Number one, the bottom line, the be all and end all, whatever you want to call IT….when it comes to surfing this certain something is called TRIM SPEED. And the alaia has it in spades!
Taking it one step further the modern day alaia facilitates controlled turning at close to full trim speed. Basically no fins means no drag and what results is a very close to friction free experience when riding across a wave.
So the alaia; goes super fast, is maneuverable, is extremely responsive, and it is also made of wood. What’s the downside I hear you ask? Well they’re incredibly hard to ride and even harder to paddle!
Get over it. If you’re inclined to try something a bit different and you’re a fellow believer in discovering perfect trim with the sensation of travelling at mac speed, then the minor obstacles of paddlability and transitional difficulty are worth working to overcome.
The experience of riding an alaia is as fundamental to surfing as it gets. The speed and the alternative lines that they facilitate invoke sensations that are unparalleled in other surf craft….you’ve just got to put in the hard yards to get there.
Leading the charge in alaia craftsmanship is Tom Wegener - he’s a friendly guy, look him up.
Pictured below is a Tom Wegener hand shaped alaia, #306. Stay tuned.