Surfboard Science- Rusty The Traveler

Rusty’s ride-anywhere board is versatile enough for a trip to Hawai’i or a south swell at your local beachbreak.

Shaper: Rusty Priesendorfer

Model: Traveler

Size: 6’5″

Width: 18.35″

Thickness: 2.35″

Your Traveler should be two or three inches longer than your standard shortboard (if you ride a 5’10”, you’ll want a 6’0″ or a 6’1″).

Slightly fuller rounded-pin tail softens the gunny characteristics of the board, giving it much better maneuverability in the pocket.

The bottom has a slight triple concave that allows the surfer to push more rail into the water on longer, drawn-out turns and gives the board more drive and direction than a single concave.

With rocker similar to that of the conventional shortboard, the Traveler doesn’t require throaty square barrels to create speed, but then again it doesn’t complain if you find some.

A slight hip breaks the line of the rail just in front of the fins. In shortboards this break is more pronounced, and it’s the pivot point on which the board turns when you go to do vertical maneuvers. The gunnier the board, the less hip one needs, because as the waves get bigger your vertical options are narrowed (unless you’re C.J. Hobgood, of course). The Traveler’s hip gives a surfer just enough pivot to turn the board sharply or draw long lines on their cutbacks and bottom turns.

The rails are round and low with a tighter bottom radius, which will allow them to hold in better in waves of consequence.

As for fins, Rusty makes a good analogy: “Put crappy tires on your car and you won’t get the best performance out of it.” Buy some good fins (Future’s new carbon-fiber vector fins are one example of high-end rudders), you’ll have them forever, and they’ll improve the performance of your surfboard. Rusty offers the Traveler with Future, Red-X, FCS, Lockbox, or regular old glass-ons. Take your pick.

The board is glassed with a 5/4 deck and a four-ounce bottom, and when the glasser adds the deck patch, they do what’s called a “double-wrap-wide-lap” in which the deck patch wraps around the rails to give the board the extra strength demanded by surfers who aren’t afraid of double-overhead surf.

Get some deck art done. Rusty’s been doing lots of stencils, hand drawings, and bright colors. You only live once.

Shaper Notes:

The Traveler is a step between a shortboard and a semi-gun. It’s a good board for hollow tropical reef breaks or solid winter north swells. This board has a lot of range, and its versatility makes it a perfect board to take on a trip … hence the name.

-Joel Patterson