After a hiatus building boats and custom staircases, Randy Weflen has returned to his business Wefi Surf to craft some of the most beautiful, and expensive, surfboards in the Pacific Northwest. By Mike Berard.
What is a surfboard worth? Whatever the answer, Randy Weflen’s custom cedar creations are worth considerably more than standard fibreglass-wrapped foam ones. The Cowichan Valley, British Columbia-based woodworker made boards that border on art for 14 years, but in 2015 he decided to stop. “People thought they were too expensive,” he says. “But I wasn’t breaking even, even when the boards cost $2,500.”
During his hiatus, Weflen tried his hand at wooden boat building and crafting custom staircases in multi-million-dollar mansions in West Vancouver. In the process, he learned new techniques and an appreciation for the value of his work. The experience inspired him to begin making boards again. “We are using the best wood products on the planet,” he says of his boards. “Combine that with time-honoured methods from boat building and space-age techniques, like the injection-moulding technology used in the aerospace industry, and the boards are lighter and stronger than ever.”
Many of them are lighter than foam offerings and perform at a high level. Iconic West Coast surfers, including Raph Bruhwiler, have praised Wefi for their products’ unique ride and flex, a reputation Weflen believes will evolve with the new iteration. “Raph and his kid Shea are both signed up for boards already,” he says. “I am going to set the level and performance of where wood is at.”
For more information, visit wefisurf.com.