Boardbuilder Scott Busbey is a founder of Natural Art Surfboards and In The Eye Surfboards in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. He launched the two trailblazing surfboard businesses alongside East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame Class of 2004 inductee, Pete Dooley.
Busbey’s board building days go all the way back to his teen years in Cocoa Beach, Florida, when he spent his free time building surfboards in his garage. A stint in New Jersey working as a laminator for Kiernan Surfboards broadened Busbey’s horizons, and he soon partnered with Dooley to open their first factory on Merritt Island, Florida.
After a few years, Busbey was seeking better surf conditions, so he and his wife Carol decided to relocate to Cape Hatteras. Along with Dooley, he opened P. Dooley/S. Busbey Contact Surfboards. Dooley shaped, sanded, and polished, while Busbey laminated, hot-coated, pin-lined, and glossed. The duo opened Natural Art Surf Shop in then-sleepy Buxton in 1977. The shop has been a mainstay on Hatteras Island for more than 40 years, making a name for itself as one of the most revolutionary and recognized surfboard brands on the East Coast and around the world.
Busbey’s natural talent and vast experience as a board builder have inspired many of the best shapers in North Carolina’s Outer Banks — luminaries like Lynn Shell and the late Mickey “2M” McCarthy. In McCarthy’s words, “Scott Busbey was the force which provided me with artistic and scientific inspiration.”
An Outer Banks legend, Busbey is considered the most important board building force south of the Bonner Bridge. A dedicated craftsman to the end, Busbey told fellow shaper Shell a few years ago, “If we got into the surf industry to make a lot of money, we would have gotten out a long time ago. We do this because it is part of who we are.”
In 2018, Scott was inducted into both the ECSHOF and the Surfboard Builders Hall of Fame.
Photos by Dick “Mez” Meseroll, Daniel Pullen and courtesy Scott Busbey