Used surfboards are a great option for any level of surfer. While browsing through surf shops and the seemingly endless options in terms of shape, size and designs can get your blood pumping, for most of us, the hefty price tag of new equipment can also add unnecessary stress to the experience. A brand new board can easily cost 500 Euros and then an additional 150-200 Euros with accessories like fins, leashes, tail pad and bag. So why not grab a used board for a huge discount? It’s also better for the environment to give a second life to a board that is still in great condition! In this guide, we highlight where you can find used boards and what you should be aware of before buying.
Used surfboard checklist
To start, you should ask the seller some background questions:
- Is it ready to be surfed or does it have dings which need repair?
- What repairs have already been made? Did they repair the board themselves?
- How old is the board?
- Why do you sell the board?
- What fin plugs / fins are currently mounted?
- Where does the board come from?
The aim of these questions is to give you an idea of whether the board is ready to surf or needs work done. If at all possible, never buy a board without seeing it. Having a few dings isn’t a deal-breaker or necessarily a bad thing, but you should be aware that dings which cost you time and/or money. Board being shipping around a lot or long distances always bear the risk of getting damaged.
Know your Fins
Knowing what fin types the board has is also an important question to the overall pricing. Some fin plug systems are more common than others and pricing can vary between different types of fins. Do a quick search of the fin plug system and make sure the options in price and availability are in line with what you want.
Are all surfboard repairs bad?
No, not at all! You should check the board for repaired dings or cracks that will need attention in the future. I always expect a second-hand board to have a few dings on it and is not generally a problem, however, heavily dinged or cracked boards is likely going to be more trouble than they are worth.
When doing a board check, keep an eye out for discoloring to the foam or any other signs of water damage, delamination of the fiberglass, and any areas that will need attention if you buy the board. A completely yellowed surfboard probably had spent a lot of time outside in the sun and has many years on its back. The board should be free of wax or any tape covering dings and old repairs. In general, previous repairs are not necessarily a problem, if they have been done correctly. If the person who is selling you the board will not let you clean it, then you consider buying somewhere else, as they are probably hiding something.
The story of the surfboard
I’m usually curious where and when they got the board and why they want to get rid of their boards which are often described as “awesome” in the listings. During the conversation, you can get to know the quirks of the board and if it fits your surfing style.
Where to find used surfboards
If you are a landlocked surfer, like us in Munich, the possibilities to browse local surf shops with a large selection of second-hand surfboards are limited.
- ebay-kleinanzeigen: The leading online classifieds for Germany is ebay-kleinanzeigen (similar to Craigslist in the US). You can usually find a couple of used surfboards listings. Most sellers are located either close to North Sea in the Hamburg area or in Munich.
- secondhandboards.com: A platform mostly used in the UK and Ireland with around 100 listings online
Facebook groups: In facebook groups people with similar interests share their stories and also sell used equipment. Some of the groups you can access after your approval. The most popular groups are:
- Local surf stuff – 089 (private) – Especially for surfers in the Munich area with 5000 members
- Second Hand Surfboards Germany (public) – With almost 6000 members you can expect new listings on a daily basis.
- SecondSurf – Second Hand Surf Equipment (Private) – Global group for used boards with over 35000 members.
All platforms let you sell & buy your board for free, however, they don’t offer a detailed search option for types of boards or sizes which makes the search for your next perfect board time-consuming.
While the search for your next board can be time-consuming, the reward will be great. We hope, the few points from our checklist will help you to find your next bargain surfboard deal!