Board Tales: Hoy and the Vortex Converter


Several months ago we ran a story called "The Finless Challenge;" the idea behind this piece was that each Rusty shaper was asked to create a unique board that could be surfed with or without fins. The boards were then to be handed off to Jamie O'Brien and Dave Rastovich for a tangent challenge, aptly titled "Hip Hop vs. Hippie," to see who could surf the finless boards the best.

Eventually, Josh Kerr got his hands on Hoy's creation

Several beautiful finless boards were created for this challenge, but the one that grabbed everyone's attention the most was the board shaped by Hoy Runnels, which he calls "The Vortex Converter." The name came to be because the board looks so futuristic and space-age that the sci-fi twist is a perfect fit. 

Hoy stated that when he started out on his board he had good intentions, but his good intentions eventually turned mischievous. This challenge was conceived at the same time that Greg Mungel (incredibly talented surfer and previous Stubbies winner) was working at Rusty glassing boards. Hoy claims that everyday when he was about to finish up work and hop into the shower that Mungel would sneak in ahead of him; Hoy would ask, "Mungel, you save me any hot water?" Every night it was the same: Mungel would reply with a snappy, "No!" and walk off laughing hysterically. Hoy finally got fed up, so when this finless challenge came to be Hoy found this as a perfect opportunity to distract Mungel at the end of the day with an impossible board to glass - with the intentions of finally beating Mungel to the hot water...

Hoy reminisces, "I wanted to torture Greg a little bit, so I made him a board that he could not possibly glass! So I threw in every little angle: deep channels, rail concaves, it actually had concaves running from the tail forward and from the mid point back!"

Much to Hoy's dismay, Mungel glassed the board flawlessly and without a whimper to Hoy, "I was expecting some sort of reaction, a shriek of horror or something, but he never showed me once what a pain I was putting him through." Apparently, he voiced his complaints to everyone else except for Hoy, because he didn't want to give him the satisfaction. Hoy continued, "Mungel lived to harass and frustrate people, that was his main aim, and he still didn't leave me any hot water!"

Eventually, Hoy finally got his hot water shower... when Mungel moved back to Tennessee!

Check out more photos of Josh on the Vortex Converter

Check out the rest of the finless crafts entered in the Finless Challenge here

Text and Photos: Brody

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The Traveling Rose Show Features Rusty

Photo: Brody

A few weeks back we had the Rose Family in town working on episode two of their show, "The Traveling Rose Show". The show is centered around family, travel, and action sports and is being looked at by The Discovery Channel and The Travel Channel. The family spent a day at the factory where they learned how to make a surfboard from start to finish. Rusty Surfboards general manager, Eric, gave them an informational tour of the factory and shapers, Hoy and Rusty, gave them a hands on shaping experience! (If you want to learn all the steps it takes to create your surfboard click on the SURFBOARDS button up top - then click FACTORY TOUR - then click BOARD CONSTRUCTION). To top off the surfboard building experience, we took the Rose family surfing the next day and they could not have had more fun!

After learning how to shape surfboards and then learning how to ride them, the Rose Family ventured up to Irvine, California to the Rusty North America headquarters to check out Rusty Apparel... Once again, the Rose family was in for a treat as they were paraded around the brand new building, checking out the giant shipping warehouse, the production rooms, basketball court and mini indoor skate park! After settling into the new surroundings the Roses where able to design and create their own custom apparel pieces and once again they left the building grinning ear to ear.

Want to have a sneak peak at the episode before it airs on TV? Click here to check it out...

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What is Your Take on Computer Design Vs. Fully Hand Crafted Boards?

Rick Hamon Hand Shaping

Ray Hamon (Rick's Son) Machine Shaping

This is the burning question that seems to be firing up board builders world wide; here is what Rusty and a few of our other shapers had to say...

"As the body wears out the romance with the planer cools off. It's really the concept that matters; master your tools and bring good ideas to life. Computers definitely bring consistency to the equation."

"The Computer is just another tool, but, I think something is lost if someone has no hand shaping experience."
-Rick Hamon

"One completes the other- you can't design a board on the computer if you can't hand shape one."
-Pedro Battaglin

"Consistency is a plus. Great for keeping track of subtle design changes."
- Hoy Runnels

"At first I was down on computer shaping. I know that it is just another tool, but, it just isn't shaping. But, I guess maybe it has redefined what shaping is, for better or for worse? I don't know. I do know that shapers should be able to hand shape anything and do a good job on it, or you are not a shaper."
-Michael Russo

Photos: Brody

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