Guide to Buying/Selling Used Surfboard

Whether you are looking to buy a used performance shortboard, a fish, hybrid, or a cruisy longboard – there are quite a few things to consider when purchasing a second-hand surfboard.

Different surfboards have entirely different characteristics, and getting a new “used” surfboard can be a fun process since you might end of with a board you’ll enjoy riding more than anything else you ever tried.

surfboard foating


One man’s rubbish is another man’s gold.


1. Epoxy vs. Fibreglass surfboards

The two main types of surfboards: Epoxy & Fiberglass resin. Which one is better?

  • EPOXY SURFBOARDS (EPS) – Made of polystyrene blank and then coated with epoxy resin.

Epoxy surfboards started to rise in the 90s. Those surfboards are light and more prone to waterlogging compared to fiberglass boards – so whenever you are going to damage your surfboard, it will not be ruined(waterlogged) as fast as the fiberglass surfboard would. Epoxy surfboards, in general, weigh less, are easy to paddle and more durable.

Epoxy resin is said to be 35% stronger than fiberglass resin.

  • Fiberglass SURFBOARDS (PU) – Made of polyurethane blank and wrapped in fiberglass cloth.

Fiberglass surfboards are more flexible but easier to damage after strong vibrations and stress. Fiberglass surfboards have been around since the 70s.

Many surfers prefer the “feel” of fiberglass surfboards over epoxy boards since it holds a better line on windy conditions while epoxy boards have more flex on small surf and week waves.

Read more – Surfboard Materials


2. How old is OLD for a used surfboard?

Depending on your outlook where and how often you are planning to surf – the age of the surfboard plays a significant role in your performance. As the surfboards are not made of metal, a used board may not be as stiff anymore and tends to be more prone to dings and dents.

When the board is yellow – full of bumps and you can see the coating starting to scab here and there – the board is past its prime time! An old surfboard is quite fragile to stress, and once the board has turned yellow – it means that the salt water has taken over the fiberglass polyurethane blank and weakened the core. When a soft squeeze to the board leaves a mark – it’s old!

An old surfboard is prone to dings. The only way to restore it is to let it dry up in a cool shaded spot, then re-cover it with fiberglass resin, or buy a newer board.

Why old surfboards turn yellow?

UV-rays and small dents that allow saltwater inside the fiberglass form are two main reasons why surfboards turn yellow.


3. Dents, dings, and repairs

Although surfboards are designed to ride on water, which in theory sounds like nothing could ever break the board if ridden on the purposed field – dents and dings happen all the time no matter what. Wipeouts, knees hitting the board then paddling or simply from transportation.

Take a good look at how good the deck looks like.

  • Check the rails
  • Check the nose and tail

What is a surfboard dent? Dent is a bump or a small injury to the surfboard. The majority of the time – dents happen if the surfboard hits something during transportation. Pressure dents are the result of normal surfboard wear, mostly by hitting the board with knees or standing on the board when riding the wave.


4. What to ask from the used surfboard seller?

The surfboard is very personal sporting equipment. Asking about how did the board felt like riding it is a great way to know about the character of the board. You might also want to know why was he/she selling the board.

I’ve noticed that many people sell their board since they are “not really into it” anymore whether it is a second-hand foamboard, second-hand longboard, hybrid, or a shortboard.

Is the board right for you?

Well, if the seller is the person who was riding the board- you too should be in pretty much the same weight category, unless one of you doesn’t know how to choose a surfboard.

Make sure to check out the volume of the board before you buy it, by reading our article How to calculate surfboard volume.


5. Negotiating

Buying and selling, especially second-hand products usually involve negotiating. Before negotiating – make sure to back up your reasons for asking a better price. Used surfboards generally range from 200-500usd in average to good condition.

The most obvious reasons to negotiate are:

  • Does the used surfboard you consider buying comes with any extras – a board bag, fins, a tail pad?
  • What do the other boards on the market cost?
  • Are all the dings and dents professionally repaired? If you see a sketchy repair or a yellow spot – it’s a way to ask for a better price.
  • Is the old wax removed before showing the board? If not, the seller is not clean, lazy – or hiding the dents.


6. How to take care of your used surfboard?

Sentimental value raises when purchasing an old and fragile item. If you find a well-used surfboard at a reasonable price, take it out for a sesh and have a ton of fun with it – you want it to last, right? After you’ve purchased and test-rode your new board, we recommend rinsing it – remove the old wax and take a good look at the deck, bottom, rails, and nose to see any cracks. If it needs repairing – do it right away, if not – wax it, get a surfboard cover bag and enjoy surfing!

Related – What Not To DO With Your Surboard?

fragile surfboard


How to sell a used surfboard?

surfboard laying down

  1. Check the market and the prices
  2. Make great photos of the surfboard so it would look attractive to the potential buyers
  3. Repair the dings – If you can not do that – make sure to mention the dings on the ad
  4. Clean the wax out of the board so that the buyer can be sure that you don’t hide any dings
  5. Advertise – by writing the dimensions and the liters and what it comes with. Don’t know the volume in liters? Check out the Dimensions To Volume Calculator

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I created Nulltuul to share my experience, research and analysis with other surf enthusiasts out there. If I'm not surfing on my travels - I like to photograph waves, surfers, and the surf lifestyle in general.

5 thoughts on “Guide to Buying/Selling Used Surfboard”

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  4. I own a primo 9’6″ Keoki Popout! Maybe it’s been in the water 3 times! no dings, no discoloration. It has been kept inside for the past 55 years or so. it is aqua in color.
    Do you have ANY idea of a ball park figure of its value?
    A dorkie gremmie left it in my garage in 1967 and never came back for it!

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