Building any sort of surf craft with your own hands is an incredibly rewarding process. Not only are these builds more sustainable than the leading alternative, they have a story to tell– and one worth telling. The time put into a board such as alaia is not as significant as a full hollow surfing board per it’s simple plank construction, but finishing a board the same week you start is gratifying in its own way.
I began by clamping four cedar boards together all measuring roughly 2 x 6 in width and thickness. By the end of the week, final shape was trimmed down to a slim 20 inches with a strong taper near the tail. The main challenge was not finding it’s outer spoon like foil, but rather trimming the rails down to a rideable thickness. My old hand plane took its time with this job, churning out cedar curls by the hundreds. A wide single concave pattern rests in the tail with hope that it will do something beautiful.
Here it is in Wells, ME