Make your own ride: day by day

Workshop Days

The seed

It’s incredible to think that the timber you meet on your first day started out as a tiny seed. Now, you will choose your selected planks and combine them for the best arrangement of grain pattern that nature has given you. You’ll glue the bottom and deck of your board together, cut out the shape and build the internal frame. By days end, your surfboard has well and truly sprouted.


Building the rails of your surfboard is a bit like old-school boat building. You’ll be introduced to the basics of steaming wood around a curve, using handheld saws for making fine joinery cuts and clamping down strips of wood to make up the sides of your surfboard.

New life

It’s a big day – not only do you start shaping the volume of your rails, but the deck goes on your surfboard. This is the midway point where the building up is completed and the shaping down, the sculpting of your creation, begins. You’ve given life to something that wasn’t there before.


Your surfboard is covered in glue and masking tape at the beginning the day, a very rough wooden blank. By the end of the day, the rich grain in the wood that you chose on the first day has re-emerged. You’re into the rhythm of shaping the rails, laying down finely crafted rail bands that will eventually become rounded rails.


The ultimate reward of the final day is putting down the first coat of resin and seeing the grain pop out at you – the colours deepen and the grain lines bounce out at you. Before that you’ll be finishing the rounding of your rails and carefully sanding the whole surfboard to a fine finish. 

FAQs about wooden surfboards

All your questions about wooden surfboards answered. Please email if you have a question not answered here.

A hollow wooden surfboard is a type of surfboard constructed using wooden panels that are shaped and assembled around an internal frame to create a hollow core, as opposed to traditional surfboards that are typically made from foam cores. This construction method gives hollow wooden surfboards a unique feel and performance characteristics. They are often praised for their aesthetic appeal, as the natural wood grain can be showcased in the board's design.

Additionally, hollow wooden surfboards are known for their durability and environmentally friendly nature, as they can be made from sustainably sourced wood and are often built to last for many years with proper care. The construction process for these boards requires a high level of craftsmanship, making them a labour of love for many surfboard builders, and ideal for use in a make-your-own-ride workshop setting.

Yes, definitely. During the workshop various customisations can be done to get as close as possible to what you require, and allow for less or more volume, wave/s where the board will be surfed and specific surfing requirements.

To guarantee the best quality and finish, I glass and finish all surfboards myself. It takes five days to two weeks, depending on the work load at the time of your workshop. If you’re catching a flight or need the board urgently, please let me know – I will make a plan.

Glassing is a time consuming process that I’d rather not do. Wooden surfboards are lightly glassed compared to their foam counterparts, but it is necessary to seal the board and give your surfboard a long-lasting and durable finish.

Different boards have different fin options, and some surfboard models have a number of different fin configurations. You might have decided on a fin setup, but there is an opportunity to discuss and finalise your fin choice during the workshop. Please note that glass on fins are included in the prices. However, removable fins will cost extra.

Yes! Please have a look at the photo gallery of people who have made beautiful surfboards with me. I’ve been running workshops since 2013 and have built up a lot of experience in helping people get the best out of building their own surfboards.

However, it is important to remember that this is essentially a guided DIY experience. It would be unrealistic to expect that you are going to transform into a master surfboard maker overnight. It takes thousands of boards to learn all the nuances of making a surfboard.

In addition, everyone brings different skills and experience to board, making which will effect the final outcome. Regardless of the above, the system we have developed will enable you to achieve an outcome that you can be proud of.

Wooden surfboards are very strong. They don’t pressure ding and it needs a strong knock to damage the core structure. However, they are not immune to wear and tear and need to be looked after, just like any other item that goes in the sea. Please see the care and repair guidelines below.

Wooden surfboards, like any surfboards, require care if they are going to last. Burnett Wood Surfboards are not responsible for surfboards that are abused or show normal wear and tear over time. Scratches and dings are inevitable. Here are some tips on how you can look after your board.

  • Your board is fitted with a vent plug so that there is a way for air on the inside to release. This will help protect it from changes in air pressure over time. You must make sure the vent plug in the deck is screwed tightly closed if you take the board in the water. The wide slot allows you to use anything handy to tighten the vent – a coin, a key, even your fingers. But make sure it is sealed. When out of the water a few twists to open will allow air to be released. Do not leave your surfboard in extreme heat conditions with the vent plug closed and do not take it in the water with the vent plug open.
  • Avoid extremes of heat, like leaving your board in a hot car all day.
  • If you drop or knock the board and the glassing shatters, as with a foam board it’s important to repair the glassing in the usual way to prevent water further de-laminating the glassing or entering the board. Don’t take your board in the water if you already have a ding. Fix or get it fixed first. Keep an eye on your board for dings and cracks as it is subject to wear and tear and any dings must be repaired before use.