Rad Spotlight – The Brusco and Nic Von Rupp Interview

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Pro Surfer Nic von Rupp launches Portuguese Brand Brusco

Portuguese pro surfer Nic von Rupp known for his big waves antics at famed Nazaré, has just launched new surf wear brand Brusco at the Surf Out trade show in Estoril, Lisbon, Portugal over the weekend. We caught up with Nic to get the lowdown on Brusco.

Oli Russell-Cowan: So Nic congratulations. Todays the launch of Brusco. How are you feeling?

Nic von Rupp: Feeling really good man, it’s been a roller coaster of emotions through the process of creating this brand for two years. We’ve been working with some of the best people in Portugal. Some of the most creative minds. It’s a lot of effort you know. Especially for me it’s a challenge, I’m a pro surfer I’ve never been involved with the business side of things so to be able to have the opportunity to create a brand with my partners is amazing. You know finally seeing the product come out with all the people here, it’s an amazing experience, an amazing feeling. The brand has been put together from my heart. It’s what I stand for and what I believe in. I hope it will inspire people in the future.

What was the initial idea behind Brusco. You said it’s been two years in the making. How did it all come about?

The concept of the brand was very clear from the start. We Europeans have something special. And what’s that something special, it’s the Atlantic ocean and the way we surf the Atlantic ocean. We’re very dedicated surfers from Scotland all the way to Portugal. We defy our limits in every sense. Going out there and waking up early in the morning in the cold and facing those uncomfortable conditions that’s what characterises us and that’s what people know us for on an international level. That’s the values of the brand as well.

Where are you guys based?

We are based in Lisbon, Portugal. We wanted it to be a European brand made in Portugal and thinking global.

Is the brand solely focused on surfing. Who are the other athletes involved?

It’s a surfing brand. It’s an outdoor brand as well. We make dry bags, leashes, pads. Our DNA is surfing but or DNA is also adventure. That’s we are looking to do more in the future. We are going to pick our team riders carefully who really have a deep passion for surfing and outdoor adventure. Our first team rider is Miguel Blanco, who’s a Portuguese professional surfer who loves to put himself outside his comfort zone. He’s a great surfer, great competitor but also an adventurer. So he’s our first pick.

Brusco team rider Miguel Blanco

What challenges do you seen growing the brand and what’s your role in the company?

I’m a surfer, that’s my role. But I love being involved in the marketing side, creating content and looking after the team riders and making sure they have the structure and ease to perform better that’s what we are going to focusing on. Getting riders on to showcase their talent.

I saw the launch video earlier. There’s some sick footage of Portugal. Are there any trips coming up. What are you guys focusing on this winter?

We had a few destinations in mind like Iceland and Ireland. Then we really thought no, we’re a Portuguese company. We need to explore our potential here. There is a start. Our next trips are in Europe, the Atlantic, Ireland, Scotland, get the team together, get the cameramen together. Explore what we have.

Nic von Rupp claiming the exit at Nazaré

It’s all pretty close on your door step.

Yeah, everything is super close in Europe.

Any media plans with the launch and what do you guys have coming up in the immediate future, such as trade shows or anything like that?

We’d love to. Our plan is to take Portugal to the world. We’ll go through the process of trade shows and showing this experience elsewhere. I think we have a good set up of bringing this elsewhere. That’s our goal.

Our main focus is product and innovation and campaigns and getting content out there. On the other side of the business it’s making sure we are in the best shops in Europe. That’s the reflex of what we will be doing. Our goal is to step up people and have an environmental consciousness and then from there the sales and being in the right place.

Do you think the focus on Nazaré will help in making it a solid Portuguese brand?

Sure, that’s what I’m talking about the impact of the Atlantic. I’m talking about Nazaré, it’s the biggest wave in the world. But like Nazaré there are plenty of other places as well. You want to show that there are alternatives and that it’s not only about Nazaré, it’s about the rest of Europe.

Awesome, thanks for your time Nic. 

To find out more head to Brusco’s website and keep up with Nic von Rupp on instagram.

Photo credits: Nic von Rupp

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Oli Russell-Cowan

The concept for Rad Season came about when I was trekking around Latin America. I found it difficult to find cool events and festivals going on that were a bit different and had an element of adventure and general radness to them. I knew that there was always something rad worth going to somewhere in the world, but there was no single platform bringing them together for like-minded people. With over 15 years experience in international business development, spanning multiple industries including action sports, events, media, digital, ICT, travel and tourism, I decided to combine them all with Rad Season.

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