Alaia

Flexy, finless freedom.

Our Alaias are made of solid Paulownia and sport an oiled finish. These boards have no natural rocker, and rely on flex from the rider’s weight for rocker and turning arc. The lack of fins mean that riding your edge is paramount, and spins and side-slip are viable riding styles. A bit more like snowboarding than surfing for many.

To many, the alaia is the most recent yo-yo of surfing—a pretty funky fad, a temporary diversion from real surfboards. To others though, the alaia is a window to the past and a closer affinity to the wave. Of the various ancient Hawaiian surf craft, the Alaia is the most closely related to the modern surfboard. They were traditionally carved from Koa and stained with various oils such as banana bud and Kukui. We use Paulownia instead, as it is incredibly fast growing and plantation grown here in Australia. Finishing is done with Tung and Linseed oils. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Tom Wegener for helping reintroduce the Alaia and other traditional shapes to the modern world, and for introducing appropriate modern elements to their shape.

They’re definitely not an easy craft to master. Riding them is one thing, paddling is another thing altogether. With very little buoyancy, they tend to swim in their own direction. We recommend starting out using swim fins while you get used to wave catching.

Due to the availability of Paulownia, many of our alaias are shaped from new plantation trees rather than reclaimed timber.