How to buy your next used surfboard

Buying a surfboard-why buying a used board might be a better option for you.

There are certainly a wide variety of options for buying surfboards in Australia, and whether you choose to buy new or used is totally up to you. With new surfboard technologies; including foam, fibreglass and fin innovations, it’s no wonder there are so many surfers hitting the line ups these days. With new surfboards ranging from $450-$2000 dollars depending on the length, shaper, style, glass job and customization, it’s no wonder many surfers chose to buy used or “second hand” boards.

So what are the benefits of buying a used board versus a newer one?

First of all, decide what kind of surfer you are and what you want to prioritize. If you are a beginner, it is definitely a smart option to buy used. Why? Because then you can ding it or bang it up in the back of your car and not worry so much about the repercussions. Also, you won’t be breaking the bank nearly as dramatically.

In saying that. Used boards are a great option for all levels of surfers. Even if you are an expert, you can still find a gem on the sale rack. Why? Because sometimes boards don’t work right for one person and are magic for another. Another reason, is that sometimes shapers sand through the glass, or have other “blems” in the finish of a board, so they cannot be sold as “new”. This means they deprecate in cost, but not in how they ride! Also, just because a board is “second hand” doesn’t mean it is in poor condition. In fact, you can get quite a lot of use out of a used board after once you become its proud owner.

Things to look out for?

When purchasing a used board there are definitely things to be cognisant about. For instance, NEVER buy a used board that has delaminated throughout. What does this mean? If you see any air bubbles or areas of yellowing that are quite large and feel soft, that means water has gotten into the foam and will make it waterlogged. The last thing you want is a heavy board.

Another thing to keep in mind is looking for dings. If a board has an open ding but is priced very low, decide if you can fix it yourself. If the ding is going to cost you more to deal with it than it’s worth, then don’t buy it. Yellowing dings mean a board either has water in the foam, or sun damage, as stated above.

What should the cost of a used board be?

So you’ve found your perfect used board but don’t know if you should buy it because of the cost? Determine what your budget is and stick to that. Also, used boards should be priced at least 25 percent lower than a used board and up to 75 percent lower. For instance, used boards on the “blem rack” of some surf shops may be in perfect condition but just have minor flaws in the glass job. Those might only be 25 percent less than you would normally pay. A board that has a few fixed dings? You should expect to pay 50 percent of what it would’ve costed new.

Wrap up

So if you haven’t bought a used board yet, or are contemplating it-the worst thing that can happen is you buy it at a lower cost and re-sell it. In fact, you have less to lose buying a used board than a new one. There will come a time when you do want to spend top dollar on a custom shape from a top shaper, with a killer resin tint, for instance. But if that isn’t in the cards for you at the moment, used boards are a great way to go!