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Surf Interviews

Interviews, Surf, Surf Interviews

Wefi Surfboards: Hollow Wood Shapes in Lantzville, BC

April 6, 2012

Wefi Hollow Wood Surfboards, from Vancouver island.

I was recently cruising around Vimeo, and stumbled on to a short film by Mark Wyatt. Mark’s film documents the creative process behind Randy Weflen, and his company Wefi Surfboards. Randy shapes beautiful hollow wood surfboards using red cedar, found on the west coat of Vancouver Island. Check out Mark’s video, and our short interview with Randy below.

In Mark’s film about Wefi, you mention that your father is a carpenter. Is he also a waterman, or did you pick up your surf skills by yourself?

I grew up building everything i could think of. Both my parents inspired me to be creative as they were themselves. As for a waterman… nope…But I think I have them talked into surf lessons this summer though… Haha. Learning how to master the construction of Wefi boards was a few years of trial and error. I was fueled by my passion for wood and a lifestyle I love…

What’s your favorite board in the Wefi quiver? (Favorite board to shape / Favorite board to ride)

In the past few years my favorite board to shape was our fish… the 5’10″fish… but recently Wefi surfboards has started to pop out a few 5’8″ Bonzers… those are definitely a treat to construct and shape. Soon to be available to the public, the Bonzer is a mix of local salvaged cedar and a touch of Pauduk (found in Africa) used for the lil Bonzer fin setup..

How would you say your boards ride in comparison to a glass/epoxy?

Hollow cedar surfboards have always created an argument in the surf world with there weight. In fact, the only issue wood boards have with weight is on land. Carrying the extra few pounds is all that affects them. In the water, the feed back I get with them is that they have a more lively feel.. The momentum and buoyancy generated by these boards makes for a more lively surf… they all say how much more you can feel the energy in the wave

Wefi Hollow Wood surfboards are shaped in Vancouver, BC

Any favorite shapers?

My favorite shapers are our local shapers. There is a ton of talent out here on the west coast and the personalities are great! Some of the bigger names in the industry have obviously helped inspire me to keep with a few retro shapes, but I gotta say, support your local shaper or you’re missin out.

Who would those shapers be?

Ark surfboards, Aftanas Surf Designs, Barracuda Surfboards & Northwest Surf Design..

Do you have a favorite surf flick?

Not really. but there’s a few I’ve watched more than once;) I seem to be a real sucker for short vids that tell a new story.. GotSurf.ca has some really cool vids that i tend to check out ;)

Still building bird houses?

Well up until a few years ago…I had to stop and challenge myself to build some key-chain holders.. it made for a nice easy transition into hollow cedar surfboards;)

Anything new and exciting planned for Wefi in 2012?

Absolutely!! As this company grows month to month, new goals are set on a regular basis… 2012 will be a year where you’ll see more media about the use of wood and how it has a very important role in the industry as well as some new shapes and designs. We also want to start gearing up to facilitate a classroom for those who are interested in building their own hollow cedar surfboard. And we are shooting for late 20112 to start that up.

If you’d like to know more about Wefi, head on over to Randy’s home on the web. www.wefisurfboards.com

Cheers,

– Shawn

Interviews, Surf, Surf Interviews

Functional Artwork by Renick Woods

March 2, 2012

Renick Woods (the Vanilla Gorilla,) is a Pacific Northwest artist and surfer. I first met Renick when I was working at Cheka-Looka surf shop. Since then he’s helped us print our hoodies, teach a few of our SUP classes, and even represented Stoke Harvester in the 2011 Round the Rock. Recently, Renick’s been busy in his workshop shaping hand planes. You can check out the planes here . Get to know Renick a little better, in our interview with him below.

I know you’ve been shaping surfboards for some time, but what sparked your interest in hand planes?
What sparked my interest in making hand planes was just needing to do something creative that involved the ocean in some way. That, and I love to body surf when the waves are good for it. I don’t have the room right now to shape surfboards, but I loved being able to design something and then go test it in the ocean. Functional artwork. At first it was just trying to back up my thought that I could make my own surfboard. After getting it dialed in it became about making boards for friends, and watching the joy they got from something made for them. One of my favorite things is seeing a smile on a friends face because of something you created. It’s the same notion with the hand planes. Just a different ride.

Your hand planes all have some killer artwork. What other mediums do you work with?
98% of my artwork is digital. It just makes things easier to change. That being said, I’ll use anything that will get the desired look I’m going for. I love watercolor, and airbrush.

When you are in the water, what are you usually up to?
When I’m in the water I’m usually up to whatever the situation calls for. If it’s steep shore break I’ll body surf. Mushy I’ll ride my fish or long board. Recently I’ve been doing lots of SUP both in and out of the surf. I guess mostly what I do is try and have the most fun I can in the water. Could be down winding in the sound or surfing the coast. Either way is good.

Favorite break?
Anything that’s breaking with fun shape.

Tell us about your toys (Surf, Skate, SUP)
Well lets see I’ve got my surf boards that I’ve shaped. They run from 6’0(short board) to 9’6(long board). In between is a fish and a few other short boards. Then I’ve got a 12′ Laird paddle board that my wife mostly uses now, and a 14 C4 V1. Love the C4! One Sector Nine skateboard. Of course a couple of hand planes for myself …

Do you have Tom Hanny’s phone number? I really need it.
I do have his number, but I better not give it out here.

Favorite surf flick?
Boy that’s tough. I’m gonna go with top three. In no particular order … Doped youth, Wave warriors 3 or 4 (can’t remember which is which), and Shelter.

Connect:
Renick’s site
Renick’s hand planes