Thursday, July 30, 2009

the great cheap board debate

It's no secret that I love making surfboards. It is also no secret that my boards aren't cheap, and that it is how I attempt to support myself, and family. And, everyone knows that cheaply produced boards are flooding the market and making this difficult for some. Some boards are garbage, some are actually well made. Hard to tell if you're learning, or new to the surfing craze.

What bothers me most about all this is what happens to all the used, second hand boards that people have moved on from, or are damaged and just left to rot. There are no environmentally friendly boards made cheaply, especially when mass produced. So, all these toxic, used boards end up where?

When I learned to surf, you bought second hand. Why would you buy a new board, when you're only going to smash it up? After getting a homemade board from a neighbor - who was going to throw it out - I worked around the house, earned my allowance and bought my 1st real board used from a real surfshop. I loved it, and when I was ready, I moved on to another board, also used. I never had much money as a kid, due to the surfing lifestyle and my loathsome attitude towards work. So all my boards were usedm got damaged, repaired and ridden over and over before being given/sold to another beginner to use. Who then progressed and traded it in for a newer board down the road.

The second hand market is busting at the seams with gems at the moment, and they're loads cheaper than if bought new. It is a great way to try out new shapes before spending loads of money on that shiny new custom shape. Plus, they don't depreciate any more.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, in this age of being green, and everyone trying to save the planet, why are we mass producing toxic equipment destined/designed to fall apart and pollute the ocean, or landfills?

in the words of a poster on MSW, if you're after a cheap board:

Buy second hand and repair and reuse, because you can't recycle....


Justin C. Velthoen said...

I make it a point to buy used. As much as I want to promote local shapers, my skill hasn't progressed enough to warrant fine-tuning. I can fall off a custom board just as well as an old beater =]

I actually had a great Stewart for a while before a friend fell through it. $40 used, $900+ new. It was my fav.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the reminder mate...i am loving painting old boards...danny

Rob?royal said...

thanks for you comments.

i recently found a KG keel for sale, dirt cheap, but no dough, and too many boards already....

still, better to buy used if you can, as it saves more than money!