Strange Love Craft: The Seaglass Project Tuna

by brian lam

Tom Wegener’s name is synonymous with the revival of the Alaia, a wooden, flat, simple, finless surfboard modeled after ancient Hawaiian wave craft. Its pros are the ability to go very fast, and spin around on the wave. The drawback is the lack of flotation and the consequent difficulty in paddling into waves. That is why Wegener created The Tuna, a foam and epoxy board, popped out of the belly of World Surf Industries megamachine surfboard factory.

I won’t hold its production methods against the board, though — I want to try it. The board has similar qualities to the alaia, with a similar outline, but far more thickness and flotability. It also has a deep concave and two defining bottom Vs that give it a bit of grip.

There’s a Mini Tuna at 5’3″ and a Tuna at 6’2″ and they’re available in sea green, powder blue and warm red.

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Zach Weisberg, of The Inertia, wrote a great piece on using a Tuna.

1) “The first thing I say with new alaia riders is don’t even try to stand up,” Wegener told me. “Just get out there and feel the wave and the whitewash and feel the flex of the board. Get to know the board first. To the ancient Hawaiians, there wasn’t a big distinction between standing on a board and belly riding. Great surfers don’t mind belly boarding.”

2) Surfing an alaia is obviously different; however, it’s one thing to think it, and another to embrace it. The latter is essential. Because I was so accustomed to how surfing feels via fins and fiberglass, everything about the alaia just felt wrong…until I began to understand that it wasn’t wrong; it was just different. After conquering that mental barrier I actually started catching and surfing waves. It was a brand new challenge. More importantly, it was really fun.

3) It’s much easier to paddle than its wooden cousin. I felt like I was on a fish when paddling for sets, which I’m pretty sure was the point.

4) The board always wants to spin around, and that’s not something I’m accustomed to, so after making some mental adjustments and placing more weight on my back foot it was nice to almost complete 360s on the face of a wave. Advantage Tuna.

5) Attaching a leash to an EPS alaia was an act oozing with irony. It stripped most of that self-importance from the exercise, which is probably a good thing, and (in my mind) made it absolutely inexcusable to suck at this activity. I had to reconcile these seemingly antithetical concepts.

(The article is great, and I recommend clicking through below if you’re interested in learning more about The Tuna.)

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I’d probably take the bigger, which isn’t that big, because I picture using it in smaller conditions. Green please. $495.

*Wegener, World Surf Industries, The Inertia*

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