Green wave: S.African surfers splash out on wooden boards

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    geribackhouse10

    <div class=”artSplitter mol-img-group”> <div> <div class=”image-wrap”> Comeback: Wooden surfboards became sidelined by synthetic materials. Green awareness has put them in the spotlight. </div> <noscript> Comeback: Wooden surfboards became sidelined by synthetic materials. Green awareness has put them in the spotlight. </noscript> </div> <p class=”imageCaption”>Comeback: Wooden surfboards became sidelined by synthetic materials.

    Green awareness has put them in the spotlight.</p> </div> <p>Early-morning surfers dot the ocean off South Africa’s rugged Cape Peninsula, catching the foaming waves.</p> <p>Among the polyurethane boards, one stands out — it’s made from wood.</p> <p>It was wood which gave birth to surfing, a sport first documented by British explorers in 18th-century Polynesia.</p> <div class=”artSplitter mol-img-group”> <div> <div class=”image-wrap”> A wooden surfboard needs a sturdy skeleton to cope with the impact of the waves </div> <noscript> A wooden surfboard needs a sturdy skeleton to cope with the impact of the waves </noscript> </div> <p class=”imageCaption”>A wooden surfboard needs a sturdy skeleton to cope with the impact of the waves</p> </div> <p>But when the Age of Plastic dawned, wood was derided as too heavy and clanky compared with light, mouldable plastic.</p> <p>Now it’s making a comeback, driven in part by concerns among surfers about the environmental impact of polyurethane.</p> <p>One convert is Matthew Kramer, who bought a wooden board more than six years ago.</p> <div class=”artSplitter mol-img-group”> <div> <div class=”image-wrap”> Hand-made: Patrick Burnett sands a wooden surfboard in his workshop, near Cape Point </div> <noscript> Hand-made: Patrick Burnett sands a wooden surfboard in his workshop, near Cape Point </noscript> </div> <p class=”imageCaption”>Hand-made: Patrick Burnett sands a wooden surfboard in his workshop, near Cape Point</p> </div> <p>”It reinvigorated my love for surfing because it’s all a new feel,” said Kramer.

    “It paddles differently, it rides differently.”</p> <p>Kramer’s board was hand-crafted in a Cape Town beach-suburb by South Africa’s leading wooden surfboard manufacturer, 자동차 우레탄 부싱 Patrick Burnett.</p> <p>The former journalist ships his creations worldwide.</p> <p>Each board takes as much as 60 hours’ work and sells for up to $1,700 (1,541 euros).</p> <div class=”artSplitter mol-img-group”> <div> <div class=”image-wrap”> Clamps hold a wooden strip in place to make the all-important 'rail' (edge) of a surfboard in Burnett's workshop </div> <noscript> Clamps hold a wooden strip in place to make the all-important 'rail' (edge) of a surfboard in Burnett's workshop </noscript> </div> <p class=”imageCaption”>Clamps hold a wooden strip in place to make the all-important ‘rail’ (edge) of a surfboard in Burnett’s workshop</p> </div> <p>”Wood is a unique material,” said Burnett as he planed a surfboard.</p> <p>”We try and design boards that are suitable for wood rather than a copy of the alternative.”</p> <p>Burnett largely uses Japanese cedar, a species grown sustainably in South Africa’s southeastern KwaZulu-Natal province.</p> <p>While some surfers are going green, others are simply embracing a trend for all things vintage.</p> <div class=”artSplitter mol-img-group”> <div> <div class=”image-wrap”> Burnett prefers to use Japanese cedar, bought locally from sustainable sources </div> <noscript> Burnett prefers to use Japanese cedar, bought locally from sustainable sources </noscript> </div> <p class=”imageCaption”>Burnett prefers to use Japanese cedar, bought locally from sustainable sources</p> </div> <p>Young people are particularly attracted by Burnett’s technique, which he says dates back a century.</p> <p>He has also developed ingenious methods to bend the wood to his will — using a tea kettle on an electric hob to form the boards’ long edges, which are known as rails.</p> <p>Wood “is an amazing material to work with,” said Burnett at his workshop, strewn with tools and speckled with dried glue.</p> <p>”But it’s very much labour intensive and this will remain a… niche thing.”</p> <div class=”artSplitter mol-img-group”> <div> <div class=”image-wrap”> Burnett has sold his hand-crafted boards to surfers around the world -- they sell for up to $1,700 apiece </div> <noscript> Burnett has sold his hand-crafted boards to surfers around the world -- they sell for up to $1,700 apiece </noscript> </div> <p class=”imageCaption”>Burnett has sold his hand-crafted boards to surfers around the world — they sell for up to $1,700 apiece</p> </div> <p>Burnett is conscious of the limits of working with wood.</p> <p>His creations are heavier than polyurethane boards and not suited to competitive surfing.</p> <p>Yet many seem happy to sacrifice some speed and 폴리우레탄 manoeuverability to be seen with a unique wooden board.</p> <p>Burnett has sold around 850 since he took up the craft in 2007.</p> <p>”We all say how much we love the ocean and how much we respect wildlife,” Burnett said.

    <b>”I think we really should put our money where our mouth is.”</p></div></b>
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