I just found these boards online and they look pretty fun. The design looks simple and im sure i could build one. But i dont know what size to make it. Im 5' 9" 146 lbs and im only riding the board in junky knee high summer surf in Jersey. Any advice: types of wood, glues, or anything else would be appreciated
If you want to make an Alaia they are definitely challenging to surf and to shape. First you need the right wood, paulonia is the best but hard to come by and its pretty expensive, then there is pine and cedar. Pine is the cheapest and works well to a certain extent, cedar in a opinion is a little better because it is lighter. As for the glue you want to you use a waterproof glue such as tightbond. Then once you shape the board up use linseed oil to seal the wood.
definitely invest in paulownia. it's easy to find a pre-glued blank for under $200 online. email here for Rod Mortenson at <email@example.com> he'll hook you up from the east coast. I shaped a 7' for virginia beach surf but made it very narrow (17") and a bit thin (3/4" at the thickest part). It floats me alright, but paddling is definitely a workout. catches waves very easily though because of the flex of the wood and the lack of rocker. People don't lie when they say they're hard to ride. I'm still fascinated with these boards though they are amazingly fast fun and light, and if you want my advice, here is what I'd recommend if I could do it again:
paulownia wood, 6'6" x 1" x 19", give it knife rails for speed and control (since most of your control over the board comes from the rails) and a gentle concave in the rear half of the board. check out Xylem Surfboards in Wilmington NC for some good classic shapes. You don't need much woodworking experience to make one of these so dig in these boards are a blast whether or not you can ride em, good luck