers and I love it. I’ve also been working on my truck, out of necessity. But it’s so gratifying to fix things on your own.
  1. Tell us about how you chose the most recent board design you ended up shaping?
  • I love the fish more than anyone probably should. And I feel a connection to it since it came out of Sunset Cliffs. It was the first board I rode after only having a shortboard forever, and had that “Ah ha” moment. So, I’m making a modern fish/twin fin design. I want a little more performance out of it. I’ve been playing with the bottom concaves, a more pulled in tail for tighter turning. And glassed on keels modeled after the Lovelace/True Ames that are out. Hopefully it all comes together.
  1. Did you have any concerns with learning how to shape?
  • Not that I can think of. Other than, “hopefully this thing floats”.
  1. What was your favorite and least favorite part of the shaping process?
  • My favorite part is learning a new technique. It’s like unlocking a new level. And I want to say fixing my mistakes is my least favorite part of the process. However, I always learn something from them, which I then apply to the next board. But when it happens, I always think, “Great. I just screwed this whole thing”. So that sucks haha
  1. What did you learn through the shaping process that might help your understanding of riding waves?
  • Honestly, I never really thought about how a board reacts with a wave until I started shaping. Once I did, and had more boards for different types of waves, then it all started to click. Like how a hard edge will grab the face on a steeper wave. So depending on the type of wave, the swell, the tide, that all determines what board I’ll bring with me.
  1. What was your take on the vibe at SHAPER STUDIOS when interacting with other surf club members?
  • That’s the best part man. Being surrounded by people who are just as stoked about surfing and making boards, is what makes it all worthwhile. Most people don’t want to hear me ramble on about how good the waves are. But everyone at Shaper get’s it!
  1. What do you plan on shaping next and why?
  • I currently have 4-5 people who just haven’t fully committed to orders yet, so hopefully some boards for other people to try. Then I want to make an egg, a mid-length, and possibly a standard shortboard, and I haven’t even thought of assyms yet. Maybe I’ll throw a finless in there somewhere??