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.