AIPA Dark Twin, Joel Bishop

AIPA Partner With Surftech On Innovative Surfboard Collection

Following last year’s news of iconic surf brand AIPA partnering with Surftech to launch a line of next-gen surfboards, SOURCE caught up with the AIPA’s owner and son of the founder, Duke Aipa to get an insight into what this collection’s all about.

What was the thinking behind the launch of AIPA?
My dad was one of the first guys to venture into boards made overseas decades ago… I asked him why and how he could trust someone else to make his boards. His answer? “Watches and cars are made overseas, so why not surfboards?”

My dad recognised the value of mass-produced boards as an opportunity to reach more surfers with his designs. Surfers that would not have been able to travel across the globe to order a custom board from him. This thought process was a by-product of his admiration for the great Duke Kahanamoku. Long ago, the duke (not me lol) set out to share surfing – the sport of Hawaiian kings – with the world. My father wanted to do the same thing; however, he shared his Aloha through building boards for the surfers of the world.

In essence, the Surftech launch reimagines this philosophy, where, AIPA once more has the chance to share the Aloha around the world and have stoke readily available for surfers to put under their feet.

Who are the people behind the products’ development?
Our designs are rooted in my father’s philosophies…with modern adaptations by myself.

But its deeper than Who – it is more about where it comes from. Rooted in Hawaiian blood. 50+ years of knowledge, trial and error, observation, and natural mimicry of everything from birds to speed boats to dreams…with the cultural responsibility to perpetuate the sport of king.

AIPA Bishop Dualcore

How does AIPA differ from similar products on the market?
AIPA has been at the forefront of surfboard design since 1964.

Our dad always said, “I was never watching what everyone else was doing, I was watching surfers, looking for the next wave, the next move…”

In the 60s when everyone’s rails were rolled and soft…my dad introduced edges in the tail section.

Towards the end of that era, longboards were the thing – but, in 1967 our dad started experimenting with shortboards shaping under the Greg Noll label and created the ‘Aipa Ski’ a narrow step up-eque board 7’0” x 16” (16”wide) x 3-1/2”.

In the 70s when shortboards were becoming a thing, he focused on performance, inventing the swallow tail, then the Sting…The first winged board of its kind, whose influence you see in every winged board. It is still, to this day, the only board you look at and know 100% who designed/shaped it.

That era was bursting with developments. Board outlines were drastically changing. Wings placed in every position imaginable, fins experimented in mind boggling configurations: thrusters, quads, five fins… All this before the end of the 70s…

In the early 80s he adapted his Sting for the shortboard revolution, making a high bump in place of the wing…a board design that influenced Al Merrick to mimic the design concept in boards he was making for Tom Curren, like the red beauty.

At the same time, the advent of performance shortboarding inspired him to breathe new life into longboards and invent the modern longboard…the first of the high-performance longboards.

It continued like this for decades…. his designs always evolving and changing for the surfers as their abilities evolved. His knowledge has carried down: Influencing some of today’s best shapers and biggest brands, known as the Ben Aipa Effect.

Not many brands can say that they have impacted and influenced the world of surfing.

AIPA Dark Horse Dualcore

How does the brand fit into the Surftech stable?
AIPA is Hawaii. Hawaii is surfing. Surfing is life.

AIPA fills the gap between classic design and future movement.

Who is your target customer?
From the everyday surfer to the polished pro. AIPA INVITES ALL GENERATIONS OF THE INSPIRED TO EXPERIENCE THE BLEND AND BALANCE OF AN AUTHENTIC SURF LEGACY AND CONNECT WITH US ON THE JOURNEY TO IMAGINE AND LIVE “THE NEXT MOVE”.

How will AIPA be distributed in Europe?
Via Surftech’s European distributors in all the best surf shops.

What have been the major changes in the surfboard market over the last few years?
The most major change is how consumers discover what the best thing to have under their feet is. They are convinced that they will surf like a pro if they buy that board. I suppose that’s the power of marketing. We make boards for the everyday surfer; we tune our boards so the guys and girls that only get to surf once, maybe twice, a week will have a killer experience and be stoked.

Why should retailers carry the brand?
Today’s surfer WANTS something different and AIPA is the original Alternative Surfboard.

Too many surf brands copy each other…it’s almost funny to walk through a store and grab 3 different brands’ boards that look/feel the same…

When your customer sees AIPA x SURFTECH boards they’ll know it’s different; when they touch the board, when they feel the rails and bottom contours…they’ll feel the difference.

113 LOST MENS SURF APPAREL
113 VISSLA WETSUITS
113 PICTURE WETSUITS
113 ALDER WETSUITS

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SOURCE ISSUE 114

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