Guide for buying a second-hand surfboard
Buying second-hand surfboards is by far the cheapest way to get into the sport or indeed expand your collection. There is a wealth of great gear around but some key precautions to take also.
The condition of a second hand surfboard is very important to its performance and life-span. Although the majority of problems can be fixed, it is imperative that care is taken when buying a used board, so as not to get lumbered with one that will cost more to repair than it would have cost to buy new.
First of all, make sure any wax is taken off the board before you view it. Wax can be used to cover up damage and discolouring, so before you go any further, make sure it’s removed!
The first things to look for are dings and cracks on the surfboard. Most boards will have some depressions, but big craters or bad fractures should be avoided. Make sure every angle of the board is inspected, not just the nose and rails.
Look for discolouring of the board in certain areas. Boards can change colour if left out in the sun but patchy discolouring, especially around repaired areas may suggest water damage. Delamination of the fibreglass covering should also be looked out for and may need repair work.
Previous repairs on a second-hand surfboard are not necessarily a bad thing, in fact it can often suggest that the board has been looked after and given proper treatment when needed. Good repair jobs are designed to be inconspicuous and should not change the profile of the board. Look out for and avoid bad finishing or repairs that do not cover the whole damaged area.
Boards sold without fins should be considered carefully. FCS fin systems are usually fine as it is very easy to get hold of spares, but other fins may be more difficult to acquire.
Generally with a second-hand surfboard, you get what you pay for. As long as you inspect the board carefully in person, there is many a bargain to be had!