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.