Jan 202014

20140118_152210Between 9-14 December 2013, Burnett Wood Surfboards hosted five people, who all built their own hollow wood surfboards in the space of six days. One of these people was Liezel Gous, the first woman to sign up for a Burnett Wood Surfboards course and possibly the only woman in the country to have built a wood surfboard (please let us know, ladies, if you’d like to challenge this claim). After the course Liezel answered some questions about her experience..

Click HERE to find out how you can build your own hollow wood surfboard.

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: What got you interested in building your own hollow wood surfboard?

LIEZEL GOUS: I have always liked doing things with my hands from a very young age. For many years I have been saying that I regret not taking woodwork as subject in school and that I would like to someday do a woodwork course of some sort. So the year before last year, after watching many surf movies, I decided to give surfing a try and loved it. Then last year one day, browsing the internet, I noticed a link for building your own wooden surfboard on FB, with a picture of a gorgeous wooden board. I thought this was the perfect thing to do, combining my new hobby with learning some woodwork skills, so I signed up.

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: Many women might think building a wood surfboard is a ‘guy thing’. What do you reckon, having done the course?

LIEZEL GOUS: Not at all! Anyone that likes working with their hands can do this. To be honest, some of the guys were at times a bit heavy handed, like with the glue….

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: Ha! What do you feel that you learnt from building your own surfboard from start to finish?

LIEZEL GOUS: I thought woodwork was something really complicated and it was something I was always a bit scared of trying, but now I reckon I can attempt other woodwork projects as well, it is not the rocket science I once perceived it. The most informative part for me about building a surfboard was the shaping of the rails. I feel that I know a little more about surfboards now and would be able to make a more informed choice when I buy another board.

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: What was the hardest part? Best part?

20140118_152201LIEZEL GOUS: I don’t think anything was really hard to do. I did struggle with using the plane at first, but as experience grew that also got easier and even fun. The best part for me was putting the top on and it started to look like a surfboard, but the vibe of working with the others, all of us being excited about our boards in the making, made the whole experience really great.

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: You picked up your board on Saturday after it had been glassed. On Sunday you were in the water for the first surf on it. How did it feel to surf on a board that you knew you had made yourself?

LIEZEL GOUS: I was not fortunate enough to have the best conditions to surf in on Sunday and it was more of a kite surfing day, but I was determined to give it a go, even if I only got one wave. I had more than one wave and the first one was the best, because I did not really expect to be able to get up on the first one that I caught! When I finally got home, I was tired but so stoked and totally in love with my board. This is going to sound really cheesy now, but on my way home the song “Flying without wings” played on the radio and I thought, yep that is what I feel like now.

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: The board you made was a classic 5′.8″ fish shape. How did it go?

LIEZEL GOUS: I expected it to be very buoyant, but was still surprised with how much, and it was not heavy at all to handle in the waves. I almost did not put wax far enough to the front as I did not expect to have to be that much to the front on the board (and not nosedive!). This board gave me longer rides than I had with my other board, I can’t wait to gain enough skill to really do it justice.

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: Thanks so much Liezel – it was a pleasure having you on the course. Stoked!

Nov 252013

Fish-Fry-Poster-2013We’ll be at the inaugural Wavescape Fish Fry at the Bluebird garage in Muizenberg on Saturday 30 November. The unique combination of surfboard fish and real fish comes from a collaboration between the Wavescape Surf Festival, WWF-SASSI and the reality TV series Ultimate Braai Master in a day of entertainment in the historical heart of surfing in South Africa, Muizenberg. Continue reading »

Nov 172013

IMG-20131114-WA0001Here’s a heads-up on what is going to be an awesome evening on 1 December in Kommetjie. Don’t miss it – top muso Farryl Purkiss is performing live; there’s a board swap where you get to bring your own board and exchange it for another board that you might like; and a movie featuring top international band Switchfoot is going to be premiering. The guys in the band are all surfers and the film features footage from their time surfing Cape Town waves last year.

Burnett Wood Surfboards is stoked to be a part of this event: We’ll have some boards on display, including those in various stages of production, so if you’re keen to see exactly how a hollow wood surfboard is made make sure you come along. 1 December. Don’t miss it!


Oct 312013

Picture: Byron Loker

Sometimes boards get sent so quickly after they’re finished that, after long hours of getting to know each other, there’s barely time for a goodbye.The board pictured here nearly didn’t get a mention, but it’s worthy of a post.  The wood on the deck is a single piece of South African grown redwood. On the bottom is Japanese Cedar, also grown in South Africa, making it an all South African wood product. Continue reading »

Aug 282013

We’re running Saturday courses for the foreseeable future at our Imhoff Farm Village workshop in Kommetjie so if you’re interested in building your own beautiful hollow wood surfboard then we’d love to hear from you. It takes 4-5 Saturdays and you can do these consecutively or whenever you can make it.

Full time courses are scheduled for September, November and December. This is a great way to build a surfboard. You start on the Monday and finish on the Saturday. The next course is 23 – 28 September 2013, followed by 4 – 9 November 2013 and 9 – 14 December 2013. For out-of-towners, we can refer you to a range of nearby accommodation options ranging from budget to luxury.

Below are some of the board models that you can choose to build. Write to burnett.patrick@gmail.com or phone Patrick on 073 232 3043 for more details. You can also check out our Facebook profile for lots of pictures of our boards and course activities.



Jul 152013

FarmshotSince the beginning of May, I’ve been lucky enough to rent  a farmhouse at Imhoff Farm village in Kommetjie, Cape Town.

It’s been a great venue that has enabled me to expand and given me the space to experiment, learn and be creative about wood and surfboards. Plus it has been perfect for running wood surfboard building courses, of which I have held two and have more scheduled for the rest of the year.

I’ve got an open door policy to my workshop. If you’re interested in wood surfboards and how they are built, feel free to drop in and see my boards and have a chat. Drive past the farm stall, take a right through the gate towards the Waldorff School, then your first left following the signs that say ‘Green Space’. To your right is the house that I work from.

Pictured here is the front room of the workshop and three recently produced boards – an 11′ longboard, an 11′ gun and a 6′.4″ fish built by a participant on the June course. Many thanks to Tony Butt for these pictures.


Jun 192013

Burnett Wood Surfboards has a full course schedule for the remainder of 2013, with week-long courses scheduled for August, September, November and December.

Apart from the week-long courses,  people who can’t make our course dates are welcome to speak to us about coming to build a board in our workshop during non-course days.

See our courses page for more information.

All courses will take place in our workshop at the Imhoff Farm Village in Kommetjie, Cape Town. It’s an amazing venue in a rural setting, with spectacular scenery and close to surf. If you’re coming from outside Cape Town, there are numerous accommodation options available.

May 062013

The first day of our May board-building class began Monday 6 May at Imhoff Farm Village in Kommetjie, Cape Town. Four guys, surrounded by paddocks of bleating goats, neighing horses and cool-looking camels got to grips with their chosen shapes – an 11′ longboard, a 6’4″ fish and two 6′.4″ eggs. Wood surfboard decks and bottoms where laminated, profiles cut and frames built and laminated to the wood. The consensus was that four very beautiful boards are going to come out of the workshop by Saturday when the course ends. The guys were stoked.

Tomorrow is a rail building day and it looks like there will be time for course participants to surf in between the glue drying. Yup, apart from building boards in a rural spot surrounded by mountains, we’re also close enough to cooking waves to allow for a surf in between the work.

Sep 062012

stripe Pakalolo restaurant and bar in Hout Bay have an excellent promotion going, in association with Jack Black beer. Visit the bar and buy a pint of Jack Black and you could be in line to win the surfboard pictured here – a beautiful, handcrafted hollow wood twin-keel fish.

Jack Black, a Cape Town based craft beer company inspired by traditional recipes from America to England, have their distinctive logo glassed into the board, which is made from some striking pieces of South African redwood, perfectly bookmarked with character-filled knots and a swirling grain.

All you have to do for your grab at this collector’s item board is to visit Pakalolo – situated at the bottom of Chappies in Hout Bay – and order a pint of delicious and distinctive Jack Black.

The draw takes place at a party on 27 November, so Christmas is definitely coming early for one lucky beer drinker. The more Jack Black you order the more tickets you get.