We will be using 2 sheets of 10mm marine-plywood to make this Kite Alaia blank.
2 x 240 x 50cm will cover all Kite Alaia board sizes but you can modify this to suit your requirement – chosen board size. Why have I chosen marine plywood you may be asking?
The lighter woods that I use to make Kilaia Kiteboards are not available everywhere in the world. Therefore, we took the decision to use a material that is relatively easy to acquire. Should you wish to substitute the plywood for a lighter more hydrophobic sheet material, these video instructions will still work. You may need to adjust the spacer height slightly but the principles remain exactly the same throughout the tutorials.
You need some trestles to provide a flat surface, I’ve used 2 trestles with 4 x 50 x 50mm x 2.5m pieces of timber and I’ve verified that each length is straight & not twisted.
What we’re looking to achieve in the finished blank is a10cm/4-inch finished rocker height that starts 80cm/31-inches from the nose of the board, creating a gradual scoop working back towards the tail of the board. This will provide you with a gradual curve that helps your board rise up across any undulations whilst you’re riding it.
If you want 10cm of rocker height, ensure that you use a larger spacer of at least 15.5cm/5-inch because there’s always a return when you press & glue two pieces of wood together. This will not become evident until you remove the pressed, glued sheet from the clamps, once the glue has dried – circa 24hrs. Therefore, be certain to respect this spacer height to avoid pressing a blank with an insufficient rocker.
The minimum spacer height is 15.5cm / 5-inch high.
I’m using an exterior expanding, single component, polyurethane glue that will become completely dry after 24hrs. The expanding detail of the glue allows it to fill any uneven areas and form a solid bond between all surfaces.
Be warned, however, that should you leave your board in any hot (35° plus temperatures) especially if you protect your board in a board bag for long periods of time – one adverse reaction with PU glue can be that excessive heat (45°) can re-melt the glue and press formed shapes can become unstuck – returning to their natural flat state.
If this is the case I would advise you to use an epoxy charged with Cilace as your glue simply because once the epoxy has cured the heat will not affect its sticking properties.
Apply the glue with a squeegee then clamp the sheets together as shown in the video.
Use Gloves & Mask because PU glue is toxic and it can make you feel somewhat dizzy/light headed – don’t go sniffing it! In a confined space a mask is obligatory because it can have a pretty horrible dizzying effect in a confined space! Remove the top from the glue & apply liberally, it’s a pretty thick substance so you may need to be forceful with your squeegee.
Using wooden supports that will span the blank rail to rail you will clamp the 2 wooden sheets together – ensure that these supports are positioned at a 90° to the blank. I have to admit that with two people at this point, it makes this part of the operation so much easier.
Here is a TOP-TIP
Once you have positioned the two sheets of glued wood together you can use 2 x 30mm screws to screw-fix the sheets together in place. Ensure that the screws are positioned at the extreme corners on the nose of the blank because this is the waste part of the blank that will not be used. This keeps the sheets aligned, preventing any movement.
Clamp at 80cm from the nose directly to the horizontal support, this guarantees where the rocker curve begins. Between the flat part of the blank and the nose spacer, you are trying to achieve a smooth, gradual curve that will be controlled by the 4 screw clamps that you can make tighter or looser depending upon the curve radius you require.
Weight / Clamp tail to keep it flat, I’ve used bags of sand/cement or even 25lt paint pots filled with water just to weight out the rear section of the blank ensuring it stays flat until the glue is dry. Leave the glue to dry for at least 24 hours. Voila, your rectangular Kite Alaia blank is ready for the next step. Keep in a dry place whilst we make the board template.