Mitchell Rae was born in 1955 and raised at Dee Why beach, which was the epicentre of Australian surfing in the 1960’s, frequented by the likes of Midget and Nat. Brookvale, just over the hill, was the home of surfboard building and iconic labels of the era like Barry Bennett, Scott Dillon, Bill Wallace and Gordon Woods. Mitchell was one of the better surfers of his generation. He shaped and built his first board in his friends shed at age 12. Teaming up with board makers Glenn Ritchie and David Chidgey they formed Outer Island Surfboards in 1969, building their radical, innovative designs at Taman Shud’s house overlooking Newport before moving into Midget’s old spot in Gow’s Boatshed at Palm Beach.
The Outer Island crew were doing deep single concaves in the late 60’s when most boards had rolled bottoms and S decks. Abandoning the contest scene, Rae was the test pilot for these revolutionary deep concave, hard railed designs. Mitchell has continued to pursue many of those design directions, developing single to double, triple and various concave configurations.
He was among the first wave of surfers to migrate to the North Coast in the early 70’s. Travelling to Bali in ’72, the year of Morning of the Earth, Mitchell was amongst the early pioneers of Indonesia. He later travelled extensively to Hawaii, honing his skills in shaping mini guns and guns. Mitchell has shaped for many of the world’s great surfers... Luke Egan, Rasta, Parko, Rob Machado, Drew Courtney, Glen Hall, Derek Hynd, Kai Otton and Adam Melling to name but a few.
One of Mitchell’s passions is building wooden boards, masterpieces that “will be around when I’m pushing daisies”. A national award winning graphic artist, he also likes to draw, paint and play guitar for pleasure and relaxation.
He now resides on the mid North Coast at Urunga, building small numbers of exquisite custom boards for a loyal local and international clientele. He combines his passion of painting scenes of the ocean, waves and moments taken from his years of travelling and surfing.