I have been a committed surfer since the age of ten. For the last 15 years of my life, a large part of my thinking has been dedicated to ocean swell, wind direction, tidal phases and buying equipment for riding the dying stages of well traveled pulses of ocean energy.

For most surfers, the simple act of enjoying and interacting with the ocean is massive motivator for battling day jobs, increasing costs of boards and wetsuits, fickle waves, crowded beaches in the endless search for the next good wave. Despite surfers’ reliance on the environment to provide their ‘fix’, it’s a sad irony that the tools we use to interact with the ocean are created from toxic, poisonous, non biodegradable and down-right dirty materials. Foam, fiberglass and resin, with a thin strip of wood are the key ingredients in a typical surfboard these days. Despite most surfers’ best intentions to keep their boards surfable for as long as possible, a surfboard will inevitably come to the end of it’s life, after which it will be retired to a wall for decoration, or landfill for burial.

Now, after seven years of experimentation, a Cape Townian craftsman has taken to creating truly beautiful, functional and more environmentally friendly surfboards from wood. These stunning works of art are constructed using wing building techniques, and are essentially hollow boards with internal ribbing for strengthening.

Burnett Wood Surfboards are tapping into the roots of surfing with their non-synthetic boards, paying homage to the early surfers of the 1800s who constructed boards from solid wooden planks. Surfing has come a long way in the last 200 years, and these modern versions of the wooden surfboard are high performance creations, without sacrificing the environment. The boards are custom made, hand designed and created according to your own specifications.

Patrick Burnett, the owner of the company, also offers ‘make your own surfboard’ courses, and provides all the materials, tools and tuition needed to create your own masterpiece from wood.

For more information on this beautiful, environmentally conscious take on the surfboard, visit burnettwoodsurfboards.co.za

By: Matthew Koehorst