Project Alaia - Where the future meets the past!

Surfing in the ancient style on a finless wood board. The Hawaiians called the board alaia. It was the commoners board and about 7 foot compared to the board of royalty, the Olo, which came in at over 14 feet. This solid wood style of board has all but disappeared. Here is my project to recreate and ride the board of the ancient Hawaiians.

The Blank - 3/4 inch thick Paulownia Wood. High density wood from Australia that its properties allow it to not take on water. Known as the china coffin wood due to its extensive use in that market because of its strength and water resistant properties.

I applied many of the same techniques as with shaping foam, in the pictures you can see the cut template, setting up the rail bands and using the power planer to cut bands. I finished with hand planners and sanding.

In the last pictures is the finish which is several coats of raw linseed oil and a mix of turpentine. It's four coats with each coat having a greater mix of linseed then turpentine. The final coat on the deck is a mixture of Beeswax and Turpentine. This will not only bring out the grain of the wood but also give some added protection to the wood.

Another plus is this board represents a green alterantive to the surf craft building, the paulownia wood from a renewable plantation source to the eco-friendly finish, this process does not use what nature can't sustain.

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A-Alaia Blank.JPG (97 KB)

B-Alaia Template Cut.JPG (99 KB)

C-Alaia Rail Band Marks.JPG (88 KB)

D-Alaia Planing Rail Bands.JPG (120 KB)

E-Alaia Tail Prep.JPG (90 KB)

F-Alaia Tail Clean Cut.JPG (109 KB)

G-Alaia Swallow Tail.JPG (108 KB)

H-Alaia Nose Rocker Prep.JPG (89 KB)

I-Alaia Deck.JPG (112 KB)

J-alaia logo.JPG (97 KB)

K-Alaia Tail.JPG (106 KB)

L-Alaia.JPG (108 KB)

M-Alaia Finsh.JPG (113 KB)

N-Alaia Finish Logo.JPG (103 KB)

o-Alaia Finish Handshaped.JPG (111 KB)

P-Alaia Mikaela.JPG (107 KB)