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
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