Brand New vs Second-Hand Surfboard

🕓   5 min read✏️   Updated on 18th April 2024


In today’s post, we’ll be looking into the common ‘Brand New vs Second-Hand Surfboard’ decision.

We’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of each scenario to help you figure out which option makes the most sense.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth buying guide, check out my ‘Surfboard Buying Guide’.

1. Buying a Brand New Surfboard
2. Advantages of Brand New
3. Disadvantages of Brand New
4. Scenarios Where Brand New Makes Sense
5. Buying a Second-Hand Surfboard
6. Advantages of Second-Hand
7. Disadvantages of Second-Hand
8. Scenarios Where Second-Hand Makes Sense
9. Tips When Buying Second-Hand
10. Which Option Should I Choose?

It’s a useful read, so let’s get started!




1. Buying a Brand New Surfboard

Let’s begin with the buying a brand new surfboard scenario.

These shiny looking things are genuinely something to get excited about. They’ll be fresh out the workshop and would have only been touched by the skilled hands of the shaper.

But what are the advantages and disadvantages of buying a brand new surfboard? Let’s take a look…


2. Advantages of buying a brand new surfboard

  • The new stick will be the exact surfboard type, shape, size and look you want
  • It will be in perfect condition
  • Will have a much higher resell value than a second-hand surfboard
  • Should perform better than a second-hand surfboard
  • Modern surfboards can last a very long time if looked after
  • Can sometimes be bought on finance to help spread the cost
  • Brand new surfboards often come with product guarantees
  • Can sometimes be part exchanged at the same surf shop for another new surfboard
Brand New vs Second Hand-new-surfboard

Shiny new sticks


3. Disadvantages of buying a brand new surfboard

  • Normally cost more money
  • Once bought you’re much more worried about damaging it
  • The increase in cost makes it a bigger risk
  • Not as environmentally friendly as reusing a second-hand surfboard




4. Typical scenarios for buying a brand new surfboard

So after having a quick read of the above advantages and disadvantages, I thought it would be helpful to mark out some scenarios where buying a brand new surfboard makes the most sense.


1. The rewarding surfer

Those who fall into the wannabe surfer category have spent time amongst the waves learning the basics. They might have either learned on rental foamies or their own second-hand surfboard and now they’re hooked.

This was me.

After spending a whole summer in the sea learning enough to be able to stand up frequently, I decided to reward myself with a brand new surfboard that would help me progress.


2. The unfortunate surfer

For those of you unfortunate enough to damage your surfboard in an irreparable way, a brand new surfboard might be the best thing to cheer you up.


3. The early adopting surfer

For those of you who are completely entrenched in surfing and only want to be riding on the latest surfboard technology, buying a brand new surfboard for your quiver might even be somewhat trivial. Of course, this would require a fair amount of cash moneys but hey, who needs a savings account – right?

If I ever get to this stage in my surfing career, I’ll have made it in life.


5. Buying a Second-Hand Surfboard

Now, onto the next bit – buying a second-hand surfboard.

Believe it or not there is a growing market worldwide for second-hand surfboards. Some of the most popular and well known places to get them are eBay, Gumtree and Craigslist.

But, like we did before – let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of buying a second-hand surfboard…




6. Advantages of buying a second-hand surfboard

  • It’s normally a lot cheaper
  • You can try more surfboard types for the same amount of money as one brand new surfboard
  • It’s easier to get a high spec surfboard for less money
  • Not worried about damaging a second-hand surfboard
  • Won’t depreciate as quickly in regards to value as a brand new surfboard
  • More environmentally friendly then buying a brand new surfboard
  • Not as big of a risk as buying a brand new surfboard
Brand New vs Second Hand-used surfboard

Second-hand Surfboards


7. Disadvantages of buying a second-hand surfboard

  • Will have been used so it’s not going to be in perfect condition
  • It may need repairing which can get expensive
  • It might not be exactly what you wanted and or envisaged
  • Wont perform as well as a brand new surfboard
  • No guarantees included as it’ll likely won’t be coming from a shop
  • No financing available, again only shops really offer this service


8. Typical scenarios for buying a second-hand surfboard

Once again, after the advantages and disadvantages – here are a few solid examples of why second-hand surfboards make the most sense


1. The beginner surfer

If you’re a beginner surfer and want to own your first surfboard, a second-hand surfboard is really the perfect place to start.

As part of your surfing journey you’ll experience most of your falls and bumps at the beginning. A second-hand surfboard let’s you get on with learning to surf without having to worry too much about the surfboard itself.


2. The budget surfer

If you’re on a tight budget but still want to own your own surfboard than a second-hand surfboard is the perfect choice. They’re much cheaper than their brand new counterparts but will still get you amongst the breakers.


3. The heavy handed surfer

If you don’t want the stress of looking after a surfboard properly but don’t want to rent one either, a second-hand surfboard is the one for you. Chuck it in the car, garage, house – no problem and whip it out as and when you need it.




9. Tips For Buying a Second-Hand Surfboard

  • See it in real life – This is a must to prevent yourself from getting ripped off.
  • Get it naked – Wax and stickers hide a lot of stuff, ask for these to be removed before viewing.
  • Ask why it’s being sold – The seller might not tell you, but it’s worth an ask.
  • Check the fin boxes – Crack lines, salt marks and any discolouration can knock the price down.
  • Check the stringer – Check for cracks in the wood, a stringer in bad condition is a big no no.
  • Bundle package – Get some accessories thrown in, do they really still need their surfboard bag?
  • Transportation – Make sure you can transport it if you go for it.
  • Haggle – Don’t just pay the price, haggle – the seller will be expecting it.


10. Which Option Should I Choose?

My journey was quite simple, I spent a summer learning to surf with rented equipment. Once I was confident enough with my own technique, I bought a brand new surfboard as a reward and to help me progress. I can’t remember a time I was more excited for a delivery from Surfdome (RIP).

Since the new board I haven’t looked back. I’ve got a surfboard that’s mine, and it’s the exact surfboard I wanted. I was able to specify the look, shape, length, fin setup and brand which resulted in an awesome first surfboard. 

I also didn’t feel like I knew enough about surfboards to pick a good second-hand one and not get ripped off. Buying brand new meant I didn’t have to worry about the surfboards history or anything.

Both of these points basically made the brand new vs second-hand decision for me.





That’s it guys, my ‘Brand New vs Second-Hand Surfboard’ guide. I hope it helped you with your decision, it’s a difficult one for sure.

If you’ve also got the same predicament with wetsuits check out my ‘Brand New vs Second-Hand Wetsuit’ guide.

As always, be sure to follow on the usual socials below to keep up to date with the latest surfing content!


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Next read:‘Renting vs Buying A Surfboard’

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