Aug 192014

What an awesome week of hollow wood surfboard building.

Our August course ran from 11-17 August and four boards were built: two 9′.7″ longboards and two 6′.4″ eggs. The guys participating built amazing boards and each one is a functional work of art in its own right. It was such a stoke to work with everyone and see the boards coming together. What really struck me about this course was the way everyone helped each other. It was a great vibe and I’d like to thank Craig, Norman, Peter and Matthew for making the week a successful one.

Here are some pictures from the week. If you want to join up and build your own board, have a look at our courses page or drop me an email on






























Dec 282013

Twenty-five guys and one lady built their own hollow wood surfboards with Burnett Wood Surfboards in 2013. Check out the photo gallery below to see some of the beautiful boards that were made. 2014 will bring a new batch of graduates.

In 2014 we’ll be offering three options for those who want to build their own hollow wood surfboard on our wood surfboard course. Firstly, in our one-on-one building sessions, you contact us and tell us when you want to come into our workshop and build your board. Anytime that suits you and we’ll make it happen.

Secondly, you can join a group course during the scheduled dates listed below. Numbers are limited to four per course.

Lastly, we will be running regular Saturday workshops. It takes 5-6  Saturday’s to build a board. Contact us for more information.

Those participating walk away with their own handcrafted and very beautiful hollow wood surfboard. Our courses take place at the picturesque Imhoff Farm Village in Kommetjie, Cape Town, minutes away from a number of surfing spots. More information is available on our courses page.


  • 17-22 March 2014
  • 14-19 April 2014
  • 11-17 August 2014
  • 8-13 December 2014

Course Pictures and Boards

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Apr 122011

Here’s some early snaps of a real beauty, starting off with the bottom…







followed by the deck…







nose approaching a perfect finish…










the deck lay-up (love that all naturaul light into dark wood swirl)…


Feb 022010

For the past month I’ve been surfing a 6.5 single fin and a 7.8 mini-malibu that I built out of wood. Last week Monday I had an awesome session on the mini-mal, at one of my favourite reefs – it has a ledgy A-frame take-off when it’s good and then links up onto a long wall.

The waves were 4-6 foot and I was able to take off really deep on the mini-mal and go into an arcing bottom turn that ended with the board locked into the wave face under the lip and perfectly set up for the race down the line. Stoked!

So on Sunday I decided to try out my “old -tech” foam thruster. And what a difference.

I guess in my mind I’ve always thought that foam is better, thrusters the ultimate. But I don’t believe that any longer.

Being on single fins for a month and then going back to a thruster crystallized something that I haven’t been able to figure out up until now.

Here’s my theory: With a super-light, wafer-thin foam thruster, the focus of surfing tends to be out in front of the wave – aiming for the lip, aiming for the rail jam out in front of the wave. But with a retro single fin, my experience is that surfing takes place far more IN the wave – an arcing bottom turn in front of the lip, for example, or a rail locked in under the lip. As the wave breaks and unfolds on itself, I find that I am more often than not in that tight zone, the place where the wave is steepest, where it spins around on itself, where the lip explodes as it hits the bottom.

It’s not to say one type of surfing is better or worse than the other. Both are different approaches to riding waves. Both take an enormous amount of skill to master. And one can benefit the other. Try bottom turning on a thruster when you’ve been bottom turning on a single fin, for example, and you’ll realise that if you’ve spent your whole life bottom turning on a thruster you haven’t actually been bottom turning at all!

Surfing wood boards has made me appreciate being IN the wave more, being closer to the energy centre of the wave, surfing with the wave as opposed to against it. It’s a different kind of stoke, but a stoke that I’m glad to have more of. Something summed it up for me perfect during that afore-mentioned session on the mini-malibu last Monday. I’d just had a cooking wave and some guy paddled up to me and said as much. I said I was stoked and was having a great session, to which he replied: “Ja, we can all see, you’ve got the biggest grin on your face out of everyone out here.”

Jan 102010

[vimeo][/vimeo]Never thought I’d be stoked surfing a new board in one-foot Muizenberg, but I took my five-year-old son along and we had a super-fun session. The little guy paddled the board and then we caught waves with him on my back. I could hear him gasping with excitement every time we caught a wave.

The water was awesome – blue and clear and we could see little fish swimming in the waves on the side of the board as we took off. The board felt sweet too and that’s a good sign – if it goes on one foot waves, it’s going to be a joy on decent size waves.