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The Christenson Flat Tracker glides, trims, carves and flies down the line in a wide range of conditions from ankle high dribblers to head high barrels. The 70’s inspired mid length design features a full length vee bottom shape with concaves added for extra lift and speed. Christenson calls his Flat Tracker the perfect single board quiver for tripping the California coast, as it performs in almost anything.
•Mid length design
•Full length vee/concave bottom shape
•Tapered cedar stringer
•6/4 x 6oz glass schedule for added durability and momentum
•Single fin set up
What We Like
The Christenson Flat Tracker is not only a great single board option for “tripping up and down the California coast” it’s also a great single board option for tripping just about everywhere, and that includes your own backyard. The Flat Tracker has a nice blend of performance mid length characteristics, with enough lift and glide for the small days and maneuver/handling characteristics for the bigger days.
The board we tested was a 7’8, so it had great paddling/wave catching ability and way more than expected power underfoot in weak surf. This comes from the straighter outline, flat rocker and wide, square trail. The full length vee bottom shape with double concave under your feet provides a momentum building feel on every wave, with added speed out of each turn thanks to the lift provided by the concaves. The Flat Tracker gets you in early, allowing you to casually fade into your first bottom turn, before taking off down the line. The square tail frees up the Flat Tracker for a nice tight pivot in the pocket when the wave permits. This same tail also juices up, flat faced gutless surf adding power and speed to every ride. In larger, punchier surf, the combination of vee, thinner rails out the back, and a tapered cedar stringer provide a good level of control and grip in the water that allow you to push the Flat Tracker in waves you wouldn’t think you could ride it in. Yes, the C-Bucket would be a better choice specifically for these waves, but that fact that you can surf the same board in 6” inch surf as 6-foot surf is pretty cool.
As with all Christenson boards, the attention to detail is obvious on the Flat Tracker. Signature touches include a volan fiberglass deck patch, tapered cedar stringer, 6/4 x 6 oz glass schedule for added durability and momentum on the wave, flawless cut lap overlays, beautiful tints and your choice of sanded, WSG (wet sanded gloss) or G&P (Gloss and Polish) finishes. For reference, our Flat Tracker was finished with WSG, where our C-Bucket was full G&P. Somehow, even the sanded or WSG finished clear boards look unique and perfect, and this is a tuff thing to do in the vanilla world of clear surfboards. Chalk it all up to Christenson’s drive to make a perfect surfboard.
Two things worth mentioning in this section are fin sizing and where this board performs the best out of its “surf everything” range. Just like the C-Bucket, this board HATES being over finned. We can’t stress this enough, so if you remember anything from this write up, please remember to err on the side of under-finning it rather than over-finning it. Even as little as an extra ½”inch of fin can take the magic this board offers and throw it out the window. For example, we started off with a medium area 8” fin that we love on our larger C-Bucket and the Flat Tracker was a full on dud with it. Zero performance, stopped dead in its tracks at the bottom of the wave and got steam rolled. When we switched to fins either shorter in length, or with less overall area, the Flat Tracker fully transformed itself into the board we were looking for; way more neutral, way faster, with a more free feeling in the pocket. The fins we used that worked well included the Captain Fin Company Brothers Marshall 7.5”, as well as a Captain Fin Company 8” Christenson Tracker and a Tudor Flex 8.5”. Yea, they all sound around the same size as the 8” fin that didn’t come close to working, but the key here is the overall fin area. These three listed had less overall area and worked WAY better.
We have a lot of people ask us “Flat Tracker or C-Bucket, which should I get?” To start off, there’s the tail shape and aesthetics. Some people just straight up like one tail over the other based on performance and looks… and that’s a great way to make your decision. Beyond that, it comes down to the overall shape of the waves you will be surfing the majority of the time. The Flat Tracker works best on flatter faced waves of any size. Even in small waves with no power, this board feels fast and powered up under your feet, and this is rare with boards of this length, where you normally need to size up to your log in order to have the board feel good in tiny surf. The Flat Tracker works in the barrel too, but that’s where the C-Bucket likes to light it up and is really in its prime. So if you’re based in an area with slopier waves, go Flat Tracker. If you’re based in an area with punchier, hollow waves, you will probably like the C-Bucket better, as the rounded pintail feels more neutral in round surf. If you’re looking for one board to cover the widest range, with most of it being slopey waves with a bit of barrels thrown in too, then the Flat Tracker will definitely fit that bill.
Why you want a Christenson Flat Tracker:
This is a great board that brings simplistic fun back to the sport of surfing. You can surf it in almost anything. It catches tons of waves and feels good gliding and carving across them. You catch yourself tripping out on how insane the board looks and feels under your arm. You don’t have to check the waves before you load it in your truck. Sounds fun right?
Based on early to mid seventies design this model likes the pocket and is a great small to medium wave barrel hunter. 7'2" x 21" x 2.75"
The Flat Tracker was designed to trim at high speeds yet be maneuverable and release from the tail. Based on early to mid seventies design this model likes the pocket and is a great small to medium wave barrel hunter. A great board for someone looking for a one-board solution for tripping up and down the California coast.