This Former Local Avalon Shop Rat Is One Of Australia’s Shiniest New Toys!
Spend a few minutes with Rusty Australia’s local hero Letty Mortensen.
Here, quickly, promise. This will only take a second—we want you to meet someone.
This freshly skinned Australian regularfoot is Letty Mortensen. Heard of him? If you spent anytime anywhere near Avalon, you couldn’t have missed him. The former shop grom has come of age the last two years, and landed amidst a newly reinvigorated crew at Rusty.
With the release of his new clip, “Riddled,” we peppered Letty with some questions we’d been meaning to ask ever since our CUSP pod co-host Stace Galbraith showed us some clips last year.
Letty’s wingspan is as impressive as his propensity for early AM flight.
Alright, for our International audience that might not be familiar with you: where are you from, how old, etc.? Rap sheet, please.
I was was born in a blow-up pool in Whale Beach, Sydney, in ‘96, so I’m now 23. We moved from there to the next beach over, Avalon, and I grew up there.
I didn’t really compete or anything till I finished school. So, I was pretty unaware of anything else going on except the rip bowls at North Av.
There wasn’t, and still isn’t, any pressure from anyone—it’s been cool just doing my own thing. I did the odd grom comp here and there (and always went shit), but then started to enjoy the travels as I got a little more competitive.
Well, you have to be somewhat competitive—you’ve tapped one of surfing’s brightest competitive minds for coaching, haven’t you? How did you get hooked up with Stace Galbraith?
He sent me footage of an air I did in a heat at the Manly QS in 17’. Then we got chatting and got along really well. I felt like he was a good person for me to work with. And we’ve become really close mates, it’s epic.
I’ve always worked with Hamish Nelson too, so it’s been cool to have different opinions and views on my surfing—they both have my best interest at heart.
Rusty / GFunk
What’s your program? Filming? QS?
My plan this year was just to travel and film surfing and all the shit that happens along the way. I felt like my surfing wasn’t progressing how I wanted it to, or moving in the direction that felt right. I was nursing it on the QS, not going super hard because of not wanting to be injured. It’s been a relief to have it off and go super hard. I decided to give myself a couple of years to improve and chase better waves. I’m gonna keep doing trips up and down the coast with my friends like I am now and collecting clips to put out another edit and then see where I am at the end of the year.
How did the relationship with Rusty come about?
I’ve worked at Beach Without Sand Surf Shop in Avalon since I was 16, and they sold Rusty gear and had a solid relationship with the Rusty guys, so they hit them up to see if they’d flow me some product and stickers and have me as a grom on the team, representing Rusty in the area. From then on it’s just grown organically.
I’ve become close with everyone there. I feel grateful that they’ve let me prove myself and earn my spot on trips and stuff like that, as well as let me be myself. They fully back me, and guide me, through anything I want to do.
What have you been working on with Mr. Priesendorfer as far as foam and fiberglass goes?
Recently, I felt very inspired after watching Creeds part he put out [Globe and Joe G’s The Creed Part) surfing on those longer step-ups. So I have been working on stretching out my short boards, couple of 62’s through to 6’6s and surfing them regularly. Nothing tech about glass or foam, just foam under the chest and really thinning out the rails.
I think it’s done my surfing a lot of good having some space between my feet and nose.
Young Mortensen proudly flies the R.Dot.
There seems to be a bunch of new blood on that team—you, Wade, Zeke, Brad Flora. How would you describe the Rusty team right now?
The Rusty team right now is so fucking sick.
I’ve been on the team for eight years now and it’s changed quite a bit in that time. I was there for the tail end of Kerrzy and Noz, through the Haz era and now to what we are building today.
We all work super closely with our TM who comes from a skateboarding background and he’s all about building a team—not the corpo bullshit about ‘buying’ one, if you know what I mean?
It’s always been important that we all vibe together and bring different things to the team. We all try to travel together or link up when we can, so it’s important to Rusty that it’s like a full family type thing.
We all surf differently and are different as well which is sick. When we all could travel we are all picking up on each other’s strengths and learning shit from each other as we go—I could only dream of doing carves like Wade-o, he’s an absolute freaking weapon. Zeke (Jake Szekely) does the most tweaked airs, super creative. Ollie (Henry) who’s coming up is crazy—he charges huge cones and mental boosts, he’s progressing hell quickly. I haven’t been able to go on a trip with Brad yet due to everything that’s going down, but I’ve been a fan of his surfing, East Coast Core Lord.
Team-wise, it’s definitely a bunch of very unique characters, but we all get along super well, which is really important.
I feel like Rusty is an established core surf brand that’s been around almost a half-century, and Rusty—the guy who started the brand—still works with us all. That’s core…
So for us, I think we kind of want to build a team right now where we can say we owned this era at Rusty, like Powelly / Branno, CJ / JOB, Kerrzy / Noz, Jay, etc.
An afternoon straightie.
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