Another Mike Slingerland Aipa / SNI Sting

It’s been less than a week since I wrote up an Aipa / Surfing’s New Image sting, but when it rains, it pours. Pictured here is another Aipa / SNI sting shaped by Mike Slingerland. The board belongs to Steve Wray, who has been kind enough to share photos of many boards in his quiver, including a killer Eighties Wave Tools / Echo Beach twin fin, a pair of Bill Shrosbree-shaped Sunset single fins, and a Mike Eaton UEO model Bonzer. Well, Steve is back with even more heat, and personally, this might be my favorite board of Steve’s that he has been kind enough to share. Click the photos below to enlarge.

The Aipa / SNI sting above measures in at 7’4″. Steve found this board at a garage sale, where it had been stashed away in the rafters. Even though it’s more than four decades old, the board remains in remarkably good condition. The airbrush on the deck is insane!

Now, this wouldn’t be a Shred Sledz production without overthinking some of the small details on the board. I couldn’t help but notice that the Surfing’s New Image logo has a slightly different font than other boards I have seen. The first image below is the logo from Steve’s board. Compare this to the second image, which is taken from a different Aipa / SNI sting I wrote up earlier. I don’t know enough about typefaces to describe the differences, but hopefully it’s pretty clear from comparing the two laminates.

Mike Slingerland Surfing's New Image

Finally, Steve’s Aipa / SNI sting appears to be shaped by Mike Slingerland. This is denoted by the “S” that appears after the serial number along the stringer. See below for a close up.

I don’t know enough about Slingerland’s serial numbers to make any guesses as to when the board might have been shaped. The Aipa / SNI stings were produced in San Diego during the Seventies. I’ve read that the boards were shaped in the mid-Seventies, but I haven’t been able to verify that with anyone with first hand knowledge. For what it’s worth, the Aipa / SNI sting I wrote up last week has serial number 3828.

Mahalo Steve for sharing photos of this board, and I hope all of you got as much of a kick out of seeing this gem as I did!

Wave Tools Jeff Parker Model & More: Weekend Grab Bag

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.

Wave Tools Jeff Parker Model (eBay)

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.

Aipa Wave Crest Hawaii Sting

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.

Aipa Wave Crest Hawaii Sting Gun.jpg

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.

 

Precision Surfboards: Vintage Robert August Sting

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…

Robert August Sting.jpg

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.”

Robert August Sting 1.jpg

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.

Robert August Sting Step Tail.jpg

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.

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.