Ever since I was inspired by images of guys riding Wegener Alaia’s, I’ve been wanting to make one out of the same wood that Tom Wegener is using over in Australia. I got the chance this last October when I picked up a couple paulownia wood Alaia blanks from the Wegener booth at the Sacred Craft exposition in Del Mar. The first redwood Alaia I had made perviously rode completly different than the new one’s made from paulownia. The new Alaia’s were much lighter, flexier, and more boyuant. Not to mention incredibly water resistant. I did a pretty crummy job of oiling the first one, because I was so excited to ride it, and it’s still doing fine with only two coats. I have become completly hooked on these boards since then. I literally didn’t ride anything else for about a month. I still basically just trim, but man it’s an amazing feeling. I never thought I could have so much fun just simply going down the line. It literally feels like you’re flying on a magic carpet because the board twists and bends under your feet as you keep going faster down the line connecting sections. Building and riding these boards has probably been one of the most unexpected joys of my surfing life. Many thanks to Tom and Jon Wegener for bringing these boards back into the mainstream. Check out wegenersurfboards.com and tomwegenersurfboards.comContinue Reading
I recently participated in the Sacred Craft surfboard expo in Del Mar and got to see some really great boards there. There was a lot of wooden ones as well. Tom Wegener came over from Australia and showed a big selection of his Alaias. I am so excited about the possibilities of this little craft that I bought two of his paulownia wood blanks. I hope to out in the water soon on them. Everyone upped the ante at this years show. I can’t wait till next year.
9′ Velzy Pig /displacement hull oddball log w/ poplar deck and bottom (ridden with a 10″ Greenough flex fin) also glassed extremely light in epoxy with w/ single 6oz. top and bottomContinue Reading
I finally got the chance to make an Alaia out of some old redwood siding that was given to me by a friend. After reading the “How To Ride An Alaia Board” by Dan Malloy in the May 2008 Surfing Magazine, I got all fired up to make that siding into sliding. Wood board guru Tom Wegener brought these boards back to life and after seeing how much fun they can be I had to try one. I have always been a fan of Wegener’s boards and he has been a major influence in my board building. So after a little bit of research (reading the mag, watching some of Wegener’s videos and checking Wegener’s articles on design) I hit the shaping bay. So, after a day in the bay and a couple coats of oil it was ready to ride. I didn’t have much luck the first couple of times I took it out. But, once I got the hang of it I ended up having one of the most fun sessions I’ve had in awhile. This may sound a little cliche’ but it really does feel like riding on a magic carpet. You can feel the board flex over every little ripple in the water as you’re going down the line. It carries it’s speed really well, considering it is only a 1/2 inch thick and barely floats. This board was more than what I expected. This is my first Alaia, but it will not be the last. More are in the works and I will keep you posted. Board dimensions: 6’2″x 15″x 1/2″ Thanks to Graham, Christina, and RT for the photos.Continue Reading