Today, etnies proudly welcomes Mark “CJ” Nelson to the team. While he is known for his surf career, there is a lot more to CJ than his ability to spend an unnatural amount of time riding the nose and his signature fast and unique style of wave riding. Born in Santa Cruz and raised by 90’s skateboarding, CJ is also a designer, artist and business owner.
Surfing means everything to CJ, and from an early age he learned to keep FUN as the number one priority. Influential surf videos that CJ had parts in during his career include Sprout, The Present and A Paradigm Shift.
Known as a progressive long boarder – CJ remained inspired by skateboarding roots. He credits his skateboarding mentality and work ethic for his switch skate approach to nose riding.
Always interested in surfboard design, CJ was mentored and inspired by legendary shapers including Isreal Paskowitz, Herbie Fletcher, Darryl Butsko, Rich Harbor, Michel Junod and Bob Pearson. With more than 20 years as a professional surfer and designer, CJ combines his unique background in his design, art and creative work for brands.
He bleeds creativity coming from California’s surf, skate and art culture. Similar to the etnies’ DIY ethos as the first skateboarder-owned and operated footwear and apparel company, CJ is passionate about sharing the fun of surfing and offering others slices of his personal happiness through his surfboard shapes.