How To Shape Alaia Surfboard

How To Shape An AlaiaShape 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.


What the Hell is Paulowina Wood?

Indigenous to China, Paulowina has been cultivated for 2000 years. Most species of Paulowina are very fast growing and can reach highest of 30-60 feet in 15 years, growing up to 10-20 feet in one year under idea conditions---it's like the bamboo of trees.

Once the trees are harvested they regenerate from there existing root system earning them the name "Phoenix Tree". That's cool, no? Thus, paulowina has the ability to reclaim ecologically stressed and degenerate patches of land and the root system can penetrate complex soil environments---it's kind of like an eco angel, turning waste land into regenerative forest.

Paulowina is a pale, whitish color and can be grey, light brown or reddish.

Paulowina is great for surfboards because it has a good weight to strength ratio being lighter than hardwood but more durable than balsa. It also absorbs less water than many other types of wood and thus does not need a resin or glass finish making it super ecological---though you could glass it if you wanted. Paulowina boards should be finished with a seed oil to protect it from water absorption and prevent damages from sea salt and the sun.

The board, like anything made of wood, is 100% biodegradable.

What is an Alaia?

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.

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Size Chart

Surfboard Leashes

You Break It We Replace It in First Year. 

Buy a leash closest to your board size—i.e. for 6'4 surfboard you need a 6' leash. 

All leashes are 7mm thick, competition leashes which are lighter/thinner 5.5 mm. 

Pioneer Day Boardbags - Fits One Surfboard

All boardbags have +2 inches. Thus a 6'6 board fit's perfectly in a 6'6 boardbag. All Pioneer bags have expandable fin gussets, so you can keep your fins on your board in the bag—or you can roll with glass-on fins.

Pioneer Sizes:

All bags have interior pockets (fins, leash and wax), bags fit industry standards. 

Our 8'6, 9'6 and 10' bags have fin slots and round noses. 

Pioneer bags also have an exterior pocket and zip all the way to the nose.

Travel Bags - Fits Two Surfboards

All Global boardbags have +2 inches, so if you buy a 6'2 boardbag, the real length is 6'4—thus you have a bit of room to play. 

Global Travel Bag Sizes:

Travel boardbags are 6'-8' inches deep to accommodate two boards—though you can travel with one in these bags without a problem—there are two interior pockets for leash, wax, and fins.

Surfboard Travel Bag Pockets Fin Wax Leash

Travel boardbags have two padded boards separators and two pockets for your gear. 

* Travel boardbags also have 13mm + 13mm of extra padding in the nose and tail.

Travel Bags with Wheels - Fits Two Surfboards

New in 2016 is the double travel bag with wheels. Sometimes you want a smaller bag with wheels, now you can have it. All Global boardbags have +2 inches, so if you buy a 6'2 boardbag, the real length is 6'4—thus you have a bit of room to play. 

Global Travel Bag Sizes:

Travel boardbags are 6'-8' inches deep to accommodate two boards—though you can travel with one in these bags without a problem—there are two interior pockets for leash, wax, and fins.

Wave Tribe Wheelie Surfboard Travel Bags

Travel boardbags have two padded boards separators and two pockets for your gear. 

* Travel boardbags also have 13mm + 13mm of extra padding in the nose and tail.

Boardbag Material & Hardware - All Bags

Side A of the bag is made from a strong density Rugged Eco Hemp exterior which is one tough fiber and naturally built to last with high impact padding protection with Rebound Foam Dynamics including open-to-nose technology.

Side B is the reflective (rental-car-roof-side) made from Reflective Energy Shield for "Cooler Surfboard Safeguard" protecting your surfboard from the sun's harmful rays made from an alloy-steel mesh weave.

All Sides are guarded by our Japanese Never-Rust-or-Break Nickel Platted Zippers streamline zipper trails and our trademarked Easy Flow Zip System.