Mar 162015
 
GraemeHempBoard

Graeme with his twin keel fish glassed in hemp and bio-resin.

Here’s a board that breaks new ground in the realm of sustainable surfboard construction.

Made by Graeme on a Burnett Wood Surfboard course, an estimated 85% of this hollow wood surfboard is made out of locally-grown wood (meaning lower transport emissions because of reduced transport emissions).

It’s glassed with natural hemp cloth from the awesome folk at The Hemporium right here in Cape Town, and glassed with Entropy Super Sap epoxy, a resin that uses a bio-based additive rather than a petroleum-based additive.

There is no such thing as a “100% green surfboard”, but using materials like those above we can significantly reduce the carbon emissions and thus environmental impact of our surf lifestyle.

One study has shown, for example, that a hollow wood surfboard has less than half the carbon emissions of a foam equivalent, and that it is without considering the added benefit of glassing with a natural material and bio-resin.

Huge credit to Graeme for being so keen to break new ground. He was sold on the idea of glassing in hemp and using the Entropy product, which had only just become available in South Africa when we glassed this board last year.

All our hollow wood boards are now being glassed and finished with Entropy resin. The use of hemp is available on request.

 

 

 

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Glassing with hemp fabric.

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Graeme building his hollow wood surfboard.

Feb 122015
 

Nearly two years ago, Peter and Jennifer arrived at my front door to look at a hollow wooden fish they were interested in buying. We had a good chat about wood boards, life and the like. A few days later Jennifer phoned and said Peter would like to come around with his crew and film the wood boards I was making. That’s how Peter, Jennifer, Adam and Jules came to spend two days in a garage in Fish Hoek, which at the time was where I made my hollow wood surfboards.

I’ve often thought about those days of filming because of the moment in time they captured. Shortly afterwards I moved to a workshop in Kommetjie, the business grew, things got crazy and the garage became an unused storage place that nobody ever entered. In the last few weeks I’ve moved my workshop from Kommetjie to Scarborough, but I’m fixing up my garage work space so that I can spend some days working at home, picking up the kids, cooking meals and doing all those kind of homely things that one doesn’t do when spending all your time in a workshop obsessed with making wood surfboards. So it’s sort of as if I’ve done something of a circle. The film the crew made can be watched below. It was shown at the 2014 Wavescapes Surf Film Festival held in Cape Town. So much thanks to everyone who was involved and hope to hook up again soon.




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.

Sep 212014
 
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Picture: Dougal Paterson, www.dougalpaterson.com

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 »

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 burnett.patrick@gmail.com

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Jul 062014
 

Picture: Dougal Paterson, www.dougalpaterson.com

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 burnett.patrick@gmail.com 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 burnett.patrick@gmail.com 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.

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

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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Jun 082014
 
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Picture: Dougal Paterson, www.dougalpaterson.com

Out in a packed line-up recently and the only surfer on a wooden surfboard, I jokingly quipped that everyone else was destroying the planet. “Aren’t we all,” came a cynical reply. The answer to that comment is, yes we are.

News circulated last year about a green surfboard verification programme. The initiative comes from Southern California outfit Sustainable Surf, a non-profit start-up NGO. A report on the initiative notes that petroleum, polyurethane, polyester resin, polystyrene foam, PVC and many other substances are still being widely used to produce surf gear and equipment. Tell us something we don’t already know. Continue reading »

Apr 222014
 

1. 5′.8″ classic-styled hollow wood twin-fin fish

abalonefish20130910_172129This is a just-finished 5′.8″ classic-styled hollow wood twin-fin fish in Western Red Cedar and Obeche with real abalone inlays and custom-made glass-on fins. It’s a celebration of a surfboard shape that has endured for nearly 50 years. Handcrafted and taking inspiration from the fish shapes of the early 1970s, the special feature of this board are the abalone inserts along the bottom that separate the two different types of wood, the one light and the other dark in colour. The abalone lines have a mother-of-pearl luminosity to them that is accentuated by the rich colours of the wood. This is a one-of-a-kind board, a piece of functional art. This board was made as a piece of wall art, but it is ready to be surfed. Despite being shorter than today’s typical shortboards, the fish paddles beautifully and catches waves easily. It gives a loose, fast, floaty ride that feels completely different to a modern surfboard.  And despite it’s stability, it’s got X-factor, loads of it.                                                           

PRICE: R8,500, excluding shipping. Contact burnett.patrick@gmail.com for more  information

 

2. 9′.7″ single fin hollow wood longboard (sorry this one has been SOLD, but contact me if you would like one made)

topnose_deckThis is a 9′.7″ single fin hollow wood longboard made out of Western Red Cedar with Obeche accent strips. Handcrafted, this board draws inspiration from classic longboards from a bygone era, with a rolled bottom, pinched rails and hips through to a square tail.

The special features of this board are the use of premium Western Red Cedar, a tree native to the Pacific North West in North America with a long history of use in boat building by indigenous people in that part of the world. The wood for this board was hand-selected to show off the finest grain the species has to offer – it is a rich, dark brown colour, alternating from a fine, straight grain to a swirling grain from tail to nose. The board also has an interesting tail block lay-up, alternating triangles of light and dark wood to create a stylish finish.

This board will make a stunning feature on any wall, but it is also very surfable. Spend enough time learning its moods and you’ll be rewarded with some lengthy nose rides.

PRICE: R9,500, excluding shipping. Contact burnett.patrick@gmail.com for more information

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Apr 062014
 

Picture by Dougal Paterson, www.dougalpaterson.com

Paul, who built his own 6′.0″ hollow wood fish out of Western Red Cedar, told me a story the last time he was at the farm that relates to board building and working with your hands. The daughter of a friend of his had started doing craftwork and had described the process of working with her hands as taking her to a place where she was neither happy nor sad, just there.

If that sounds zen-like, it is. I’ve often completely lost myself in the making of a board and I know guys that have built their own boards with me have felt something similar.

Building hollow wood surfboards is so much about a process. It can take a week of full-time labour. So, the question arises, why engage in something that takes such a long time? What is it about working with wood and building surfboards? Continue reading »