Alaia = trendy

The synchronicity just doesn't stop. I saw this story today about the 33rd Annual Buffalo's Big Board Surfing Classic in Hawaii. Here is an excerpt:

But the most talked about division was the alaia board division, which was added this year.

Alaia boards are the earliest form of surfboards. Basically, they are thin planks of wood with no fins.

"The alaia board doesn't float like a regular surfboard and you don't have the fins to help you turn and stuff," Brian Keaulana said. "You have to be in the right spot every time to ride the wave. I think everybody who tried it got to appreciate their culture and the ocean a little more."

Hoptong Smith of Makaha won the alaia board division after practicing on it a few times this month.

"It's hard to control — it's way different from a surfboard," Smith said. "That's what makes it fun. It's challenging.

Brian Keaulana said he was surprised at how many children were interested in riding the alaia boards.

"They were asking all kinds of questions, which is good because they're learning about the history of it," he said. "Some of them said they did research on the Internet ... when you hear stuff like that, it's all worth it."

When the kids are interested in the technology, you know it is here to stay (at least until the next big thing comes along).


Alaia construction how-to guide

Ever wondered how to build an alaia?

Wish I could say that this was something that I had done myself. However, just a link to a post on Transworld Surf about how to build your own alaia. The comments to the post are classic. Unlike the commenters to the TWS post, I really don't think it would be that hard to surf one of these things, so long as you were used to a shortboard.

Anyhow, hope to provide an eyewitness account in the coming months.

Here is a link to the TWS post: How to Build an Alaia

(See my prior posts if you are interested: 1) alaia obsession and 2) alaia surfing at Seaside.)


BBC Correspondent's Perspective of Hawaiian Surfing

I heard a fascinating report on BBC radio the other night while I was driving home from work. A reporter who clearly has absolutely no experience with surfing, and probably not even the beach, goes to Hawaii, does some research into surfing history, and tries to learn how to do SUP surfing. The story has quotes from a late 19th-century diarist whose description of surfing and the Hawaiians of that time is extraordinary. And only the British would describe Surfer Magazine as a source of "rip and curl reportage."

Here is a link to the 5 minute story. CLICK HERE.