How To

How To Find Your Perfect Surfboard

By Justin Fricke, aka the JustinTheWeekendWarrior.

Perfect surf spot

Summer is upon us and that means one thing…beach time! I don’t know about you, but when I think of the beach, I don’t just think about hammocks…I think of surfing! Here are a few tips on where to look and what to look for when you’re buying a surfboard.

Surf shops

A surf shop will always have surfboards for sale. They’ll have new and used boards, so you should be able to find what you want. If you go to a local shop, you can most likely cut a deal with them as well. A tried and true method is if you pay cash, ask if they’ll be willing to knock off 3%-5% they’d charge to cover the card-processing fee.

Online sites

You can easily go online and see if anyone’s selling a used surfboard in your area. You’ll always have the safety risk to worry about and you need to look for (more on that in a minute). Typically you can find a good board at a good price with this method, but it may take longer.

Shapers

I’ve bought most of my boards from personal shapers. When you go this route, you know who’s making your board, get exactly what you want, and it’s cheaper than a surf shop. If you don’t know a shaper personally, ask anyone that surfs and you’ll be put in touch with one in no time.

When you’re looking to buy a board remember…you want quality. When you buy a cheap board, it’ll last you maybe a year, 2 at the most. When you buy a good quality board, you’ll easily get 5+ years out of your board.

A new board will usually give you the best quality (stay away from Chinese boards, even if they’re cheaper). The best way to go about buying a new board is by doing research. I suggest doing research on a few boards: shapes, designs, brands, and then go to a local surf shop and talk with someone. Typically someone there will know what they’re talking about and can help you get outfitted with the perfect board.

Buying a used board’s always cheaper than buying a new board, but you typically need to look for flaws. Knowing what flaws to look for will help you when negotiating a price and will ultimately decide how much use you get out of your board. Here’s a list of some typical flaws and where they occur.

  • Heelies (dents, pressure dings, pressure spots)
    • On the deck of the board from the heel of your foot
  • Cracks
    • Anywhere on the board. You need to check how deep and long they are. If you see foam, beware of water damage
  • Wavy resin
    • When you hold the board at eye level and see that the glassing isn’t straight and smooth, that seriously hurts the quality and performance of the board.

Grab your sunscreen, grab your hammock, grab your board, and here’s to an awesome summer ahead!

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