Greetings, Shredderz! Today in the “if you love it, set it free” category we have a surfboard that, as soon as it left my possession, found some new life. Featured here is an old Seventies Ben Aipa sting shaped under the Surfing’s New Image brand. (If you missed it, here’s an earlier post that gives some detail on the Surfing’s New Image / Aipa sting). The board most likely not shaped by Ben Aipa himself, but instead, made in San Diego by one of Surfing’s New Image in-house shapers. The current owner suspects the board might have been shaped by Donald Takayama. Without a signature, I hesitate to draw any conclusions about who might have shaped the board. I will say there is a bitchin’ Takayama / Surfing’s New Image sting posted on the Vintage Surfboard Collectors Facebook Group, which bears some resemblance to the Surfing’s New Image Aipa sting in this post.
Anyway, I bought the Aipa / SNI sting pictured below on Craigslist a few years ago, along with another similar board. After spending an unconscionable amount of money shipping both surfboards across the country, I let them sit around and collect dust. Needless to say, this thrilled my wife.
Surfing’s New Image Aipa Sting: Before Restoration
As you can see in the photos above, the SNI / Aipa sting wasn’t in great condition. There were no major issues — the board didn’t have any de-lam or twist — but a whole host of moderate ones, starting with some unsightly water damage around the fin box and open dings around the rails, particularly right at the tips of the signature wings. It was a killer board but in need of some serious TLC.
I ended up selling both SNI Aipa stings to a gentleman in Hawaii named Camilo who collects and restores vintage Aipa boards. Camilo wasted no time in getting the Aipa sting fixed up.
Surfing’s New Image Aipa Sting: After Restoration
Camilo ended up going with a full blown restoration of the board, which involved stripping the original glass job altogether. I’m not gonna lie — after I saw the pics above I started to wonder if I had blown it by not hanging onto the board. More than anything else, though, i’m stoked to see the SNI Aipa sting with a new lease on life. Camilo has told me he intends to surf it, too. I believe the restoration job was done by Horacio De Seixas at Glassworks Hawaii. I don’t know Horacio personally, but from what I can gather on Instagram, he specializes in these full on restorations. The Surfboard Project did a nice little write up on Horacio’s work that you can find here, which features some similarly beautiful restorations.
For more on the board, you can check out Camilo and Horacio on Instagram. See below for links to their profiles. Thanks for sharing the pics of the board Camilo, and I’m stoked to see the SNI Aipa sting ended up with someone who did it justice!