Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Here's another road trip photo... and something else

Another spot from our run up the coast. I call it Nooks and Granny's and it's lot more difficult to figure out than it looks from this shot. Lots of water moving around and a wicked bit of bounce chop off the rock groin.

The alaia board. Tim's made one in carbon fiber. I guess this is about as diametrically opposed to stand up paddle surfing as you can get. The thing's barely four feet long, about an inch and a half thick, no fins, no rocker, lots of belly and a good amount flex. You won't be able to ride it. They're made for super surfers or just freaks. Stamps tells me that Thomas Campbell's new video "The Present" the will feature some alaia board surfing. Tom Wegener in Australia's posted some cool footage of alaia surfing, check it out- but don't even kid yourself.


srfnff said...

A couple issues back TSJ ran an article by Derek Hynd re finless surfing. The boyz were surfing some finless alaia boards but the vids in your link show so much more. Reminds me of snowboarding on water.

Anonymous said...

john sept 07 surfer journal had some alai boards i think one was 12' no fin or wax.tom guy was riding it the aussie tom.get that issue it was about shapes not the run of the mill suff oh did i mention the gem was sticking its nose in one of the pics.keep up the good work on the blog.great piece on that carbon stamps.captneg9.

Anonymous said...

is the guy in close the to the rock to far back because two fine fellows are ready to hop him.i call this place krooks and valleys.if your from oc they will get valley joke.captneg9 .

John Ashley said...

Hey Gary-

Just amazing to me that the guys even try to paddle in with those things!

Stamps says they're fast on the water though- it'd be cool to see someone riding one. I guess the new Thomas Campbell surf/art film that's coming out will feature some rippers riding those tongue depressers in some sizeable Hawaiian juice.

John Ashley said...


Dude you always crack me up. "the aussie Tom". What the hell are you talking about the Gem peeking out of????

Anonymous said...

tom carol and some other respected surfer dudes got to ride some far out boards at some place with no name whats new.get that issue of surfer journal sept o7 or ask for vol 3000 issue 113 quarter56.pickle fork out the bed of the truck.that issue has this huge alaia board the ''freak" is taking a sure form to rails before he paddles out and no wax and no finny.where is the take off at krooks and valleys?captneg9.nice post on surfing craft that does have 3 fins and pointy nose

Anonymous said...

just link to site i on the shoe phone i want a alaia.thanks john.just dropped another g on the water.captneg9

Anonymous said...

"...won't be able to ride it", "...but don't even kid yourself", just for freaks??? First of all what are you doing using carbon fiber on one of these "super surfer" boards??? Tom made them with environmental sustainability in mind. Inlike wood I hate to tell you that carbon fiber takes a little bit longer to break down (lol!!!). Ive been riding one for the past few months and it's one of the best boards I've ever ridden!!! Sure it takes a little bit longer to get the hang of, but once your up and going on these things the feeling is insane!!! With a little bit of practice you can even do full cutbacks and floaters. Its actually not very hard to ride once you know how, the trick is to put the surf ego aside for a while and be willing to learn how to surf all over again. The first time I took it out at first point in Noosa I felt like I did when I first paddled into some whitewash at Swamis 18 years ago!!! Just paddling is hard!!! Please don't bash the alais they really are cool boards. And the best part is when you fall off and loose your board there is no chance of hurting anyone, unlike those deadly 15 inch fins and 12 foot epoxy boards that nearly kill someone everytime some kook falls off his $2000 SUP with no leash!!! And again why carbon fiber???

John Ashley said...

Whoa! I think you totally missed the tenor of my comments regarding the guys who are capable of riding those boards.

I call them freaks out of total deference- freaks because they are in the top %5 skill-wise of the surfers in the water. Don't tell me that picking up one of those planks is something that can be learned in a couple of sessions- it just ain't so. The guys who are riding them are excellent surfers- freaks.

Why carbon fiber? I don't know, it might improve performance- it might bring something, gasp, new to the table. I wasn't aware that alia'a surfing was the standard bearer for a surfing sustainability movement. Guess I missed that memo.

I bet Tom Blake got emails that railed at him after he stuck a fin on his kook box and changed surfing as we know it: "Why a fin?"
I guess if we were that concerned about sustainability we'd be out in canvas speedos with eucalyptus bark swim fins bodysurfing, wouldn't we?

Am I burning on alia'a surfing- nope I think it's cool.

Can I do it- nope... have you seen me? I'm a fat ass- I need as much board as I can get.

Do I have a surfing "ego"? I'm barely functional... have you seen me surf? I don't think I've got anything worth ego-ing about!

Should SUP "kooks" surf waves away from others with their "fifteen inch fins (what???)" and wear leashes? Absolutely.

Do I think it's important to minimize human impact on the environment? Yep. That's why I've chosen to live a five minute walk from where I work.

BUT it's not a reason to stop building boards with new materials in an effort to push performance limits. Shoot you'll do more damage when you decide to recycle the computer you're sitting at.

Do I think one carbon fiber alia'a board is going to ruin the world... uh, definitely not.

By the way- you know who I am- who are you?

Posting "annonymously" is so chicken shit.

Anonymous said...

Once again, I am put in my place by an older, wiser surfer. You are completely right. I re-read the original post and I totally missed the connotation of your "freak" comments. It just sounded a little derogatory right off the bat (although I'm still opposed to the use of carbon fiber)I guess my response was a direct result of the constant bashing that I receive every time I take the alaia out. Can you believe I paddled up to an old man on a fish-shaped SUP and he told me that the whole alaia/wood movement was nothing more than a fad? This is coming from a guy on a quad fin 9’+ fish!!! I figured I’d get shit from all the younger guys on their potato chips, but to be honest its all the older surfers on their fat man thrusters who give me the most harassment. But I guess that’s what makes surfing so great, you’re allowed to have an opinion and good old argumentative discourse is half the fun. Again sorry for the comments. By the way, my name is Noah. If you ever surf the Oceanside pier or the surrounding areas, I’ll be the skinny blonde haired guy arguing with the old farts.

John Ashley said...

Hey Noah-

Shoot, hard for me to be snippity when you right such a nice reply.

No offense taken whatsoever and I'm stoked to find another surfer so passionate about waveriding. I may be older but I'm definitely not wiser!

Super funny comment about the guys on the "fat guy thrusters" and 9'0 SUPs talking trash to you- you're right, of course, the irony is pretty darn obvious.

You know what's funny to me is if you watch those guys surf, most do nothing more than what you're doing on your alaia board- check 'em out sometime: paddle in, turn, make a section, do a cutback and pull out.
Tell me that you're not doing the same (maybe more) on your board.

Personally, those alaia's look cool to me- and my friend, Tim Stamps, the guy I posted with the cf alaia is into them too. He's made a few for his friends who're surfing them at Sunset Beach in the new T.Campbell film.

I'd be interested to learn more about what you've got going on with alaia boards- if you'd like to email me photos I'd like to post 'em up. Drop me a line at paddlesurfbaja@gmail.com let's see what you've got going on up there!

And, you and your alaia board are welcome anytime down here at my home beach!

Anonymous said...

The Ancient Alaia

Never before in the history of surfing has there been so much awareness of the ancient art of wave sliding. The La-La, a controlled slide and trimming dance is 1000's of years old. All over the world enthusiastic surfers are discovering the freedom of finless surfing.
There will always be a place for an Alaia in my quiver. Some days the Alaia is simply the fastest board to ride in certain wave conditions. Once discovering for yourself the humbling nature of the Alaia glide, the La-La dance will never leave you.
Some cultures have forgetten about their heritage.We surfers are rediscovering the ancient art of Paipo , Alaia and Olo surfing.

I am stoked to see and hear of surfers around the oceans of the world embracing the finless movement (Alaia's) as a training tool for other ways of riding waves. peace and much respect for our rich heritage.
Jacob Stuth
Coolum Beach, Queensland

John Ashley said...

Hey Jacob,

Thanks for writing about the alaia boards and the history that comes with them.

As you could probably guess, I know next to nothing about them and am certain that I don't have the skill to ride one of those.

But I've seen one of the Wegeners riding one at San O and it was really, really, cool!

If you've got any cool photos or vid footage of guys in Queensland riding some of those finless boards please send them to me. I'd love to post them.

Thanks again for such an informative and eloquent comment.


John Ashley