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.

 

Jul 212015
 

wooden surfboards, wood surfboards, hollow wood surfboardsIt’s been six months and I’m feeling settled in my new wood surfboard workshop space on Good Hope Garden Nursery property outside Scarborough.

I’ve always loved this country and feel so at home. The door of my workshop looks out on a section of Cape Point Nature Reserve and behind my backdoor is wild mountain and fynbos.

The last few days the baboons have been on the hunt for food and have had to be chased off – a reminder of wild nature on our doorstep.

And although the surf is close, I’m managing to be remarkably productive with plenty of made-to-order boards being built, and courses running regularly over the last few months.

 

 

 

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Above are three course participants from the last three months. Andrew, Tony and Ant. They built stunning boards.

20150608_150043Pictured right is the first 12′.6″ open water stand-up paddle board that was built on a course in April. These are incredible boards to build and majestic to cruise on lakes, rivers or calm ocean.

The shots below are of bodysurfing hand planes – I love using up my offcuts to make these items. They’re now for sale and shipping anywhere in South Africa is free.

Lastly, I’m also making wooden paddles. We have a limited number in stock and also make to order.

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Nov 262014
 

10403737_10153217060123368_6648795852302934090_oLast year’s inaugural Wavescape Fish Fry was a great event and it’s back this year in what promises to be a huge success. I’m stoked to have a stand again this year, and I’ll have some brand new wood surfboards to showcase.

Presented by sustainable seas experts WWF-SASSI, the community event promises to “open a window into underground surf culture to enable shapers, artists, environmentalists and surfers to share ideas, and barter or buy surfboards from each other”. So says the publicity material from the organisers.

With a focus on environmental and social issues, a big focus of the evening is to raise awareness around sustainable seafood consumption, and to raise funds for the Waves for Change development programme.

The programme includes bush cook guru and celebrity chef Justin Bonello, who will host a special fish braai challenge featuring six Cape Town Ultimate Braaimaster teams from Seasons 2 and 3 of the popular TV cooking series (Smoke, Sweat and Tears, Coal Play, Santa Annas, Weskus Braaiers, Tikka Boys and Team Tenancity). Executive chef Bertus Basson will head a judging panel featuring food bloggers and foodies, and top South African cookbooks will be raffled.

10397187_10153293900093368_85186582919016822_oDuring the early afternoon, the Save Our Seas Foundation’s Shark Education Centre will be there with some fun edutainment activities for the kids. There will also be craft beer and food stalls, and surf artists and craftsmen will demonstrate their work. Pace yourself, because later on in the evening, 5FM DJ Cath Grenfell, specially down from Joburg, is going to rock the house with some epic dance music.

Fish Fry takes off at 3pm on Saturday 29th November with a surfboard market, so bring your spare boards to swap or sell. Pay R100 per board at the door. We reserve the right to put your boards in the bargain box. Good quality or crafted boards get on the main rack for sale, along with unique surfboard specials by top Cape Town shapers.

Entrance is R30 at the door and free for under 16s. Board sellers get entrance included in their board fee.

Click for more info on the Wavescape Fish Fry and the Wavescape Festival.

May 272014
 
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Some of the amazing Triton tools now powering the making of my hollow wood surfboards.

Triton Tools power up Burnett Wood Surfboards

This is a story about a man who asked a man about another man. The asked man phoned a third man that he knew, who just happened to be with the man that the first man was asking about. The two men spoke. They arranged to meet and the man drove in his car to go and see the man that he had been asking about.

Okay, the point I’m trying to make is that it might not have happened. Without a network of people who knew other people, with different timing and a whole range of other factors, if there had been a break in the chain above, perhaps things wouldn’t have come together like they did. I’m glad that they did.

After that initial meeting, the man went away. A while later, another man came along and had a look at my workshop and what I’m doing making hollow wood surfboards. He asked a few questions, went away and then a few weeks later another man arrived in a car packed with boxes, which he handed over to me. Continue reading »

Feb 132014
 

The end of 2013 and beginning of 2014 was busy, busy. I was fortunate to have some amazing custom board orders. These are pictures of hollow wood surfboards made by Burnett Wood Surfboards towards the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014. Thanks to the wonderful customers I had who put in their orders and waited patiently for delivery.

Latest Boards 2013/2014

Hollow wood surfboards made by Burnett Wood Surfboards around the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014.

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!

Aug 282012
 

blackpinlongboardbottomblackpinlongboarddeckFOR SALE: 9′.6″ hollow wood longboard. Western Red Cedar, Poplar, Japanese Cedar, Redwood, Obeche. 8″ retro pivot bamboo fin. Email us for more info.

May 282012
 

driftwoood_hungThis 9’6″ hollow wooden longboard with a centre stringer made from pieces of driftwood recently sold from the Corner Surf Shop in Muizenberg and is now hanging in a seaside flat in Mouille Point, where its new owner has given it pride of place on the lounge wall. It’s a beauty; a real collector’s item. Thanks to Byron Loker for the pictures.

 

Mar 142012
 

This 9′.6″ longboard with driftwood insets is nearly done and reluctantly gave permission to have some pictures taken this morning before going back into the glassing room for a little more clothing. I’ll try and persuade her to let me shoot a full profile, but for the moment here are a few hints at what she looks like.

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!