Oct 092016

tritonfarnboroughLast week I was in my workshop in Cape Point, near the southern most point of Africa. By the weekend I was in another hemisphere, in Farnborough, somewhere south-east of London. The mission was to shape a hollow wooden surfboard at the Triton Tools stand at the ScrewFix Live exhibition being held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Farnborough Exhibition Centre.

The event was packed solid for three days. Meeting and talking to so many people about wooden surfboards was really exciting. It was great to meet so many UK surfers who were interested in the boards. Surfers are obviously interested in wooden surfboards and how they are made, but what I also find fascinating is how non-surfers relate to them and are intrigued by the way they are made, the time that it takes and the craft that goes into them.

I’ve found that they are a great tritonfarnborough3conversation starter for anyone that works with wood on any level, and I’ve certainly learnt a lot from people who make other things and are willing to share their experiences.

Great news for anyone in the UK is that Triton Tools are running a competition where people can sign up to be in line to win a trip to South Africa to attend a course with me where they will build their own eco-friendly hollow wooden surfboard. It’s an amazing prize so if you’re a surfer in the UK, or even just interested in surfing and how to make your own wooden surfboard, keep an eye on the Triton Tools website and this website. The competition is currently being promoted at their UK shows but will also be posted on their website in the coming weeks.




Sep 122016

In 2015, I was very fortunate to have an incredibly talented group of photographers and editors make a short video about what I do at Burnett Wood Surfboards. The film contains some beautiful images of the land and ocean around where my workshop is in Cape Town, and it’s a story about the journey from making wooden boards in the workshop to intimately engaging with the cold Atlantic here on the southern tip of the great continent of Africa. Check out the video below:



Jul 302016

These guys built their boards in Scarborough. Now there’s a Cape Town option in August with evening and full day courses.

The next hollow wood surfboard building course that I’m running takes place from 22-27 August 2016 in Cape Town CBD.

For those who work and can’t take time off, this course has an evening option where building takes place from 6-9pm.

The full time day course runs from Monday to Friday/Saturday.

Check out this web page for more information or email Patrick on burnett.patrick@gmail.com to book your place.

Jul 262016

IMG-20160623-WA0006This was probably my favourite board of all time. Ok, it’s hard to say that, so let’s put it in the top 3. It was an 11′ hollow wooden gun made out of South African grown redwood, from the Californian redwood species. The British apparently planted redwood in South Africa for ship building, back when they colonised the southern tip of Africa. I’m glad they did because it enabled me to make this board. It was bought by a German guy and has been shipped to Europe.




IMG-20160612-WA0001Burnett Wood Surfboards (and son) missioned down to Muizenberg where the Logjam invitational took place. As part of the event the organisers held a wooden surfboard heat, which wasn’t really a heat, but just a free surf. The waves weren’t great, but it was good to see all the wooden surfboards on display and see some of the folk that I’ve bumped into over the years.





This was a 7′.6″ mini-mal that I made for a guy who walked into my workshop on a Sunday afternoon. I was just shutting up shop so we could easily have missed each other, and he was going back to the U.S. the next day. I like the tones of the wood and the shape is always a favourite of mine.









IMG-20160604-WA0002This was a 9′.7″ hollow wooden longboard made out of redwood. The client wanted a really natural look, with lots of swirl and knots. I spent a few hours scratching around the wood pile to find the beautiful pieces on the bottom of this board. Pictured with me is my youngest son Noah, who often comes to the workshop with me, where he likes to saw and bang making bows and arrows and swords (no surfboards yet).













DCIM100GOPROGOPR7036.And finally, a 5′.7″ fish in Western Red Cedar and Obeche, with mother-of-pearl inserts on the bottom. I don’t often do these decorative type boards, but quite enjoy doing something different every now and then.



Jul 182016

The crew from the Cape St. Francis course.

Shew. The last few months have been a ride, that’s for sure. I’ve been on the road to Durban and Cape St. Francis where I have run hollow wood surfboard courses for stoked surfers, building some beautiful boards and making new friends along the way. There’s been a stack of custom orders. Export licence bureaucracy dealings. A case of flu that wouldn’t go away that caused havoc with delivery times. A torn hamstring that’s seen me hobbling around like an old man. Less surfing than is normal for this time of year, given that it’s the middle of winter in Cape Town.

I first visited Cape St. Francis as a stoked grom many years ago and was taken in by it’s mellow vibe and decent, uncrowded waves (compared to the scrum of J-Bay up the road, that is). On my latest visit, I was pleased to find that nothing much has changed. It’s a surf town through and through, and everyone seems to have some sort of connection to the ocean. Everything is within a few minutes of everything else. The week I spent there saw two big cold fronts smash through, with strong winds, heavy rains and big swell. Being from Cape Town I’m used to the cold, but the wind chill factor on a dawn patrol at an Eastern Cape point is enough to send you sprinting for a hot shower, that’s for sure.

IMG-20160701-WA0003On a Friday evening, I sat in my car with heater running watching a famous and rarely surfed point show signs of life as it broke into a 35 knot south-wester that was accompanied by heavy rain squalls. It’s a spot that’s been on my radar for a long time and I’ve been wanting to surf it on a solid swell. It looked like it was going to be on the next morning and dodgy hamstring or not, I was going to be out there at first light. Off to bed.

When I awoke in the morning the wind had dropped and conditions looked good. Wetsuit on in the bedroom and grabbed my 8′.6″ hollow wood gun. But as soon as I got into the parking lot and saw the ocean I knew it wasn’t going to happen. You can see when the ocean is surging on a big swell and it had been doing that on the Friday evening, but by the morning it had settled down. There was still big swell marching past out to sea, but it wasn’t going to turn on for that special place. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.

A busy two months is out of the way and my dream of establishing hollow wood surfboard courses in other parts of the country has liftoff! Thanks so much to all who participated. There’ll be more courses in Cape St. Francis and Durban later in the year so email me on burnet.patrick@gmail.com for more info.

Now for some winter, please! Enjoy yours!



 Posted by at 8:17 pm
Jun 132016

Three of the four guys on the Durban course with the boards that they built.

At 4am on a Saturday morning two weeks ago, my car jam-packed with everything needed to run a wooden surfboard course for four guys, I set out from Cape Town to make the 1,700km drive to Durban.

Plan A had been to take a slow drive up the East Coast over several days, stopping along the way to surf. Vic Bay. Seals. J-Bay. Plan A didn’t even get off the table due to work commitments, family and the like. Plan B kicked in: pack the hell up and brave the deep Karoo road to Durban via Bloemfontein. It’s not often that I venture away from the sea. Only in emergencies.

I was thrilled to be travelling to Durban, however, to share the stoke of wooden surfboard building. When I first started offering courses, there were a few guys from Durban who got in touch asking me to hold a course in South Africa’s surf capital. Why not? Surfing is so much about the crazy things; taking a chance on a surf trip, daring a late drop, not knowing what is going to happen and how things are going to work out. And this trip had the feel of a crazy surf trip, even through I was in the middle of the Karoo.

Durban was lush. Rolling green hills, thick green forests and sparkling ocean. For winter, it’s like a warm bath during the day, with a shot from the cold water tap in the morning and evening. Shorts and a t-shirt.

Meeting Sean, Pat, Jason and Sam on the Monday morning I knew we were going to have a great week. Everyone, including myself was wide-eyed keen as we began building the four boards for the week, a longboard and three fish. I love watching guys put their boards together and see their appreciation for the shape they’re making grow, and their sense of ownership over what they’re doing unfold. It’s a real privilege.

I hadn’t planned to surf, but the crew took pity on me and Sean took me down to the beach for a baggie session just before I began the long drive home. What a treat. Warm water, golden beaches, hills covered in greenery, clear water. The stoke from that surf got me all the way to land-locked Bethlehem on the drive home, 500km from Durban in the Free State. That only left 1200km to drive the next day.

Apr 252016

wood surfboard workshopIn a five-night evening workshop last week, four stoked guys built four beautiful hollow wooden surfboards in a Burnett Wood Surfboards pop-up wooden surfboard building workshop.

Working out of the graffiti-covered PopUp Gallery in Frere Street Woodstock, we started at 6pm every evening and finished up by 9pm. The boards started out as a pile of planks, but by the time Friday came around had been made into three fish and one longboard. We used locally grown wood and bio-resin, making these the most sustainable surfboards available on the market today.

It’s now back to our regular full-time workshop in Scarborough, but we’ll be back in Cape Town central for another evening course over the dates 22-27 August 2016. Evening courses mean no leave from work, so if you’re keen to sign up then drop me an email on burnett.patrick@gmail.com or call me on 073 232 3043. For more information, you can also have a look at the courses page on this website.

Standby for pictures of the finished boards from the workshop as they begin to come out of the glassing process.



Apr 082016

WSadFINALFrom 18-23 April 2016, Burnett Wood Surfboards will be moving to the Cape Town city centre to run both an evening hollow wood surfboard building course and a one-day bodysurfing handplane course.

The evening wooden surfboard building course enables folk who want to work with their hands and build a beautiful, functional surfboard to do so without having to take leave.

Participants will work with beautiful wood, crafting their own surfboard from a pile of planks through to the finished wooden shape.

In the process they will learn about the age-old history of wood and surfing, the environmental aspects of wooden surfboard building and surfboard shaping generally. It’s a real opportunity for surfers to discover the joy of making something with their hands.

The handplane course also offers the opportunity to make a functional and beautiful surfcraft out of wood, albeit in one day as opposed to the five evenings of the HPad2FINALsurfboard course.

Participants will learn about the enjoyment of bodysurfing, the design dynamics that underpin handplanes and the pleasure of shaping something out of wood. Participants walk away with their own self-crafted handplane.

Places are limited so anyone interested should book without delay through contacting Patrick on burnett.patrick@gmail.com or 073 232 3043

For more information on the surfboard building courses, including the surfboard shapes available and pricing, please visit our courses page.

For more information on the hand plane course and pricing, please visit our hand plane page.

Apr 062016
 handplane, wooden surfboards, wood surfboards, bodysurfing, hollow wood surfboards, hand planes

In the tube with a Burnett Wood Surfboard’s bodysurfing hand-plane.

“I want to present the view that our existence is a gift…Earth is a thriving organism, and it’s an incredible occurrence of events that produces this place.” Surf film-maker Thomas Campbell, as quoted in The Surfer’s Journal, Volume 18, Number 2 Wow! It’s been a busy start to 2016 and it’s hard to believe that the first three months of the year are gone. Here in Cape Town, March/April is always a special time of year as the seasons change. Early mornings and evenings have a nip in the air. There’s a real sense of anticipation that winter is coming, and along with winter the hoped-for conveyer belts of swell that hit our coastline. In the first three months of 2016, we’ve built open water stand-up paddle boards, numerous custom hollow wood surfboard orders, and run hollow wooden surfboard-building and wooden hand plane courses. Apart from usual business I also had a trip to Cologne in Germany where I shaped a wooden surfboard for Triton Tools as part of a demo. Below are some photos taken in this period.

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14′.6″ hollow wood SUP built on a course.

wood surfboards, hollow wooden surfboards, SUP, stand-up paddle boarding

Paddling a 12′.6″ SUP along False Bay and into Kalk Bay harbour.

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A hollow wooden single fin made by Burnett Wood Surfboards for a Triton Tools exhibition that took place in Germany.

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A hollow wooden single fin made out of beautiful cedar.

























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Hollow wood surfboards waiting to be glassed.

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A 9′ longboard built on a course with Burnett Wood Surfboards.

 Posted by at 9:10 pm
Mar 052016

I’m very stoked to be in Cologne, Germany, where I’ll be shaping a wood surfboard as part of a series of live demonstrations taking place at the Triton Tools exhibition at the International Hardware Fair.  The show takes place 6-8 March. I’ll also be shaping four hand planes during that time in a specially constructed glass booth that will host other members of Triton’s #mastersofwood team.

It’s been amazing to see the stand come together over the last day and it is looking exceptionally good. Below is a quick pass of the stand, also showing a finished wood surfboard that I made for the show.