Last year I was incredibly fortunate to be sponsored a set of amazing tools by Triton power tools. I’ve been using these tools for the last year and they have been wonderful partners in building some beautiful wood boards, and have been extensively used by people building wooden surfboards with me on the courses that I run. Thank-you Triton! The Triton team also visited me and made a short video of the wooden surfboards that I make. Check it out below:
Growing up opposite Kalk Bay Reef, I learnt to surf the infamous False Bay slab in my teen years as a kneeboarder. Later, in my early twenties I started stand up surfing and had to learn to negotiate the steep drop anew, this time on my backhand. I chewed quite a bit of reef on that particular learning curve. Twenty years later, I’ve been surfing the reef again over the last year, and especially in the lead up to winter. This time it’s with a variety of self-shaped bodysurfing hand planes. It’s been a great experience back dooring the peak with only a small piece of wood to surf on. I also acquired a GoPro a few months ago, so the video below is my first stab at using it. Enjoy – and if you’re interested in shaping your own hand plane, have a look at the hand plane page on my site and sign up for the next course, or order a custom plane.
Between 7-12 April we built two 12′.6″ stand-up-paddle-boards in the Burnett Wood Surfboards workshop in Scarborough. It was a huge thrill to see these majestic boards come together in the space of six days. Check out the video below.
It was an evening in March. The Cape had been burning, with mountain fires raging across the Peninsula. We were on the terrace of a mansion in Kommetjie watching the sun set over the Atlantic. Craft beer was in hand while crayfish samoosas and roasted pork belly made up the nibbles. South African rap performer Jack Parow was giving a sunset performance. That was the wrap party for the SABC 2 Afrikaans TV lifestyle show Pasella’s programme on Kommetjie, which was broadcast in late March. The programme featured my wood surfboards. You can watch the full clip below, if you’re interested.
- Pasella, features Burnett Wood Surfboards (starts at 17 minutes, 10 seconds)
There were two funny asides to the Pasella experience. The first was when I agreed to do the programme and said confidently that speaking in Afrikaans would be no problem. Of course once I was in front of the camera it was another matter and as a result I’m the only person that speaks English in the programme. Eventually the poor producer just gave up and asked me to speak in English.
The programme was aired on a Friday night and by Monday morning I’d forgotten about it. First stop of the morning was the local hardware store. The cashier looked up at me and her face lit up as she exclaimed: “You’re the man from the television.” It was the same at the other hardware store I visited on the same day. It was a cool talking point. Anyway, enough waffling.
For the first time, in 2015 Burnett Wood Surfboards has extended our range of wood surf-craft with an exciting range of wood stand up paddleboards (SUP) that include surfing, flatwater and downwind boarding models.
The four models now available in the SUP range complement the existing hollow wood surfboard courses offered by Burnett Wood Surfboards since 2013. This means that for the first time, dedicated SUP course builds are available. The models can also be ordered as completed items, expertly crafted by Burnett Wood Surfboards, and as kit frames for home builders.
The SUP range has been made possible through a partnership with United States-based Clearwood Paddleboards, who have an established range of stunning hollow wood SUPs. These boards have all been designed and water tested by Clearwood Paddleboards. The range includes a 9′-0″ surf SUP, a 10′.4″ surf SUP, a 12′.6″ paddling board and a 14′ touring/racing SUP. More details and pictures of the models are available below.
SUP courses at Burnett Wood Surfboards are scheduled for February, May and September, but those who can’t make these dates are welcome to contact us and book alternative dates.
READ MORE ABOUT THE SUP COURSES, CUSTOM BUILDS OR KITS HERE OR WRITE TO BURNETT.PATRICK@GMAIL.COM OR PHONE 073 232 3043
This board is 9′ x 29″ x 4 1/8″ so it has lot’s of volume. It has enough volume for bigger riders but is responsive enough for lighter weight riders as well. It has a slight “v” in the tail and other than that is totally flat. This board is best ridden with a thruster or 2 + 1 set up.
This board is 10′-4” long x 29″ wide x 4 ¼” thick. Designed to ride like a traditional longboard, it’s the perfect board for smooth fluid turns and feels like a much smaller board. It was designed to surf but has worked great as an all-around board for smaller paddlers wanting a board for surfing or cruising. It’s a big board but is still really fun to ride on smaller days. It’s got a generous amount of tail rocker and a really thinned out foil in the tail so turns well for such a big board and works fine as a nose rider even with a flat bottom. This one is flat nose to tail and is set up as an old school single fin.
This board is 12′-6″ long x 27″ (also available in 30″ wide) wide by 6 ½” thick at the nose. It is a fun and fast board that slices through small chop with ease and can be down winded in up to waist high bumps. It is designed to be a fast paddling board for either touring or recreational racing. Although this board is not a dedicated downwind board, for those paddlers with some experience in surf the “Umpqua” is fun in downwind conditions. It’s been paddled on the ocean, local lakes and in downwind conditions.
This board is 14′-0″ long x 6 1/2″ at the nose x 25”, 27″ or 30” wide, depending on rider size. It is a fast touring board.
Here’s a board that breaks new ground in the realm of sustainable surfboard construction.
Made by Graeme on a Burnett Wood Surfboard course, an estimated 85% of this hollow wood surfboard is made out of locally-grown wood (meaning lower transport emissions because of reduced transport emissions).
It’s glassed with natural hemp cloth from the awesome folk at The Hemporium right here in Cape Town, and glassed with Entropy Super Sap epoxy, a resin that uses a bio-based additive rather than a petroleum-based additive.
There is no such thing as a “100% green surfboard”, but using materials like those above we can significantly reduce the carbon emissions and thus environmental impact of our surf lifestyle.
One study has shown, for example, that a hollow wood surfboard has less than half the carbon emissions of a foam equivalent, and that it is without considering the added benefit of glassing with a natural material and bio-resin.
Huge credit to Graeme for being so keen to break new ground. He was sold on the idea of glassing in hemp and using the Entropy product, which had only just become available in South Africa when we glassed this board last year.
All our hollow wood boards are now being glassed and finished with Entropy resin. The use of hemp is available on request.
Nearly two years ago, Peter and Jennifer arrived at my front door to look at a hollow wooden fish they were interested in buying. We had a good chat about wood boards, life and the like. A few days later Jennifer phoned and said Peter would like to come around with his crew and film the wood boards I was making. That’s how Peter, Jennifer, Adam and Jules came to spend two days in a garage in Fish Hoek, which at the time was where I made my hollow wood surfboards.
I’ve often thought about those days of filming because of the moment in time they captured. Shortly afterwards I moved to a workshop in Kommetjie, the business grew, things got crazy and the garage became an unused storage place that nobody ever entered. In the last few weeks I’ve moved my workshop from Kommetjie to Scarborough, but I’m fixing up my garage work space so that I can spend some days working at home, picking up the kids, cooking meals and doing all those kind of homely things that one doesn’t do when spending all your time in a workshop obsessed with making wood surfboards. So it’s sort of as if I’ve done something of a circle. The film the crew made can be watched below. It was shown at the 2014 Wavescapes Surf Film Festival held in Cape Town. So much thanks to everyone who was involved and hope to hook up again soon.
I’m now building wood surf craft and running courses in building your own wood surf craft from a workshop on Good Hope Gardens Nursery, just outside Scarborough and opposite Cape Point Nature Reserve. It is a stunning location to build boards from, surrounded by mountains and indigenous vegetation, and close to the ocean.
This obviously means that I’ve moved from my previous workshop on Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie. The move was necessitated by my lease expiring and the premises being needed for a new development. To those of you who have built a board with me or visited the workshop, it’s a funny twist that it was the goats that made me move – they’ve grown in numbers and my workshop is needed for a new milking parlour.
Nothing is changing – I’m still building boards and offering courses on building your own hollow wood surfboard, SUP or handplane. It is a transition though and I’d like to mark this by saying a huge thanks, from the bottom of my heart, to all those who have shared the space with me. I have been privileged and honoured to meet and spend time with amazing people during my nearly two years at Imhoff Farm. It has been inspirational and taught me a tremendous amount about my craft. I will never forget my time there.
Please feel free to visit the new workshop; it’s always great to have guests.
2015 will see Burnett Wood Surfboards going into the third year offering wood surfboard courses, where people can build their own beautiful hollow wood surfboards.
In 2015, we’re offering two new course options. Firstly, there are dedicated courses for building a Stand Up Paddle (SUP) board in wood. Secondly, we’re introducing one-day courses where participants shape their own bodysurfing handplanes. More information on the SUP courses is forthcoming. Details on the handplane courses can be found here.
The dates for the scheduled courses are below – anyone who can’t make these dates is still welcome to arrange to build a board at their convenience over consecutive days or on weekends.
For more information, please have a look at the courses page or drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
2015 WOOD SURFBOARD COURSE SCHEDULE
- 19-24 January 2015, six day or three day build your own hollow wood surfboard
- 2-7 February, SUP course
- 21 February, handplane course
- 23-28 March, six day or three day build your own hollow wood surfboard
- To be announced
- 9 May, handplane course
- 18-23 May, build your own hollow wood SUP course
- 22-27 June, six day or three day build your own hollow wood surfboard
- 24-29 July, six day or three day build your own hollow wood surfboard
- 21-26 September, hollow wood SUP course
- 19-24 October, six day or three day build your own hollow wood surfboard
- 7-12 December six day or three day build your own hollow wood surfboard