Aipa Surfing’s New Image Sting by Rick Hamon

Greetings, Shredderz! By now regular readers might know that I have a real affection for the sting, a surfboard outline created by Ben Aipa in the 1970s, and ridden to acclaim by Hawaiian surfers like Buttons Kaluhiokalani and Larry Bertlemann (and Mark Richards, too!) The board is frequently referred to as the stinger, but Aipa insists the proper name is the sting, and I am in no position whatsoever to argue with that! I wrote a previous post about how to identify genuine Ben Aipa shaped stings, given that many “Aipa” boards were produced by California-based Surfing’s New Image during the 1970s and 1980s. SNI boards are nothing to sneeze at though, as some of them were shaped by Donald Takayama. Rick Hamon, who would later become one of the top shapers at Rusty Surfboards, also churned out a number of Aipa / Surfing’s New Image stings.

Pictured above is a pretty flawless example of a Rick Hamon-shaped Aipa / SNI sting. These aren’t quite as collectible as real deal Aipas, but they are still amazing boards. The board pictured above happens to be listed for sale on Craigslist in San Diego, and you can find the listing here.

As you can see from the pictures, this thing is in extremely clean condition. The seller claims the board was shaped for him around 1975, which would put it around the height of the sting’s popularity. It has a beautiful rainbow airbrush on the deck, which you can clearly see in the pictures. The board measures in at 7’4″.

The seller is asking $600 for the board. While Aipa / SNI stings shaped by Hamon don’t command as high prices as Ben Aipa hand shapes, there seem to be a number of sting lovers. And even if the board isn’t shaped by Aipa, it still has his logo on it, which makes a difference. My two cents is this is a great price for the board considering the condition. Of course, standard caveats apply, as I haven’t seen the board in person for myself, but from what I can tell from the listing, this is a nice little pickup.

You can check out the Aipa Surfing’s New Image listing here.

Shred Sledz Presents: July 17 Grab Bag

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:

Town & Country Single Fin by Dennis Pang (eBay)

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.

McCoy Lazor Zap Von Weirdos.jpg
A real McCoy Lazor Zap. Note the similarities between this board and the Rick Hamon single fin above, from the geometric paint job down to the super wide swallow tail. Pic via Von Weirdos

 

Choice Surfboards Steve Lis Fish (Craigslist and Craigslist)

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 wrote earlier, 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!

Shred Sledz Presents: 4/17 Weekend Grab Bag (Aipa, Hansen, Morey Pope, Hansen)

Back to our regularly scheduled weekend grab bags. Here’s a selection of some cool boards that have caught my eye recently.

Aipa / Surfing’s New Image Sting (Craigslist – Santa Barbara)

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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..

Continue reading “Shred Sledz Presents: 4/17 Weekend Grab Bag (Aipa, Hansen, Morey Pope, Hansen)”

How to Tell if Ben Aipa Shaped Your Sting

First, the good news: there is an Aipa sting for sale on eBay, whose pictures I have included here. The board is in decent shape, and right now the current bid is a tidy $82.01.

Before I go get to the bad news, I’d like to give some background on Ben Aipa, who has made more than a few appearances on Shred Sledz. This is the first Shred Sledz post featuring a board that Aipa made under his own name.

The sting is Aipa’s claim to fame. The board pictured above is a classic example. You’ll see the wings extremely high up the board – well above the fin box – with a single fin setup in the back. Aipa’s stings frequently boast swallowtails, as well.

Aipa’s sting design (sometimes referred to as the stinger) is most associated with iconic Hawaiian surfers Buttons Kaluhiokalani and Larry Bertlemann. Here’s a picture of Aipa (on the left) with Buttons, in front of a spread of Aipa-shaped stings that would be worth a pretty penny today.

Photo by Steve Wilkings; courtesy of Surfline

And as a bonus, here’s another Aipa board, this time under the careful stewardship of legendary Aussie surfer / shaper Mark Richards, likely also taken sometime in the 1970s. Look at how far back MR has the fin!

Photo by Jeff Divine; courtesy of The Surfer’s Journal

So, back to what we were saying: there’s an Aipa for sale on eBay, it’s only $80 bucks or so, and it’s Aipa’s signature design. What’s not to like, right?

Well, fellow Shredderz, listen closely, because this is a lesson that I originally learned through a bit of bitter experience myself. If you look at the board for sale on eBay, you’ll notice that there is a small “Surfing’s New Image” script beneath the Aipa logo. I’ve included a close up here:

The sad fact is, the “Surfing’s New Image” boards were NOT shaped by Aipa. Rather, Aipa licensed his name to the “Surfing’s New Image” brand, and these boards were all shaped in California (not Hawaii, where Aipa is based) by a variety of different shapers, including Mike Slingerland, Rick Hamon, and apparently even Donald Takayama. This information was confirmed to me via an email with none other than Randy Rarick, the Don Dada of Hawaiian surfboard design.

I happened to make this rookie mistake, and I now am the proud owner of two VERY weathered SNI / Aipa stings that serve as a cautionary tale. (The caution is two-fold: make sure what you’re buying is legit, and NEVER tell your fiancee how much you spent on the boards.) See below for two examples: the first is unsigned (likely shaped by Slingerland, but who knows), and the second has a clear Hamon signature and serial number.

Photos courtesy of the Shred Sledz Signature Collection ™

You’ll see a lot of stings online with the SNI branding. I won’t tell you to steer clear of these boards completely, as they are still genuine, rad 70s shapes. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that these are on par with real handmade Aipa boards.

Aipa has signed many of his boards, and you can see below for an example of a clearly identifiable Aipa signature, taken from a late 90s thruster he shaped.

However, it’s also worth noting that Aipa seems to have shaped some boards, at least back in the 70s, that didn’t have his signatures. Here’s an example of Larry Bertlemann with an Aipa (note the “Wave Crest Hawaii” branding beneath Aipa’s name) that doesn’t appear to have a visible signature anywhere on the deck. (It also has a pintail instead of the standard swallowtail design, which is an interesting touch.)

Photo by Steve Wilkings; courtesy of Surfline

I won’t get too into the weeds of signatures. Just note that “Surfing’s New Image” boards, even if they bear Aipa’s name and his best-known silhouette, were not shaped by Aipa himself.

Here is a link to the board you can find on eBay, and if you happen to find a genuine 70s sting for cheap, feel free to send it my way!