For the last few years Wegener Surfboards has been focusing on the modern development of an ancient surf craft: the alaia. Tom Wegener (my brother) made his first alaia in Australia about 4 years ago. I have been shaping them in California for about 3 1/2 years now. We have been steadily working on refining the designs from the originals that we made. Through trial and error, and the feedback of many enthusiastic alaia riders we have come up with some really functional and exciting designs.
As shapers, working with the alaia has forced us to throw out a lot of what we had learned making boards over the last 29 years. It has forced us to look at surfing in a completely different way. My brother Tom and I have spent almost 30 years developing theories on what makes surfboards work, what makes them go faster, what makes them ride better. 98% of that got thrown out the window when we started making alaias.
What Tom saw in the museum he replicated, and it works. But we have to remember the Hawaiians used several different kinds of wood to make alaias. Most of those woods rotted very quickly, so very few boards are left. We don't know if the boards in the museum are the ones that rode great, or if they were the lemons. They simply survived. The Hawaiians may have had designs that worked soooo much better than what is available for us to copy. If we content ourselves to just making historical replicas we are limiting ourselves and our surfing.
Wegener Surfboards is not content to make a replica to put on the wall...we want to make the best surfboards for SURFING!
Finless surfing is not just a queer offshoot in surfing history. It is the past, but it is also the future of surfing. We have used those few boards that are left as a jumping off point. Finless surfing, as a movement is evolving quickly. Board design hasn't evolved this quickly since the shortboard revolution. alaias are only the beginning. Here at Wegener Surfboards we are just busting with excitment to get the newest innovations out to the world!
So please join us as we explore the leading edge of surfboard design. Take the journey with us to Wegener's Finless Frontier!