Speaking of Australian shapers, here’s Victoria legend Maurice Cole posing alongside a board he shaped for Tom Curren. You’re probably familiar with the timeless Curren cutback shot, taken by Tom Servais at Backdoor in 1991. In that shot Curren is surfing a 7’8″ reverse vee thruster shaped by Maurice Cole. You can see more on the 7’8″ here, from when it was sold at a recent auction. The board above is nearly identical — there are no stickers, like the board in the Servais photo, and it has the same neon yellow rails — but it’s 8’0″.
Here’s an awesome photo of Larry Bertlemann and Aipa from someone’s private photo stash. This is one of the classic shaper / surfer pairings from the Seventies — the inventor of the sting with one of his star test pilots.
Here’s Terry Fitzgerald with an absolute heat seeking missile tucked beneath his arm. The photo is by Dan Merkel and someone in the comments claims it was taken at Honolua Bay. For more on Fitz’s Hawaiian adventures, check out this board he made for Dick Brewer, and then this colorful Fitz / Lightning Bolt shape.
Last but certainly not least, we have the first ever Scorpion shaped by Donald Takayama! The Scorpion is one of DT’s best known models, but I’m surprised at how little information there is available about the board anywhere online. Click through to the comments for some cool stories from folks like Joel Tudor and Peter St Pierre about surfing this thing.
Greetings, Shredderz! Regular readers know the rules: keep scrolling for some of my favorite vintage surfboard-related social media posts from the past month or so.
For all my ignorance of Australian surf culture and history, I remain a huge, unabashed fan. And as an American, I’m particularly interested in how Australian and American surfers often exchanged ideas in Hawaii, the birthplace of the sport that is conveniently located between the two continents. When Mark Richards wasn’t riding his own designs to world titles — still an incredible, and perhaps underrated, feat — he was a devotee of Ben Aipa’s iconic sting. There’s a Dick Brewer shape tucked away in that group, and the Al Dove airbrushes are classic, too. I’ve been meaning to do a longer post on MR’s love affair with the sting, so hopefully I get around to it sooner than later.
Luis Real is a fixture in the Social Media Roundup, and that’s because he keeps buying rad boards and posting about them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I think I prefer the Seventies T&C single fins to their more famous (and colorful) Eighties thruster counterparts. This one was shaped by Dennis Pang and it has a very similar color scheme to a Glenn Minami-shaped T&C Dane Kealoha model I wrote up a little while back.
The Rick Rasmussen picture above is in honor of the absolutely epic run of swell that New York has seen this past October. RIP to the original Slick Rick the Ruler.
Skip Frye ordered a board from Marc Andreini?! How awesome is that! I don’t know Mr Frye, but everything I’ve heard about him echoes my experiences with Andreini, who has been gracious, patient, and unfailingly generous with his time and knowledge in our limited interactions. Oh, and yeah, they both shape awesome boards, of course.
Is there anything more classic than a pristine Gerry Lopez single fin? I can’t stop staring at the outline on this thing. Give Liquid Salt / Glenn a follow; he posts beautiful pictures with consistently informative captions.
Shredderz, I can’t lie: it has been some time since I last offered up an entry of our Weekend Grab Bag series. But better late than never, right? Today we’ve got an eclectic group of vintage surfboards. Per Grab Bag rules, all boards must be currently listed for sale as of the time the post is published. Keep scrolling for more, starting with a sweet Wave Tools Jeff Parker Model.
You want logos? We’ve got you covered. Pictured above is an Echo Beach era Wave Tools thruster. To exactly no one’s surprise, the board is practically drowning in awesome, oversized laminates — how sick are the ones on the rails? — and a loud herringbone pattern paint job. Parker’s Jack of Spades personal logo is all time. I’m also intrigued by the outline. The pronounced wings make it look like a more aggressive predecessor to the bump squash tail thrusters that were popular in the Eighties. If I’m not mistaken, the board is only 5’2″, but that hasn’t put a damper on the bidding. As of the time the post was written, the board was already at $640, despite needing a decent amount of work. The photo at the top of the page features Parker on a different but similarly colorful Lance Collins design; photo is by Mike Moir.
Surfing’s New Image Aipa Sting by Rick Hamon (eBay)
I’ve long had a fascination with the stings Rick Hamon shaped under the SNI / Aipa label. The one you see above is a nice and clean example. I think the price is quite high, but hey, it’s a lovely board and the seller provided some great pics, too. The seller dates the board to 1974 and the board is 7’4″. Love the airbrush colors and the pin line.
Gordon & Smith Midget Farrelly Stringerless Model (eBay)
Last but not least we have a very cool G&S Midget Farrelly Stringerless Model in mostly original condition. Like the SNI / Aipa sting above, I think the price is on the high side, but it’s a very cool older board. I hesitate to even link to this older post I wrote, but it contains some decent info on the Farrelly’s various collaborations with Gordon & Smith. The board is 9’10”, and according to the seller it was likely shaped in either 1966 or 1967. I am guessing the G&S Midget Farrelly Stringerless Model was shaped right before the Transition Era took off. The seller believes it was likely shaped by either Mike Eaton or Skip Frye. Those are interesting theories for sure, but I don’t know enough about G&S history to weigh in one way or another.
I love Aipa and his signature sting, but one of his less-heralded models is the Transition Era single fin he made for Greg Noll’s Surfcenter shop in Hawaii. You don’t see these every day, and I love the sideways logo as well as the subtle blue resin pin lines on the deck. The photo at the top of the page was taken from a recent USVSA auction for a similar board, which you can see here.
Dick Brewer needs no introduction. I really dig this super rare board, one of the few surviving samples of his early Lahaina Surf Designs label (yes, the acronym is intentional). Make sure you scroll through the pics for a close up of the trippy logo.
Nothing too crazy here: just a super clean and lovely example of a classic Sixties longboard, the Rick SurfboardsDru Harrison Improvisor Model. I love the bright blue high density foam stringer and the matching glass on fin. They don’t make ’em like they used to!
Last but not least, here’s a gorgeous T&C Surf Designs sting from the Seventies. Not sure who shaped this bad boy, but it’s stunning. I think there’s a chance it may have been restored, judging from the impeccable condition, but either way you can’t go wrong with this one. I’ve said it before, but even though the Eighties T&C thrusters with the neon sprays are the most collectible vintage boards from the label, I just might like the Seventies single fins even more. In particular, I’m a sucker for that huge, clean old school yin yang logo.
As always, thanks for checking out the blog, and stay tuned for even more vintage surfboard goodness!
Pictured above we have two Herbie Fletcher boards shaped for Hawaii, happening at opposite ends of his career to date. The board in the top photo is a square nose longboard Herbie made recently and the lower photo features a 7’4″ diamond tail shaped in 1969.
This month Taylor Knox comes with not one but two separate entries. The first shot shows Ben Aipa making it look easy in some serious Hawaiian juice; the second is Taylor Knox putting a Mark Richards twinny through its paces.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ll be featuring a board that is equal parts unusual and cool. Pictured here is an Aipa Wave Crest Hawaii sting with some positively supersized dimensions. The board clocks in at a whopping 9’4″, which is a good two plus feet longer than what you might expect from a classic Aipa sting. You can find a link to the eBay listing for the sting gun here.
Every time I look at this board I find myself doing another double take at its outline. Look at how high up those wings are from the tail! If the board is 9’4″, per the listing, you have to figure the wings are good four feet, minimum, from the back of the board. I’ve never seen another sting with dimensions close to this one. Maybe I need to get out more, but all the other examples I have seen are in the six foot plus range, to maybe hovering just under eight foot.
I can only imagine that this Aipa Wave Crest Hawaii sting must have been designed for some serious Hawaiian surf. Sadly, I’m much better at writing about surfboards than I am at riding them, so I’ll defer to someone else on how the stretched out dimensions of this outline might have affected the performance of the board.
The sting also has beveled rails on the bottom. The red board pictured above on the left is the same board featured in this post; the yellow board to its right is a different Aipa Wave Crest Hawaii sting that I own. Apparently the beveled rails, often paired with a step bottom, were a fairly common feature for later editions of the famous Aipa sting.
I think there is a good chance the red Aipa Wave Crest Hawaii sting was not shaped by Ben Aipa himself. (I’ve also written up the Aipa Surfing’s New Image boards, apparently none of which were shaped by Aipa.) Randy Rarick told me over email that Ben Aipa consistently signed his name and a number on the decks of his boards. In addition, Aipa also used some ghost shapers to produce some boards under his namesake label. The Aipa Wave Crest Hawaii sting doesn’t appear to have an Aipa signature or a number anywhere on its deck. That said, it is still an absolutely awesome surfboard.
The sting in question has seen better days, and shout out to the seller for carefully documenting the board’s condition throughout all of the photos. If you click through to the eBay link you’ll see, for example, that there’s a wide open spot on the tail that would require a decent amount of work.
That said, this Aipa Wave Crest Hawaii sting’s fixer upper status doesn’t seem to have hurt the price. There’s already a bid on the board for $650, which doesn’t even include the cost of any repairs or shipping. I think that speaks to the collectibility of any sting bearing Aipa’s name, regardless of whether or not Ben shaped it himself. And for good reason, too — Aipa’s sting is one of coolest designs ever, if you ask me, and there aren’t a whole lot of them floating around.
Check the board out here on eBay if you’d like to see more.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a contrast of two very different Surfboards Hawaii sticks. I love Surfboards Hawaii, and it’s maddeningly difficult to try and find information about the brand. Sadly, once SHACC took down Stoked-n-Board, researching Surfboards Hawaii got even harder. All I’ll say, though, is that Surfboards Hawaii was once home to both Dick Brewer and Ben Aipa, and that should settle any outstanding questions about the brand’s pedigree.
There are currently two very cool Surfboards Hawaii examples on sale on eBay. I wouldn’t say either is a particularly “classic” example from the label. I want to say the most coveted Surfboards Hawaii boards are the big elephant guns and noseriders from the Sixties, but don’t quote me on that. The Surfboards Hawaii vee bottom model — I have seen it referred to as the Hawaii V model — is also popular.
The first board in question is a Transition Era shape that’s currently listed for sale on eBay. It’s actually a Surfboards Hawaii Glass Slipper model, and you can find a link to the board here. The Glass Slipper surfboard is another well-known board with a history that’s tough to track down. Donald Takayama’s website credits DT with inventing the Glass Slipper during his days surfing Ala Moana Bowls on Oahu. I have also seen a Glass Slipper created under Takayama’s MTB label. The Glass Slipper surfboard pictured below was almost certainly shaped in the late Sixties, given the pronounced S Deck and the dimensions. It measures in at 7′ x 20 1/4″ x 3 1/8″. The seller claims it was shaped in 1969.
The photos above are courtesy of the eBay listing. There are some interesting things going on here. First is the unusual Surfboards Hawaii logo that reads “Just Honolulu, Hawaii.” For some period of time Surfboards Hawaii boards featured both Hawaii and Encinitas on their laminates. According to the seller of the Glass Slipper, during the late Sixties Surfboards Hawaii was sold back to someone in Hawaii, who then had new laminates printed up reading “Just Honolulu Hawaii.” Either way, I love it!
The seller of the Glass Slipper is someone who has sold many vintage boards on eBay, and he clearly has a great collection and a ton of knowledge. He believes the Glass Slipper was shaped by Ben Aipa. However, I’m not as sure. All the Aipa / Surfboards Hawaii boards I have seen were all signed by Aipa and/or had different logos. Of course, it’s very possible that Aipa shaped boards for Surfboards Hawaii that didn’t have any markings. Therefore I’m not ruling out that the Glass Slipper was shaped by Aipa. But given Takayama’s involvement with the Glass Slipper model later on in his career, I’m wondering if this board wasn’t shaped by Donald.
The other Surfboards Hawaii example listed for sale on eBay was shaped much later by Mike Slingerland. You can find a link to the board here. At some point, and I don’t know when, Surfboards Hawaii seemed to move most of its production to Southern California, enlisting shapers like Slingerland and Rick Hamon. Hat tip to Matt Johnson for giving me the heads up on the board!
The Slingerland single fin measures in at a tidy 5’11”. Judging from the seller’s comments, the board was purchased brand new in Laguna Beach and has been kept since then. It’s in stellar condition, with a few minor snackles that could easily be cleaned up. Oh, and as a diehard airbrush aficionado, you know I’m stoked about the spray job on this bad boy! I love the alternating patterns between the deck and the bottom.
What’s interesting to me about the Slingerland board is that it doesn’t have any Hydro branding. Many of Slingerland’s shapes for Surfboards Hawaii featured similar channel bottoms, and these boards often had Hydro laminates that touted this design. See below for another example of a Slingerland / Surfboards Hawaii board, with the exact same channel setup.
Surfboards Hawaii is such a great brand with incredible history, and I love that there are two boards currently listed for sale that illustrate the variety of shapes made under the label. You can check out the Glass Slipper Model here and the Mike Slingerland single fin here.
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!
Greetings, Shredderz! Recycling is great for the environment, which is one of the many reasons I decided to take a closer look at a board I posted about on Instagram a few days ago. The Ben Aipa twin fin you see pictured here is no longer up on Craigslist, and last I heard, the bidding was around $950. It’s quite an increase considering the original asking price was a cool $200, but after what I’m guessing was a parade of very interested buyers, the seller put two and two together.
I can’t say I’m totally shocked, given the awesome colors and laminates on the board. There are a few dings here and there, but otherwise it’s in great condition. It looks like these are Star System fins but I’m not 100% certain. If I had to guess I would say the Aipa twin fin was shaped during either the late 1970s or early 1980s.
What did throw me for a bit of a loop was the fact the Aipa twin fin was shaped by Terry Senate and not Ben Aipa. I have never seen a Senate-shaped board with Aipa logos, but after doing a little digging online, I was able to find this one on The Surfboard Project.
Terry Senate is a San Clemente-based shaper who makes boards under his own label. Previously, Senate also did a ton of work for Infinity Surfboards. Anecdotally, it seems like a decent number of these Infinity / Senate boards pop up here and there on Craigslist in Southern California. I also absolutely love this Infinity / Senate 80s thruster, which I posted about on Instagram a few weeks back.
The San Clemente Times ran a brief profile on Senate that mentions how he studied under both Steve Boehne (who ran Infinity) and Ben Aipa. The article suggests that Boehne and Aipa tutored Senate simultaneously. Given Boehne’s Infinity Surf Shop was based out of Huntington Beach, this leads me to believe Aipa must have been shaping out of Orange County for some period of time. I suppose it’s possible that Senate could have shaped some boards during some trips to Hawaii, but I’m not certain.
Either way, the Aipa twin fin featured here is an awesome board (and the script Aipa laminates on the rails are an awesome and underutilized touch!) The ~$950 price tag, if reports are accurate, speaks to the collectibility of Aipa boards, even in cases when the boards were quite clearly shaped by other shapers.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s Sagas of Shred entry is short but a worthy (I hope) follow on to most recent post, which featured an Aipa-branded but Rick Hamon-shaped sting. This ad comes from a 1981 issue of Surfer Magazine, after the 70s heyday of the Sting. Based on the copy I’m guessing it’s an ad for Aipa’s twin fin designs. The timing lines up, as the ad above ran at a time shortly before Simon Anderson’s thruster reached critical mass. The other interesting thing about the ad above is there is no mention whatsoever of Surfing’s New Image, which had licensed Aipa’s name for a run of California-made stings. Instead, the California distributor for Aipa’s shapes appears to be Infinity Surfboards.
I wish the photography in the ad were a little bit clearer, but oh well. It’s still pretty rad to me.
Thanks for reading and check in next week for more Sagas of Shred.