AIPA 2023 Surfboards Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Surfboards 2023 Retail Buyer‘s Guide
Brand:  AIPA
Interviewee: Duke Aipa, Owner

Looking back to 2022, the past year could be tagged as tricky: weakened spending power, overstocks in some segments, shortages for others… What was the ‘22 bottom line for your brand and what do you foresee for ’23?
The bottom line is, we are continuing to grow our offering and our audience. New partnership opportunities as well as the weight of legacy have been driving us to grind the last couple of years, and we don’t foresee that changing anytime soon or ever really. The world is crazy, but isn’t it always. That’s why we surf and shape; to get our minds off of the externalities we can’t control. That being said, opportunity is definitely out there in the market right now, and the brand that grinds the hardest is going to see the best return at the end of the year. At least that is our prediction.

Which category(ies) is(are) performing most within your range: entry-level, high-perf, midlengths & retro crafts, funboards, longboards?
It runs an even mix of all categories. Something for everyone. Most Popular 3 boards are Big Boy Sting, Dark Twinn, Wrecking Ball.

What used to be considered as alternative crafts (twins, midlengths) are the new normal and overtook the classic performance shortboard sales. Does this mean the fun factor is more important than the actual performance? If we were to quote Phil Edwards: “The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.”
The fun factor and performance are one and the same. What good is a fun board if it doesn’t perform? For my money, it’s the alternative high performance boards that are winning, such as the Dark Twinn/ Dark Horse/ Wrecking Ball.

A few years back, high-end techy EPS/carbon surfboards were the hype. But eventually the masses stick to an old-fashioned PU board. Isn’t the lack of innovation a threat for the development of the surfboard industry?
In order for surfing to change, surfboards need to change. Including Technology.

Nowadays e-com is everything but negligible in the surfboard market: how do you deal with this channel (D2C, distribution partners, etc.)?
Ecom is secondary. The Primary resource for relationships should remain with the surf shops or part of our culture will die.

Best Sellers



The Dark Twinn was developed as part of Aipa’s Dark Series, a series of new designs inspired by Ben Aipa’s classic shapes and modernized for futuristic surfing. The Dark Twinn combines Ben’s Wing Twin template, used to make Dane Kealoha’s twins in the late ‘70s and ‘90s, with an updated Swing Twin Squash template for a modern feel.



The Wrecking Ball design comes from an experimental shortboard design Ben Aipa worked on in 1977. A full nose and broad outline in the front half of the board meet an unmistakable Aipa wing near the back third of the board. The resulting increase in volume gives The Wrecking Ball extra float for faster paddling and a feeling of “unsinkableness”



More power! The Dark Horse is a lively and responsive board supercharged for high-performance groveling Riders will find the Dark Horse to be fast off the bottom and overflowing with power while still maintaining precision control off the top.

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116 Reef Hanging shoes

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