Want to build your own Alaia/Paipo/Handplane blank from scratch? Glue your own blanks up to whatever width you want?
The Alaia Surfboard
The Alaia (pronounced ah-lay-ah) is a finless, thin wooden surfboard with hardly any rocker which was ridden by the ancient Hawaiians. More and more people are now riding Alaias all over the world. Usually between 5 and 10ft long and 14 and 18 inches wide, Alaias can be ridden lying down with fins or standing up like a surfboard. Without the drag of the fin they generate tremendous speed and allow you to do sliding turns and 360’s in the pocket of the wave. It takes some skill to ride an Alaia standing up but once you get the hang of it, it is a real buzz. And if riding the Alaia is not your thing these surfboards make a stunning piece of wall art which you can have fun shaping yourself.
The DIY Alaia Kit
This kit includes 5 pieces of 95mm x 22mm x 8ft flat, machine finished, straight, lightweight Paulownia timber. Ready for you to start glue up and start shaping your own Alaia board. These blanks are the cheapest, easiest way to get started, making Alaia surfing affordable for everyone.
Included in your order:
– 5 pieces of 95mm x 22mm x 8ft timber
– comprehensive PDF instruction manual ($15.99 value – emailed)
– standard leash plug
– outline templates (emailed)
You can read about the PDF instruction manual here on our website.
Paulownia wood is a lightweight hardwood that does not soak up salt water and is perfect for making Alaias. Once shaped, simply oil with lanolin oil and go surfing!
The Alaia Surfboard
The Alaia is a finless, thin wooden surfboard with hardly any rocker which was ridden by the ancient Hawaiians. Recently more and more people have been riding Alaias all over the world. Usually between 5 and 10ft long and 14 and 18 inches wide, Alaias can be ridden lying down with fins or standing up. Without the drag of the fin they generate tremendous speed and allow you to do sliding turns and 360′s in the pocket of the wave. It takes some skill to ride an Alaia standing up but once you get the hang of it, it is a real buzz.
Full email support on building Alaias is available when you purchase one of our blanks. As you can see only simple tools are required to build an Alaia. The coolest thing about them is that you can make adjustments to the board in between surfs simply by sanding or planing some more and then re-coating with lanolin oil.
Freight – This timber can be sent anywhere in Australia.
The package will be delivered by a courier usually between 9am-5pm Mon to Fri. If no one is home at the time of delivery, the courier will usually leave it at the front door if it is safe to do so. If not they will leave a note for you to call and arrange re-delivery. If there is somewhere in particular you would like the courier to leave the package (e.g. side of house), please let us know when you order.
All timber is fully inspected before transport, so if there is any damage to your package and contents, let us know straight away.
HOW TO SHAPE AN ALAIA SURFBOARD IN A NUTSHELL
Step 1 – Glue the blank.
Lay down a tarp to catch excess glue and align each plank of wood on its thin side across a couple of sawhorses. You can also add some cedar or similar stringers in at this point to customise your design. Glue up the sides, flip the boards on their broad side and clamp them as quickly as possible. Tighten two large clamps near each end and sandwich the bottom and deck with small clamps and scrap wood. Spread out three more large clamps, tighten them up and let it sit for 24 hours.
Step 2 – Cut the outline.
There are a multitude of different shapes you can choose for your Alaia and you can modify any to suit your personal preference or style. We provide a range of templates with our instruction manual which is included free of charge with any blank purchase.
Step 3 – Plane it.
Use a block plane (and electric hand planer if available) to shape your board. For optimum flex and to reduce weight, try to maintain about half an inch throughout entire centre and start tapering down to a quarter inch along the rails. Down-turned rails along the back two-thirds and up-turned rails along the front third are desirable, but don’t be afraid to get weird! Remember to stop periodically to calibrate your block plane. If there is a bow in your blank, this can work to your advantage, just make sure the center of the deck is bowed up with the rails pointing down.
Step 4 – Sand it.
A belt sander is ideal, but an orbital sander will to the trick. Start with rough grit and finish with fine grit. Avoid sanding the rails and nose of the board with electric sanders so you don’t mess them up… Give these areas some love and sand them by hand.
Step 5 – Put designs on it.
Step 6 – Oil it.
Step 7 – Ride it.
This absolutely is the most challenging part, but waist high waves have never been more fun! It helps to do some research on techniques and wave selection, but with a little humility and patience you’ll experience a new dimension in surfing… and you’ll likely be in the best paddling shape of your life.