Jul 232017
 

eco-friendly wooden surfboard, wooden surfboard, hollow wooden surfboardComing up at the end of August and into September is the only chance available in 2017 to build your own beautiful wooden surfboard over a weekend. This is for everyone who has always wanted to do their own wooden surfboard but cannot take time off work.

The workshop will take place every Saturday from 26 August for six Saturdays, making the last Saturday of the workshop the 23 September. During the six days, participants will start out with a pile of planks, choose their shape and eco-friendly wooden surfboard, wooden surfboard, hollow wooden surfboardhow they want the wood on their surfboard to look, and begin building it from scratch. They’ll shape the finished wooden structure and take it through to the finely finished wooden surfboard.

In the process, they’ll learn about the history and modern-day rejuvenation of wooden surfboards, about surfboard design elements such as shape, rocker and rails, the

eco-friendly wooden fish surfboard, wooden surfboard, hollow wooden surfboardenvironmental benefits of wooden surfboards, and about working with wood.

Fish, egg, single fin, mini-malibu and longboard shapes are available to choose from.

This workshop will take place in my Scarborough workshop. Places are very limited and I only have two, possibly three, places so if you are keen please send me an email on burnett.patrick@gmail.com or give me a call on 073 232 3043.

For more information on the workshops that I have offered since 2013 please visit the following page. There’s also a gallery of some of the boards that have been built by workshop participants: Click here to have a look!

BOOKINGS ARE ALSO OPEN FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR!

 

May 272017
 

wooden surfboard life lessonsTen years ago I made my first wooden surfboard. It was the start of a journey that has changed – and is still changing – my life, and it’s motivated me to write this post about wooden surfboard life lessons. What’s fascinated me along the way, as I’ve learnt and thought about what I do, is the process of craft, and what life lessons it teaches. It’s a concept that draws into itself a great deal, and I’ve come to believe that it can tell us much about who we are and the society we live in.  Here are eight points I’ve noticed in myself and those that have built boards with me in the wooden surfboard workshops I run:

IT’S ALL CONNECTED:  As we strive towards lessening our impact on the planet, and as surfers to ride craft that connect us to the natural energy of the oceans, I find myself marvelling at the connections between the boards I make and the oceans I love. In the grain of a piece of wood I see the origins of a swell starting in the deep ocean and fanning out towards us. Taking wood to water almost feels like I’m closing a circle – the storms bring us waves to surf, but they also bring water for the trees and help to form the growing patterns and grains that we marvel at. See the connections!

wooden surfboard life lessonsFEEL THE RHYTHYM: More philosophically is the connection between a sense of craft and the ocean. It’s  almost as if the natural process of working with your hands making a timber surfboard is perfectly matched to the rhythms of swell passing underneath you as you sit on your board. It makes me feel at peace when I can find that same rhythm in the workshop as I can find in the sea. Both activities force me to slow down. The lessons are a sense of timing, a deeper patience and making the right movements at the right time.

TRANSFORMATIVE CREATIVITY: It’s amazing how people work with their hands, and the inherent creativity that we all seem to have. I see it time and again in the workshops I run. For many people it is a creativity that they rarely, if ever, get to express. Mostly the opportunity to express this is a passing satisfaction. Sometimes it can lead to the beginning of a hobby or the search for an outlet that meets this need. And sometimes it’s a cathartic experience and unlocks very powerful emotions about who they are and what they want to do. It’s that powerful. If you feel the need to create, on whatever level, get out there and do it. It could change your life.

wooden surfboard life lessonsSKIN IN THE GAME: I find it moving how much of someone goes into what they’re making. It’s almost as if the surfboard they make is infused with a little bit of their soul. That object is just an object, yes, but on another level it has meaning – it represents a place in their lives, something they haven’t done before and they care deeply about it. The board becomes a part of, or an extension, of themselves. They care about it and they care about the outcome. They have skin in the game. When it comes to bigger picture issues, like environmental protection, how can ‘skin in the game’ be used as a concept to involve people beyond the abstract? I’m suggesting that we need to find ways for people to get invested in causes, to care on a deeper level about the world around them.

SOUL SPACE: Many ancient civilisations saw the concept of ‘soul’ extending to all inanimate objects. Yet it often leaves me cold when I’m in an institutional environment like a bank. I look around me at everything that has been made with machines, clinically clean. I’m struck by what soulless places have been created. It’s hard to find that love and passion went into these environments, into the objects we’re surrounded with. Everything has been reduced to numbers. What would happen if, like some ancient cultures, objects were seen with passion and love. How might our spaces change? How might our outlook on the natural world change? What would that mean for us?

wooden surfboard life lessonsIT’S OURS TO CLAIM: Maybe there’s been a slow, insipid creeping of things that are done for us in our daily lives and work which means that we don’t have to think, or that we think differently. Sitting in front of a computer, we’re told by a computer programme when we do something that we can’t or aren’t supposed to do, getting into our cars we’re told to put our seatbelts on, we’re told when to go and when to stop. Making something for yourself claims back a bit of the space in one sense. In another sense, it establishes a relationship between your mind and your hands which is lost in modern society.

IT’S ALL IN THE HANDS: Anne Frank wrote that the final forming of a persons character lies in their own hands. I’d like to interpret that in a different way and say that through working with our hands, character is formed. I say that because I think there’s an undervalued kind of “practical intellectualism” that goes into making something with your hands. Confronted with a problem, you’re forced to establish a connection between your mind and your hands. You think about the approach to the problem and then you enact the solution that you hope will work. It’s great learning and it forces you to face character traits and biases that influence your approach. When your solution doesn’t work or the outcome is not as good as expected, you have to face up to the reasons for that, whether it be impatience, distractedness or carelessness. And if you want to get better, you have to change.

THE MOMENT IS NOW: When you’re making something with your hands, on nearly every level, you have to be in the moment making decisions for yourself – and if you get it wrong it’s hard and you have to learn. That teaches humility. It teaches you to slow down and to work in the moment, and that brings a kind of peace that we are seldom able to access in our busy daily lives. It’s very similar to catching a wave, that rare moment when time stands still.

 

 

 

 

Feb 012017
 
wooden surfboards, hollow wooden surfboards, wooden surfboard workshop, build your own wooden surfboard

From 20-25 February 2017 I’ll be back in the relaxed surf town of Cape St.Francis for a workshop that will share the stoke that comes with building and surfing your own wooden surfboard.

From 20-25 February 2017 I’ll be back in the relaxed surf town of Cape St.Francis for a workshop that will share the stoke that comes with building and surfing your own wooden surfboard.

Those participating walk away from the course with their own handcrafted and very beautiful hollow wood surfboard.

Anyone interested can sign up for the scheduled six-day workshop option where you start out with a pile of planks and finish up with a one-of-a-kind wooden surfboard. If you don’t have the time for six days, don’t worry – then there is a three-day option that still gets you a wooden surfboard.

The workshop takes builders through all the theoretical and practical aspects of building a wood surfboard. We look at the different types of timber, the environmental aspects and the design dynamics underpinning wood surfboards. This is combined with the practical process of crafting a surfboard from a pile of planks into a one-of-a-kind work of art that can be surfed.

For more information, please visit the following page where you’ll find details of available boards, costs, and a gallery of previous workshop boards.

wooden surfboards, surfboards, surfing, hollow wooden surfboards

Three beautiful wooden surfboards built from scratch in a Burnett Wooden surfboards workshop.

wooden surfboard, hollow wooden surfboard, wood surfboard workshop, surfing, surfboards

A recent workshop where these three guys built their own wooden surfboards.

Jul 262016
 

IMG-20160623-WA0006This was probably my favourite board of all time. Ok, it’s hard to say that, so let’s put it in the top 3. It was an 11′ hollow wooden gun made out of South African grown redwood, from the Californian redwood species. The British apparently planted redwood in South Africa for ship building, back when they colonised the southern tip of Africa. I’m glad they did because it enabled me to make this board. It was bought by a German guy and has been shipped to Europe.

 

 

 

IMG-20160612-WA0001Burnett Wood Surfboards (and son) missioned down to Muizenberg where the Logjam invitational took place. As part of the event the organisers held a wooden surfboard heat, which wasn’t really a heat, but just a free surf. The waves weren’t great, but it was good to see all the wooden surfboards on display and see some of the folk that I’ve bumped into over the years.

 

 

 

Minimal_BantryBay

This was a 7′.6″ mini-mal that I made for a guy who walked into my workshop on a Sunday afternoon. I was just shutting up shop so we could easily have missed each other, and he was going back to the U.S. the next day. I like the tones of the wood and the shape is always a favourite of mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG-20160604-WA0002This was a 9′.7″ hollow wooden longboard made out of redwood. The client wanted a really natural look, with lots of swirl and knots. I spent a few hours scratching around the wood pile to find the beautiful pieces on the bottom of this board. Pictured with me is my youngest son Noah, who often comes to the workshop with me, where he likes to saw and bang making bows and arrows and swords (no surfboards yet).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DCIM100GOPROGOPR7036.And finally, a 5′.7″ fish in Western Red Cedar and Obeche, with mother-of-pearl inserts on the bottom. I don’t often do these decorative type boards, but quite enjoy doing something different every now and then.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR7037.

 

Jun 132016
 
DurbanCourseMay2016

Three of the four guys on the Durban course with the boards that they built.

At 4am on a Saturday morning two weeks ago, my car jam-packed with everything needed to run a wooden surfboard course for four guys, I set out from Cape Town to make the 1,700km drive to Durban.

Plan A had been to take a slow drive up the East Coast over several days, stopping along the way to surf. Vic Bay. Seals. J-Bay. Plan A didn’t even get off the table due to work commitments, family and the like. Plan B kicked in: pack the hell up and brave the deep Karoo road to Durban via Bloemfontein. It’s not often that I venture away from the sea. Only in emergencies.

I was thrilled to be travelling to Durban, however, to share the stoke of wooden surfboard building. When I first started offering courses, there were a few guys from Durban who got in touch asking me to hold a course in South Africa’s surf capital. Why not? Surfing is so much about the crazy things; taking a chance on a surf trip, daring a late drop, not knowing what is going to happen and how things are going to work out. And this trip had the feel of a crazy surf trip, even through I was in the middle of the Karoo.

Durban was lush. Rolling green hills, thick green forests and sparkling ocean. For winter, it’s like a warm bath during the day, with a shot from the cold water tap in the morning and evening. Shorts and a t-shirt.

Meeting Sean, Pat, Jason and Sam on the Monday morning I knew we were going to have a great week. Everyone, including myself was wide-eyed keen as we began building the four boards for the week, a longboard and three fish. I love watching guys put their boards together and see their appreciation for the shape they’re making grow, and their sense of ownership over what they’re doing unfold. It’s a real privilege.

I hadn’t planned to surf, but the crew took pity on me and Sean took me down to the beach for a baggie session just before I began the long drive home. What a treat. Warm water, golden beaches, hills covered in greenery, clear water. The stoke from that surf got me all the way to land-locked Bethlehem on the drive home, 500km from Durban in the Free State. That only left 1200km to drive the next day.

Apr 252016
 

wood surfboard workshopIn a five-night evening workshop last week, four stoked guys built four beautiful hollow wooden surfboards in a Burnett Wood Surfboards pop-up wooden surfboard building workshop.

Working out of the graffiti-covered PopUp Gallery in Frere Street Woodstock, we started at 6pm every evening and finished up by 9pm. The boards started out as a pile of planks, but by the time Friday came around had been made into three fish and one longboard. We used locally grown wood and bio-resin, making these the most sustainable surfboards available on the market today.

It’s now back to our regular full-time workshop in Scarborough, but we’ll be back in Cape Town central for another evening course over the dates 22-27 August 2016. Evening courses mean no leave from work, so if you’re keen to sign up then drop me an email on burnett.patrick@gmail.com or call me on 073 232 3043. For more information, you can also have a look at the courses page on this website.

Standby for pictures of the finished boards from the workshop as they begin to come out of the glassing process.

 

 

Apr 082016
 

WSadFINALFrom 18-23 April 2016, Burnett Wood Surfboards will be moving to the Cape Town city centre to run both an evening hollow wood surfboard building course and a one-day bodysurfing handplane course.

The evening wooden surfboard building course enables folk who want to work with their hands and build a beautiful, functional surfboard to do so without having to take leave.

Participants will work with beautiful wood, crafting their own surfboard from a pile of planks through to the finished wooden shape.

In the process they will learn about the age-old history of wood and surfing, the environmental aspects of wooden surfboard building and surfboard shaping generally. It’s a real opportunity for surfers to discover the joy of making something with their hands.

The handplane course also offers the opportunity to make a functional and beautiful surfcraft out of wood, albeit in one day as opposed to the five evenings of the HPad2FINALsurfboard course.

Participants will learn about the enjoyment of bodysurfing, the design dynamics that underpin handplanes and the pleasure of shaping something out of wood. Participants walk away with their own self-crafted handplane.

Places are limited so anyone interested should book without delay through contacting Patrick on burnett.patrick@gmail.com or 073 232 3043

For more information on the surfboard building courses, including the surfboard shapes available and pricing, please visit our courses page.

For more information on the hand plane course and pricing, please visit our hand plane page.

Mar 052016
 

I’m very stoked to be in Cologne, Germany, where I’ll be shaping a wood surfboard as part of a series of live demonstrations taking place at the Triton Tools exhibition at the International Hardware Fair.  The show takes place 6-8 March. I’ll also be shaping four hand planes during that time in a specially constructed glass booth that will host other members of Triton’s #mastersofwood team.

It’s been amazing to see the stand come together over the last day and it is looking exceptionally good. Below is a quick pass of the stand, also showing a finished wood surfboard that I made for the show.


 

Jan 192016
 
IMG_20150624_072622

Early morning line-up at Seal Point in Cape St. Francis.

Laid back South African surf town Cape St.Francis, home of the Endless Summer, will be hosting a hollow wooden surfboard course run by Burnett Wood Surfboards between 28 March and 2 April 2016.

With its decades-long reputation as a surf destination, Cape St. Francis is the perfect place to be immersed in crafting an eco-friendly wooden surfboard. World class waves, including the legendary J-Bay, break in the vicinity, and there’s the option of sampling the local waves outside of course hours.

For Northern Hemisphere surfers, this is a great opportunity to have an experienced-based surfing holiday and take home a beautiful wooden surfboard. With favourable exchange rates, it also represents incredible bang for your dollar, pound or euro. (See below for more info relevant to international visitors).

You could build a board like this!

Burnett Wood Surfboards has been offering courses for nearly four years and has the widest available range of wooden surfboard models to choose from. The ultimate DIY project for any surfer, making a functional wooden surfboard will take you on a journey in surf history, it will provide an insight into the art of shaping and environmentally friendly surfboard construction, and it will give you the joy of working with a beautiful natural material. Check out a gallery of previous course participants here.

Those signing up can choose from shapes ranging from fish, eggs, single fins, mini-malibus and longboards. Participants can sign up for the full six-day course where they start right at the beginning with a pile of planks, or can sign up for a three-day course where part of their board is done for them.

More information on how to sign up, including costs and types of boards to choose from, is available on the courses page of this website.

 

VENUE AND ACCOMMODATION

RaggieThe venue for the course is Raggies International Backpackers in the centre of Cape St. Francis. Raggies can offer accommodation for those coming from out of town, and can host individuals or families, making it an ideal venue for locals and those travelling from overseas. Airport transfers are available and Raggies also provides access to a range of exciting activities around Cape St. Francis.

Please ask us about accommodation if you are interested.

VISITORS FROM OUTSIDE SOUTH AFRICA

It takes 10 days to two weeks to glass your surfboard once you have finished the woodwork. If you plan on travelling after the course, we’ll make sure it’s ready for you to take back on the journey with you. If you’re going back straight after the course, we will ship the board to your home address. There will be an additional charge for the shipping.

Prices on our courses page are only for the wood surfboard course. You are responsible for other expenses such as your airfare and accommodation. Raggies International Backpackers can assist with accommodation. Airport transfers from the closest airport, Port Elizabeth, can be arranged.

Cape St. Francis is close to a number of other tourist attractions, including the world famous Garden Route, Addo Elephant Park and a number of other game reserves.

BACKGROUND TO ENDLESS SUMMER

Just about every surfer has at some stage in their surfing lives seen the iconic clip of the ‘discovery’ of Cape St. Francis in Bruce Brown’s famous surf movie Endless Summer. No matter that the right point has been eclipsed in fame by its nearby neighbour J-Bay, in surf consciousness Cape St. Francis represents the dream of discovering a perfect wave. Check out the clip below.

Cape St. Francis, 1963 from ENCYCLOPEDIA of SURFING videos on Vimeo.

 

Dec 082015
 
Grebe_Personal_Catalog_IMG_5011_October 01, 2015

TAKE THE DROP ON A WOODEN BOARD: Build your own hollow wooden surfboard in 2016 by signing up for a course with Burnett Wood Surfboards. Picture: DANIEL GREBE, https://www.facebook.com/grebephoto

2016 will be the fourth year that I’m offering wooden surfboard building courses where participants build their own hollow wooden surfboards and there are some exciting additions to the line-up. Click here to check out the schedule.

In addition to my regular Cape Town wooden surfboard building course, I’ll be running courses in Durban and Cape St. Francis to meet requests from guys that want to build their own board but can’t get away to Cape Town. I’m really excited about taking the wooden surfboard courses to different locations and meeting a whole bunch of new people.

Secondly, during 2016 I’ll be running courses at my Scarborough workshop, but will also be hosting regular courses in Woodstock so that it is easier for people in central Cape Town and the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town to attend. As part of the Woodstock courses there will also be evening classes.

Thirdly, in addition to the popular hollow wooden surfboard course builds, people can also sign up for the day-long course to build their own bodysurfing hand plane. And we also have a range of SUPs that can be built on a course.

I have not made any price increases this year, despite the escalating costs of a number of materials. In addition, the 5% discount that I had last year for bookings made three months in advance is still in place.

The schedule is HERE. BOOK NOW!

Make it! Surf it!