As I pulled up to 56th Street in Newport this morning (Nov. 15) — before the sun broke the horizon, no less — the Rusty crew was already on it. The tents were up, the coffee and donuts spread gloriously across a green plastic table, and fifteen fresh-from-the-factory surfboards were carefully placed on the sand.
It was a severe case of sensory overload, especially for the 43 members of the Newport Harbor High School Surf Team, who were the guests of honor at this Rusty- and Surfside Sports-sponsored demo.[IMAGE 1]
The guy’s and girl’s faces lit up like they had just passed their driver’s license exam or gotten asked to the prom. They were freaking: brand new surfboards and Starbuck’s Coffee? What more could a kid from OC ask for?
“It’s incredible. It’s really neat for the kids,” says NHHS Surf Team Coach Scott Morlan. “These kids have never had an experience like this. They’ve Rusty done a great job.”
That’s the kind of reaction Rusty Surf Team Manager Jason Vanderhoof was hoping to get. He says last year’s fifteen-stop tour — which went coast-to-coast — was a screaming success, and after the looks of this morning’s demo that freight train should continue to roll.[IMAGE 2]
“We want to increase the stoke for Rusty Surfboards in San Diego and OC,” says Vanderhoof. From here “2001: A Surf Odyssey” will make a few more stops in San Diego and Orange County, and then take on Hawaii, the East Coast, and Puerto Rico.
Rusty Director of Marketing Bill Holford, who also dived into the scene this morning tying on leash strings and waxing up boards, says the demos are a great way to get in touch with the kids and to spread the word about Rusty’s surfboards.
He’s right. “It makes me want to get a new board!” shouted NHHS sophomore Greg Byers, who was stoked on the 5’10″ C-5 he got to break in. “This thing’s fast!”
While Byers spent his session hogging the 5’10″ — even clutching it during a coffee break — other team members picked through an array of designs including a 5’6″ fish that looked more like a knee board, a Piranha model, and a host of other shortboards and hybrids.
Completing the entire package was surf photog Randy Bloomfield, who snapped through a wad of rolls as Rusty teamriders Matt Coleman and Pat Maus surfed with — uhh…mostly snaked — the high schoolers.[IMAGE 3]
Surfside Sports’ Mike Patzold and Rusty will bring the kids back together next Tuesday — at Hooters, of all places — to wrap up the demo with some good ol’ buffalo wings, hooters, and a slide show featuring pictures from the demo.