Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have an example from a well-known surf brand that has never before been featured on the blog: Robert August. August is probably most familiar to folks as one of the co-stars of “The Endless Summer” along with Mike Hynson. August, like Hynson, later founded his own surfboard label. Robert August Surfboards is still in business today, although it’s unclear to me whether or not the brand’s namesake continues to shape boards. At the end of the day, though, Shred Sledz is a blog about vintage surfboards, and today’s post features a neat little Robert August sting that was listed for sale a few weeks ago. Read more below…
As you can see in the photo above, the Robert August single fin has a classic sting outline. You’ll notice the wings that are about 1/3rd of the way up the board, paired with a swallowtail. While the terms “sting” and “stinger” are often used interchangeably, Ben Aipa, who created the design, is clear that the correct term is “sting.”
There’s a lot to dig about this board, although it has clearly taken some bumps and bruises during its time. I would guess it was shaped sometime during the Seventies, which was when the sting was at its most popular. Regular readers probably know that I love to geek out on surfboard logos, and this board doesn’t disappoint: I love the “Precision Surfboards” laminate you see at the top of the page, and then the simple mirrored “RA” that appears along the stringer on the bottom of the board.
The other neat feature about this board is the step bottom. You can kind of make this out in the picture above. The black pinline towards the right side of the photo starts where the wings appear on the rails. Right beneath the pinline you can see the edge where the step tail appears, creating an effect where the back half of the board is a lower surface than the rest. I wish I could tell you more about the hydrodynamics of this particular design, but it’s fairly common to see in stings shaped during the Seventies.
The Craigslist post originally appeared in San Diego but it has since been taken down. The seller was asking $325 for the board. My two cents is the price was a shade high, although it seems like the board is no longer for sale. I would base this strictly on the condition — as you can see in the photos, there are a bunch of cracks and open dings on the board, and repairing it would take some work. Still, though, the vintage Robert August sting pictured here is a really cool board from a well-known California surf culture fixture, and I hope whoever ended up with it is restoring the board to its former glory.