The Bluegill is a offshoot from the alaia, the finless wooden surfboard my brother Tom and I have been making in recent years. The alaia is the most exciting board to ride due to its speed and ability to slide across the face of waves like no other surfboard. The downside to the alaia is its difficulty to paddle, because of it’s low buoyancy. Also due to the lack of float, one is submerged in cold water during the winter months, which results in short sessions.
The Bluegill is made with foam and strategically placed wood stringers. The foam produces great paddling ability and the wood stringers retain flex, important to the ride of the alaia. The outline, bottom contour, and rails are all designed to keep as much speed, slide and glide that the alaia offers.
Most Bluegills are made with eps foam which can be recycled. Josh’s board was made from recycled foam. All my eps boards are glassed with Entropy Resin, which is a organic based epoxy resin. Many of the harmful chemicals of regular epoxy resin have been replaced by pine tree sap. The resin can be tricky at first, but now I am very happy with the results. It has a great flexibility that goes well with the Bluegill and most board designs. Alaias are the most pure, fun and eco-friendly surfboard ever. Bluegills are heavily influenced by the greatness of the alaia, but a bit more user friendly.
Photography by Shawn Parkin.