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.
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.