Alaia's in Cornwall

There is a great story (with amazing pics) at Drift UK about alaias.  Check it out by clicking here.

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The Case Against Retro Boards

Just stumbled upon this three-part classic that was on Surfline a couple of years ago. All about how retro boards keep surfers out of the tube.

Part I (Chuck Norris humor)

Part II (Great comment from CJ about Encinitas)

Part III (Thruster redemption)

[Photo: surfcrs]


Beginner Alaia Video

This video could use some editing, a sound track, and some better dialogue, but looks like these guys were having fun, even though the legth of ride on the homemade alaia was suffering.


Random Alaia Pictures

Back from the dead with some pictures found on the Internet.  In an amazing turn of events, they all relate to alaias!

Yoda would be a sick alaia slider!

Since when does the Home Depot sell wood for 50% off?  Or paulownia blanks, for that matter?


Tom Blake and Some Old Boards

Great picture:

Found it HERE.


Caballito de totora

If you think alaias are old school, check out the Peruvian caballito de totora.  The debate is on as to whether these things were ever used as surfboards, but they are being used that way now.  Check out the pictures below and the ESPN article from which I borrowed them.  (CLICK HERE for the article explaining what the hell these things are.)

[PS -- any clever captions for the bottom picture are welcome in the comments.]


Breaking SUP Stereotypes

I guess not all SUP-ers are fat old guys who never learned to surf when they were young and who dominate the peaks because they have no idea what the surfing Rules are.  Here is proof (photo credit):


How to Shape an Alaia, part ??

In the never-ending quest to find instructions on how to shape an alaia board, check out this post from the Surfboard Man.

If you aren't into that, check out the final day of the Nike Pro at Lower's.  The live stream yesterday was killer and made it exceptionally difficult to get any work done.


Unconventional Alaia

Aren't all alaias unconventional from the perspective of the modern thruster-loving ripper? Well, check this thing out . . .

CLICK HERE for the complete photo series.


Catherine Clark with Alaia

Hat  tip to The Cornbread.


F*ckyeah Meme on

I have recently become acquainted with the fu*kyeah______ meme over at I don't know how this started, but there are some good sites related to surfing. Here are a few links:




And some non-fu*ckyeah that is pretty good:




Rasta Surfing an Alaia at Noosa Heads

Hat tip to Wooden Surfboards for finding this video:

Who would have thought Rasta would be the alaia god when he was being filmed for Momentum? Life is strange; and its turns, stranger.


Foam Core Alaias?

I found a post on another blog about one shaper who is making alaia boards out of thin pieces of wood and foam.  This "sandwich" construction is described on the blog as follows:  "The Alaia-Lite has a foam core, wood sandwich construction, made of locally harvested and reclaimed wood from Hawaii."  Bravo for the use of reclaimed wood, but this seems to defeat the entire purpose of the alaia movement, which is to return surfing to its historical roots and to be able to make a board from a single, sustainable material.

The maker of these alaias says that the use of foam enables the boards to float better and permits people to more easily catch waves, since an all-wood alaia does not float very well.  This, I can see, is a benefit of the use of a foam core.

Nevertheless, for now, I'm sticking with wood.


More Alaia "Tow-In" Madness

I don't recommend using a SUP to "tow-in" to waves on an alaia.  If for no other reason, every person in the line-up will beat the crap out of you.  However, the results are impressive.  Check out the sick barrel toward the end.  If you want more, I posted some other videos of this tow-in guy right here.

Thanks to Waverider for the find.


Comic Relief

From one of my favorite surf-related blogs:  Surf in Oregon.  The author has all sorts of cartoons like this.  Check it out if you haven't already.


Peanut Test

45 minutes 6,6 Alaia Peanut test by Ion Eizaguirre. Presented by from Ion on Vimeo.


Chris del Moro Interview at Liquid Salt

Take a few minutes to read the interview with Chris del Moro over at Liquid Salt .  It is worth your time.  The pic below is from the interview.


Tom's Creation Plantation Wins

The Cyrus Sutton-directed short film, Tom's Creation Plantation, has won best short film at the Yallingup Surfilm Festival.  Congratulations.  Here is an excerpt from the story on

Best Short Film was won by Tom’s Creation Plantation, directed by Cyrus Sutton. This fascinating documentary tells the story of surfboard builder Tom Wegener and his revival of the ancient Hawaiian surfcraft, the Alaia. These traditional timber boards have found favour with a new generation of surfers, discovering  their incredible powers of speed and glide.

“It’s a big surprise to win an award like this for a film that literally cost $600 to make. It’s really a testament to Tom’s charisma and creativity," Cyrus Sutton said, from his home in California. Wegener builds his boards in a totally sustainable, environmentally friendly way, out of locally grown Palownia timber, grown on his property near Noosa Heads. Timber shavings from the hand-crafting of his boards are returned to the garden as mulch and compost.

Wegener’s revival of the alaia has sparked a world-wide movement, inspiring surfers from around Australia, California, Hawaii and beyond to re-discover this time-forgotten surf craft.
 Check out the trailer below:

Tom's Creation Plantation Trailer from on Vimeo.


Alaia Surf Contest?

Someone should organize an alaia surf contest.  Or, in keeping with the natural flavor of alaias, an expression session.  The prizes could be sytlish sculptures carved from wood.  You could also set up a nearby "green" fair and marketplace.  I'd do it myself if I had some free time, but as you can see it is difficult enough for me to try and update this blog once a week or so.

If you are in the San Diego area, I bet Patagonia-Cardiff would sponsor such an event since that shop is the source for all things alaia in San Diego.

The hardest part would probably be coming up with the judging rules and finding judges.  What is a 10-point ride?  Repeated la-la slides down the face of a wave?  Five 360s in rapid succession?  A one-second barrel?  And then, where do you find judges who understand the difficulty of certain maneuvers?  Since this style of surfing is in a renewed infancy right now, people who surf an alaia that well should be in the event, not judging it.

Anyhow, if you organize one, let me know.  I'll give you free advertising space.


Alaias and the fairer sex

I have not seen in person any women riding alaias.  Is the alaia trend a boy thing?  I don't see why it would be.  I know Kassia Meador rides one (see the picture above that I grabbed from her blog).  In one of KM's blog posts, she mentions a French ROXY slider named PANDORA, so I assume PANDORA is a woman.

There is also a video that has a part in it where Carissa Moore tries an alaia:

But, aside from these pros, I have note seen any women riding these things where I live in San Diego. Am I not looking hard enough? Are any women riding these things?  Are any women out there shaping their own alaias?


What is evolution, really?

A question to contemplate as we begin 2010: what is evolution as applied to surfboard design?

Does your opinion of the value of Progress depend on your state of mind?