Watch: 'For Pleasure Only' By Kyle Buthman and Darshan Gooch - Stab Mag

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Watch: ‘For Pleasure Only’ By Kyle Buthman and Darshan Gooch

A six-decade spiral down the lysergic staircase of surfboard design.

cinema // Oct 5, 2023
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Most surfers will shape a board or two in their lifetime.

Nearly all of these initial, earnest pieces of backyard fuckery will bog harder than rollerblades in a tarpit.

Some surfers will shape enough plugs to arrive at the point where they can create something genuinely enjoyable — 15, 20, maybe 50 boards in. 

A handful of surfers will even make a living off selling their handshaped boards — or atleast rake in some extra cash on the side.

An extremely minute number of surfers will traverse all of these states of existence, and build a decades-long career making surfboards for hundreds of talented surfers.

With a legacy spanning 60 years and over 60,000 surfboards, Santa Cruz based shaper Doug Haut has transcended every level of shaping mastery. After learning the craft in the late ‘50s from Mike Diffenderfer (who was once called the “Michelangelo of shapers“) Doug has set up shop on the West Side of Santa Cruz, and steadily cemented himself as one Northern California’s foundational surf influences.

This factory has played host to local shaping talents like Ward Coffey for decades.

Above, friend of Stab and the filmmaker behind The Peter Mel Story, Kyle Buthman, has put together a piece of historical surf psychedelia with help from Santa Cruzer Darshan Gooch.

“We wanted to do a story on Doug Haut, and this guy named Nick had this insane vintage Haut Bump model, but he didn’t know anything about it,” Kyle told me. “He just said we could ride it, so we brought it into Haut. It’s crazy, he has all those files from every board he’s ever made. Now they’re on the computer, but back then it was all written in notebooks. The board literally just had one number on it, no dimensions, and he opened one of his books and found all the info.”

“Growing up in Santa Cruz, Doug is a legend. My dad rode his boards forever, he’d always tell me that all of his best boards were Hauts. Then I rode for Santa Cruz Surfboards growing up, and Doug would shape some of the team boards. We just had to do a film on him.”

Though Haut’s mantra ‘For Pleasure Only’ was born of a desire to step away from the binds of competition, it shares some coincidental nomenclature with one of Santa Cruz’ most sacred headlands — Pleasure Point.

Most of the film was shot there.

Click above for a tactfully composed nod to one of California’s finest.

“It was easy, Darshan is just a groovy dude who likes to ride everything. He can ride any board, he’s really stylish, so anything he rides looks good.”


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