Akila Aipa Biography
When it comes to surfing and surfboard shaping, one of the biggest advantages a person can have is a knowledgeable parent. Akila Aipa’s father Ben Aipa has been a legend of Hawaiian surfing for decades—both for his performances in the water and in the shaping bay. His boards have been sought after for years, and are considered some of the best ever made—particularly the Aipa Stinger, which was a fast, straight-railed, winged swallowtail that revolutionized the fish shape in the 1970s.
Ben Aipa’s influence rubbed off on Akila, who was a pro surfer in the 1990s and has now become a respected shaper in his own right. Akila eventually started shaping out of the Waialua Sugar Mill—ground zero for North Shore board design—where his primary focus was on creating custom boards for customers on a one-on-one basis—basically the antithesis of production shaping. But lately his designs have started to gain traction amongst some of the world’s top surfers, and his boards have become very much in demand. In a short series of blog posts, we will be looking at the increasing popularity of Akila Aipa’s boards, and exploring one of his newest and most exciting shapes.