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How do I get traction on the surface of my Alaia?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:25 pm
by kite_hh
I recently build my first Alaia and it looks and rides awesome.

However, I do struggle with the slippery surface. The board is made from Powlonia wood, has one coat of fiber glass on the bottom and polyester all around.

I would like to ride barefooted, but would not like to use wax and I've tried the following:

1. Put salt in the not yet dried out polyester.
This kind of worked, but is still very slippery.
2. Use some special material on top of the wet polyester that can easily be pulled off after the polyester has dried and was supposed to give a rough surface.
This did not work.

As a last resort I ordered foam traction pads, but if there is a chance I would like to not spoil the board with them. (I am aware of transparent traction pads, but they are so costly it would essentially double the price of the board.)

Any other ideas to get traction on the surface other than developing lizard-feet? :-)

Re: How do I get traction on the surface of my Alaia?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:02 pm
by sflinux
If you are kiting your alaia, then glassing was a good move. If just surfing the alaia, glassing is not necessary. For my unglassed alaias, I would just seal them with tung oil (or linseed oil if unavailable). Leave the top surface with a rough sand. I would usually oil the board before sessions with vegetable oil (for speed). I had no problem with slippage.
If sealing the board with resin, the board will be slippery. On my Naish alaia, I use wax. On my handmade alaias, I use a closed cell eva foam antifatigue roll mat ($10) (& contact cement spray $10+). Super comfy and no slippage. I have a transparent traction pad on my woody SUP but am not a fan (too slippery). Have fun. :thumb:

Re: How do I get traction on the surface of my Alaia?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:25 pm
by edt
You don't want wax you don't want any kind of shoes you don't want a traction pad because it doesn't look good. I think wax is a great option and shoes are also great but anyway.

One option is a removable traction pad.

Image

sink these into the board, epoxy them in. Then buy any kind of rubber mat you like and use elastic cords to attach to the leash plugs and stretch your mat on to the board. Then you can take off the rubber mat when you just want to admire your board. Leash plugs like this are about $1-$2 so they are cheap and don't hurt the looks too much. Not a perfect solution but what is?

Honestly, I would just go with the five fingers shoes something like that.

Re: How do I get traction on the surface of my Alaia?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:13 pm
by downunder
Search the forum for Alaia. Basically, use the peelply fabric on top of polyester. When cured, remove pply and that's it.

Re: How do I get traction on the surface of my Alaia?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:41 pm
by kite_hh
Thank you for the replies and suggestions!!

Yes, I am using it with a kite.

It turns out my second try (which is probably the same as what downunder suggested) was not as bad as I thought it would be. It felt slippery without water but today in the water it felt pretty good barefooted. So I guess I'll stick with that. ;-)

Thanks also to edt for the in depth suggestion, which made me smile, but I will not follow up.

Re: How do I get traction on the surface of my Alaia?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:47 pm
by Mossy 757
Wax will only help it seal against seawater better. Not sure your reasons for avoiding this, but I have 2 homemade alaias that are both waxed and work AWESOME.

Re: How do I get traction on the surface of my Alaia?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:57 pm
by edt
if you live in a hot climate wax becomes a real mess, it drips all over your car unless you keep your surfboard in a bag

Re: How do I get traction on the surface of my Alaia?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:59 pm
by kite_hh
As edt pointed out, wax can easily create a mess with everything it touches. This even goes for moderate climates. A designated bag will certainly help mitigate some of those effects but so far I do not have a bag for my Alaia. I may need to work on that. :-)

Re: How do I get traction on the surface of my Alaia?

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:15 pm
by Mossy 757
Never had a problem with surf wax in tropical places if using the right temperature. Sticky Bumps Base or Tropical, which is a little softer, worked great in Hawaii/Costa Rica/Virginia Beach

Re: How do I get traction on the surface of my Alaia?

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:48 pm
by jakemoore
A friend has HexaTraction and is reasonable. I'm using wax. I might change as I'm tired of the mess and the wear-out. Wax feels better when its perfect, but its almost never perfect especially kiting.