La Jolla shaper with international influence takes rightful place within Icons of Foam fraternity; 2015 marks 30-year anniversary of R-dot label; Rusty’s Surfers’ Hall of Fame Induction Aug.1 in HB.
DEL MAR, Calif., July 29, 2014 – Supreme surfboard craftsman Rusty Preisendorfer will be honored in the Icons of Foam Tribute to the Masters at The Boardroom Surf Show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on May 16 & 17, 2015.
Since 1969 Rusty Preisendorfer has been crafting precision surfboards for enthusiast surfers and world class professionals such as Shaun Tomson, Occy, PT, Dave Parmentar, Mike Parsons, Nic Vaughn and Josh Kerr (to name just a few – the list is long and impressive). Rusty joins other Icons of Foam honorees Mike Diffenderfer, Bill Caster, John Bradbury, Dick Brewer, Renny Yater, Simon Anderson, Doug Haut, Carl Ekstrom, Mark Richards, Rich Price, Terry Martin, and Ben Aipa.
“It’s so great to have so many artists, craftsmen, and innovators all under one roof for a weekend. I spend hours walking the show marveling at all the incredible work people are doing,” said Rusty Preisendorfer, The Boardroom 2015 honoree. “I love the Tribute Shape-off and Chunk of Foam Challenge. I always learn something. It’s always good talking story with all my friends in the business. I also enjoy meeting surfers who have a real passion for their equipment. The Boardroom is the show dedicated to just surfboards. I look forward to it every year.”
Nicknamed the “Stradivarious” of shapers due to his reputation for quality and innovation, Rusty Preisendorfer’s huge impact on the sport dates to the 70s when he worked for San Diego’s Canyon Surfboards, and shaped for international stars Shaun Tomson, Ian Cairns and Peter “PT” Townend among others. By the mid-80s his stable of riders grew to include Dave Parmenter and an up-and-coming Aussie named Mark Occhilupo, whose shortboard prototypes set the standard for the high performance thruster. In 1985 Rusty left Canyon and launched Rusty Surfboards. The iconic R-dot logo boards were ridden by more than half the world’s Top 16 surfers at the time and Rusty was the most in-demand shaper anywhere.
He launched a full line of clothing in 1988, growing the business into one of the industry’s largest-grossing companies and helped launch the careers of Serena Brooke, Pat O’Connell and CJ and Damien Hobgood. SURFER Magazine ranked Preisendorfer fifth on a 2002 list of the “25 Most Powerful People in Surfing” while SURFING Magazine named him one of the “10 Best Shapers of All Time,” in 2004 and their “Shaper of the Year” in 2008 for his command of myriad technologies.
This summer SIMA will honor Rusty for his extensive impact on the surfing world with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Waterman’s Ball.
“Back in 2006 I needed to bounce the idea of a surfboard show off of some influential industry folk. The very first phone call I made was to Rusty, and he was very supportive. His enthusiasm and stoke for the concept was apparent and really helped push me over the top and into action.” said Scott Bass, Executive Director of The Boardroom. “We are absolutely thrilled to be honoring a true legend of surfboard building, an innovative mind, and a class act. A gentleman that may not know it, but was an instrumental part of the Sacred Craft / Boardroom success. 2015 marks the 30-year anniversary of the R-dot label and The Boardroom staff and I are excited to be a small part of his big year.”
** Surfers’ Hall Of Fame To Induct Rusty Preisendorfer along with Timmy Turner, and Carissa Moore. The three newest inductees will have their hand and footprints immortalized in cement for the ages on Friday, August 1st at 10 a.m. in front of Huntington Surf & Sport.
RUSTY PREISENDORFER – ICON OF FOAM – ABBREVIATED HISTORY
Rusty is born on June 13, 1953 and spends the first 12 years of his life in inland San Diego.
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.
1969/70 – Rusty shapes his first board that winter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1977-78 – 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.
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.
1981 – The Canyon team is becoming more successful and continues to take on more talent, including South African phenomenon Shaun Tomson.
1982 – Rusty continues experimenting with materials. Canyon includes custom eps/epoxy boards in their production.
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.
1984 – A fiery goofyfoot nicknamed “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.
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.
1986 – Rusty incorporates tee-shirts into his new business and they sell like hotcakes along with his already acclaimed surfboards.
1987 – Rusty apparel is introduced at the January Surf Expo and the R-dot quickly becomes a well-known logo in the surf world.
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.
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.
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.
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. Soon thereafter Josh Kerr re-qualifies for the WCT and Kerrzy hones his new school aerial approach with new found competitive savvy. 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.
THE BOARDROOM SURF SHOW will include The Shaper/Surfer Challenge – a surf contest for the shapers to be held in the fall of 2014. More info to follow.
About THE BOARDROOM
The history of our lifestyle is the history of the surfboard. Nothing has defined the surfing experience more than that on which we ride the waves. Nothing defines the surfer more than his (or her) surfboard. So much more than a tool, the surfboard has become a philosophical icon, a sacred craft, a culturally pervasive symbol of freedom, adventure and enduring youth.
WHO: Surfers from all over
WHAT: Latest & greatest surfboards & gear for Summer 2015
WHEN: May 16 & 17, 2015
WHERE: Del Mar Fairgrounds, Wyland Exhibit Hall
WHY: Because surfers really only care about two things: 1) waves and 2) the equipment to ride them.
Two days of surf culture including the world’s FINEST contemporary surfboards, designs, technological innovations, fins, wetsuits, board bags, leashes, cameras, accessories, techy gadgets, board shorts and surf gear; plus live shaping & laminating, exhibits, demos, art, music and good times.