Four Things To Do With Your Unwanted Surfboard
I love buying surfboards, and when the editors at Deep told me that this was the Board Buyers issue I got as excited as a Mick Fanning shark attack (sorry, I had too), We all love that feeling of new foam under our feet and it’s likely the thing we talk about most with our bros while drinking beer and reminiscing about all those waves we caught down in Costa Rica last season.
As I was envisioning all the rad boards I would see in this issue, I started to reflect on my own quiver and how it has changed over the years. I have been surfing for over three decades and my surfboard fetish has gone through a myriad of transitions. I tend to like trying new designs and have found myself leading a small revolution in the Mini Simmons world—I even wrote a book on the Mini Simmons called Keel Nation.
Speaking of new shapes, a few months back I bought a Vulcan surfboard from the San Diego shaper Dane Hantz. Dan’s boards have won Best High Performance Shortboard Design for both 2013 and 2014 at the Boardroom. As you can imagine, I had to try one. I have been riding The Archetype which is a planing hull concept. Dan describes his shape, “The Archetypes ultra low rocker has been slightly raised while the straight rail line and fuller foil and rails still provide the hull speed necessary to slip into the realm of those longboard only days.” The fat tail is mini-esque, but the rest of it the board feels like a shortboard on steroids on those days when even my Mini would be struggling—bravo Dan. Overall, it is a great hybrid design that deserves a go in our semi-consistent mushy waves in Southern California.
I digress, this article isn't about surfboard design, it's an inquiry into what you could do with your estranged surfboard once you have finished using it. The goal is not to have that board end up in some landfill in Riverside County—not that we care what happens in Riverside, but we do care what happens to the crap you throw out, and how that affects our precious planet.
The most intelligent thing to do with your unwanted surfboard is to sell it to someone else that does want it. This is a classic win-win situation—you get cash to help fund your surf trip to that new wave park being built in Austin, Texas. Simultaneously, your sled ends up in the hands of someone that will shepherd it into the next northwest swell season. You can make a free listing on craigslist.org to sell your surfboard in the sporting goods section or take it down to your local surf shop and offer them a small commission for placing your board almost their rightious racks.
If you can't sell it, you can gift it to a local kid that needs a new board—giving is way underrated.
When you see that kid in the line-up, he and all his friends will let you take all the waves you want because you actually did something good and that karma will pay its dividends when you least expect it.
You can also donate your board to a Big Boys/Girls Club or something like that. If you are going the donation route check out Rerip.com which collects any surfboard in any condition. Many boards donated to Rerip are repaired to be surfed again and other surfboards are given to artists to create awesome art.
Another idea is that you could strip the fiberglass off your stick (assuming it’s a longbaord-ish type of surfboard) and create a Mini Simmons or single fin. Shape your first board from repurposed material—that is an eco rad idea for sure.
The last idea I have is to make a surfboard table for the backyard, bar or sign for your business. To create a table, glass a few wood legs on that bad-boy and throw some chairs around it for an epic-ly artistic rendition of patio furniture. Put a bar in the garage by using the surfboard deck as a shelving unit—you can glue it straight to the wall or use some shelving brackets to secure it. Got a business? Make a side-walk sign out of your old surfboard by creating a chalkboard from the deck. Home Depot sells chalkboard paint that will transform any surface into a usable chalkboard.
The most important thing to realize is that your old board has some potential afterlife opportunities once it has become unwanted foam and fiberglass. Find a creative way to prevent it from being buried in the earth. It should not be left for the walking dead to use once the zombies make their comeback—we all know zombies are kooks and nobody wants to see them in the lineup on your old surfboard.
Derek Dodds is the founder of Wave Tribe and can be found floating amongst the dolphins around Ventura county or you can reach him via email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit him up on twitter/instagram/facebook @wavetribe