*Note: I have not yet built a wooden surfboard, I'm drawing on my experience through other projects*
Paulownia is a great wood for building surfboards, boats and anything else really. It's also a very sustainable product since you can essentially harvest it and it grows back. I just think it looks kinda blah, especially if its not accompanied with something else. Plus I don't like the way it bends with or without steam because the grain is sort of all over the place and inconsistent. I also would not use it in a solid board like you would use Balsa or that funky Banana Tree stuff Gary Linden uses in some of his stuff because it's way too dense for that application. Alaias are fine with it solid because they are so thin.
For anything you are going to glass you want to avoid Teak because its so oily and I doubt you would be able to get a long lasting lamination.
The lighter (less dense) Mahoganies like Sapele, various Central American species and the incorrectly named Spanish Cedar (it's actually in the Mahogany family) are a good balance of aesthetics, density and weight in my opinion. But I'm also a sucker for iridescence and crazy grains so I would be more prone to using dense wood as well, but resawn into thin but wide veneers and laminated to something else thin and light like cedar to reduce the weight. Not sure but that may have positive or negative effects on whatever flex the board might have but will be fun to experiment with.
That said, density and weight won't matter if your joints are as sloppy and full of epoxy as Roy's. That probably adds an additional 5 lbs. to his "surf craft."
Oh yeah, Roy: The tunnel on your Makaha is obtuse, out of circle, lop-sided. I'm "sure" you're going to say you meant to do that.
Thanks man, good stuff. I think on the FireWire thread they were saying that they aren't actually laminating over the paulownia skins; but just sealing it with some kind of bio-resin. I wonder if Sunova is doing the same thing or actually putting a glass layer over the balsa to strengthen it? They were also saying that some cedar species available here in N.Am were too oily to laminate onto too.