Tips for buying your second-hand surfboard

Do you think you are the only person buying second-hand surf products? HUGE MISTAKE.
Cesar Alvarez
Cesar Alvarez


Surf nomad

Roaming the globe with a surfboard and a laptop, crafting digital stories that ride the wave of surfing culture.

Do you think you are the only person buying second-hand surf products? HUGE MISTAKE.

Currently, there are many people who sell items that have already been used, thus allowing other surfers to take advantage of their useful life. Sometimes, the products are in perfect condition, with hardly any use; and in others, we found some that could almost become one more element of the landfill. The issue is to find and look carefully at what they are selling you, so you will not take home a useless mess that only serves as decoration. Although, in the case that you choose to buy a surfboard with minor damage so you can fix it, you can repair those areas by yourself at home and thus save some money. You can read our post “Repair your surfboard in 5 easy steps”, which will help you to get your board ready to catch waves.

Daniel Fu, youtuber and surfer, shows in this video the benefits of buying second-hand boards and the economic benefit that it can be. You can also see him trying to surf in the middle of winter in Tofino, British Columbia.

Are you determined to buy? If this is your case, you should first know where to look. There are online platforms dedicated to the purchase and sale of surfing items, these sites give you a guarantee of quality that other sites do not, as their team has previously examined the product to later put it on sale. For example, has a section dedicated specifically to second-hand items.

There are also other specialized websites in which users can put ads to sell their products, perhaps here you find some offer but BEWARE! Look for them in your area, it is better to see them beforehand to make sure they are in good condition. This is the case of and

You can also find surf material in applications for buying and selling second-hand products, such as Wallapop and Vibbo. It is a matter of finding a board that you like, and of searching for a nearby seller so you can see it before buying it.

Beyond of what you can find on the internet, you can also go to surfing schools in the area that sometimes sell boards from the previous season or even to specialized stores, since they sometimes sell second-hand or exhibition products in very good conditions that may interest you. Come in and ask, you have nothing to lose!

Once you know where to buy, now you have to tune your eyes to check that the board is in good condition and they do not rip you off. In what follows, I give you some tips that I'm sure will be very useful, and remember to go to websites or buyers that transmit you confidence. Otherwise, do not buy anything and trust your instincts.

  1. RESEARCH. If you are a beginner, before starting the search, you should do a little research, asking friends who are knowledgeable about surfing or otherwise online and learn some technical details to choose the board that best suits your needs. You will have to take into account the buoyancy, stability and other characteristics that a surfboard must meet for those who are starting. On the other hand, if it is not the first time you catch waves and you already know what model you want, throw yourself out to the search.
  2. CLEAN. To analyze the board in depth and check that it is not damaged, you will have to see the board completely clean of paraffin, as it could hide defects like small cracks that are filtering water and it could be too late. Prior to your visit, ask the sellers to leave the board completely clean of any product so you can invest all your time in inspecting it carefully.
  3. COLOR. It is very important to observe the color of the board since it can give us some clues of its state. In the event that you see that the colors of the board get yellowish, it may be a sign of a long exposure to the sun and this may have damaged its solidity. On the other hand, if we see changes in the shades, it may mean that it has already been repaired beforehand, in that case you should check that these repairs have been made correctly and that there is no damage to the area treated under the paint.
  4. FIRMNESS. Although the color of the board does not show any previous signs of being exposed to the sun, you will have to check its firmness in the same way. To do this, with the board placed facing the ground you should press gently in the center and observe that it does not sink down easily, you can also check it by pressing both sides towards the center. If the contrary happens and the board sinks, do not buy it, surely in a short time it will end up splitting and you will be forced to buy a new one.
  5. MARKS AND CRACKS. At first glance, you can check that there are no major flaws, such as marks or cracks. If you observe one, you will have to check to what extent it affects the buoyancy or firmness of the board, for example, if it allows the filtration of water. Sometimes a small superficial scratch is not more than that and does not entail danger for the safety of the board.
  6. TOUCH. So far, all the tips are visual, but once all the previous checks have been done, you will have to use your touch sense. There are flaws that can escape our view but with this last check, they will come to light. Run your hand across the surface in search of roughness, likewise pass through all the edges in case there is a crack that you have not seen. Pay special attention to the area of the keels and the two ends of the board, nose and bottom.

Once you have made all these check-ups, you can be sure that you are buying a board in the perfect condition to start surfing the waves on it.