This little run of summer waves and weather has given me the first proper chance to run my newest log through it's paces. It's a 9'4 "mod log" from the last batch of boards Randall shaped before hanging up his planer indefinately last year. I loved the look of it when Neil showed it to me and wished i'd had the cash and the space in the shed to buy it then so when it popped up for sale on magic seaweed i wasn't about to make the same mistake twice!
Template wise it's pretty much what a lot of people have been moving towards recently, less Nuuhiwa noserider and more Hot Generation/ Magic Sam with a greenough fin, thin pinched rails, widepoint pulled back a little, plenty of roll out into the rails and only a shallow nose concave. The nose is fairly narrow at 17 3/4 and the tail is wide at 16 1/4. Despite being 23 wide and 3 in the center there's not a great deal of foam in there. It's similar to the boards Dane Peterson has been riding recently or Chonoski's "involvement" Mctavish's
It's not really a "saunton board" being designed for waves with a little more zip but like most boards with a wide point back of center, as long as there is a steepish pocket to tuck into there's plenty of scope to get piggies dangling. Off the tail it's whippy in a pivoty way and it's got a nice responsive lively feel despite it's volan glass. In fact my only negative so far would be that it paddles really slowly although i'm not entirely sure why as it's fast in trim.
It's a crying shame Randall is no longer making boards, his logs are great and he makes a great mini-simmons too. His templates are spot on and the boards are beautifully finished with some very neat creative touches. Mine has a carbon fibre cloth asymmetric tail patch for example!
I think everyone i've known to ride one of his shapes has rated it and there are more than a few people who would like to get a board off him if he can ever be persuaded to pick up a planer again. In a way it's a little bit pointless posting a detailed review since none of you can currently order a board off him so perhaps this can form another little prick at his concious that his skills are prized over here and an occasional trip to the shaping bay wouldn't be such a bad thing!