Wood kneeboard idea

Greetings all, first time poster, longer time lurker here. Over the past few weeks I’ve entered the world of alaia shaping (will post some pics in the next few days when all done), but as a result of the project I’ve had an idea I’d appreciate the advice of Swaylock’s collective genius on.

I’m primarily a kneeboarder and am now thinking about shaping a kneeboard out of two or three paulownia blanks glued together. I’m looking at reasonably traditional dimension and shape – approx 6’ x 23”, with a thickness of either 1.5” (two ¾” paulownia blanks glued together) or 2 ¼” (three blanks).

The first question is what drawbacks/positives would you see in going the 2 ¼” (three blanks) thickness… Would that aid in buoyancy at all?

Secondly, would the best bet for installing fins be to mount FCS plugs or similar, or would you suggest actually gluing the fins in (the fin placement is bit is the part that worries me most).

Finally, do you think the extra thickness of the third blank will give me enough in terms of shaping in a tad of rocker and enough nose lift to make it surf more like a traditional board verses a kneelo alaia?

Thanks in advance

do you know the avg densities of each material?

surfboard foam is about 2.2 lbs/ cubic ft

paulownia from one reference is 340 kg/ cubic meter ~ 21.2 lb/cubic ft.

These are from a quick search and may not be the last word on true working densities.

from what references I can find paulownia is 10 times heavier than surfboard foam.

If that is true?, then you need to make much fuller rails than an equivalent foam board.

Why? because more weight sinks easier, a fuller rail will resist sinking more and a fuller rail will

popout or disengage quicker from a bottom turn. With that much extra board weight you have

to counter balance through rail design.

In my opinion, if you are trying to make pretty much an equivalent paulownia board as your

foam original, you should probably keep the thickness and make fuller rails.

Or if you go thinner your going to have considerably more rail line engaging than the original board,

consequently you’ll need less fin or more specifically have the fin placement more forward.

Surfboard foam is easier to shape and easier to the body, head and mouth in direct collisions.

I’d rather keep my teeth ,bones and general health intact than experiment with higher density materials.

Kneeboarders are in very much close contact/distance with their boards during wipeouts.

Cheers Otis, wise thoughts indeed! Perhaps I’m better sticking to what I had thought about before I started toying with the extra thickness ideas: simply make a 3/4" thick “kneeling alaia” with a little more width than the typical 16-17" “standing” alaia. And then if I still have the urge to shape “thick wood” then play with some balsa!

Thanks heaps for your feedback.