Feb 292012
 

Some spots just keep on giving.

I haven’t been going as much as I used to, distracted by wanting to surf other waves, kids, work. And the crowds, you tell yourself, mean it’s not worth the trip.

You forget that it’s the sense of place too, the history, the familiarity that has somehow found it’s way into who you are. Or the way you shed a load of stress when you step out of the car and look across the bay and down the beach at a scene that, compared to some places, really hasn’t changed much at all since you first visited 25 years ago.

There really wasn’t anywhere I would rather have gone when it came to a camping trip. It was calling me somehow, even though the swell forecast was dim and I wasn’t expecting waves. Like the handprints in the rock paintings that symbolize the drawing of strength from the rock face, I somehow needed to go there to rejuvenate, fill up.

And it gave. Small and fast, breaking into a howling wind, the ocean white capping on the outside. Go for a paddle, I thought, and then hooked one all the way from the outside almost to the beach. That was worth it. And then another. And another. The best surfs are when you don’t know how good it’s going to be.

Light a fire, crack a beer, watch the skyline turn orange, hear the waves crashing, the first star coming out, the silouette of the point. ‘Do you want potatotes and salad with the meat,’ I tune my lightie. ‘Just meat Dad, we’re South African my bru,’ he chirps. Later, bored with cooking one at a time, he wants to take the whole packet of marshmallows and chuck them in the foil we didn’t use for the potatoes and then put them in the fire – with a slab of chocolate on top. Yum. Gooey like melted marshmellow. Kids have the best ideas sometimes.

And that’s it.

 

Nov 012011
 

6′.4″ hollow wood (cedar) thruster with retro lines, 6′.0″ hollow wood (cedar) twin keel fish with tucked rails into the tail and 5′.6″ hollow wood (cedar) egg shape with quad fin setup.

All shapes are available for sale. Our boards are also available for shop displays. If you’d like to arrange to have a beautiful wood-grained surfboard hung in your shop, then write to burnett.patrick@gmail.com

Oct 142011
 

Just finished the woodwork on these two fish shapes. The one is a 6.0 and the other is a 7.4 – an interesting interpretation of the fish shape. This is the funny fish, destined for the stage with comedian Mark Sampson but also certain to see some water time, knowing Mark’s enthusiasm for surfing. Mark, if you’re out there somewhere, there ain’t no surf in JHB dude!

 

Oct 132011
 

Soon we’ll be posting some extraordinary footage of the 5.6 eggy quad made out of wood (pictured here) shooting down the line popping floaters and then showing that it can also take a hang five just for fun. In this picture, the pocket rocket is being surfed as a twin-fin and being put through its turns with a grab rail carve.

 

 

Sep 082011
 

Here’s a selection of hollow wooden surfboard shapes, from a 5.6 egg shape that is just about finished right through to a 9.6 gun. It’s a good time to post a picture showing all the boards together because this website was two years old in August and my journey in wood surfboard making is now four years old.

It seemed crazy to start making and riding wood surfboards and four years later it still seems crazy, but maybe a little less so. The greatest thing about making hollow wooden surfboards has been the people that I have come into contact with. From the countless people who have stopped and asked about the boards at the beach and taken the time to chat about surfing waves and life in general, to those who know more than me and have offered advice and encouragement along the way (Annabel, Milan, Byron, Ralph, Wade, Robin, Patricia, Cees, Anja, Cath, Fred, John, Mark, Mike, Ray, Kev, Steve, Spike, Adrian, Chris, Andy, Lee, Justin, Kelly, Peggy , Stefan and many more) to those that have taken a leap of faith and actually bought one, I’m really, really grateful. Thank-you!

Nov 112010
 

I stepped out of my workshop this afternoon, away from the bright lights and into grey day. When I went in I was wearing brown shorts and a black t-shirt. I looked down at my clothes and they were white with sawdust. The hairs on my forearm were filled with a thick layer of dust. It’s been a hectic month.

Just finished an 8.0 mini-malibu that’s being sanded at the moment and should be ready for sending shortly. Always have mixed feelings about sending boards away without surfing them. And then there’s one that’s going to be especially hard to send away – a 6.0 early 1980s twin-fin with a stepped rail that has come out beautifully. It’s going to be auctioned and the money will go to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and Save Our Seas Foundation (blog post on this coming shortly).

Then in the background there’s the big project – the making of a 9.6 big wave gun. I’ve cut the stringer and I have some beautifully-grained 10-feet long planks. Now that I’ve finished with some orders, it’s time to plough on with this project – the idea of surfing it gives me goose bumps.

Apr 092010
 

Here’s a shot of the latest fish model. It’s a 5.9 and although I haven’t weighed it yet, it’s very light for a hollow wood board. It was great fun on four foot reef waves earlier in the week.

Oct 012009
 

Just back from my favourite left point break up the West Coast. Solid swell and not the best it’s ever been it must be said, but some good waves on offer nevertheless and I was keen to try out the fish on some long, racy walls.

Given the size of the swell (6-8 foot on the point) and the amount of wind the wave faces were very choppy, which didn’t make for much stability on a 5.9 twin fin. It was on the cleaner waves that sucked up over the ledge that the board felt good, although even on the bigger ones it made the drops comfortably and handled well as long as there wasn’t chop.

When the swell dropped we missioned further up the coast and surfed a right reef at about 3-4 foot which was really fun on the fish. Loved the smooth lines it draws and the speed glide it gets going, even through flat sections.

Photo: Byron Loker

Sep 222009
 

Saturday was a slow kind of day, but we took a drive to look for waves and found our favourite reef showing itself well enough for a paddle. There was a lunchtime glass off and some really good waves started coming through, jacking over the reef and shooting off onto the inside.

I wasn’t sure how a fish would go on these waves, on how much I could push it over the ledge, but towards the middle of the session things started clicking.

What really surprised me was how well the board responded on some pretty steep drops and handled critical bottom turns coming out of the drop without losing its line. And of course once on the open face it felt so fast.

There’s definitely a bouyancy to wood boards which translates into a smooth paddle in, while the extra weight actually helps on the take-off and drop rather than hinders. On the wave, I think this translates into a stability and smoothness of ride, but with a fish shape the board is still super maneuverable.

Flat spell for the next week, but looking forward to the next groundswell, which is due to come into town Saturday evening for Sunday and Monday.

Photo: Byron Loker