The rebirth of the alaia surfboard by Tom Weneger

October 12, 2011 | Surfing
Tom Weneger: alaia shape master

Tom Weneger has invested his energy in the rebirth of the alaia, the basic but challenging finless plank boards ridden by Hawaiian chiefs of old. He lights up like a grommet when he starts talking about surfing, skating, gardening, or sustainability.

Through tons of research and experimentation, he has perfected the simplest and purest wave sliding vehicles possible. Today, finless surfing is a great experience also because of Tom's passion for shaping "ancient" boards.

On top of bringing the soul and stoke back to surfing, he has brought an awareness of our sports impact on the environment. His alaias are made from Paulownia wood, which is grown in nearby New South Wales.

Sustainably harvested and hand made, the wood needs no treatment before hitting the waves. Local, organic, no resin or toxic chemicals - these are the least toxic boards you can buy.

Tom has taken his mastery of craftsmanship to the next level with full sized boards made much in the same way boats are. He will hand shape you your very own eco long or short-board at his Creation Plantation in Noosa Heads, Australia.

His working shop shows us a custom he is working on. Wood shavings are much nicer than polyester. Noosa Heads is Tom’s spot. On any given day you can find him on anything from a 10-foot tanker to the finless 5-foot SeaGlass.

Tom Weneger's surfboard shaping project is supported by Surfers Without Borders.