He was positively stoked years ago when he was inducted into the International Surfing Hall of Fame, but it was only recently that Aipa received his greatest thrill, a quiet pleasure that any parent would envy.
Aipa has found a way to provide a living for his grown children while keeping them together as a family. It's an ohana on foam, the foam of the ocean and the foam of shaped surfboards, those fragile hand-crafted creations.
"Working with my dad is the coolest thing in the world," says professional surfer Akila Aipa, 25, who works for Oakley sunglasses, North Shore Underground and shapes surfboards under his own Hawaiian Foamsmith logo.
"I'm honored to be a student of such a great master. It's like the old days when older Hawaiian men would teach something to an apprentice, whether canoe carving or fishing. I'm proud to learn from him and someday teach my children.
"We're really lucky to keep it in the family, it feels like we're living a modern-day Hawaiian family lifestyle," Akila continued. "It's so rare nowadays that families work together. We're focused on what we want from our lives."
Ben Aipa wasn't always able to provide his children with as much as he wanted.
"At school, everyone thought we were rich because my dad was Ben Aipa," says Lokelani, 20. "But I always went to school in slippers and an Aipa T-shirt."
Thirty years ago Aipa discovered a gift for taking raw foam blanks and turning them into surfboards that rode the waves with style. But he always worked for others, such as Greg Noll, Downing Hawaii, Surfline, Town & Country and one brief, disastrous period during which he and a partner found out how little business sense they had.
But those days are long gone. Two years ago Aipa left Town & Country to work for himself, and now he and his children work for each other.
Their products now includes quality hand-painted surfboards and clothing bearing the Aipa name. They are sold worldwide, and one shop, Fresh Wave in Makiki, specializes in Aipa products.
Business is good, but his children are most excited about having a chance to rediscover their father.
"Since my dad kind of did his own thing when we were growing up - at work at 4 a.m. and back at night - this has brought us closer together," says Lokelani.
"It's a great feeling to do something that is family, and it makes work easier."
She is also pleased that her family work allows her to pursue her interests in ethnic studies and anthropology at Honolulu Community College, to better understand the culture of her ancestors.
Lokelani paints bold yet whimsical images on the fresh, clean surfboard blanks her father and brother have shaped. It is her great pleasure that a quest to perfect her art has inspired her to resume her love affair with the ocean.
Aipa put his children on surfboards before they could stand, but at age 8 Lokelani abandoned the sea for the thrill of figure skating on ice, where she displayed a rare talent.
Nearly a year ago she decided she was getting too old to skate, so she turned to the ocean to help influence her art through surfing with her dad.
"I was out surfing with him at Ala Moana and I was just mesmerized," Lokelani says.
"I was sitting on my board watching him walk the nose and I thought 'Wow, that's my dad.' I love surfing with him, we catch all the waves.
"We rode a wave together and when we were paddling back out he said, 'Eh, Loke, what's worse than one Aipa on a wave?' I thought a bit, then I shouted 'Two Aipas on a wave,' and we both laughed."
Through hard work and aloha, the Aipas have created an enviable world for themselves, a world that would be made immeasurably better if the third Aipa youngster, Duke, 21, were to return from his life as an East Coast rock 'n' roll musician and join their Aipa ohana operation in Hawaii.
"They grow so fast," Aipa says softly. "Although you're around them all the time, time flies and they're not kids anymore. You can't replace all those good times, just prolong them.
"Other people are working too hard to be with their kids enough. I have the best of all worlds."