Shape Time: 6-8 Hours
I have been shaping foam blanks for over a decade and recently I got bit by the Alaia bug.
Purchased the blank and put it in my shaping bay and with the help of Surfing Green's Alaia Manual (available free anytime you purchase a blank from Wave Tribe) and went to town.
Working with wood is much different that working with foam, yet the basic concepts remain the same. You need to draw the outline, cut out the basic shape, put in the rails, scoop the nose for rocker, and finish the board with multiple grades of sanding and then slap on a protective coat.
I used the electric planner, orbital hand-sander, saw and sandpaper to shape the blank---the orbital sanding being the tool used most. You could do the entire shape with a saw and sanding block but your arms would feel like rubber after.
The Paulowina wood shapes easily, it's a soft wood and the planner mows right though it.
First of all an Alaia doesn't have any fins.
Secondly, the board is SUPER thin and has no fiberglass or resin. That means its super eco.
The Alaia comes from Hawaii and was part of the Hawaiian surfing heritage, the original boards were between 7-12 feet long, weighed up to 100 pounds and were made from the wood Acacia Koa.
The modern Alaias are MUCH lighter and most are made with Paulowina wood, though you can use other woods if you seal them up with glass.
It's difficult to ride an Alaia, hard to get them on a plane and even more difficult when you get them up (no pune intended). But when you do, they are a blast and will give you the ride of your life.
Alaia is a Basque girl's name meaning joy and happiness, which is exactly how you'll fell when you finish shaping one and then get to ride your very own creation.
Grab our free guide here and check out these shaping video for more visual instruction.