I am really coming to hate the word economy. I just feel like it is turning into the all encompassing scapegoat of the world’s problems. Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that lots of people are experiencing really rough times and am here to offer a helpful hint for surfers: buy used.
A used surfboard experiences much of the same cost value that a used car does. It automatically loses value just by the fact that it has been used, even if it hasn’t been used for very long and is still in great shape. Basically, you can get a practically new board for as much as half the price; all you need to do is look.
The downsides to a used surfboard: it is obviously not custom shaped for you, you may not find exactly what you are looking for, and the wear and tear by the previous owner may turn into a decrease of life.
The solution: look until you find the right board. There are so many places you can look for buying a used board: surf shops, craigslist.com, ebay.com, and I am sure any other posting website have used surfboards all over them. Lots of surf shops also have information from other people in the area trying to sell their old boards.
Now, I highly suggest seeing a board before you buy it. Getting a used board shipped to you is just a little risky. In fact the ideal situation can often be buying a board off of someone you know. You can usually get a better price and you know the “real” history behind the board. My last two boards I have owned were both bought from people I know, both great deals; both lasted and are lasting a long time.
I am currently riding a used Al Merrick 6’0 quad and I love it. I got the board from my friend’s brother for $200. Now considering the excellent condition the board was in, I was stoked on the $200 board compared to the at least $400 to $500 a brand new Merrick would start at. Except for a few pressure dings on the top and a few stress lines on the nose, the board is in great shape.
Now along with having a great board and money to spare in my pocket, the fact that I have a lot less money under my feet when I am surfing also leads to a much better time in the water. If I was surfing a board I paid a better part of my current income for, I would be way nervous every time in the water. As it is, I can afford to eat, sleep, drive to the beach and have a great time in the water without stressing out too much.
If you can afford to buy new . . . do it. If not, consider buying used, it has worked for me so far.