Buying a Brand new surfboard
- Check any surface imperfections or small dings that may have happened during storage. New surfboards should be in absolutely mint condition - accept nothing less!
- Take the opportunity of chatting to the surf shop staff about the boards to get any extra information.
- Also why not try for a cash deal. Many privately owned surf shops will do you some sort of discount for cash if you are lucky.
- Again, try getting reduced rates on surfing accessories such as a leash. It is a tight surf shop that does not throw in a couple of bars of wax with a new board!
Mail order or over the Internet is slightly different. There will not be anyone to talk to about the board you want to purchase face to face - a problem if you are not quite sure if the board is the one you want. You will also not be able to give the board the once over like you could in the shop.
However, if you do not have a local surf shop and you know the type and dimensions of the board you want then it is a great way to buy. Do check the board dimensions when buying to make sure that you are getting exactly what you want. Also check on shipping times, and hidden costs for shipping - international shipping could cost a pretty penny! Try and buy from a store that will let you return the board if it is not exactly what you are looking for.
Buying a new surfboard means that you are going to be paying top money, perhaps a second hand board is more suited to your budget?
Buying a Second Hand Surfboard
This is the cheapest option for buying a surfboard, and can be an excellent way to get a bargain board. However, it is easy to pick a dog if you are not careful. Firstly bear in mind that if a board is really really cheap then it is probably not a lot of good. You need to be really careful when shopping second hand. Here are the main points to check.
- Check for dings and cracks. Any second hand board will have a few dings on it, and is not generally a problem. A heavily dinged / cracked board is a problem, and should not be bought (no matter how cheap it seems!)
- General Check - give the board a check all over, looking for discolouring to the foam or any other signs of water damage, delamination of the fibreglass and any areas that will need attention if you buy the board
- Fins - check carefully around the fins, especially where the fins are attached to the board. If the fins are non FCS fins and show signs of cracking the board should be avoided
- Repairs - these are not necessarily a problem if the repair has been done correctly. Check the repair completely covers the damaged area and that water is still not getting into the foam inner (this will show as discolouration)
- Dirty Boards - if the board you are looking at is covered with wax make sure that you remove the wax before buying the board. Wax can hide a multitude of problems. If the person who is selling you the board will not let you clean it (I am about to go surfing on it or some other excuse) then do not buy it.
- Take your time, it is very important that you check the board all over to ensure you are not buying a dud
- Compare the cost of the second hand board to a similar new board - is it really worth the savings? It might be better spending that bit extra to get a new board you know you can rely on.