5 Things to Look for When Buying a Used Surfboard on Craigslist
As much as we would all love to go buy a new board off the rack, surfboards are a bit pricey…and generally, when looking for your first or next board, you go seeking second hand for a good deal. Craigslist has a huge selection, but there are so many lemons of boards out there! Here are a few tips on how to properly inspect the entire board to save you stress and money in the future:
Make Sure ALL Wax is removed and Nose/Tail Guards are Off
There are so many dings that hide beneath the layers and layers of wax, and you’ll never notice them until its too late! Another common area that dings like to hide is under the rubber nose and tail guards that you can put on your boards, these can be easily glued back on, so be sure to check under them for hidden dings that are subject to suck in water!
It is important when buying a new board to feel the entire deck to make sure there are no soft spots or delamination’s. In the diagram shown, there are red circles—these are spots that we consider to be normal wear and tear, because it is where the surfers’ hands are grabbing when they pop up, and where their knees hit when they are paddling. If the delam is small and in these areas, don’t be alarmed—however if it is larger than this, it is a bit more concerning.
Next, check the stringer! The area in blue shows the primary area where stringer cracking occurs. Look for cracks, and if you find them, just know that it may be a good idea to come in to get a [stringer patch] before the cracks turn into a delam.
People like to give their board a little funk with spray paints and colors, however, when buying a board that is 100 percent spray painted, chances are something is being covered up. It is like buying a used car and seeing that the hood has been repainted, which brings you to question its durability. Beware of this—if the entire board is covered in spray paint, ask the seller questions about previous repairs. Use your intuition about the seller to make that decision on whether or not it is a good buy; your gut is your best instinct in that situation.
When a board looks like it is in good shape aesthetically, although has a bunch of “small dings” all over—it is time to weigh your costs. Even if it is a small ding, chances are it is still going to leak water. To get an idea of how much it will be to repair, we charge $35 for your first ding ($45 for Epoxy), and $5 – $15 per additional depending on the severity of the damage. Add it up for a rough estimate, add in the price of the board, and ask yourself whether or not that is how much you were willing to spend. If it is more, start your negotiation or keep looking!
Analyze the Hardware!
When buying a board, always thoroughly inspect around the hardware (fin boxes and leash plug). Check for fiberglass crack lines around the plugs and boxes, salt marks, or yellowing discoloration. If there are minor surface cracks, it will generally be okay, however if the box/plug is pushed in or popped out, it is going to have to be replaced.
Another typical stress crack that appears is at the end of longboard fin boxes. This is not concerning unless there is notable water damage in the foam which can be seen by the discoloration. It too is normal wear and tear. Just be sure to look out for broken boxes and plugs because they can be an extra expense on top of your repair costing up to $65.
Buying a used surfboard can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be if you know what you are looking for! Follow these tips and hopefully you’ll find your next dream board that will last you a lifetime!