Before 1984, no one had ever seen or heard of the “R-dot”—though they probably should have. At that time Rusty Preisendorfer was shaping surfboards under the Canyon label for 10 of the top 16 surfers in the world, including Occy and Shaun Tomson. Creating the simple yet powerful R-dot didn’t cross his mind until one of his riders, former world champion Peter Townend, suggested he develop his own, independent label. Every other sought-after shaper in the world had a logo, so Rusty figured PT had a point. And the rest, shall we say, is history.

Today the signature R-dot is one of the most powerful surfing insignias recognized around the world. Rusty International has become an icon in contemporary surf culture. Despite its size, however, Rusty is a brand that is incredibly grassroots—one that is adamant in reminding everyone that its heart and soul lies firmly in the custom, hand-shaped surfboard.

Rusty believes it is his insistence on communication and rider feedback that has led the surfing world to consider his work the Mercedes Benz of surfboards. And more importantly, this approach and reputation has given Rusty International the opportunity to embrace innovation. From the traditional blank to Surf CAD to Surf Tech, Aviso and Salomon, Rusty and his team of world-class shapers have accelerated the evolution of surfboard design infinitely. The result is consistent custom surfboards precisely crafted to each surfer’s needs—down to the thousandths of an inch.