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 »

Mar 052014
 

The first Burnett Wood Surfboards course ran in May 2013 (click here if you want to know more about our build your own board course offering). Attending that course was Patrick Young, who built a beautiful hollow wood 6′.4″ egg. Last week he was back, this time to build a twin keel fish. I watched with great excitement as the board came together. It’s really satisfying to see someone engaging with their board, getting to know it, and seeing it taking shape before their eyes. Even though it’s nearly a year later, Patrick had clearly put the lessons learned during the first board to good use, because the fish he has made is a stunner. Pictures, all taken by Patrick Young during the build, are in the gallery below.

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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!

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Jan 202014
 

20140118_152210Between 9-14 December 2013, Burnett Wood Surfboards hosted five people, who all built their own hollow wood surfboards in the space of six days. One of these people was Liezel Gous, the first woman to sign up for a Burnett Wood Surfboards course and possibly the only woman in the country to have built a wood surfboard (please let us know, ladies, if you’d like to challenge this claim). After the course Liezel answered some questions about her experience..

Click HERE to find out how you can build your own hollow wood surfboard.

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: What got you interested in building your own hollow wood surfboard?

LIEZEL GOUS: I have always liked doing things with my hands from a very young age. For many years I have been saying that I regret not taking woodwork as subject in school and that I would like to someday do a woodwork course of some sort. So the year before last year, after watching many surf movies, I decided to give surfing a try and loved it. Then last year one day, browsing the internet, I noticed a link for building your own wooden surfboard on FB, with a picture of a gorgeous wooden board. I thought this was the perfect thing to do, combining my new hobby with learning some woodwork skills, so I signed up.

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: Many women might think building a wood surfboard is a ‘guy thing’. What do you reckon, having done the course?

LIEZEL GOUS: Not at all! Anyone that likes working with their hands can do this. To be honest, some of the guys were at times a bit heavy handed, like with the glue….

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: Ha! What do you feel that you learnt from building your own surfboard from start to finish?

LIEZEL GOUS: I thought woodwork was something really complicated and it was something I was always a bit scared of trying, but now I reckon I can attempt other woodwork projects as well, it is not the rocket science I once perceived it. The most informative part for me about building a surfboard was the shaping of the rails. I feel that I know a little more about surfboards now and would be able to make a more informed choice when I buy another board.

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: What was the hardest part? Best part?

20140118_152201LIEZEL GOUS: I don’t think anything was really hard to do. I did struggle with using the plane at first, but as experience grew that also got easier and even fun. The best part for me was putting the top on and it started to look like a surfboard, but the vibe of working with the others, all of us being excited about our boards in the making, made the whole experience really great.

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: You picked up your board on Saturday after it had been glassed. On Sunday you were in the water for the first surf on it. How did it feel to surf on a board that you knew you had made yourself?

LIEZEL GOUS: I was not fortunate enough to have the best conditions to surf in on Sunday and it was more of a kite surfing day, but I was determined to give it a go, even if I only got one wave. I had more than one wave and the first one was the best, because I did not really expect to be able to get up on the first one that I caught! When I finally got home, I was tired but so stoked and totally in love with my board. This is going to sound really cheesy now, but on my way home the song “Flying without wings” played on the radio and I thought, yep that is what I feel like now.

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: The board you made was a classic 5′.8″ fish shape. How did it go?

LIEZEL GOUS: I expected it to be very buoyant, but was still surprised with how much, and it was not heavy at all to handle in the waves. I almost did not put wax far enough to the front as I did not expect to have to be that much to the front on the board (and not nosedive!). This board gave me longer rides than I had with my other board, I can’t wait to gain enough skill to really do it justice.

BURNETT WOOD SURFBOARDS: Thanks so much Liezel – it was a pleasure having you on the course. Stoked!

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.

UPCOMING FULL TIME COURSES FOR 2014

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

Course Pictures and Boards

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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 »