Aipa Surfboards' Ben Aipa and The Birth of the Sting

Aipa Surfboards' Ben Aipa and The Birth of the Sting

Ben Aipa invented the swallow tail in 1971, and As time progressed, thru watching his team riders, he saw something was missing in their boards and was looking for that design ingredient that would allow them to push the performance limits further..

In 1974 Ben went to a boat race on Oahu. He noticed there was a particular boat that was outperforming them all. The hydro-plane speed boat!

Hydro-jet-boat-surftech-aipa

 A hydroplane boat rips, the inspiration for Ben's Sting, rips at high speed.

 He saw how quickly the boat accelerated thru turns and the massive release of water that exploded thru the cut out section of the boats hull!

"The board made a hybrid of skate style antics and power surfing possible!" — Duke Aipa

He instantly went straight to his shaping room. Grabbed a fresh blank and templated out a standard swallow tail short board with a slightly wider forward section. He then dropped the template inside of the outline and carved into the foam with his thumbnail the outline of the hydro plane…Inspired by what he saw, he worked around the clock building this first Sting. When Larry Bertlemann paddled out at a spot called Lighthouse in Diamond Head to test it out, Ben was walking back up the hill to watch him and saw how Larry was turning harder, sharper and faster than ever before. Ben remarked aloud to himself Man..Larry is Stinging the waves!”. The STING was born! Ben had no idea he was on the path to disrupt the current standard of performance surfing in a manner that had never been seen before with it’s influence seen in every winged board today.

Simply put, the Sting (wings) were like moving the tail up 1/3 of the board. This meant not only early release, but almost instantaneous pivot in turns. With the front section being wider, surfers have the planning surface to get in waves and get down the line. With the Stings(wing) abrupt cut in the outline, it allows for the rear 1/3 to be pulled in towards the tail more than a typical outline board, which equates to a quicker response and positive reaction in turns.The Sting went thru countless variations in the first few years alone and continues to evolve throughout the decades.

aipa-sting

 Team rider tested and approved

Test piloted in the beginning, by Buttons Kaluhiokalani, Mark Liddell, Mark Richards, Larry Bertlemann and Dane Kealoha the Sting rapidly went thru a series of refinements. During this process these surfers were igniting the waves and pulling off maneuvers that weren’t even dreamt of, like Buttons carving 360 ( You’re welcomeKelly..lol) ! The board made a hybrid of skate style antics and power surfing possible! A cover shot in Surfer Magazine with Buttons and Mark Liddell with their blue and green flame stings, caught the surfing world on fire and got the attention of everyone. If you talk to anyone that lived through the era, they will tell you there was nothing like it! All of a sudden the AIPA Stings are everywhere. This moment is a key component of surf history that shaped todays performance surfer..More than a board, THE STING is pivotal turning point and monumental shift in surf design..

 dark-twin-aipa-joel-bishop

 Joel Bishop on a modern, Dark Twin, model that features an updated performance Sting in it's design.

 

Aipa collection

A legacy of aloha
Wrecking Ball
Wrecking Ball
AIPA
Wrecking Ball
Price
$775.00$820.00
Dark Twinn
Dark Twinn
AIPA
Dark Twinn
Price
$820.00$875.00
Big Boy Sting
Big Boy Sting
AIPA
Big Boy Sting
Price
$945.00$975.00
Big Brother Sting
Big Brother Sting
AIPA
Big Brother Sting
Price
$1,140.00$1,215.00

SURFTECH NEWS

Product info, shaper stories, and company culture
4 Boards Releasing in 2023 To Get Hyped About
  • Feb 2, 2023
4 Boards Releasing in 2023 To Get Hyped About

Duke Aipa Q&A:  The youngest son of storied Ben Aipa, Duke is a master innovator and shaper.
  • Jan 11, 2023
Duke Aipa Q&A: The youngest son of storied Ben Aipa, Duke is a master innovator and shaper.

Gerry Lopez Q&A: The Simple Motivation Behind Why Gerry Lopez Shapes Surfboards
  • Jan 11, 2023
Gerry Lopez Q&A: The Simple Motivation Behind Why Gerry Lopez Shapes Surfboards