About Us

Rusty is an alternative surf lifestyle brand that draws inspiration directly from indie music, contemporary art & cutting-edge fashion. We give a nod to those who came before us, who laid the groundwork 35 years ago for our fundamental being. To chase the fire, to push the limits to the brink of chaos, to come out challenged and victorious. #ourkind.

The Rusty DNA was set in stone right back in the early days of the late 80’s. Born when likeminded people came together in pursuit of an ideology that meant something more. Creation, pride and resilience. They were a mismash of surfers, shapers, skaters, musician and artists, all vying for a shot to set the pace for the future.

Today, Rusty continues to thrive on the pursuit of life beyond societal norms. The visionaries of the past have paved the way for a new generation that continues in the tradition of the old guard, leading the youth to the values of the brands foundational days. Our kind is here to stay and we’ll continue to express ourselves as we see fit. Charging head first, free of constraint and inspiring those who follow next.

Got a question or need some help? Then please contact online@rustysurfboards.co.za or start a Whatsapp chat.

OUR CULTURE

Looking inwards we follow six unique values to guide us in all aspects of the business

1. Commitment

At Rusty we're all in. It's the way we think, about everything. We believe that if you're going to do something, you have to have the courage to give all of yourself to it.

2. Adventure

Be adventuress. We champion adventurousness in our customers as we do in each other. Take risks, make decisions, act.

3. Freedom

We know that being all in requires the creative freedom, the support and the environment to do our best work. We're all in this together and we all have the courage to own our outcomes.

4. Like it is

We value feedback, we expect it. We're upbeat and positive, we look for the good and we keep it real, but we tell it like it is.

5. Push

We get around each other, work hard, play hard and push ourselves to give our best.

6. Don't be a d**k

You know what we mean. It's that simple.

OUR HISTORY

Back in junior high school, Rusty Preisendorfer perused garage sales and picked up a beat-up old log for 10 bucks just so he could practice fixing dings. The interesting thing is, he hadn't even started surfing. "I was fascinated with building things," remembers Preisendorfer. Tens of thousands of boards later, he still is. Having turned a love for creation into an unrivaled name in shaping, and transmitting that into one of the largest apparel lines in the industry, he is recognized the world over by a single letter -- R.

Coming into shaping during a tumultuous, groundbreaking era, Rusty's influences included Dick Brewer, Mike Hynson and Skip Frye. While attending the University of California at San Diego, Rusty spent his initial stint shaping for Gordon and Smith. Exploring Australia in 1974, he garnered his first serious exposure when Rabbit Bartholomew purchased one of his 8-foot guns. Starting to gain a solid reputation in the business, he launched his own company the same year -- Music Surfboards. The late '70s proved a pivotal time, as Rusty shaped for a growing San Diego-based manufacturer called Canyon Surfboards and accrued a reputable stable of riders including David Barr, Randy and Wes Laine, Peter Townend, Shaun Tomson and Ian Cairns.

By the mid-'80s, buoyed by the additions of Dave Parmenter a radical young Australian named Mark Occhilupo, the trademark Rusty logo had achieved a life of its own. In 1985, he left Canyon and started Rusty surfboards. Ridden by more than half the world's Top 16 surfers at the time, he was the most in-demand shaper anywhere. Having helped design T-shirts back at Canyon, he did the same with his new company and launched a full line of clothing in 1987. Since then, the company has grown into one of the largest-grossing businesses in surfing.