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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 »

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.

Course board build

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!

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!

Nov 172013
 

IMG-20131114-WA0001Here’s a heads-up on what is going to be an awesome evening on 1 December in Kommetjie. Don’t miss it – top muso Farryl Purkiss is performing live; there’s a board swap where you get to bring your own board and exchange it for another board that you might like; and a movie featuring top international band Switchfoot is going to be premiering. The guys in the band are all surfers and the film features footage from their time surfing Cape Town waves last year.

Burnett Wood Surfboards is stoked to be a part of this event: We’ll have some boards on display, including those in various stages of production, so if you’re keen to see exactly how a hollow wood surfboard is made make sure you come along. 1 December. Don’t miss it!

 

Nov 072013
 

There’s one spot left. It’s the last spot of the year. The last chance in 2013 to build your own hollow wood surfboard. The dates are 9-14 December.  It’s at Imhoff Farm Village in Kommetjie, Cape Town, the surf village with quality surf spots peppered around all over the place. By Christmas you’ll have a beautiful, stunning, magnificent hollow wood surfboard to take pride of place underneath your  tree. Do it. Grab that spot. It’s yours. Below are some of the board shapes you can choose to make.

(Yes, we will of be open for courses in 2014, so no need to panic. In fact, if you want to sign up for 2014, fire off an email to us and we’ll put your name down. But there’s still only one spot left in December!)

Read more about our courses here, or visit our Facebook page for more pictures. Contact Patrick on 073 232 3043 or write to burnett.patrick@gmail.com

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