Sep 212014

Picture: Dougal Paterson,

All our hollow wood surfboards are now being glassed with Entropy Super Sap bioresin. This is a first for wood surfboards in South Africa and increases the already sound environmental credentials of the wood boards we produce.

Traditional epoxies mostly use petroleum based materials, but Entropy claims to use “biobased renewable materials sourced as co-products or from waste streams of other industrial processes, such as wood pulp and bio-fuels production”. They claim a 50% minimum reduction in CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions and say that the “green chemistry” eliminates harmful by-products and reduces power and water consumption. Continue reading »

Jul 062014

Picture: Dougal Paterson,

Up until now, if you wanted to build one of our hollow wood surfboards you needed to sign up for a week-long course. For many people who would like the experience of building their own board, it’s hard to take a full week.

The six-day course is still available. But we have also added a three-day hollow wood surfboard building course where all it takes is a Friday, Saturday and Sunday for you to experience building your own wood surfboard.

We’ll still retain the core of our week-long course offering and you’ll experience the satisfaction of working with wood in crafting your own beautiful, functional wave craft.

But instead of starting at the beginning, part of your board will already be built for you when you begin, enabling you to come in and work on the most crucial and rewarding parts.

The first three-day course will run 19-21 September 2014. To book your spot, contact Patrick through or 073 232 3043 to sign up or for more information.

What you get:

– Your own beautiful, surfable wood surfboard, handmade by yourself

– Access to all tools and provision of materials needed to make your surfboard

– Information on wood surfboards, history, design dynamics, environmental credentials

– Tuition and assistance

– Glassing and finishing of the board

– Fin boxes or handmade wood fins

– Tea/Coffee throughout the day

– Lunch on the days that you build

– Experience of working with wood and craft in a stunning rural environment

– The chance to meet other like-minded folk also building their own boards.

To see our picture gallery of people who have built their own boards, click here. For more information, click here.

Contact Patrick through or 073 232 3043 to sign up or for more information.







Jun 292014

Below are pictures of some wood surfboards and related products currently being built at Burnett Wood Surfboards. The first set of pictures is a beautiful twin keel fish that Graeme is building on a course. The wood is stunning. Check out our courses page if you’re interested in building your own board.


We just finished this beautiful custom order pictured below. It’s a 7′.6″ mini-mal made out of Western Red Cedar.


 And this 6′.0″ twin keel fish custom order is designed for the ins and outs of a ledgy reef take-off that then peels off into a playful wall. Nearly done on the finishing glassing touches.


 We’ve also been making some beautiful bodysurfing handplanes. Stand by – we’ll soon be running a one-day course where you can come and shape your own. We will also be offering kits, where we post everything you need to make your own.


 And lastly, something completely different…a mirror. It is made out of Cherry and Poplar with mother-of-pearl inserts. Yes, it is for sale.



Jan 302014

In January, a clip about Burnett Wood Surfboards aired on Dagbreek, the Afrikaans language breakfast show on DSTV. There are some great shots of our workshop on Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie, an interview about the green credentials of wood surfboards, another interview with one of our course participants and some Go-Pro footage at the end. Many, many thanks to Martin Giselsson and Patrick Young for participating. The board in the Go-Pro footage was made by Patrick Young on the very first hollow wood surfboard workshop held by Burnett Wood Surfboards. Enjoy!

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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 »

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 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 112013

Thanks for the pic bro!

Monday was the session. It was 10-12 foot at a Cape outer reef and the peaks were sublime. There was a whale lolling about in the channel so close at times that we had to paddle off the mark to avoid the risk of being tail whipped or have it land on our heads if a rogue 15 footer came through and cleaned us all up.

And then we got a beauty, two friends paddling in surrounded by mountains and sea and a faint mist. The wave grew as it felt the reef, we bottom-turned together and my 11’ hollow wood board found its drive. It felt alive under my feet and the rail took its line beautifully out of the bottom turn. Then I just stood there as the wave roared away its energy behind us and rocketed us out towards the shoulder. We grabbed hands momentarily as we slid off the back and then dived into the cold sea. Now that was something special.

Some boards aren’t just about one person, or the guy making it. There’s been a lot of people around this surfboard who have inspired me, encouraged me and advised me. To say thanks seems trite, but if there’s such a thing as meaning to be found in a surfboard then everyone who has been a part of the process has turned this into a very meaningful surfboard.

Hollow wood surfboards take many hours to make. But even by the standards of hollow wood surfboards, this 11’ gun is a project years in the making. The first hollow wood gun that I made was a 9’.6” single fin and I was so obsessed with strength that by the time the board came out of the sanding bay it felt too heavy and rigid. I surfed it once in 8-10 foot waves and then started to tinker with it in the workshop. Eventually I put it aside, unfinished, and stored the lessons it had taught me in the memory bank. That was about four years ago.

But the desire to build a functional big wave gun out of wood kept surging to the surface and at the beginning of this year I finally launched into the project with a great deal of excitement – and trepidation. Winter was coming, after all.

Excitement because the thrill of making and surfing an 11′ hollow wood surfboard was real inspiration. And there’s a particular wave in Cape Town that a board like this is perfect for. Trepidation because the rules change for boards this long. Construction methods used for small hollow wood boards are very sound – these boards are almost certain not to break. But things need to change when you make a surfboard that is 11’ long and might take a 15-foot lip square on the deck. I didn’t want it to be too heavy, but I also didn’t want to spend so much time making a surfboard and have it break up the first time it encountered heavy water.

In the end it is a beautiful surfboard. It has redwood rails and western red cedar and obeche deck and bottom lay-ups. It has strategic reinforcements on the inside and is double glassed, but it is not too heavy and within the acceptable boundaries for a big wave board of this size.

Now for some more swell.


Jan 042012

Okay, I drove past cooking surf today to pick up this 9′.6″ single fin longboard from its finishing sand and take it on to the person who ordered it as a birthday gift for her son.

I admit, even though I’d never do it, it did occur to me more than once to cancel the order, return the deposit and take this beauty for a paddle at Muizenberg. (As I drove over Boyes Drive I saw a guy on a red longboard catch a left that rolled for ever – when I dropped down the mountain and he disappeared from sight over my right shoulder he was still gunning it.)

Anyway, I had a birthday deadline to meet on this board and I didn’t really get a chance to take a proper photograph, which is a shame because I reckon this is one of the most beautiful boards I’ve made. The centre strip of wood is camphor and has an interesting knot with tinges of orange, green, brown and yellow that made for a great centre piece. This middle strip is framed by Western Red Cedar followed by wide planks of Redwood that fade from yellow into flaming red. I used matching planks for the bottom and the top. It’s no exaggeration to say that there simply isn’t a surfboard like it in the world. If I made the exact same shape, it would be almost impossible to replicate the look – even using the same varieties of wood.

Even though I don’t know you, happy birthday pal! Hope you catch one of those lefts!

Dec 202011

For nearly a decade, The Empire in Muizenberg (check out website and facebook links) has been an institution, serving delicious chow and drinks to hungry surfers, tourists, bohemians, yuppies, locals, grannies, grampas and basically anyone who walks through the door.

Lately, there’s been a hollow wooden surfboard hanging on the upstairs wall, complementing a longboard downstairs with a stunning resin tint and made by ‘berg shaper John Bramwell of Evenflow Surfboards. (It’s not only surfboards on the walls, by the way – there’s also stunning local photographs and interesting light hangings to have a squizz at while you enjoy your coffee kick).

Anyway, I’m stoked to have a board on the wall, but unfortunately it’s an order that’s awaiting pick-up and so I’m making a new board that owner Dave wants to have as a fixture on the wall, but also wants to take down from time to time for a paddle at Surfer’s Corner, a stone’s throw away.

Hard to imagine that the above pile of wood – recyclable off-cuts and near-rough pieces of different varieties of locally grown timber – is going to turn into a surfboard, but in about a month’s time it will be a 6’4″ quad fish with amazing wood grains to oggle. I’ll post pictures as it all comes together.

Sep 262011

Here are two new boards, just before they went off for a polish, fin and plug placement. The first one is a 6.4 thruster made for a custom order, the second a 5.6 which is going to run as a quad. Looking good!