“Whoa, I can’t believe you guys sell alaia’s here. Do these things really work?” This is a question that surf shop around the country are getting who are carrying alaia’s. Alaia surfboards and wood finless boards, which are very thin. They look so out of place into todays surfing world, yet many people are anxious to try them. These were some of the first boards that surfers ever rode. But there is one question that everyone wants an answer too – “Can you really surf these boards.” I think after watching the video below you will be able to answer that question for yourself.
I have read a lot about how to build and shape an Alaia and it had been an interest for the past few months. A few weeks ago I finally said enough and started the process. Below is a step by step guide to building your own Alaia -Enjoy!!
- Circular Saw
- Circular sander attachment for a power drill
- 2 Saw Horses
- Wood Burner
Step 1 -
I went to Lowes and bought a cedar plank with the dimensions of 92″ x 20″ and 3/4″ thick. This was pre-gluded and ready to be shaped.
Step 2 –
Draw your shape on the board or you can use a template. I went for a simple square tall and fully rounded nose. Using a ruler measure your dimensions and then snap a chalk line. For instance my board is 18″ wide and 7’4 Long so I measure and snapped the line with a chalk line to make it easy.
Step 3 –
Draw the nose. I used a “poor mans compass” which consisted of rope and some tape. Hold the rope at different lengths from about 5″ from the nose in the center of the board. Find the length of rope which gives you the shape that you want. Tape the rope and wrap the pencil then simple draw it using the rope.
Step 4 –
Using a circular say for everything but the nose cut out the shape that you have drawn. Go slow and take your time, this is very important.
Step 5 –
Using a Jig Saw, cut the nose out. This is the most important part…do not rush through this.
Step 6 –
I choose to router the rails to help get the rails shaped a little before I hand planed them. It helped a lot. Use a 1/4 bit to get the right shape.
Step 7 –
Use a hand planer to shape the rails to your likings. I went with a rolled deck and a sharp rail. This is just personal preference, i just went back and forth with the hand planer till i got the right roll that i liked. For the nose you want to roll both sides to help with the flow of water.
Step 8 –
Once you have shaped the rails then move onto the nose with a hand planer. I used one saw horse as seen in the picture to make it easier to shape. I made the nose very thin and rounded on the deck and bottom to help the water flow.
Congradulations you have made it past the hardest part – Make sure you do not rush through the final steps though.
Step 9 –
Sand like crazy. I used a circular sanding attachment for a power drill which worked very well. Just make sure you sand it very well to make it very smooth. I sanded all the way up to 220 grit.
Step 10 –
Wood Burn, make it your own, have fun. Take pride in what you have made and woodburn your name or a cool design. I went with “Alaia” in the deck. I did this with cheap plastic stencils but it made the difference. For a wood burner i went to a local craft store and paid $20 for a little kit.
Step 11 –
Oil it up. This is the important part. The mixture which I used is 1 Part Boiled Linseed Oil, 1 Part Gum Turpentine with some added shaved bee’s wax. I figured i would use the same combination as Tom Wegner in the hopes of completely sealing my board. You want to do at least 4-5 coats per side to ensure your board will not soak up water.
Step 12 -
Now all you have to do is start riding yours!!!!!
Take a look on our friend video about building Surfboard. In case video would not open here is a comprehensive guide how to clear cookies ;)