The alaia is still the best.
After 7 years of the alaia adventure I am still consumed.
The feeling hasn’t faded.
When I dream of surfing I feel myself riding prone on an alaia.
There is so much involvement with the wave that you are a part of its energy. It is both simple and intricate surfing. The joy of riding in the “champaign” (white wash) is simple while riding on top of the foam ball deep in a barrel takes a bit of skill. The alaia traverses all levels of surfing. The experience of the alaia is enhanced by the fact that it comes from plantation grown trees in NSW. Stand tall, step lightly.
In 2007 I was very worried that the fledgling alaia movement would fade away without ever making a blip in surfing history. In 2009 the alaia made a big splash in the movies and the magazines and its popularity continues to grow. I have made many hundreds of them now and with everyone I feel I have learned a little more. Also, the entire Tuna/Seaglass project has given me much more insight into the shapes.
This year I am primarily focusing on the alaia and paipo. I have changed the name of the shorter, prone alaia to “Paipo” because it is a nice word that has been derived from the Hawaiian words “head first”. I make the paipo similar to the UK plywood belly boards with a flat deck and bottom and squared off rails. With the paipo it is all about flex and super high quality wood and milling to get the necessary strength. The alaias are shaped with a rolled deck and roles and concaves on the bottom. Generally the alaias are made for standing on and riding prone. The Paipos are for riding prone. I make some alaias short for more strength and control in bigger waves. The difference between the two boards is not real clear. But, you will never stand on a paipo. To check out our store to comapre the two boards,
The Seaglass Project compliments the alaia. It has taken the best parts of alaia surfing and mixed them with the ease and convenience of modern surfing.
The albacore takes highly functional yet durable to a new level.
I have been riding the albacore for two years now and it has never let me down. If you have an interest in riding something new, I strongly suggest you try an albacore. They are really good surfboards!!!
Noosa Longboards foam shapes: I am also shaping the custom foam boards for Noosa Longboards. After all the alternative boards I have made, shaping foam is like going back to my parent’s house. It is comfortable, easy and I know the shapes very well.
Hollow wood boards
I have made just about 320 hollow wood boards now including the planktons, noseriders, Sunday 12’s, Model A’s, wood tunas, and over 7 versions of 14’ to 18’ hollow finned boards. I am now putting this side of my business on ice. These boards are very complex to make and I need a constant flow of work to keep it moving. The orders have dropped way off and I can’t go back and forth from the other boards to these boards easily. I have raised the price by 30% on the boards to offset the extra work it takes to make just one at a time. Over all I am still obsessed with riding finless surfboards. The feeling and speed unbeatable. The dynamics of the shape still amaze me – how a board without a fin can grip into a steep wall of water. It is still very exciting for me and each day I can’t wait to get out to the shed and make some more.