Extreme Sportsman Carving His Own Way Through Life

By Rhonda R. Harper
Updated: October 27, 2007


Christopher "Crib" Butler on a day out snowboarding.

CALIFORNIA — His name is Christopher “Crib” Butler, he is a black surfer, skateboarder, and snowboarder living in Palo Alto, California. He was born and raised in Southwest Ohio near the Indiana and Kentucky borders and started skateboarding street-style in the mid-1980s Christopher’s local breaks are Linda Del Mar Beach in Pacifica, California and 38th Ave in Santa Cruz, California. Board sports have been a part of his life as long as he can remember. “For many years I was the only skateboarder around. I would get teased a lot for skating. Back then people would say I was trying to be white.”

“The first time I ever seen a person of color surfing and skateboarding was on a television program that featured Larry Bertleman in the early 80′s. Even though he was Hawaiian from that moment on I knew I was not the only person of color who loved riding board sport”, say Butler.

Fast Forward to the Present- He surfs waves from Santa Cruz to Ocean Beach in San Francisco. He snowboard all over Tahoe with a season pass to Kirkwood Resort in South Lake, and skateboard throughout the streets of the bay area . His specialty is bombing parking garages.

***image8***Crib’s, as he is known, first real skateboard was a Vision Kele Rosecrans model. “I remember saving up $80 and begging my dad to drive me to the rough part of Cincinnati to buy that board (the only skate shop was near the University of Cincinnati in the “ghetto”)”. Prior to that he had a yellow plastic banana board made by Wham-O and a red GT spoiler.

“I didn’t really skate much in high school and college (basketball and soccer were my sports of choice during those years). I started back skating after I moved to the Bay Area from Washington DC after 9/11. During that same time, I started shaping longboard skateboards because I didn’t like anything that was out on the market.”

***image10***“Another reason I started shaping skateboards was to experiment with sizes and shapes. I really want to create beautiful longboards that are reminiscent of the old balsa wood surfboards of the 1950s”.

Today, he works as a research analyst at Stanford University and runs Malu Longboards out of his house. When he is not working, surfing, skating, or snowboarding, I am shaping skateboards.“I custom shape classic longboard skateboards for surf-style skating”, says Crib Butler.

Stats for “Crib”

***image7***Name: Christopher Butler

Nickname: Crib

Gender: Male

Height: 5-feet-10

Weight: 180 lbs

Age: 36

Home Town: Colerain Township, Ohio

Started Skateboarding: Mid-1980s

Turned Pro: Not going to happen (In my dreams)

Stance: Regular (working on Goofey)

Favored Discipline: Surf-style, Street Carving

***image11***THE FAVES

Favorite Setup: 42″ Malu Longboard, Revenge Trucks (super loose); Landyacht Hawg wheels (78MM); Swiss Bones bearings; no griptape, no kick or nose tail

Favorite Skate Location: Empty Parking Garages in Palo Alto; Golden Gate Park in SF; Embarcadero in SF; Boardwalk in Hermosa Beach.

Favorite Surf Breaks: 38th Ave in Santa Cruz; Old Man’s in San Onofre; Malibu minus the crowds

Favorite Snowboard Runs: Elevator Shaft, Kirkwood Resort (South Lake Tahoe); Harmony Ridge, Whistler (BC); Cloud Nine, Blackcomb (BC); Red Dog & Homerun, Squaw Valley (Lake Tahoe)

Da Crew: MBR (Malu Board Riders)

Favorite Book: All black surfers/skaters should read The White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty. It is about a black kid (Gunnar Kaufman) who was raised in Santa Monica living the beach lifestyle, then was transplanted to Hillside, a Black and Latino “ghetto” in West LA as a teenager. It is hilarious and provides a commentary on race and class in America.

Early Skateboard Influences: Larry Bertlemann; Marty Grimes; The Steves (Steve Steadham, Steve Caballero, Steve Alba; Steve Olson); The Tonies (Tony Alva & Tony Hawk); Skatemaster Tate; Christian Hosoi; Gator; Peggy Oki (she held it down for the ladies)

***image9***What is on my IPOD: Mos Def; Talib; Ozomatli; Steel Pulse; Desmond Dekker; Natural Vibrations (Hawaiian); Natiruts (Brazilian reggae); of course Bob Marley; Lately I have also been into old soul and British rock. I like all types of music.

Favorite Surf DVD: A tie between “A Brokedown Melody” and “Sipping Jetstreams” and “Sprout”

Favorite Skate DVD: Hallowed Ground

Favorite Snowboard DVD: Warren Miller (all his movies a sick)

Favorite Food: Ahi Poke (I like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for quick energy before sessions)

Favorite Travel Experience: Camping on the beach in Hawaii with friends. Hotels are for suckers.