If you head over to any online marketplace or classifieds website right now and search for used surfboards, the bulk of the results will have you shaking your head in disbelief.
There are boards that’ve been turned ten shades of brown by the sun, dinged by what looks like every conceivable rigid surface on earth and otherwise held together by the saving grace of a scuzzy one-inch-thick wax job. All listed for a premium price that makes me wonder whether people know that surfboards are on parr with Soviet-era vehicles when it comes to holding their value.
But I get it. After so many memorable sessions, so many glorious moments with your trusted foam or fiberglass companion, it’s hard not to add an ‘emotional tax’ to the sale price of the board. The issue is that most of us still think we can get top dollar of our sleds without first treating them to some tender loving care. After all, we clean our cars, give the house a fresh lick of paint or tune up our instruments before palming them off. So why should we expect to sell a surfboard for mucho dinero that looks like it’s been flogged by a pillowcase filled with cricket balls, complete with cracked rails and half-peeled stickers?
If we’re being honest with ourselves, let’s just admit that nobody has any idea what their surfboard is worth. All we have to go off is our own assumptions of its value, the listing price of other surfboards plus the affirmations of our mates, which can sometimes do more harm than good. The real price is what someone is willing to pay for it, because at the end of the day the person who thinks it's worth the most is probably you, the person who already owns it.
You might get lucky, you might be able to convince a less-informed individual that your board will give them super surfing powers. Go for it. Caveat emptor and all that. Heck, you might even find that after taking your blade from beast to beauty courtesy of a loving tidy up that you don’t even want to part with it. If you still decide to sell it for anywhere near to what you imagine it's worth, don’t be naive and think you can simply take a few shotty snaps and post it online. Instead, follow the 10 steps below and turn your grubby board into an irresistible glamour.
1. Leave your board in the sun to soften the wax then strip it using a wax comb
2. Patch up any dings, cracks or chips using a Solarez kit
3. Clean the tail/deck pad
4. Wipe down the board with a warm rag once again to remove excess wax
5. Leave the rail saver in the board
6. Decide whether to sell with or without fins
7. Place the board outside in good lighting and take photos of both the back and front
8. Write a description online that includes the dimensions plus make/model if applicable
9. Post to multiple Facebook groups or online classified websites
10. Invite anyone who is interested in your surfboard to view it before making an offer
As an added tip, make sure to time the sale of your surfboard with the season (see: predominant type of waves) that it’s normally suited to. Selling a longboard, fish or small-wave groveller during the autumn or winter months could take a bit longer, as will selling a step-up or gun during summer. Most importantly though, never forget that presentation is everything when it comes to selling your secondhand surfboard for more, so from one surfer to another… remove the bloody wax.