Rusty Surfboards

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Rusty Surfboards
Rusty logo.png
Founded 1985
Location San Diego, California
Shaper Rusty Preisendorfer, Mike Russo, Rick Hamon, Hoy Runnel, Pedro Battaglin
Category Shortboards

Mention Rusty Surfboards and anyone that is a fan of surfing is bound to recognize this brand. Through the years, Rusty has moved to take its place among the best surfboard manufacturers not only in North America but also with recognition by surfers the world over.

Rusty Surfboards is the brainchild of Rusty Preisendorfer.

Born in 1953, Rusty began designing surfboards by the age of sixteen. It was not long before he started shaping surfboards for major brands such as Canyon and Gordon and Smith. His profile grew as boards he had shaped became the choice of the champions earning ads and editorials in Surfer and Surfing magazine.

In the 1980s, Preisendorfer decides to brand his shapes under Canyon surfboards with his own logo. This heralded the birth of the Rusty models being ridden by over half of pro surfers in the Top 16 including Australia’s Mark Occhilupo and Californian Dave Parmenter.

As a rivalry developed in the 80’s between Occy and California’s Tom Curren, with Occy riding Rusty models and Tom ridding Al Merrick / Channel Islands surfboards, the publicity throws Preisendorfer into the surfboard shaping spotlight.

It was time for this master of surfboard shaping to take the plunge on his own, breaking away from Canyon in 1985, and starting his own shaping line called Rusty, using a large R with a dot as his logo. This was referred to simply as the ‘R-dot’.

It did not take long before the ‘R-dot’ moved into apparel as the brand became more established and recognized in the world of surfing.

But Preisendorfer wasn’t going to just shape regular surfboards, he was more innovative than that! Rusty knew the opportunities epoxy offered surfboard design joining with shaper Randy French to work with him on new surfboard design ideas.

This turned out to be a great decision as the two took their epoxy sandwiched prototypes to heights that no one could image at the time. This is the Tuflite technology we know today, launched in 1992 and labeled Surftech.

To continue pushing the limits of what is possible in surfboard shaping and design, Rusty developed many design contest including the C-5 Challenge and Anything But 3 contest. This became extremely popular and encouraged other shapers to think outside the box.

In 2008, Rusty Preisendorfer was declared Shaper of the year by the sports leading publication, Surfing Magazine. Apart from its footprint in North America, today, the company has spread its reach to Australia, Europe, Japan, Latin America and even parts of South America.

Any business today that has a considerable proportion of its target market consisting of young people must find a way of utilizing the online social networking sites to market its product. If you consider the passion that surfers have for the sport, it comes as no surprise to see that Rusty Surfboards has not been left behind and has pages on Face Book, Twitter and MySpace where surfing fans can keep abreast of current events and products.

History of Rusty Surfboards

When you encounter surfboard brands, you usually read either the full name or simply the last name. Not the case with the name Rusty Preisendorfer. Simply known as Rusty, he spent his childhood in inland suburbs of San Diego, until he surfed for the first time at the Shores Beach around 1966. Several years after, he would shape his first of many boards to come.

He eventually attends University of California, San Diego where he starts up his first surfboard line called Starlight Surfboards. His inspiration comes from many of the great shapers of that time including Dick Brewer and Mike Hynson.

In 1972, he joins Gordin & Smith Surfboards and both shapes and rides their surfboards. He learns and exchanges shaping techniques with other shapers working at Gordin & Smith including Mike Eaton. There, he also experiences with a epoxy/kevlar mix.

After traveling to Australia for some time, Rusty decides to leave Gordin & Smith and attempts to create his first line called Music! Surfboards in 1975. He returns ti UCSD to pursue a degree in Art. At the end of the 1970’s, he joins up with the Canyon team, resulting in ending his first surfboard line.

Rusty shapes many successful boards leading to many pro-surfers winning top titles at surfing championships in the early part of 1980’s. Due to the success, Rusty breaks off from Canyon and officially creates the surfboard line that bears his name.

Throughout the 1990’s, Rusty Surfboards endorses many of the pro-surfers of that decade including Taylor Knox and Chris Ward. Alongside surf, the company was one of the first to crossover and endorse athletes in the skate and snow industries including Tony Hawk.

To the present day, Rusty Surfboards continues to be successful in its surfboard designs and shape surfboards to the present generation’s tastes.

Overview of Rusty Surfboards

Rusty Surfboards surfboards emphasizes more on the shortboard designs, quite present during the time Rusty first shaped in the era shortboards gained prominence in the 1970’s and early 1980’s.

Though shortboards are plentiful, Rusty does offer other boards including some longboards and fish. In the more than 40 surfboard designs in the 2012 Models Line-Up:


  • Bender
  • Misfit
  • R1 v.2
  • Jokerr
  • Redline


  • Slackerr
  • 4F
  • Silver Bullet
  • GTR

Small Wave

  • T Dwart
  • Stump
  • Dwart
  • Fish Quatro
  • Hustler
  • Dozer

Big Guys

  • Big Cat
  • Moby Fish
  • Predator
  • Terminator
  • Desert Island

Good to Doh

  • Slayer
  • Traveler
  • Mini Gun
  • Gun
  • Tow Board

Modern Retro

  • Bali Single

Time Machines

  • ’84
  • Piranha
  • Cat Fish
  • ’69
  • Javelin


  • Mini Tanker
  • El Dorado
  • Utiliy
  • Ledge Runner


  • Choppa
  • Mod Fish
  • Mod Quad
  • Toad
  • ’89


  • Kompressor
  • Flying Disc
  • Bat Tail Quad
  • Hipster
  • Stealth Tail Quad

Although not shaped anymore, it’s well worth knowing the long list of surfboards Rusty shaped in the past:

  • Semi Gun
  • Sunset Surfboards Twin Fit Fish
  • Single Wing Swallow
  • Doble Wing Square Tail
  • “Sea of Joy” Board
  • Mid ’70 Lightning Bolt
  • Canyon 78
  • Canyon 79
  • Javelin
  • Mid ’70s Brewer
  • Doble Wing Fish
  • Baby Swallow Mini Gun
  • Doble Wing Swallow
  • Surfing’s New Image
  • Canyon
  • Mini Log
  • Epoxy Rusty
  • Rusty/Canyon
  • Mid `90
  • Rusty

The Surfboards

Rusty Surfboards come in different shapes and forms. Each item is tailored to either meet the needs of a particular class of surfers (for example, taller surfers), an experiment to gauge the markets inclination towards a particular shape.

Models offered by Rusty Surfboards include high performance surfboards such as the Rusty Predator, alternative surfboards like the new Rusty Dwart, and Specialty boards like the El Dorado.

Here is a list of Rusty surfboard models:

Rusty High Performance Surfboards


Tying to replicate Occy’s 1984 surfboard, the Rusty 84 surfboard is a very user friendly design.

Bat Tail Quad

Rusty Bat Tail Quad Surfboard Rusty Bat Quad Model The Rusty Bat Tail Quad is Rusty surfboards high performance quad, featuring a bat tail design.


The GTR Rusty surfboard is a high performance design for backfoot surfers on those small days.


Rusty Hipster Surfboard Of all of the Rusty fish surfboards, the Hipster model combines the characteristics of the Redline and Piranha models for in the pocket small wave surfing.


The Rusty Predator surfboard model is very similar to the Redline model but is for the bigger guys or for surfers who are at an intermediate level.


Rusty Redline Surfboard Redline Rusty Surfboards The Rusty Redline surfboard is Rusty’s series of high performance surfboards used by many of the Rusty team riders.


The Rusty Slayer surfboard model was inspired by Kelly Slater with a pulled-forward wide point.

Stealth Quad

Featuring a version of the bat tail design, coined the Stealth Tail, the Rusty Stealth Quad surfboard is a quad version of the GT model.


The Rusty Terminator is the high performance model for larger experienced surfers.


The Rusty Traveler surfboard is a Step-up surfboard for the traveling surfer for when the waves get solid.

Alternative Series Rusty Surfboards

69 Round Pin

The 69 is and Egg shape from the late 1960s, featuring a double concave and moderate rocker.


Very similar to your regular performance shortboard, the Rusty Catfish surfboard is a very versatile alternative.

Big Cat

The Big Cat is a bigger version of the Catfish model with a mid to late 80′s feel.

Desert Island

The Rusty Desert Island surfboard is designed for bigger, experienced surfers.


The Rusty Dwart surfboard is a new alternative surfboard design by Rusty, made for 90% of the wave we surf. Australian shredder Jay Davies loves this Rusty model.


The Hustler Rusty surfboard model is all about speed and maneuverability. This alternative design features a hard wing swallow tail.

Flying Disc

If you are a beginner surfer the Flying Disc is ideal as it can be ridden short and is very stable.


The Kompressor Rusty model is designed for small surf and features the Venturi or Bonzer concave.

Moby Fish

A giant fish surfboard that is a great alternative to you longboard, The Rusty Moby Fish features great glide and easy paddling.

Mod Fish

The Mod Fish alternative Rusty surfboard is a modern version of the classic fish surfboard.


One of the most popular alternative models, The Rusty Piranha surfboard is a fish design with 3 sets of wings.


The Rusty Toad surfboard is a fun design that brings together old school and new school.

Rusty Specialty Surfboards

El Dorado

The El Dorado surfboard by Rusty is an all rounded longboard design.


Rusty Gun Surfboard Designed for extreme big wave surfing.


Of all of the Rusty Surfboards this one is inspired by J Bay’s long walled waves. The Javalin design is for long drawn out arcs and pure lines.

Ledge Runner

Featuring a concaved deck, The Ledge Runner Rusty surfboard model bridges the gap between the Desert Island and the big wave longboard.

Stand Up

Rusty’s version of the Stand Up Paddle Board.

Mini Gun

The Mini Gun Rusty surfboard is a short gun, featuring a slight triple concave.

Semi Gun

The Semi Gun design by Rusty is for the larger wave surfer.

Tow Board

As the name implies, The Tow Board is designed for tow surfing in extreme surf conditions.


The Utility Rusty surfboard is a specialty design for those surfers looking for a modern longboard design.

See also