Alaia First Field Test

Oiled Alaia

I took the Alaia out today for the first time. I had been surfing my longboard in about shoulder-high surf for over an hour and was anxious to run back to the car to get it. When I finally popped in the water with it I sunk like a stone. I spent the next 15 minutes or so trying to figure out the balance point and how to paddle it without it sliding from under me.

Once I felt comfortable controlling the board and paddling around, I walked into about waist high and belly-rode a dozen waves – FUN. I felt like I could turn it and was feeling more confident. I tried to stand but admittedly couldn’t – not this time out. I sort of stood, but nothing where I was actually riding so much as sinking. In the right conditions and I’ll get up on the Alaia and ride it.

The board became a conversation piece on the beach and in the parking lot. After I answered a litany of questions from one older guy he said I’d have the whole speech down-pat soon. Another guy told me he made an Alaia this winter using cedar and suggested I round the bottom rails. I’ve not heard or read this anywhere – always thought the rail should be knifey on the bottom? He was impressed with the board and that I had Paulownia wood – I told him where he can buy it.

Posted by: Lawrence


  1. Dan Morrissey May 26, 2009 at 11:24 am

    I’ve been looming on your blog here for some time now (~8 months). I’m 26/m funboard surfer and have been catching the alaia fever, so to speak. I would like to craft my own alaia soon as well. None the less, I had been waiting to hear how your first experience was on your alaia. I would have assumed most people would have a great deal of trouble catching or even paddling their boards. I’m only 170lbs at 5’9″…so I’m average and I know I would sink. Anyway, thought I’d say hi and that I admire your passion for the board and surfing as a whole. Perhaps one day soon I”ll be able to craft my own alaia!! I can’t wait to hear about you how your first stand-up rides go! Enjoy your prone experiecnes in the mean time. I can only imagine how great it feels.

    Cranford, New Jersey, USA

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