Hand-shaped Alaia gets baptised in perfect Maldives surf
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 September, 2016 - There’s something really fun, but also frustrating about surfing on an Alaia. They barely float, there’s no drive off the pump motion from your back feet and each wave is surfed with the fear of nose-poke. Conversely they are simply just plain fun. How? The knifey rails hold incredibly well and that GLIDE is one of the purest sensations in surfing.
You can draw totally new lines on a wave. Surfer, shaper, filmmaker Noa Ginella made an alai a from start to finish then took it for a surf in the Maldives. To discover the stoke of surfing on a plank of wood, check out below his blog and video…
An ‘ALAIA’ is a thin, wooden surfboard invented and ridden by the ancient Hawaiians. The boards were between 7 and 12 ft long, weighing up to 100 lbs, and were generally made from the wood of Koa or Wiliwili trees. They are distinct from modern surfboards in that they have no ventral fins, and instead rely solely on its edges and the riders ability to hold the board in the face of the wave.
Although these boards may be considered outdated and forgotten by most modern day surfers, those who've had the opportunity to ride them, can attest that there is no better feeling than the minimal-control, minimal-resistance ride of the Alaia.
Here is a short edit of a few waves I was fortunate enough to ride on my Alaia when in the Maldives filming for “The SUP Movie.”