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 Although these boards may be considered outdated and forgotten by most modern day surfers, those who’ve had the opportunity to ride them, can attest that there is no better feeling than the minimal-control,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.”
Hope you enjoy!
Special thanks to “Big Ben Wilkinson” for hooking me up with the piece of wood to shape and to Trent Johnson for supplying inspiration and letting me use his shaping room for this project.
I’d also like to say a big Mahalo to Leleo Kinimaka, for helping my brother and I shape our first Alaia boards back in the day and to guys like the Keaulanas, Tom Stone, Tom Wegener and many others who keep the Alaia history afloat.
Kayla Ginella & Ryder Snow (Intro/Land)
(1) “The Rosary” – David Napihi Burrows
“Moonlight Mile” – The Rolling Stones