Rusty Surf History

1953

Rusty is born on June 13, 1953 and spends the first 12 years of his life in inland San Diego.

Rusty Surf History

1966

Rusty moves to La Jolla and discovers surfing while body surfing at the Shores Beach. He then walks to a little spot called Blacks, not too far from his home. It becomes his and a few select others' favorite spot.

Rusty Surf History

1969/70

Rusty shapes his first board that winter.

Rusty Surf History

1971

Graduates La Jolla High in June and attends the University of California San Diego that same fall. That October, the World Contest is held in San Diego and Rusty meets a young Australian pro named Peter Townend. He's inspired to create his first label for his shapes. He decides on Starlight Surfboards. His work is influenced by Dick Brewer, Mike Diffenderfer and especially Endless Summer co-star Mike Hynson.

Rusty Surf History

1972

That summer Rusty begins shaping and riding for G&S Surfboards and decides to take a break from college life at UCSD and focus on surfing and shaping. His decision allows him to travel, shape G&S team boards and appear in ads and editorials in two up-and-coming surf magazines called Surfer and Surfing.

Rusty Surf History

1973

While working and learning alongside legendary shapers Skip Frye and Mike Eaton at G&S, Rusty experiments with Kevlar/epoxy as board-building alternatives.

Rusty Surf History

1974

He travels to Australia for the first time that spring and hangs with Townend and his mate Rabbit Bartholomew. Rab, who is the newly crowned Queensland Jr. Champ, likes Rusty's work and buys a board from him.

Rusty Surf History

1975

Rusty comes back from Australia stoked on the progression of his shaping skills and decides to split from G&S and begin his own, new label. He decides on Music! Surfboards. While working on his own and freelance shaping for other labels, he figures he should get back into school, so he returns to UCSD and pursues an Art degree.

Rusty History

1977-1978

San Diego's Canyon Glassing, who does all of the glassing for his Music! Boards, hires Rusty to shape Canyon Surfboards. The Music! Label ceases. Randy Laine and his little brother Wes join the Canyon team. Wes quickly blazes into the Top 16 and puts Canyon on the map.

Rusty Surf History

1979

The first Stubbies Trials is held at Blacks Beach and Canyon rider Richard Kenvin takes down many of California's top riders, including Dave Parmenter, Dan Flecky, Matt and Sam George. That spring, Rusty travels to Hawaii to shape with Bill Barnfield. Rusty's popularity spreads and he is invited to judge several IPS/ASP and California events including the Pipe Masters and the last two Duke events. Rusty's buddy PT, who had since been crowned surfing's first World Champion in '76, begins getting boards from him along with another hot Australian surfer by the name of Ian Cairns. That same year Laguna Niguel, California's 18-year-old and leading surfboard blank producer Clark Foam works with Rusty on designing and building dozens of master plugs for mass production. They could be recognized by the "R" stamped on the raw blank.

Rusty Surf History
Rusty Surf History

1981

The Canyon team is becoming more successful and continues to take on more talent, including South African phenomenon Shaun Tomson.

Rusty Surf History

1982

Rusty continues experimenting with materials. Canyon includes custom eps/epoxy boards in their production.

Rusty Surf History

1983

Shaper and pro surfer Dave Parmenter joins Canyon and commences to win six straight Californina events on his first board shaped by Rusty. More pros begin taking notice of Rusty's work. He then goes to West Oz to shape "Rusty" models for Santosha Surfboards. Later that year, Australian ripper Mitch Thorson gets the cover of Surfing Magazine on one of Rusty's shapes.

Rusty Surf History

1984

A fiery goofyfoot niknamed "Occy" becomes Pro Junior champion and begins taking competitive surfing by storm. Soon after, he is riding Rusty's boards. Rusty decides to include his own logo along with the Canyon label on all of his shapes. By the end of '84 more than half of the Top 16 is getting boards from Rusty.

Rusty Surf History

1985

In July, Huntington Beach's Op Pro sees a fierce rivalry mature between Occy and young Californian Tom Curren--and beneath the surface a quiet, respectful rivalry develops out of the famed Occy/Curren duels, one between their shapers Rusty and Al Merrick. That year Occy finally takes out Curren to capture his first Op Pro victory. The publicity helps Rusty's popularity soar and he decides to leave Canyon and start his own surfboard company. Old friend and Surfing Magazine advertising director Peter Townend helps Rusty develop his new logo. PT suggests simply "Rusty" and the R-dot is born.

Rusty Surf History

1986

Rusty incorporates tee-shirts into his new business and they sell like hotcakes along with his already acclaimed surfboards.

Rusty Surf History

1987

Rusty apparel is introduced at the January Surf Expo and the R-dot quickly becomes a well-known logo in the surf world.

Rusty Surf History

1988

Innovation continues to flourish from Rusty's hands as he experiments with 4lb. eps/carbon/epoxy boards for his team. Meanwhile, the brand grows and expands globally.

Rusty Surf History

1989

Another forward-thinking surfboard shaper by the name of Randy French works with Rusty on designing and shaping eps/sandwiched prototypes—French works over the next few years with this concept, eventually introducing Tuflite technology and Surftech surfboards in 1992.

Rusty History
Rusty Surf History
Rusty History
Rusty History
Rusty History
Rusty History

1990's

New School leaders like Todd Chesser, Kalani Robb, Shane Beschen, Dino Andino, Matt Archbold, Pat O’Connell, Taylor Knox, Chris Ward and the Weatherly brothers all become Rusty team riders and icons for a new, mainstream era in surfing. They are dubbed the ‘New School’. In that time Rusty becomes one of the first surf companies to extend into skate, snow and wakeboarding, supporting such athletes as Tony Hawk and Willy Santos. While staying busy building his company into a global brand, Rusty continues shaping around four boards a day for a long list of pros and others.

Rusty Surf History

1999-2000

Rusty introduces the C-5 Challenge and the Anything But 3 contest. Rusty’s C-5 design and the contests are a further testament of his commitment to the evolution surfing.

Rusty Surf History

2001

Rusty has its first World Champ: 22-year-old CJ Hobgood from Satellite Beach, Florida—who had been drafted as a Super Grom by Rusty early on in his NSSA/ESA amateur days at the age of 14.

Rusty Surf History

2005-Present

On December 5 of ’05, Clark Foam closes its doors on the surfboard industry forever, initiating one of the most tragic days in the history of the sport. Rusty along with hundreds of other global surfboard builders take quite a hit but find optimism in what will surely be coming years full of innovation.
In spite of the dark cloud hung over us all by the Clark Closure, the Rusty brand takes a fresh look at the youth market it has remained a leader of for so long and finds its mission for 2006: All About Surfing and All About the Beach. By the end of January ('06), Hawaiian phenom Jamie O'Brien signed on and commenced to blow up harder than ever before with four magazine covers in the month April. Along with Jamie "The Freak" O'Brien, San Clemente, California's Nate Yeomons joins the team and begins his assault on the WQS and focuses on making the Dream Tour in the coming years. And while the team solidifies, innovation in surfboard construction and design flourishes in many directions, confirming that the show will indeed go on and that life without Clark isn't so bad after all.