42 years old. Two boys, 11 and 4. One partner. Happiest hanging out on the coast with his boys or floating on the ocean somewhere, anywhere, onshore or offshore. Hopeless surf nut. Aspires to be on every swell. Miserable when it’s cooking and can’t surf. Loves the kelpy ins and rocky outs of numerous Indian and Atlantic ocean reefs. Aspires to minimalist lifestyle. Runs own business making hollow wooden surfboards and holding courses where people build their own boards. Grew up in Kalk Bay, Cape Town. Likes to find the bigger picture. Hardworking. Not averse to difficulty. Thrives on a challenge. Tries not to be afraid. Sometimes fails.
I’m independent and think critically about the world around me: this has assisted me in discovering and travelling a unique path, which allows the marriage between my passions for the ocean and natural environments to come together and pay the bills, while at the same time create environmentally responsible surfboards and surf craft out of wood.
I believe any business that positions the environment at the heart of what they do is operating in an exciting space. It’s a counter-culture way of doing business. It’s a bit like paddling into a big wave: you’re never quite sure what the outcome is going to be and that’s exciting. But there are also lessons to be learnt. I hope that my experiences and lessons might be valuable to others.
I also have a unique relationship with many of my customers, who spend a considerable amount of time with me on courses building their own surfboards. I’m able to share my passion and the craft of building a beautiful, functional object out of natural materials. Hopefully this process can improve the world in some small way in showing that there are alternatives.
It’s amazing how networks grow exponentially. The more people and organisations that connect around a certain idea or way of doing things, however loosely, the more influential and disruptive they become as a collective. Applied to environmental responsibility, that’s a clear case for strength in numbers, and a lot of inspiration can be drawn from each other and like-minded organisations with clearly articulated values, such as Sealand.
To get started on your very own masterpiece, check out Burnett Wood Surfboards or contact Patrick on his website, burnettwoodsurfboards.co.za. You can also keep up with all his latest creations by following burnettwoodsurfboards on Instagram.