How to surf an Alaia surfboard – Paddle surf
Posted On July 5, 2023
If you are interested in riding an Alaia surfboard, this article will help you understand how to paddle to ride waves more effectively. This is part of a larger manual that details the entire process of modeling alaia, including tips for assembling them. If you’re interested in the rest, you can check out our website where it’s on sale for $12. Anyway, here’s the rowing section:
You are probably very excited to get out on your board and you should be. However, here is a word of warning. Paddling and surfing an alaia is very different than doing the same thing on any modern board. Expect it to be difficult. Here are a couple of tips that can make your experience easier.
First, go to a place that has real waves. Riding these things into mush is not ideal. If the wave doesn’t have at least a little power, good luck catching something.
Due to the lack of buoyancy relative to a normal board, you will need to take off more in the pocket. If you’re riding a Paulownia board, this isn’t as applicable because they float better than hemlock, pine, or other alternatives. Next, and because the alaias don’t float as well as the board you’re used to, keeping it under you when you paddle can be a struggle and the only solution is to practice. You will get used to it over time.
One thing we have noticed early on though is that kicking tends to make catching waves more difficult. This is because when you kick (especially with a less floaty board), your knees and legs push the board down. Instead, if it reappears below you like a foam board would, the wings tend to wag back and forth back to the surface. For you, this can translate into a difficult time keeping the board under you while paddling. If you can get away with it, use only your arms to paddle at first. As I said, this is not the case so much with paulownia, but it is with other types of woods.
To paddle a wave, you need to start paddling a bit earlier than with a normal board. You will notice that the faster you paddle, the more the nose rises and the more you and your board rise, allowing you to catch a wave.
Finally, if you just aren’t getting the hang of it on your first two tries, consider wearing some swim fins and laying back. Alaias are also great fun to ride upside down. If you’ve ever played on a bodyboard and enjoyed it, you’ll love it. Alaias goes noticeably faster than any board I’ve ever tried and the fins will help you get used to catching waves on it.
I hope that helps you get started. Like I said, if you want more information, please visit our website at the link below or Google PapaKai.