alaia board

A thin, round-nosed, square-tailed surfboard, used by commoners and royalty alike in pre-20th-century Hawaii, and updated over 100 years later as an offshoot of surfing's retro movement.

The original alaia was generally made of koa wood (sometimes breadfruit or wiliwili), and was the most suitable type of board for riding the steep, fast-breaking waves common to the Islands. Of the 13 premodern boards housed in Honolulu's Bishop Museum, 10 are alaias, ranging from seven to 12 feet in length,...