Alternative Kilaia Materials?

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Verneer Caliper to measure the thickness of sheet material
Material thickness plays a roll in both weight & flex

Should you choose to use a hardwood, you may well be able to reduce the thickness of your Kilaia to minimize weight and play with the flex. The vast majority of boards that we’ve built have been made with Paulownia. Why? Simply because of the hydrophobic quality, mechanical strength & availability in the EU. The DIY Kilaia was made from Marine Plywood because its available everywhere and the techniques for forming the wood work, regardless of wood type. We have read reports of people using Pine & Poplar, most individuals have stuck to a thickness of between 17 to 25mm but feel free to experiment and let us know.

If we look at the principal reasons why a ‘Kite specific Alaia’ functions, it is due principally to the large planing surface & rail length. Therefore, in theory, providing you use sufficient composite re-enforcement, a Kilaia could be as thin as 10mm, if it’s constructed similarly to a Twin-Tip. In fact, should you choose to use a 3mm high-density PVC (Airex) combined with a thin 2mm wooden laminate it could become an interesting composite solution to producing a very lightweight board? This is not an area that we’ve investigated due to the Kilaia concept being deeply connected to the original wooden surfboards of the Pacific.

Alternative Hollow-Structure to form a lightweight core for your Kilaia
Thin hardwood hollow cores could be an option

The DIYKilaia project is in an evolutive site and may not have all the answers to all your questions at present regarding hardwood board thicknesses. Should you wish to experiment with these woods you automatically become the innovator, designer-creator and there are endless different ways of finding a solution.

This is the reason we strongly encourage you to experiment and share your findings here. In this way, sharing information results in a growing community of riders who can benefit jointly around the world, from a FREE developing knowledge base.

Experimentation is the key to creativity! Cutting edge design lies in the hands of those individuals who are prepared to push the limits, trying new ideas & taking risks.

Next Can I buy a pre-formed Paulownia blank?
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