Alaia -- en francais

Some French guy with long hair surfs on a super-wide alaia:


Native Alaia Surfers

The guys over at have a fascinating story about a church missionary who found some natives in the South Pacific surfing on planks. Just a great set of pictures and a great story. CLICK HERE for the full story.  The picture of this kid below with his carved plank is sweet.

Tropical alaia

This video has cool shots of the tropics, single fin surfing, family bliss, and, from 1m30 to 3m00 some cool alaia footage. I like the camera attached to the back of the board. Sweet.


Thick Alaia

Check out how thick the alaia is in this video. It definitely seems slower in trim than the Wegener-style alaia. On the other hand, it clearly floats a lot better than the wafer-thin Wegener alaias. Maybe the thick alaias could be winter boards (since you can float out of the cold water) and the thin ones could be for the summer?


Wood Stain on an Alaia?

What are your thoughts about staining an alaia with colored stains before sealing it with Linseed Oil? It is suggested in Step 9 of THIS POST over at TransWorld Surf.

Does that betray the rootsy eco-ness of the board, or is that a way to personalize it beyond using a wood-buring kit or a branding iron? Maybe a colored pattern on the bottom of the board or some line art on the deck? Would the colors even turn out after the Linseed oil coating, or would they all appear to be a shade of brown?

I'm considering at least testing the concept on this first alaia. At the least I'll probably print a word or two in a discreet place prior to applying the Linseed oil.


My Cut Alaia

Okay, here is a picture of the basic outline of my alaia. It is about 6'7" and about 17" wide at the widest point. This is totally free-handed design based on posts I've read elsewhere and based on guessing at dimensions from pictures I have seen. Completely unscientific, but fun.

This picture is post-band saw, post-jig saw, and post-rough sanding. The belt sanding and hand sanding have yet to occur. I will be carving the required channel down the middle of the underbelly of the beast soon. This, from what I am told, will give me "control" over the board while trimming across the face of a wave.

I hope to have this thing finished and coated with Linseed oil in time for spring-suit weather here in SD (ie, by the early part of June). Updates to follow.