Greetings, Shredderz! Usually, Sagas of Shred, a series that features vintage surf advertisements, features scans from my collection of back issues of Surfer Magazine. Today’s entry features a Ben Aipa / Surf Line Hawaii ad that found online somewhere. If you originally scanned this ad or know the source, please drop me a line and let me know, as I would love to credit whoever is responsible for the digital transfer of this gem.
What’s interesting to me about this ad is the subtle differences between the various brands. It appears that Surf Line Hawaii is being touted as a retail shop for Ben Aipa Surfboards, as opposed to a brand in and of itself. While I have seen Aipa Surfboards branded shapes bearing additional Surf Line Hawaii lamiantes — check out this Instagram post for an example — I don’t know that I have ever seen a Surf Line Hawaii branded board without any of Aipa’s logos on it. In addition, the ad mentions Surfings New Image as the mainland licensee for Aipa’s famous designs. I’ve written previously about the difference between Aipa’s hand-shaped stings, and the ones produced under the Surfings New Image label. And if you want some background on Surf Line Hawaii, I humbly suggest this Deep Dive on the venerable Hawaiian label.
As always, check back in next Thursday for the next installment in Sagas of Shred.
Greetings, Shredderz! Welcome to the latest installment in Sagas of Shred, a series that looks back on surf culture artifacts from long ago. Today’s post features an advertisement for Town & Country and Ben Aipa’s reimagining of the latter’s infamous sting design.
Aipa, of course, invented the sting back in the 1970s. Top Hawaiian and visiting Australian pros could be seen surfing stings on Oahu during the decade, and today original Aipa stings are sought after by collectors. (Here’s a previous article about how to tell the difference between a genuine Ben Aipa-shaped sting and then the Surfing’s New Image stings, which were made in California with Aipa’s name, but were mostly made by ghost shapers.)
The advertisement pictured at the top of the page was originally printed in Surfer Magazine in February 1988 (Vol. 29, No. 2). By the late 1980s, Aipa, now working with Town & Country, had modified his sting design into a high performance thruster. The original sting was a single fin design that was frequently paired with a swallowtail. Like just about every other surfboard design, the sting’s popularity waned with the invention of the tri-fin thruster in the early 1980s, thanks to Simon Anderson.
I’m not sure how long Aipa and T&C produced these updated sting designs. They are not very commonplace today. I came across an Aipa / T&C 1980s sting about a year ago, before I realized what it was. You can see the original post here.
The 1980s Aipa / T&C stings have an interesting shape. Despite the otherwise standard high-performance shortboard setup, you’ll notice the wings are still pretty high up the board, just like in the original 1970s design.
The ad also features two fascinating Town & Country Surf Designs team riders. John Shimooka was a world tour fixture in the 1980s and 1990s. However, I was a bit stunned to see Nicky Wood present in the ad. Wood was a one-time Australian surf wunderkind — he still holds the record for the youngest male surfer to ever win a championship tour event, when he took the 1987 Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach at the age of sixteen — only to disappear as quickly as he burst onto the scene. Given the ad ran sometime in either late 1987 or 1988, this must have been towards the tail end of Woods’ pro surfing career.
It’s cool to see how Aipa reimagined the sting more than a decade after its introduction. It’s even cooler that it was done alongside Town & Country, which was white hot in the 1980s, and is still going strong today.
Thanks for reading and tune in next Thursday for another episode of Sagas of Shred!
Greetings, Shredderz! It’s been a while since I put one of these together. What better way to stave off the slow and inexorable encroachment of the work week than by perusing some of the cooler vintage sticks to go on sale over the past few days? Here’s a little selection of boards that have caught my eye recently:
T&C boards have become incredibly collectible over the past few years. This is especially true of 80s T&C boards with outrageous spray jobs. Given the board above is a bit earlier than the most famous T&C models, I’m a little surprised that it seems to be commanding a premium with five days left to go in bidding, as the price is already north of $350. It’s also surprisingly small, clocking in at a cozy 5’9″. As an added bonus, the board was shaped by Dennis Pang (see here for an earlier post about his work for Surf Line Hawaii.)
Rick Hamon Surfing’s New Image Aipa Sting & 80s Single Fin (eBay & Craigslist)
I’ve written before about how to distinguish whether or not an Aipa sting has been shaped by the man himself. And while I think it’s useful to know whether or not a board is an Aipa hand shape, let’s not forget that there are plenty of other non-Aipa shaped boards that are still awesome. Pictured above is a Rick Hamon-shaped Aipa sting, under the Surfing’s New Image label, that recently sold on eBay. Asking price was $600 but the listing makes it seem as if someone came in with a higher offer. Hamon is a well-renowned shaper in his own right who can currently be found mowing foam at Rusty Surfboards.
The second board in today’s Rick Hamon doubleheader is a Surfing’s New Image 80s single fin that can be found on Craigslist in Charleston. The seller is asking $475. The board looks like it’s in absolutely beautiful condition. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but hey, some covers just happen to be way more beautiful than others. The board has an interesting shape, too. It looks like Hamon’s take on the famous McCoy Lazor Zap model. I’ve reproduced a picture of one below, courtesy of excellent online vintage surf purveyor Von Weirdos.
We’ve got two separate Choice Surfboards / Steve Lis fish here, both of which are linked in the header above. The blue quad fin on the left is 5’8″; the twin fin on the right with the wooden keels doesn’t have any dimensions listed. There’s no price on the blue board, and the twin fin is going for $1K. I’m not sure what to make of these Choice / Lis fish boards. As I wroteearlier, I’ve heard these Choice / Lis models are not shaped by Lis, but rather, made from a template he designed. If anyone has any additional info, please drop me a line!
Sadly, there are no bargains to be had here. Seller is asking $2250 out the gate for this Aipa / Surfing’s New Image sting. Shout out to the seller for being clear about the fact this board was shaped by Rick Hamon, and not Ben Aipa himself (see here for an earlier Shred Sledz screed on the topic.) I have never seen that stringer setup before, and the airbrush on the bottom speaks for itself! Deck isn’t perfect but that’s like pointing out a small dent on a gullwing Mercedes. Check out the board here.
Hit the jump below for some more boards, including another Aipa, and some transitional goodness..