Jan 192016
 
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Early morning line-up at Seal Point in Cape St. Francis.

Laid back South African surf town Cape St.Francis, home of the Endless Summer, will be hosting a hollow wooden surfboard course run by Burnett Wood Surfboards between 28 March and 2 April 2016.

With its decades-long reputation as a surf destination, Cape St. Francis is the perfect place to be immersed in crafting an eco-friendly wooden surfboard. World class waves, including the legendary J-Bay, break in the vicinity, and there’s the option of sampling the local waves outside of course hours.

For Northern Hemisphere surfers, this is a great opportunity to have an experienced-based surfing holiday and take home a beautiful wooden surfboard. With favourable exchange rates, it also represents incredible bang for your dollar, pound or euro. (See below for more info relevant to international visitors).

You could build a board like this!

Burnett Wood Surfboards has been offering courses for nearly four years and has the widest available range of wooden surfboard models to choose from. The ultimate DIY project for any surfer, making a functional wooden surfboard will take you on a journey in surf history, it will provide an insight into the art of shaping and environmentally friendly surfboard construction, and it will give you the joy of working with a beautiful natural material. Check out a gallery of previous course participants here.

Those signing up can choose from shapes ranging from fish, eggs, single fins, mini-malibus and longboards. Participants can sign up for the full six-day course where they start right at the beginning with a pile of planks, or can sign up for a three-day course where part of their board is done for them.

More information on how to sign up, including costs and types of boards to choose from, is available on the courses page of this website.

 

VENUE AND ACCOMMODATION

RaggieThe venue for the course is Raggies International Backpackers in the centre of Cape St. Francis. Raggies can offer accommodation for those coming from out of town, and can host individuals or families, making it an ideal venue for locals and those travelling from overseas. Airport transfers are available and Raggies also provides access to a range of exciting activities around Cape St. Francis.

Please ask us about accommodation if you are interested.

VISITORS FROM OUTSIDE SOUTH AFRICA

It takes 10 days to two weeks to glass your surfboard once you have finished the woodwork. If you plan on travelling after the course, we’ll make sure it’s ready for you to take back on the journey with you. If you’re going back straight after the course, we will ship the board to your home address. There will be an additional charge for the shipping.

Prices on our courses page are only for the wood surfboard course. You are responsible for other expenses such as your airfare and accommodation. Raggies International Backpackers can assist with accommodation. Airport transfers from the closest airport, Port Elizabeth, can be arranged.

Cape St. Francis is close to a number of other tourist attractions, including the world famous Garden Route, Addo Elephant Park and a number of other game reserves.

BACKGROUND TO ENDLESS SUMMER

Just about every surfer has at some stage in their surfing lives seen the iconic clip of the ‘discovery’ of Cape St. Francis in Bruce Brown’s famous surf movie Endless Summer. No matter that the right point has been eclipsed in fame by its nearby neighbour J-Bay, in surf consciousness Cape St. Francis represents the dream of discovering a perfect wave. Check out the clip below.

Cape St. Francis, 1963 from ENCYCLOPEDIA of SURFING videos on Vimeo.

 

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!

Jun 162010
 

So, five days into a month-long road trip along South Africa’s East Coast with the family and three hollow wooden surfboards, temperatures plummeted, winds howled and the swell moved in. I should have known it was going to be a big winter cold front when we woke up at our campsite half way to J-Bay and found a layer of white frost covering everything. That was on Monday morning and a fun evening session at three to four foot Supertubes followed.

That night was weather mayhem. Already chilly, the temperature plummeted further and a gale force south-westerly moved in, along with driving rain. Being in a tent at the municipal caravan park in J-Bay was no joke. The noise of the storm made sleep difficult and I was relieved when we made it through the night without being blown or washed away.

The Tuesday dawnie was beautiful. Thick grey clouds threatened further rain, but the rising sun also turned clouds on the horizon a blazing orange. At one point a full rainbow arced over the line-up. I think everyone expected the waves to be a bit bigger. The period seemed a bit down and many of the waves weren’t running all the way through, but there were still some great rides on offer at about four to five foot. Supers is a freak of nature – one good ride from the point through into Impossibles can leave you stoked out of your mind.

Being able to surf the 6.4 hollow wooden board I’ve made at Supertubes was brilliant. It paddles in beautifully, was fast down the line and felt very responsive. I would have liked to have caught a few more waves, but this is Supers remember. Fighting it out with the practicing pros isn’t exactly easy. Hence the video below is only a few seconds long!

The swell dropped on Wednesday and we’ve moved on to Yellowsands near East London. Hoping for waves here over the next couple of days.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/12620905[/vimeo]

Oct 012009
 

The latest board on the table in the workshop is a 6.0 single fin, thick in the top third, narrowing to a pin tail. It’s coming together quickly because I’ve had a lot of time the last week and I’m hoping to have it ready for sanding by the weekend.

The board pictured here is the second board I made, dating back to early 2008. The one I’m making now is based on similar dimensions, but represents the fourth generation of the model.

There’s an interesting variation on this one, which is an experiment using recycled foam to build the inside framework. So far it’s going okay, but it is a bit of an experiment and I’m making it up as I go along. What I have noticed is that foam isn’t that strong under clamping so you have to be careful not to crush it.

For the rest of it, I’m using recycled pieces of Oregon pine mixed with some old planks of locally-grown South African Saligna gum. I wasn’t sure how the two varieties would match up, but seeing them together I think the board is going to look stunning. Can’t wait to get it in the water, although this one is going to a friend. It’s going to be hard to give away, but hopefully he’ll let me surf it.

Photo: Byron Loker

The latest board on the table in the workshop is a 6.0 single fin, thick in the top third, narrowing to a pin tail. It’s coming together quickly because I’ve had a lot of time the last week and I’m hoping to have it ready for sanding by the weekend. Gonna call this one Ndawu Yama Phupa, which is Xhosa for Place of Dreaming and is a lesser known name for Supertubes at Jeffrey’s Bay. Reckon the shape of this board is made for Supers.The board pictured here is the second board I made, dating back to early 2008. The one I’m making now is based on similar dimensions, but represents the fourth generation of the model.There’s an interesting variation on this one, which is an experiment using recycled foam to build the inside framework. So far it’s going okay, but it is a bit of an experiment and I’m making it up as I go along. What I have noticed is that foam isn’t that strong under clamping so you have to be careful not to crush it.

For the rest of it, I’m using recycled pieces of Oregon pine mixed with some old planks of locally-grown South African Saligna gum. I wasn’t sure how the two varieties would match up, but seeing them together I think the board is going to look stunning. Can’t wait to get it in the water, although this one is going to a friend. It’s going to be hard to give away, but hopefully he’ll let me surf it.

Photo: Byron LokerPlace of