The Original Sting.

The mid 1970’s is one of the most fascinating periods of surfing and innovation period surfboard development. The shortboard revolution had been underway for only a few years and iconic brands such as Lightning Bolt were in their infancy. Kneeboarders, who in many respects had been at the forefront of the designs that initiated the demise of the traditional longboard, were themselves under pressure from the new “Boogie board”, Tom Morey’s rectangular polyethylene foam slab that heralded the 'beginning’ of the plague that became modern bodyboarding. It was in this period that the first leashes or leg ropes appeared, surf films came into their own and the first international professional surfing tour was won by Australia’s Peter Townend in 1976.

In the context of this came a Hawaiian shaper named Ben Aipa whose combination of design features with single fin shortboards resulted in the shape now known as the 'Stinger'. These included splitting the tail and moving the fin forward, introducing ‘wings’ or ‘flyers’ about one third from the tail and adding a ‘step’ across the bottom of the board at the same spot. According to Paul Holmes in “Surfboards” these elements

“had the effect of creating a break in the rail line that allowed a single-fin board to release quicker and to draw tighter turns…giving rise to a more vertical approach to the wave”

Ben Aipa is not only a great innovator and shaper but has also coached and mentored numerous surfers of note over the years including Mark Richards, Larry Bertlemann, Dane Kealoha, Michael Ho and more recently Sunny Garcia and Andy Irons.

I have surfed this board and although it paddles and catches waves easily I found it stiff and hard to turn. Which makes Buttons 360' turns on a stinger in Many Classic Moments even more outrageous than when he eats a mouthful of sand!


  1. Looking for an original boogie board small size


    Ben says in this interview that it isn't 'stinger', it's 'sting' because Larry B was stinging the waves on his first time out.

    I just got an Aipa 6'9" Mid-guy epoxy with 'da hook' fins from Blue Planet in Honolulu last week and haven't wet it yet. It should be interesting when I do. Best wishes.

  3. i have a surf board and have been told not to use it as its quiet old and would be worth something. im not interested in selling it just want to know what its worth. its an original sting same logo as your above boards. if anyone knows any more info on it could you please email me? thanks guys!

  4. Maybe you found it "stiff" because of 2 reasons: 1) you're used to thrusters. You simply can't expect the same performance from a singlefin, it's a different world. 2) Your fin is way too close to the tail. Try getting the fin as much to the front as you can. The board's response changes dramatically.


  5. Hi mate.

    I have in my possession a 7ft single fin Cornish Richards Da Sting. Its in pretty good nick but you seem to be an expert so wondering what its worth if I got it restored by Levi Jones.

    I am yet to find another like mine, most are shorter than mine which is 7ft. I have tons of pics if you want a look. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks, heaps!!

  6. I have a 8ft cooper stinger surfboard single fin was wondering how much it would be worth if someone could give me some advice please