CRAIG ON HIS NEW RIPPER/SLASHER!
ANOTHER HAPPY RIDER!
DAVE GOING BIG!!
DAVE GOING BIG AGAIN!
RON LOVES HIS OPEN OCEANS!!
DAVE CATCHIN' AIR
JOHN IN RIO VISTA!
BONNIE IN RIO VISTA!
BILL RIPPIN' IT UP IN THE GORGE!
TOM GETTIN' AIR IN THE GORGE!
MOST OF THESE BOARDS ARE STILL ON THE WATER!!
TOM - YEEEHAW!
STEVE IS LOVIN' HIS BOARD!
JT GOIN' BIG AT RIO!
TERRY TEARIN' IT UP IN THE GORGE!
PETE THE TERMINATOR!
Welcome to the Gallery section!
This page is dedicated to the Open Ocean riders and hopefully that's you!
Please feel free to EMAIL US your comments, pictures or videos and we'll post
them here for other OO riders to see!
I'm one of those who swear by them. Most of the boards Brian makes are
probably Gorge boards, but he lived in Hawaii for a long time too and
will shape for waves too. He's also been building wide-body light-wind
boards for the past couple of years (light-wind around here meaning
maybe 6.5 wind.) His boards are remarkably easy to sail--they plane
easy, stick to the water like glue when you want them too, jibe smooth,
and are great upwind. Whenever I have to rent, I realize how nice his
I've ridden them for about 10 years now, but don't take my word for it.
Recently my brother came out to the Gorge for a sailing trip. He had
rented an Angulo and we went out to Clatskanie, which gets pretty
gnarly above 20 knots. I let him take out my board, and he came back
glowing. On other boards, he felt like he was "just along for the
ride," but with the OO he felt in complete control.
His boards also have a reputation for strength, although I'm not sure
about this newer construction he's started using in the past couple of
years. I met a guy in the Gorge who weighed 230 lbs, his biggest sail
was a 4.7, and he sailed a 7'10" OO, and was a big jumper; in other
words a seriously high-wind dude. He said the boards were"indestructible."
I have to write because I've been so happy with my Open Oceans and with
the service I've gotten from Brian.
I bought my first OO (8-0) 5 years ago for Gorge sailing. This was a used
PolyRight (lighter version) and I immediately loved it for the typical Gorge
4.7 sailing sessions. Back then I would switch down to my little 7-6 Gorge
Animal as soon as the wind came up to 4.2 or better. But over the years I've
realized how versatile that 8-0 OO is. It's the perfect all around Gorge
board for someone my size (165 pounds). It has become my bread and butter
Gorge board for 4.7 and 4.2. (The little Gorge Animal still rules for full
on 3.7 or higher winds, but the Open Ocean can hang in there too at
3.7 --sometimes I do sail it in 3.7 if the wind is gusty/holey.) So
basically, I got the OO for cruising through holes in "friendly 4.7" winds,
but I've ended up using this board 80% of the time when I'm sailing the
Gorge. (since for my weight 4.2 and 4.7 covers most of my Gorge sailing).
I'm not inclined to put up with sinking in the holes with the little Animal,
now that I know I can have almost the same high wind control with the larger
Open Ocean and cruise through the holes. On the lighter end of 4.7 I'm less
inclined to go to my bigger wave board since I'd rather pump a few extra
times to get planing and then have a smooth ride than be on a corky
production board that zips along on every little puff but bounces the heck
out of me once I really get going. This translates to more fun sessions and
less rerigging of sails. The OO is the perfect balance for me for getting
through the light spots but not getting too bouncy is the gusts. I guess
it's my knees that have a major say that this is a great board. And I don't
really lose all that much in the lighter conditions anyway if I just put on
a bigger fin when it's marginal. I've done side by side comparisons with
some larger production boards with the 4.7 and I seem to usually like the OO
best all around for Gorge 4.7/4.2. (For Gorge 5.2 or coastal wave sailing I
do go to my 8-6 wave board though.) I do notice that the OO is not as fast
as a typical production board in the lighter end of 4.7...but I'm happier to
have the smooth riding. And once I'm fully powered I think it's more
advantageous to be on a smoother riding board for comfort, and speedwise it
equalizes out because I can "stay on the throttle" all the time where I
can't do that in the chop with a bouncier "faster" board.
As far a turniness goes, fin selection and placement makes a big difference.
I've found it pays to work with fin positioning relative to the thrusters to
find the sweet spot to get the thrusters and fin working harmoniously for
good turns/carves. I get about 85% of the turniness of my wave board once
I'm dialed in with fin, boom height, and sail balance. I pretty much carve
up the Gorge swells at will with no spin outs. I like the Curtis (now
GSport) fins. (I found non slotted fins are a bit faster and more responsive
and I don't need the slot because I work for balance and effortless sailing
and don't like to rely on a slot to make up for things a bit off.) I start
with the leading edge of the fin foil about even with the trailing edge of
the thrusters, then move the fin back in 1/8" increments to experiment--yes
1/8" is a noticeable difference. Once dialed in and turny I mark where that
fin is positioned. For marginal to friendly 4.7 I use the Curtis B&J 10"
fin. For well powered 4.7 I use the Curtis Surf 9.25". For typical 4.2 I use
the Curtis Surf 8.75". For maxed out 4.2 the Curtis Surf 8.25; and for 3.7
the Curtis 8.25 slot. Note that with the more vertical B&J fin I move the
leading edge back versus the Surf Fin, and with a Surf Slot fin I move the
leading edge forward (or else the slotted fin doesn't turn very well at
all!) Boom height makes a big difference too. If the board feels sluggish I
raise the boom until it feels zippy and turny.
As far a durability, I'm happy that these boards stand up reasonably well
and even happier that I don't have to worry about dings posiibly letting
water in that will be absorbed by the core. (This is true of Brians new
construction too I gather.) And I also can't say enough good things about
how Brian has taken care of me when repairs have been needed. For instance I
had a severe encounter with a rock that pushed the fin all the way to the
back of the box and sent me flying into my mast causing a dislocated finger.
Anyway the board was still sailable after that impact though it did have a
hairline crack across the tail. Brian did a beautiful job re-glassing the
tail for me for a very reasonable price, and turned it around in 2 days too!
Can't beat that for service.
A few years ago I had Brian make me a full custom new board for when I'm not
in the Gorge, and it handles New England chop beautifully. I love my Open
Oceans. I like staying on the same sail when others are scrambling on the
beach to re-rig. I've talked to Brian about his new construction now that
Clark Foam is gone and it sounds like things are even better than
before--the boards come out lighter than the older Clark Foam version. or he
can beef it up with extra glass to make the weight a little heavier if you
can't wrap your mind around Open Oceans now being so light. And as Brian
says, he can make the new ones so strong now for the same or less weight of
the older ones that he may be putting himself out of business if they never
The trouble with custom boards is that they are "made to Order", so there is actually no truly accurate way of telling what volume a particular board is. Each person who purchases an Open Ocean gets to discuss with Brian how the board is to be made. Width, rocker, tail shape, bottom shape, weight of rider, is it to be sailed at the Hatch, or at Stevenson. A 5.0 sail or a 4.2 sail. And to top it all off, volume is not a particularly good way to determine how a board will act on the water, except for when you are slogging. Rocker and width are just as important, if not more so.
Thus when you see an Open Ocean for sale odds are that the only way you will find out if the board is appropriate for your requirements, is to buy it and see.
If you really want an OO, I suggest that you go and have Brian make you a board. He should be running a special by now, and he will make you a board that you will love, first time. That's what I did, and the first time I rode it I loved it.
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