Weekend Grab Bag: Santa Cruz Edition

Greetings, Shredderz! Hope everyone here Stateside had a wonderful Thanksgiving. If, like me, you live in Northern California, you’re well aware of Santa Cruz’s status as ground zero for high performance surfing in the area. Santa Cruz has more than its fair share of talented surfers and great waves, but likely due to its distance from the Orange County / San Diego epicenter of the surf industry, Santa Cruz doesn’t have quite the same visibility of its Southern counterparts. I imagine this is all well and good with the locals, who might prefer to keep their little cold water paradise to themselves. That said, I’d like to take the opportunity to feature some vintage boards from some of Santa Cruz’s best shapers. Keep reading for more…

Doug Haut 1966 Longboard (Craigslist / Oregon)

I believe it was none other than fellow NorCal craftsman Marc Andreini who dubbed Doug Haut Santa Cruz’s answer to Renny Yater. The comparison is an apt one, as Haut continues to produce clean, functional shapes for surfers who frequent Santa Cruz’s famous right hand points. The seller claims the board was shaped in 1966. As you can see, it sports a gorgeous glass on fin and overall it’s in great condition. No price listed. Pro tip: if you’re in the market for a lightly ridden Marc Andreini personal rider, he’ll often sell them at Haut Surf Shop (and, of course, you can order a custom board directly from Doug himself).

Doug Haut Transition Era Hull

Sorry Shredderz, I can’t divulge where this one is posted. But it is listed for sale somewhere on the internet, so I’ll just leave it at that. Anyway, this is a pretty unusual Haut board in that it’s a Transition Era hull. No dimensions are listed but the seller claims it was shaped in 1968. The serial number on this Haut board is #1096, compared to #517 for the longboard above. Given the two year span between these two boards were shaped — assuming both sellers are correct — the numbering sounds about right. I’m a big fan of hulls in general, and I also love the wedge stringer. Sadly I can’t quite make out what kind of fin box it is. No dimensions are listed, and the seller is asking $1,600. This seems pricey to me, but it is a very cool board from one of Santa Cruz’s finest.

Pearson Arrow Seventies Single Fin (Craigslist / Santa Cruz)

Whenever I surf around Santa Cruz, I see more Pearson Arrows than any other kind of board. I actually featured the board above on Instagram earlier this year. It just reappeared on Craigslist and I had to write up this gem. I absolutely love this board, and it’s an unusual older example from one of Santa Cruz’s best known shapers. The modern Pearson Arrow logo, made famous by Jay Moriarty (RIP), will forever be my association with Bob Pearson’s label. That said, I actually prefer the clean original logos seen above. The seller is asking $675, and the board apparently needs a few repairs. I’m a little thrown off by the blue fin box, but can’t say for sure whether or not that’s a sign that some major surgery was done at some point. This is a gorgeous board no matter which way you cut it, and Pearson’s status as a go to shaper for Santa Cruz locals speaks for itself.

The best part about this post? Bob Pearson and Doug Haut are still making boards today! Check out either one of their sites for info on their boards: Haut Surfboards and Arrow Surf Shop.

Mark Angell for Haut Surfboards

When it comes to surfboards, I love the bold-faced names as much as anyone else. Who wouldn’t to add a Skip Frye to their collection? What is there not to like about a Gerry Lopez Lightning Bolt? The list goes on and on. And while I enjoy the classics, I also have a soft spot for the so-called underground shapers of the sport. One reason why I began writing this blog is the fact I often found it so difficult to find reliable information about certain shapers. Take for example someone like Chuck Vinson, the late, distinguished Santa Cruz shaper. I would periodically see Vinson’s name pop up in places that would signal his impact — Marc Andreini’s Instagram feed, or an obscure Surfing Heritage blog post — and yet it was impossible to find any examples of Vinson’s boards anywhere online. One of the more enjoyable parts about writing this blog is finding unusual boards and then featuring them so that they can be discovered by others. Which brings us to the subject of today’s blog post, yet another craftsman with Santa Cruz roots: Mark Angell.

Angell currently resides on the North Shore of Kauai, after a stint in Maui, and he first cut his teeth in Northern California. Angell’s Hawaii resume alone is unreal, with stops at Lightning Bolt, Surf Line Hawaii, and Dick Brewer Surfboards, just to name a few! One of Angell’s California contemporaries was none other than Doug Haut, whom I recently saw described as Santa Cruz’s answer to Renny Yater. (I want to say this might have been from Andreini’s excellent book “The Gift”, but don’t quote me!) Haut has stayed in Santa Cruz, where remains a local fixture to this day.

Pictured above is a Seventies Mark Angell single fin that was shaped under the Haut Surfboards label. The board is in far from perfect condition — if you look closely you can see a bit of water damage around the tail, and there looks to be at least a few dings on the bottom — but it also looks to be mostly intact. The board above was recently sold on Craigslist in Northern California for an absolute steal. As I write this post I’m mostly kicking myself for not picking up the board and having it fixed up.

While the board’s outline and glass-on fin scream Seventies single fin, this is also confirmed via Mark Angell’s signature on the stringer. It looks like the board was shaped in 1978. It’s interesting to see the combination of both Angell and Haut logos. On one hand, this is completely unsurprising given both men’s mutual roots in Santa Cruz. On the other, I have only seen one other Haut / Mark Angell surfboard, which was sold at the California Gold Vintage Surf Auction in 2013. Sadly, there’s no link to the board still available, but if you have a copy of the catalog from the 2013 auction, the Haut / Mark Angell gun was Lot #128.

Anyway, add this beautiful Mark Angell single fin to the long list of boards I wish I could have pounced on when I first saw them on sale. In the meantime I’ll keep an eye peeled for another example. And if you find yourself in the position where you now have to have your own Angell shape, the man is still shaping boards, and you can find his website here.

O’Neill Big Wave Gun by Tom Overlin

Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post features an interesting bit of California history. The board pictured above is an O’Neill gun shaped by Tom Overlin that is currently listed for sale on Craigslist. You can find a link to the board here. Pics above are via the Craigslist posting.

First and foremost, the board above is a beautiful example of a serious big-wave gun. It’s almost certainly an older shape given the outline, the glassed-on fin, and the old-school O’Neill logo. The seller dates the board to 1975. I am not sure where the date comes from, given there are no markings on the stringer or elsewhere on the board. The measurements are 9’5″ x 19″ x 3.5″. And if you still have any doubts about how much foam has been packed into the board’s dimensions, check out the picture above featuring the beaked nose.

I imagine the board must have been crafted for macking days at Steamer Lane’s Middle Peak. The board’s Santa Cruz heritage is clear. First is the old-school logo, which can be found on Stoked-n-Board’s O’Neill entry, albeit without any dates. More importantly, the second picture indicates the board was designed by Pat O’Neill and shaped by Tom Overlin. Jack O’Neill, the founder of wetsuit brand of the same name, has a son named Pat — this cannot be a coincidence.

The board was shaped by Tom Overlin, who has many roots in Santa Cruz. Overlin used to occupy the space behind Doug Haut’s shop on Swift Street in Santa Cruz. Haut Surfboards still occupies its original location, and it remains an important part of the Santa Cruz surf community (Marc Andreini will pass along lightly used personal riders to the Haut shop). Overlin was a well-known surfer and shaper in Santa Cruz during the 1970s, before leaving in 1977 to Oregon. There’s a great thread on Swaylocks with some colorful stories about Overlin’s time in Santa Cruz. Water Brothers’ legendary Sid Abruzzi is a fan of Overlin’s shapes, and there’s a nice video on Vimeo where Abruzzi goes over his mini-quiver of Overlins. Sadly, Overlin passed away around a decade ago.

Finally, a note about prices. The board is listed on Craigslist for $3,000. Despite all the nice things I have to say about the board, I can’t justify the price. It’s also being sold at Surfing Cowboys / 1stDibs.com, and the price is $250 cheaper there. You can find some additional pictures on the 1stDibs link in the previous sentence.

Haut and About

Doug Haut is a well-known shaper in Santa Cruz. If you’re unfamiliar with the man, Surfer Magazine did a nice little write-up on him that you can find here. He also runs Haut Surf Shop.

Haut was recently inducted into the Shaper Hall of Fame (which, ironically, I couldn’t find), and in an accompanying Instagram post, Marc Andreini called Haut the best shaper he has ever known.

Sounds like Haut isn’t one for the spotlight, but nonetheless, in honor of this recent accolade, here’s one of his older boards, currently available on Craigslist in Haut’s very own Santa Cruz.

The gun measures in at 8′2″ and it was shaped sometime in the 70s, hence the absence of a leash plug.

Check out the board here if you charge Steamer Lane during the bigger days and you’d like to give a nod to one of Santa Cruz’s most famous shapers.

Haut Sting(er)

This Craigslist post has a Doug Haut shape from 1976. Call it Santa Cruz by way of the North Shore. It’s an interesting shape from Haut, a legendary Santa Cruz shaper, clearly in the style of legendary Hawaiian shaper Ben Aipa’s famous Sting design. The poster claims the board has been stored indoors for 20+ years. It’s got a glassed on leash loop, which is nice for us non-Olympian swimmers, as a lot of boards from these days don’t have any options for attaching a leash. Looks like there might have been a decent ding on the bottom of the board, right beneath the logo, but otherwise it looks to be in pretty nice condition, especially for something that’s 40 years old. $400 will take it.