How To Buy Your Next Used Surfboard: Tips From BoardHunt.com
Buying a used surfboard is the absolute best way for any person to get started surfing. It is also the most cost efficient way to build your quiver and start experimenting with your surfing experience. With the high price of quality craftsmanship and the need to stretch our dollars as far as possible, it is important to buy the right used surfboard and get good value for your money. Our very own Lieutenant Dang spoke with BoardHunt.com to find out how we should all go about buying a used surfboard.
SS: What are some things surfers should look out for when buying a used board?
BH: A coupe of key points are...
Boards are like cars, drive them off the lot and the value goes down. Buyers should always looks for a bargain by comparing to other comparable used board pricing and retail. The discount should be fair based on the condition of the board. You can get a good idea of prices just by browsing the site and checking the user rating.
Is it new, used, or like new? We actually display this on every Boardhunt ad.
How many dings?
What is the severity of each ding?
Have they been fixed?
If not, how much will it cost to fix?
Was this considered in the price?
How well have they been fixed?
Was it professionally done?
Are the dings bad enough to lead to a broken board down the road?
Some dings aren’t fixed immediately which causes water log. This is easy to spot, just look for yellow spots around the ding.
Is this the right board for me considering my experience level? (e.g. shortboards are for intermediate and above where fun shapes and longboards are more beginner)
Are the dims (height, thickness, width) in the general range for my experience level, height, and weight? Is there room for growth?
Surfers with more understanding of style and progression, they may want to consider…
Desired nose and tail rocker, the shape of the deck (eg dome vs. flat), rails (e.g. how pulled in and how much of an edge?), nose thickness & width, tail type & width, bottom concave and vee, channels, hips, fin set up & placements, glassing weight, construction of the board (epoxy, carbon, poly, foamie, wood, soy), and more that local shapers can speak to...
How good is the foam? Squeeze the rails to see if they rails are still firm or too spongy.
SurfScience: Nice, thanks guys. Now your site, BoardHunt.com, deals a lot with used surfboards, tell us a bit more about your site and the purpose behind it.
BoardHunt: Sure, we’re a group regular guys who like to ride boards and know a thing or two about web technology. Basically, our site is a specialized online marketplace that connects surfers so they can buy and sell surfboards to each other. We want to make it easier to find boards, or sell them.
SS: What made you start BoardHunt.com and how did you get started?
BH: There had to be a better way to buy/sell online plus we didn’t like losing 30% on surfboard trade-ins. In the beginning of development, we actually used Craigslist as an example of what NOT to be. It makes sense for toasters but not surfboards. We wanted to improve the idea, not copy the same problems.
SS: Do you find that people are reluctant to buy surfboards over the internet? What are their concerns and what measures can be taken to avoid potential problems.
BH: Buying yes, find over the web, no. That’s why Boardhunt only connects the users.
People who buy surfboards over the web are concerned with scams. Either the boards aren’t as advertised or someone is scamming for money or a free board. We’ve seen one user receive a check for $2500 for a board that was selling for $250. The buyer was overseas and they wanted the difference deposited into an east coast bank. Sketchy, yet pretty easy to spot. To ease this type of skepticism, we have seen some use secure sites like PayPal and Google checkout.
But still, this doesn’t guarantee a shipment. If you must go this route, try feeling out the other person as much as possible as use your best judgment.
If you’re buying a new board that requires shipping then use a reputable store like Killerdana or Surfstation. They know how to ship boards.
SS: Should surfers buy surfboard that are local to them or is it safe to buy a board that needs to be shipped? What type of precaution should they take?
BH: Yes, we always promote buying local on our site. It entirely removes the possibility of any scam.
If you must buy and ship be very careful. Try to get some kind of read on the other person. Don’t limit yourself to email. Ask smart questions over phone dialog that exposes their experience, and trustworthiness. Get creative - you could check their reputation on eBay or confirm their identity/authenticity on Facebook or Myspace.
SS: Tell us about some of BoardHunt.com’s coolest features.
BH: "Ask-a-Pro". This tool allows our users to get advice from more experienced riders in the community. We found that the used board buyer needs guidance when buying boards.
"More ads by this user": This quickly lists everything a particular seller is selling on one page.
Board Filters: This narrows down your selection in several ways. Otherwise it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. You can search by ads (for sale or wanted), by area, by seller (commercial or non-commercial), by board keyword, by board type, by board height, by condition, by number of fins, by tails and by price range.
"Boost": This helps users sell faster. It displays their ads to premium locations which will easily double, triple, or quadruple the exposure.