I know that some of you may be asking yourselves – what’s the point in making a template?

The direct answer to that is simply to make sure that your board is symmetrical. Plus, if there is more than one person making a Kite Alaia at the same time, a template simplifies things considerably. So choose which template and board length you want to make.

Russell Franigton carving his 225cm Kilaia in the south of England
It’s important to consider the local weather conditions where you ride regularly

Here is some additional information that will help you in deciding which board length to choose. The golden rule of selecting your Kite Alaia board size is based upon four key factors:

1. Where you will be riding – Inland or sea/ocean?

2. Water conditions – wavelets/shorebreak/deep water?

3. Local predominant wind strength?

4. Your personal bodyweight?

If you want to ride on inland lakes with flukey winds or if you weigh over 75kgs – I would strongly suggest that you opt for the longer 235cm downloadable template option. Obviously the longer the board the more drawn out the gibes are going to be but we learn to adapt to these wide gibing arcs and with some technique, you will soon be nailing 10 outta 10 gibes.

If you weigh less than 75kgs then I would suggest that you opt for the 220 or 225cm length template – simply because you are lighter and the planing surface of these slightly shorter boards should be more than sufficient to get you up and planing in the lightest of winds.

I weigh a wholesome 93kgs and my personal preference is for the 225cm board template – why do I choose this shorter length you may ask? Simply because there is a trade-off between board length and manœuvrabitlity and I prefer my boards to be a little bit more playful. I know how to get the maximum out of these boards, simply because I’ve been riding them for quite a few years now. In the waves for example I just love riding up to head high swell on a 220cm Kilaia in light winds – you can park the kite up at the zenith and the board will surf the wave effortlessly providing you’re in the right place on the wave – sorry I diverge slightly…

Vinyl template stuck in place
A self-adhesive pre-cut vinyl template stuck on a 10mm agglomerate template board

Download your chosen board length and get a vinyl-cut self-adhesive template made at any car graphic/signage outlet, it shouldn’t cost a great deal. Stick the vinyl onto a 10mm thick agglomerate sheet using a plastic squeegee. Be sure to use a nice straight edge as this will be placed on the center-line of your blank. Cut the template out using a jigsaw or handsaw leaving a slight excess of material for security. Handplane & sand the to ensure that your template is perfect & the edge is at 90° to the surface.

Cutting out the template using a jigsaw - do not cut into the vinyl otherwise your board outline will be defective
Cutting out the template – leave a saw width thickness of material for security

If you do not have access or want to use a vinyl cut-template we’ll post a downloadable PDF that explains how to mark out your board directly onto the blank using a straight edge, a circular dinner plate, a length of string and a pencil in a separate chapter.

Align the template on the center-line of the blank and trace around it then flip it over and repeat the process
Once the template is sanded to the perfect shape – we can use it to mark the outline

Flip it over, rinse and repeat to mark the other side of the Kite Alaia

Chris Middleton

Chris Middleton

Hello, I'm an Englishman living in Montpellier, France. I've been kiting and shaping boards for over 20yrs. I’m super stoked to share my knowledge via these DIY self-build Kilaia pages with you.

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