Alaia Surfboard Project – Post 2

Alaia Shipment

Alaia Wooden Surfboard project: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4 | Post 5 | Post 6 | Post 6b | Post 7 | Post 8 Finis

It’s been hectic since I received the Alaia blank, but I plan to start on it in earnest this weekend and think I have a plan of attack (thanks in large part to Jon Wegner’s suggestions via email)…

  • Standard Finley tail in favor of the Stuth (I can always get another blank right?!)
  • All cuts are going to be about 3mm from the lines that define the board’s shape
  • Form 45° bevels on the top and bottom using a small hand plane to start to shape the rails
  • Sand the rails to shape, leaving the bottom sharper as opposed to round
  • Cut an 8″ wide channel down the middle starting 1/3 of the way down from the nose*

* I’m still not 100% sure how I’m going to shape the concave. I was thinking about holding the edge of my belt sander at an angle (30°?) and from the center of the board, moving down towards the tail going no deeper than 1/4″ at the deepest point. Then I’d repeat the same process holding the planer on the opposite side from center. This should form the deepest part of the concave – a V shape of sorts about 4-5″ wide that I can then blend out toward the rails. When finished the concave will be about 8″ wide.

I made some test cuts on the parts of the blank that are waste. With no more than 18″ exposed past the clamps the jigsaw makes a clean cut, but anything more and it chatters and ripping is evident. I’ll have to keep clamping and un-clamping as I make my way down the board.

Check back for pictures and an update on my next post. Also feel free to comment on the plan above and lend any insight.

Posted by: Lawrence


  1. Hi Lawrence

    I have aquired the Blanks, and I have desinged a template based around the specs you posted up but with my own modification.. I used computer program AKU shaper to template and get a general feel for the dimensions before I touch the Blank.

    I will post up some pics for you, of the template..

    Before I get to shaping the rails, I am going to practice on a bit of the Blank I have spare.

    Can I ask is there another “guide line” on the blank set back 3 mm from the Plan outline, that is used as a guide to shapping the rails?

    I take it that I would take off material at 45 degrees between the rails to form the rail both top and bottom.

    From Alaia’s I have seen the rails are quite knifey, with a curve to a hard edge on the belly.. Can I kndly ask for a few tips on the rail shaping procedure..

    I have looked at the process descibed in this post

    These Rails are “truncated triangle tapering from about 20mm down to about 8mm over about 50mm. The deck drops about 5mm, the belly drops about 10mm – in other words 35/65 rail”..

    Would Like to hear your thoughts in which method to utilise..


  2. I made up the 3mm guide on the deck to use as a reference for making the rough shape of the rail – a 45° bevel that I made with my hand plane. The rails are ‘knifey’ as you pointed out, but more so on the bottom (belly).

    There’s not a ton of roll on the top – the post on the link you provided above is the most significant I’ve seen. But those folks have made a few Alaia’s before and this is my first, so perhaps they got it right! I will start with an eased edge on the top, knifey on the bottom and little roll on the deck. Over time I’ll adjust (to feel) the top and the rails I’m sure.

    I did a ton of sanding tonight and can see significant progress. I’ve been hand sanding to keep the dust down, but will hopefully be able to move it outside this weekend and finish the rough sanding. I hope to move to finer grits and complete phase one of the Alaia very soon.

  3. Hi Lawrence
    Thanks for your insight..

    I took the adivce in the abovementioned blog.. re rails.. And utilised a 45 degee bevel..

    The outcome is a knive edge rail on the bottom, which curves up to a semi circle to the deck.

    Some light sanding and oiling and I have completed my first Alaia.. Will post pics..


  4. Cool, please do send the pics lzevon-at-bitness-dot-com and I will post. Also let me know if you had an opportunity to ride it and what you thought.

  5. Hi Lawrence

    I sent through some pics of my Alaia!

    I surfed it at Portsea Back Beach, on the Mornington Peninsula east of Melbourne, in tiny 1 to 2 foot surf.

    It was a total rush, and really fast.

    The trick is to paddle really hard, not let the tail swing around from underneath you.

    The rail really pulls the board into the wave, I stood up after riding prone. The hardest part if the Alaia is just catching the wave.

    The crew I was surfing with all had a go, and my mate Ben got a ripper left, and had a very big smile ear to ear!

    I am allready planning my second Alaia! Great fun and well worth getting dusty!


  6. Thanks for the mention in your post! Your Alaia is looking great, you must be itching to get out there!

    I reckon that your Alaia is going to be great to ride, just from the look of it!

    I hope it warms up for you soon! We use 4/ 3 suits in winter, Cant wait to see it oiled up..


  7. Thanks H, I just need a winter suit (6″ of fresh pow and 11° F be damned)!

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