Ad Sparks Debate

Rusty Ad Featuring SUP Cartoon Causes Controversy

| posted on January 13, 2011

In our February issue, on newsstands now, the above Rusty advertisement received mixed responses. It has since incited quite a debate that started in the SURFER online forum, and has spilled out into our inboxes and phone lines. What do you think? Is it harmless cartoon humor, or tasteless and offensive? Below are a few quotes taken from the forums and inboxes.

“I will not be buying any Rusty merchandise of any kind ever again. You probably don’t care about that as I only have one Rusty hoodie that my wife bought me for Christmas two years ago. It will be donated.” – Strand Leper

“Just want to drop you guys a note to let you know, although you have the right to publish the Rusty ‘Anti-SUP’ soft goods ad, I also have the right to drop your publication from my monthly SUP, sail and surf reading lists…Thank God SUP, Sailing and Surfing will survive because of the Aloha spirit, not ‘grade school’ quality ads like Rusty’s that are just stirring the pot!” – Dan Myers

“I just may go out and buy a Rusty t-shirt today.” – Tri-Fins Are Dangerous

“If they put that ad on a tee shirt, it might sell pretty well.” – Random Guy

“I guess all you grouchy old men lose your sense of humor with every year you get older. It’s just a cartoon and if it had been the other way around you guys would have loved the ad.” – Goldy Locks

“This hatred has gone too far. We must learn to be tolerant.” – Klynch

“I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s a CARTOON. I laughed when I saw it. Nothing to get offended over.” – Val

  • DoucheBag

    The Strand Lepper really is a dancing queen.

  • jessi

    its just a cartoon, its not real. what is there to be offensive? people take things way to seriously these days, they need to learn to just laugh at things like this 😛

  • Jeff

    At least it didn’t show the prophet Muhammad.

  • bryce

    SHould be the other way around, those SUP’s are dangerous!!! ITs a cartoon. damn all the other tings in the world, we are upset about this.

  • Jimbo

    Man. Has it really gotten this bad. PC. If you’re offended by this, then you may rest assured you are part of the problem. SUPing on a flat day is fun and I love cruising out to a kelp patch with the girl to do some diving. I laughed my but off when I saw this ad though because SUPing has no business in the middle of a crowded line up. FACT. SUPing in a speedo and a helmet is lame. FACT. SUPers getting in peoples way and thinking they are Laird suck. FACT.

  • Gian

    It’s fun.
    And – RARE CASES EXCLUDED – nobody likes SUPers

  • Jakub

    Seriously? I guess there is nothing else in the world that is worth worrying about other than a harmless cartoon. Think about all the individuals who are dealing with their homes being lost in Australia and then see if a cartoon is really worth commenting on. Let’s get real people.

  • haole2u2

    i love this add. everytime a SUP paddle out to the lineup of all shortbaorders, you can just sense the hatred. i think people pretend to be tolerant and “accept” SUP’s, when really, they just hate them.


    Who cares what your on in the water,surfboard,bodyboard,sup,or nothing like bodysurfing as long as were all having a good time and respecting the ocean.

  • Josh G. u know me.

    I enjoyed the ad. I find it very tasteful. The very essence of this work of art speaks to me ever so close. Once in a generation does a cartoon come around that you say to yourself, “This must become reality.”

  • Buster

    Lighten up. The ad only shows an SUP guy getting killed, not a real person.

  • Mackel


    people really crying over this?

    grow the f@*k up

    too many anonymous message board tough
    guys with nothing better to do than bitch and complain

  • Rory

    This is awesome! Seriously, if you didn’t laugh when you saw this there is something wrong with you. I.E. you’re a SUPer

  • Jeff Parker


  • Gordon

    I really can’t wait to get a pair of these trunks…

  • chris

    I find it laughable that Surfer mag rates this as a controversy while it neglects to confront the AI question head on. More fluff and meaningless drivel from a once proud publication that has succumb to advertiser and peer pressure. Pathetic.

  • Big Mike

    Clearly intended for humor. Anyone who surfs Scripps or Shores on a regular basis will find Rusty himself on his SUP when the waves are flat.

  • supit

    f”#K the ad was pretty funny! didn’t see any harm with it. I love rusty that much more now!!!! forever sea donkey super that doesn’t want a rusty tee ill buy 2 just to piss him off !

  • Cody Iddings

    It seems Rusty isn’t the first to do a SUP hate ad…

    • bill

      hahahahaha excellent dude!

  • Mike

    Over sensitive SUPers who can’t really surf getting offended. Nothing new here.

  • supit

    I heard THE EASY RIDER INC. Was carrying the rusty ad tee shirt. just ordered 200
    heres the number Call Us! 780-413-4554 . ask for rusty sup ad tee!

  • Stuz

    People need to chill the f@#k out.

    How can you not have a sense of humour if you ride a SUP?

  • NOTfromHere

    I think that this a poor attempt to deliver humorous marketing. Rusty is just trying to hard. They always miss it by 100 ft. I think they should let the Austraillan based company run the show. Not to mention the President of Rusty proudly paddles his 12 footer around laguna.

    • Pf’inR

      the funny thing is i was in Aus last week and i saw the same ad there. Get your facts straight.

  • jus10

    Love it. Stand up Paddle suxxxxx.

  • hunter roland

    It’s a harmless ass that shows a little comedy. You guys need to relax and let it be.

  • Chris

    I think this was the best AD of the new surfer mag I just got!

  • TP

    The ad is good stuff!

  • Wang10

    I thought it was a funny ad. I’ve seen some SUP guys rip on waves but a majority of them are dorks who can’t surf.

  • robascious

    y’all making me reconsider that SUP purchase. Dam! I did find it kind of funny and you could replace the SUP with a Sponger too.

  • TP

    I remember it was not too long ago that the spongers got made fun of. The SUP guys are the new spongers?

  • It will be gone soon….

    Some SUP cat will kill some kid and then it will not only be banned at good surf spots like now but will be banned once and for all.

  • Monkeypaw

    The SUP alliance has spoken, they are offended and their feelings got hurt. Let’s all hug them and tell them that we will never joke about them being weak again. There, much better… Now get out there and start a boycott over this!

  • Minefield Paddler

    If you don’t SUP, don’t start. Give it a rest, it’s a bloody ad!

  • Andy

    hahahaha this is awesome. this ad is hella funny. people shouldn’t take it seriously. haha


    Love the ad!!! stir the pot…put it in the lime light…every single surfer is grumbling under their breath…remember that gotcha ad? “If you dont surf dont start”…that was the shit…go Rusty…

    the SUP person who doesnt charge chopes is already riding out an inferiority complex…they not gonna have a sense of humour, no way…

    and anyway…its a surf mag…not a SUP mag…get your own platform…say what you need to say…

    I say…SUP…isnt it just the paddle ski of today…who ever respected a paddle ski in the line up…ever???

  • SFcity

    I want a T-Shirt. This is a good ad surfing needs more of this. Who knows where to buy one in the SF bay area?

  • Gator

    I love surfing and I’ve got no problems with SUPs. I don’t care if they’re riding a sponge, thruster, sup or that inflatable shamu yer mommy bought you at the local RON JON. I got a problem with Matthew McConakooks being in the wrong spot at the wrong time! Which is exactly what this depicts.

  • dale

    SUP is for old fools who cant walk a longboard and are too retarded for shortboards..

  • will

    I’m guiltily wishing it was a kite-surfer in the place of the SUP…

  • Steven


  • JJ

    If you need a paddle to surf then you should’nt surf.

  • snorty

    making fun of a group of people – any group of water lovers is sensless and in poor taste. the old ‘im better than you’ thinking is not aloha . have a cool day and here’s to the next wave

  • WS

    Great ad. I’m going out to buy some Rusty merchandise today!

  • snorty

    really wierd is the ad promotes eco – whatever – like its cool to show how eco they are – as in eco is good for our home earth and we should do things that reduce damage to the earth – oh but showing a killing of a fellow waterman is ok – hey rusteee – pull the head out – and get some aloha for real k?

  • snorty

    yeah like sarah palin had some crosshairs on the face of the senator who was shot – and she doesnt ever say – ‘hey looks like i f’d up, maybe shouldnt have done that – which may have contributed in some f’d up way to the crazy psyco n resulted in the deaths of real people – the woman is sick to have done wat she did- you dont think your words, action, cartoons dont influence others your wrong. your thoughts words actions influence – or may influence others. love is the answer – which if you study the definition of aloha thats what it is.

    not hate – not anger – love and respect is the way – Duke Kahanamoko – the Aloha Spirit

    • Pf’inR

      What does this really have to do with Sarah Palin?!?!?! did you just smoke weed?

  • snorty

    …and no I dont own SUP – tried it once it was cool but like my longboard and big gun just fine for now

  • aloha

    ok look i sup ,surf and longboard!!! I had no problem with this ad. its fun,funny made me actually look at the ad. I liked it !!! Do more please! I read the sup forum and those guys on there make every sup guy on the plant look like a bunch of angry old sea hags. The disney channel has worse stuff on it. The sup forum made me very embarrassed that i sup. last i think those guys need to give rusty p the man himself a big sorry that we over reacted like assholes!!! thanks

  • Jay

    I am just so amazed at how so many think that anyone who SUP’s are less then human etc. Anyone that writes stuff like that is so immature or they are like 12 years old. Grow up! Geez.

  • jeff

    when and where can i buy a t-shirt?

  • tri fin sharpener

    so its goes like this..I failed at stand up boogie boarding so I got myself a chubby fishboard, crashed everytime I tried to stand up, so next i figured, hey SUP is cool I can get a work out…I say take you paddles and go to the lake kooks, yah Ive seen ex pros do airs and sick cutees… flicken SAN O, take your fat railed boats and beat it…the Rusty ad shows what you are perceived as,… KOOKS…Rusty is one of the top three all time shapers, remember all these ‘surf ‘brands didnt always make clothes…so RIGHT ON RUSTY…less boat sweepers the better….Supr’s go put on a hulk hogan tank top and hit the gym, bob!

  • Jesus

    You can’t deny that SUP’ers are a bunch of wave hogs.

  • Mik

    Amen, Jesus, amen!

  • yardwork

    i think its funny cause i see Rusty out at shores a fair bit and he is always on a stand up paddle

  • Woody

    If you can’t laugh at yourself, what can you laugh at? Quit taking yourselves so seriously!

  • Kahuna

    Well, aren’t you people so funny…
    Most of you ‘surfers’, aka ass wigglers, couldn’t muster up enough courage to paddle out when it gets overhead and when you do you just shoulder hop until your hair gets wet and then paddle in to show your fat wife/girlfriend/sister that you went ‘out’ that day.
    You SUP’ers that take all the waves are the same idiots that wear your designer jeans with flip flops and those stupid paisley long sleeve shirts–the ‘uniform’ of the dumbass.
    Real Watermen ride it all and don’t whine about who is in the line up riding what, so long as you have fun and show respect.
    If any of you went to Hawaii you would have learned this…
    Grow up and get along, life is too short

  • Bratton

    SUPs are fine, but (unless you’re Laird or pretty damn close) they don’t belong in a crowded line-up unless you are in COMPLETE control and are going to abide by the the standard rules of the road. Period. Sitting in pole position while a SUP idiot paddles around you to catch the wave 20 feet outside of you is NOT COOL and happens with regularity. It is disrespectful. I own a SUP for fishing off of, cruising outside breaks and very small days and would NEVER bring it in the middle of a normal surfing line-up, much less do so AND take all the set waves. SUP guys need to be aware of the RULES OF SURFING. Those RULES don’t go out the window just b/c you’ve got a paddle in your hands.

  • Bratton

    Oh…and the ad is hilarious. Get over it.

  • davey gravey

    Would have been funnier if it had been Jesus on an SUP. What’ SUP Duuuudes! Hahahaha..

  • Mark in OB

    Only a sweeper could make bodysurfer like me look cool. Thanks SUPs from old men bodysurfers around the world.

  • croatan

    effing hilarious advert..! more please asap.
    one question: why is SUPer-boy on his knees with his arms up and open?
    he looks silly.

  • Tony Carson Big Island

    Just when you thought the line ups couldn’t get any worse, along come sups. Every sup rider I’ve seen, has all the grace of a water buffalo, Laird too. On the plus side, I seem to be seeing fewer of them at my local breaks. I think people, after riding sups for awhile, are discovering, how lame they {sups) really are.

  • go left

    In the Islands, an SUP may be regarded as being a sign of ‘Waterman status’, here it is a sign of middle aged donkeys trying to find a way to get more waves, when they can barely paddle a surf board. The ad merely reflects the sentiment of the majority of surfers who are now having to deal with guys with boat oars stroking around them and trying to take all the set waves. They are routinely booted from the Lane, and I’m sure other spots as well. They are generally legitimately perplexed by their lack of etiquette when called on it, which shows they are either clueless or have no experience with being in a lineup in the first place. Worse, if they think they are somehow exempt from paying attention to the rotation at a surf spot they are diluted…hence, ads like the Rusty one are printed. SUP’s are as lame as skinny jeans, or whatever other fad has come and will soon be gone. There are PLENTY of uncrowded places an SUP’r can paddle to and be almost alone, and they don’t belong at crowded major spots. PERIOD!

  • katt

    bwahahah…silly SUPer…f’in funny…the p.c. crybabies made the controversy, not the ad…they don’t get apparently…

  • Darrell Fl

    The ad. is an ad.and kudos to the marketing company for stirring emotions. I am an SUPer and can appreciate the abilities of the surfer. Every dog has its day. Contrary to what people think a performance SUP that weighs at least twice as much as a short board and usually carries someone that weighs twice as much as a prone paddler, can also preform the same act. Food for thought. Is it ironic that I own a Rusty SUP.

  • Bryan

    I just dont understand why this ad is a big deal! Its funny!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Marc

    the groms must get busy and start pulling those moves real soon

  • DIE SUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DIE SUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BRING THE PUNK BACK TO SURFING!!!!!!!!!!! END THE MAINSTREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!! DIE LONGBOARDS AND SUPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IF YOU CAN’T BOOST GET OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GET OUT OF THE WATER SUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Clonemalone

    Yes, this is very much “grade school”…which makes it so epic!

  • http://mine That Dude

    How about the fact that Rusty that same month ran an ad in one of the SUP magazines selling SUP boards? Doh!

  • Tom Kiernan

    I think this whole thing is funny because Rusty makes SUPs and has Sup Ads in TSJ. When I saw this I thought it was quite an interesting choice for Rusty, given the above fact.

  • black dog

    thats cool

  • Ron

    You don’t have to be a SUP rider to appreciate how sick and irresponsible this ad is. It demonstrates gross immaturity. Not funny at all unless you’re mentally ill.

  • snorty

    hey Pf’in R the palin ref was to point out that symbolizing violence in any way as a solution to a problem is more destructive than productive. not that you wanna hear this so whatever – just to explain why i sed it..palin places crosshairs on a womans picture…and she ends up getting shot in the head…. she should be apologizing for ever having even done that…you just dont know what psycos are seeing and how it may contibute in any way to their behaviour. just a rant to say be against violence as solution in any way. God is Love. …and kuhan said it best – life is short get along. to those who disagree – just know…unles u can explain exactly how things like gravity works….the miracle of your existence is your proof that you will be judged by your words and deeds…

  • fat bennie

    If SUP’s were respectful of wave ettiqutte they might not suffer such backlash. To a person, every SUP I have witnessed has snaked wave after wave from the rest of the line -up. SUPs are in the same category as goatboaters-they should all go somewhere else. There are plenty of spots where SUP’s and kayakers can catch waves all day w/o snaking thru the only available surfing line up.

  • SD

    As a Black Man I often receive the vibe of not being welcome in the line up(surf/sup does not matter).At least in Mainland America. Sup is my passion ,I will never stop due to others desires. If I lived this way where would I be as a black man. Respect yourself so you respect others and the world around you. Be a great day when our Technology equals Humanity.Peace

  • Peters

    Love it! I dont know how many times SUP’s have almost taken off my head off. Its seems every time there is one in the water they dont know what their doing and its dangerous. If those things hit you its like a boat.

  • Peters

    SUP’s are dangerous to everyone in the water. They just shoot their boards out because 90% of them dont know what they are doing.

  • Pingback: Rusty Stirs The States –Waves Magazine

  • Nugget

    If this killer ad (no pun intended) is our biggest concern, we are in great shape!

  • Pingback: Publicidad anti-sup Rusty: polémica servida

  • SUP Slayer

    aaaahahahaha!! This add is brilliant! Reminds me of tackling fuckin wave kayakers in Hawaii. You’d think they’d get the point after 5 cutbacks in their face… but they don’t, time to lawn dart off your board right into the fuckers and yank them out their boats haha! I say you guys start stealing the SUP paddles, make them paddle like the rest of us haha!! BI WINNING!

  • Big J

    I’m 50, grew up in the Islands, and have been surfing for 43 years. I’ve ridden everything (the first new board I bought was a yellow w/ red bolt swallow tail Lopez that I paid for with my paper route money!) I got into SUP’s about 2 years ago. SUP’s are FUN! I have 3 boards but my favorite is a 9’8″ RUSTY that is blast on in overhead + surf (by the way, one of my favorite surfboards is my old trusty RUSTY Desert Island). I SUP (and traditional surf) all over SD county but mostly in north county where I live. I don’t care about the ad, athough I find it interseting because RUSTY has SUP’s in all the local shops. What is a problem, however, is that many SUPers are beginning surfers who don’t know or appreciate surfing etiquette and who don’t yet possess the skills required to be out in the line up, especially on a day with any size. Surfing etiquette is surfing etiquette no matter what you are riding. I have gotten a few looks from the line up until they see that I can surf (and controll my board) and that I am respectful of surfing and the others in the water. From then on, it is just plain FUN. So, all you SUPers new to the water; take your time, learn to surf and learn the rules of the road and WELCOME! By the way, there is also a pack of guys in their late 60’s and 70’s riding these kayak like ski things adding to the crowd at Bone Yards and those guys are AWESOME too!

  • greg huglin

    I will not be buying ANY of your stuff ever again.
    Try making the surfer hit someone black, gay or whatever and it’s all the same thing, DISCRIMINATION.

  • http://none Beachmike1

    Rusty, Funny as Crap. I remeber Surftoons of the 60s and CAR-toons , funny stuff. What ever happened to the universal Surfer sense of Humor? We all had nicknames…which of course were picked by our mates…..rarely were they complimentaly…..Mine was Brillo…I had a HUGE mop pf very curly black hair…looked like a brillo pad.

    Other called me the goof…not cuz I was goofy foot, whcih I am, but because I made up for my lack of skill with a seriously overdeveloped sense of ful. Cam raderie, jazzing, goofy. fun on the beach. SURFING IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE SERIOUS. LIGHTEN UP!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET IN THE GROOVE!!!!! TAKE SALT WATER UP YOU NOSE UNTIL SNOT POUROUT YOUR BUTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!