Surfboards Hawaii by Ben Aipa (early 1970’s)

by

$1,149 or nearest offer Contact Us | Board Location: California *Worldwide Shipping Available*

Surfboards Hawaii 6’4 shaped by Ben Aipa in the early 1970’s. Featuring experimental side trailer fins, one of the first boards to ever showcase such a fin setup. All original condition.

If you have any questions or need a shipping quote please leave a comment below and/or visit our Contact Page

History of Ben Aipa

‭Ben Aipa: Inventor of the “Sting” shape

A legendary surfer and surfboard shaper,‭ ‬Ben Aipa,‭ ‬was born in‭ ‬1942‭ ‬in Honolulu,‭ ‬Hawaii.‭ ‬He has made an important mark in the world of surfing and has been through it all,‭ ‬from worthy competitor to top-tier board-builder to coach of Hawaii‭’‬s‭ ‬best surfers.‭ ‬His uncles toughened the son of a Kauai Sugar Plantation worker growing up as his dad left to be a marine.‭ ‬In his teenage years he moved to Oahu to help support his mother and siblings working in the pineapple fields,‭ ‬shining shoes in Honolulu and diving for coins thrown off of tourist liner boats at Aloha Tower.‭ ‬From middle school to high school,‭ ‬Ben Aipa was a fearless competitor in swimming,‭ ‬weightlifting,‭ ‬and football‭ (‬subsequently growing into a semi-pro football player‭)‬.‭ ‬Thanks to his height‭ ‬5‭’‬8″and weight‭ ‬240‭ ‬lbs,‭ ‬at the time‭ ‬he held positions as linebacker,‭ ‬fullback and center.‭ ‬First,‭ ‬he planned on a career as a pro football player but switched his plans to surf in his early‭ ‬20s because of an ankle injury.‭ ‬Ben started shaping the same year he started surfing-‭ ‬1965.‭ ‬Ben surfed‭ ‬365‭ ‬days straight that year.‭ ‬He got an offer from his friend,‭ ‬Joe Kaula,‭ ‬who worked at Surfboards Makaha to help in shaping boards.‭ ‬He learned the basics quickly.‭ ‬One year after learning to surf,‭ ‬Ben paddled out with Eddie Aikau during the‭ ‬1965‭ ‬Duke Invitational to make a statement that Hawaiians should be invited to surf in the contests held in Hawaii.‭ ‬He also finished fourth in both the‭ ‬1967‭ ‬Makaha International and the‭ ‬1975‭ ‬Lightning Bolt Pro,‭ ‬and competed in the World Championships in‭ ‬1968‭ ‬and‭ ‬1970.

‭ ‬His surfing and shaping career became noticeable quickly.‭ ‬Aipa Surfboards was founded in‭ ‬1970,‭ ‬and Aipa soon came into his biggest influence as a designer, inventing the double-ended swallowtail in‭ ‬1972.‭ ‬His famous model called the “Sting” was modeled after the hydrofoil boats that he had seen racing at Ala Moana.‭ ‬He always observed the life around him very carefully and repeatedly recalled that it was what inspired him.‭ ‬Ben shaped the first Sting and gave it to Larry Bertlemann,‭ ‬who later described his friends work in these words:‭ ‬“What he was doing was futuristic.‭ ‬Watching him,‭ ‬I said to myself,‭ ‬“He‭’‬s stinging the wave‭!‬” That‭’‬s how I developed the name for the design.‭”‬ And‭ ‬ that‭’‬s how‭ ‬the Sting was born.‭ ‬Ben invented the doubled-edged swallowtail design in‭ ‬1972‭ ‬and followed this with the split-tail design in‭ ‬1974.‭ ‬Word traveled fast about the new design,‭ ‬especially after‭ ‬it appeared on the cover surfer magazine.‭ ‬Australian surfer and soon to be a four-time world champion Mark Richards noticed Ben‭’‬s work,‭ ‬and he also began riding Aipa‭’‬s Sting.‭ ‬Ben shaped a series of Stings for Mark Richards,‭ ‬who eventually asked Ben to move the wing further down the board closer to the tail.‭ ‬This is the start of what would become the winged twins.‭ ‬Mark Richards shaped his own boards,‭ ‬and we can notice strong influence of Ben Aipa‭’‬s technique.‭ ‬What‭’‬s interesting,‭ ‬Ben‭’‬s surfboard design allowed his surfers to radically change surfing and also impacted the future of skateboarding.

As an almost-star in football,‭ ‬Ben Aipa took his knowledge of football strategy and applied it to surf coaching.‭ ‬He individually coached some of the best surfers in the world,‭ ‬such as Sunny Garcia,‭ ‬Bethany Hamilton,‭ ‬Brad Gerlach,‭ ‬Taylor Knox,‭ ‬and many others.‭ ‬As a testimony to Ben Aipa‭’‬s impact on surfing,‭ ‬in‭ ‬2004,‭ ‬Bethany Hamilton accepting her title at the awards banquet to a‭ ‬500-person standing ovation,‭ ‬thanked her coach,‭ ‬“Ben Aipa and God‭”‬.‭ ‬Ben Aipa went on to enter and compete in different‭ ‬surfing contests:‭ ‬He won the grandmasters division of the‭ ‬1989‭ ‬United States Surfing Championship and the legends division of the‭ ‬2000‭ ‬U.S.‭ ‬Championships.‭ ‬Enlisted into the Surfing Hall of Fame in‭ ‬1992,‭ ‬Ben was chosen as one of the Top Ten Shapers of All-Time by Surfing magazine in‭ ‬2004.‭ ‬Ben‭’‬s effect and influence will be known by generations of surfers,‭ ‬shapers and coaches to come.‭ ‬Honored and inducted into both the Surfing Hall of Fame and Surfing Walk of Fame in‭ ‬2018.‭ ‬Ben said,‭ ‬“I wonder what is next‭?‬”
“I was never watching what other board builders were doing…I was watching the surfers and the natural world around me.‭ ‬Their movements showed me what was missing‭…‬ I was always looking for the next wave‭…‬The Next Move.‭”‬

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *