The sting design has a special place in the hearts of the Shred Sledz editorial staff. Any story about the sting must start and end with Ben Aipa, who created the shape. That said, here at Shred Sledz HQ there’s a deep appreciation for other shapers’ takes on the sting. (One of my all-time favorites is this 1970s Con Surfboards sting with a sweet step tail.) Today’s post features a sting from Mike Purpus’ Hot Lips Designs label, shaped by none other than Lance Collins of Wave Tools fame.
What is there to say about the Hot Lips Designs logo, other than it is delightfully loud and tacky? Hot Lips Designs was the brainchild of Mike Purpus, the South Bay surfer who shot to fame in the 1970s. It’s a fitting name for a surfboard label founded by a guy who posed for Playgirl magazine (yes, seriously).
It’s unclear to me whether or not Purpus actually shaped for Hot Lips, or whether the brand was meant to capitalize on his fame at the time. Regardless, Purpus clearly had an affinity for the sting design. Check out the photo below, via the Australian National Surfing Museum, that features another Hot Lips sting. If you click through to the Facebook link, you’ll see that Purpus himself has commented on the post, and dates the board below to 1977.
Here’s a photo of the Hot Lips team taken during the early 1970s, featuring an array of designs, including more than a few stings. You can see Purpus in the middle, standing above a sting. (Purpus’ affinity for racy airbrushes on his boards is well-documented.)
Likewise, Lance Collins also has some history with the sting design. Board Collector has some incredible pictures of some pre-Echo Beach era stings that Lance Collins shaped for Danny Kwock and others, one of which I have included below. Board Collector is a must-read website for anyone with an interest in vintage surfboards.
A little over a week ago I featured a surfboard shaped by Lance Collins for Jack’s. The questions in the post about the Lance Collins / Jack’s Surfboards single fin apply here as well. In other words, it appears as if Collins was shaping boards for other brands like Jack’s and Hot Lips, even while his Wave Tools brand was up and running, and I’m not sure why that would be the case.
The Hot Lips Lance Collins sting at the top of the page is listed at $800. One word of caution: the board needs a lot of work, including around the fin box. The seller was kind enough to include detailed pictures of the damage, so hit the Craigslist listing for more.