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Renick Woods

Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Fin Review: True Ames 404 O’fish’L SUP Fin

May 22, 2012

The True Ames 404 O’Fish’l fin is a pretty good fin. The first thing I noticed is you get to choose from a wide array of cool colors when ordering this fin. Being able to add a little bit of custom choice is always a good thing. The next thing I noticed was how light it was. It really was one of the lightest fins I have held for SUP. The honeycomb construction really did away with a lot of weight found in other fins that are sold.

The afternoon I got it, I threw it in the bottom of my board and took it for a test drive. The fin performs pretty well, but does have some minor problems. First it tracks great at lower speeds, but if you’re sprinting fast for any kind of landmark in the distance, be ready to course check a lot. It wasn’t too bad, but didn’t allow me to put my head down, focus on stroke, and zone out to rhythm.

The next thing was it tended to snag some seaweed a little easier than other fins. It shed whatever it ran into fairly easily, but only after about 50 yards or so. Again if you’re racing for anything you don’t want that stuff on there at all.

Those where the only things that I found to be downfalls. So if you’re looking to race (fast) I wouldn’t recommend this fin. But if you’re looking for a solid fin that works great for touring and just enjoying nature around you, this is a good buy.

– Renick

Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Fin Review: CWP Great White SUP Fin

March 19, 2012

The Chuck Patterson Great White fin does exactly as it claims. A great fin design that allows it to stay stable, yet can easily be maneuvered when needed.

I took the fin out for two separate tests. One on a downwind run, and one in flat water.

The first thing I noticed in the downwind run was that the fin kept the board loose while dropping in on bumps. Once in the trough between bumps I found the fin easily let me change direction if I needed to follow, or catch another upcoming bump on the left or right. The fin also kept a very straight track. Some fins are great for down-winding because they don’t veer off course, but sacrifice maneuverability when needed in tight spots. This fin has both. You can concentrate on catching and gliding, knowing that the point you’re aiming for is still on track. The fin also had speed and didn’t seem to have any drag what so ever. Easily gliding from one bump and into the next.

The next run was over flat water. Some fins seem to work great in one set of certain conditions, while they lack in others. But not this fin. It held speed in flats just fine. Tracked a straight course just as it had in the downwind run. Even into a slight headwind (5 to 8 knts) it held course, and made it easy to concentrate on paddling by not having to switch sides every 3 strokes.

All in all this is a very impressive fin. At first I liked the aggressive design, hoping that the fin would live up to the name. I had some doubts as some fins work great in some areas and not in other areas. But this handled everything I put it through. It was much better than I expected it to be and a nice surprise. It does exactly what it says it will. If you’re looking for a fin that can go from one set of conditions to another, or just want an all around good fin, this is it. Great fin worth the money.

-Renick Woods

You can pick up the CWP Great White here.

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