A piece of lumber with a surf board inside

I just purchased a hunky piece of dry redwood. It seemed like a good price at $30 including tax.

Dimensions: 1 1/2" x 11 1/8" x 96"

Volume: 0.9271 cubic feet

        or 11.125 board feet

Cost per board foot: $2.70

Weight: 22.6 pounds

Density: 24.4 pounds per cubic foot

I thinking about doing an Alaia. I’m intending to ride it in the prone position.

Here is my goal: I’m going to try to shape it, oil it, and then ride it within one 24 hour period.

More to come…

Dat boy’s just plain crazy, I tell ya.

Just kidding.

I admire your sense of adventure.

I suspect it won’t be the next big thing in surfboard design, but you’ll learn something I’m sure. You might even have some fun.

Go for it.

Watch out for splinters.

Good luck.

I don’t think I’m going to hit the 24 hour goal that I set, but I made some good progress. I have the board all shaped now. I think it needs some more sanding, though. If I applied the finish now it wouldn’t look quite as nice. I have to go to work tomorrow, so the rest is going to have to wait until the evening.

Here is what was accomplished today.

I used the top of a pan as a template for the curve on the nose of the board.

Here it is after cutting out the outline with a jig saw. It is hard to see here, but the board tapers in all the way to the tail. The tail is about seven inches wide.

The jigsaw makes a pretty rough cut, so I went over the rails with a planer.

I stopped in the middle of shaping the bottom to take this picture. You can see the slight nose rocker I added.

Now the planer work is finished, and it’s time to start sanding.

Here is a shot of the tail. I tried to make it like a hull. I read that it is how the ancient Alaia boards were shaped. Note: I realize that it isn’t perfectly symmetrical. I’ll try to even it out with more sanding. If it doesn’t work, then oh well. It’s not a big deal.

Here I’m holding the board by the nose. The top deck of the board is facing the camera. You can see how thin the wood is at the tip.

Here I am holding the board. After looking at this picture I’m starting to wonder if it might be too narrow. Everything that I have read about Alaia’s, however, says that thin is good. I’ll just have to try it, and see.

rip it down the middle and add some 1 1/2 ‘’ down the middle at least

13 at least

15 maybe add 3’’ down the middle

some contrast wood balsa or pine…

just two cents…

nothing you cant do after riding it.


cool goin daddio

Nice work mate…

Looking good…

If it doesn’t work out as planned, you could put a couple of footstraps on it and use it as a waterski…

What about a surfboard with a piece of lumber in it?


What about a surfboard with a piece of lumber in it?


If it doesn’t work out for me, then maybe my son can use it when he is old enough to surf. Given the relative proportions between him and the board it would probably be more like riding an Olo board.

Cheaper than $0.02 but my opinion in regards to Ambrose suggestion to add width, I think handling of the board might improve w/ a bit of flat down the middle back. Tom Wegener has some info on his site about his experiments in variations in handling depending on amount of roundness vs taking a nice trim line or sliding out sideways or pulling up into the face too much. But, soon as you ride a few waves you will get some idea.


Nice work. I agree completely w/ambrose (13-15 is right on)… rip it and add in a few stringers…after riding of course. for that length an extra 2" would make a huge diff. Although if starting over I would add them on the rails and have the big piece in the middle. Think about the bottom and rail curves too, and what directions your “lift” is acting in, fun to make modifications here. Have fun.



rip it down the middle and add some 1 1/2 ‘’ down the middle at least

13 at least

15 maybe add 3’’ down the middle

some contrast wood balsa or pine…

just two cents…

nothing you cant do after riding it.

I appreciate the advice. You are probably right; however I think it would be less work to just start from scratch on another board. I am planning on doing some more experimenting. For this project I envisioned a surfboard made from a single board. The ancient surfers that were not of the nobility class probably had to ride boards crafted from smaller trees. That is what I’m guessing. I don’t know the history that well yet.

Anyhow… I’m having fun with it.

Howzit Brother Brose, Been working a lot with Mez and you should see the wood boards he's been doing. He's got 4 or 5 that are done out of Koa and they are beautiful as is all of his work. Sold any BASA's lately. Aloha,Kokua

You said you were thinking of making one, and now you’ve gone and done it! Holy belly (on the board)! Looks like it will be fun. Whether it works well or not, I’m guessing you’ll be smiling. Sorry you didn’t make the 24 hour cutoff. Let us know how she rides.


Here’s the final product after finishing with Danish Oil. The final weight is 13 pounds.

I’ll give a ride report soon.

well, it’s bitchin’ and like you said, it’s for prone surfing, not standing. make next one at 19" wide and your on your way…


how could you stand

not holding it

for even the time

it takes to photograph it

from ten feet away…

knots give it mo character

whadda planque



Danish oil, eh? The sugar must make it nice and sticky. Who needs wax? Oh, wait, sugar is water soluble. Hmmmm…might try croissants next time?

So I thought I was going to try to make some kind of hollow board, no glass…now I’m thinking some kind of not hollow board, rub it with croissants. Thanks for the inspiration.


According to Tom Wegener’s site you are supposed to oil an Alaia. Wax is also a no no.

Sorry, just trying to make a bad pun. How often do you reoil?

Here’s the ride report:

I took the board out today in some peaky beach beach wind swell. In short – it was a lot of fun, but I wouldn’t say it was mind blowing. I guess I was expecting something completely different. I’d say it was better than riding on a sponge, but not as fun as body surfing. This board was definitely much faster than a sponge board. I think that I did a good job with the bottom contouring. It planed well, and I could turn it without much effort. I wore my body surfing fins, so taking off on waves was a snap. I learned that the best way to ride the board was so that my knees were just on the tail. That left a lot of board out in front of my head, so that I could lie flat and stretch out my arms toward the nose. The best part was dropping in on a steep wave. I was able to turn at the top, and then really fly across the face prior to getting slammed by the close out.

As fun as it was, I think that I really just want to stand up when I am riding waves. This board is too small for standing because it lacks surface area and buoyancy. When I sit on it, the water line comes up to my neck. Duck diving is easy, though.

If I am going to be able to get myself standing up on an alaia style board then it is going to have to be much bigger. The board that I rode today was 6 feet seven inches long, 11 inches wide, and about 1 1/2 inches thick. The next board will need to be thicker, longer and wider. I’m thinking 8 or 9 feet long, fifteen inches wide, and 2 inches thick.

Hello Swied!

thanks for the inspirational thread! The board looks awesome. Have to build myself one soon!!