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Brand New vs Second Hand

In Buying Guidesby Rich BrownLeave a Comment

Post Updated:

🕓 7 min read

Intro

Brand new vs second hand, that is the surfing equipment question we are asking today.

This conundrum can be a handful and is the exact reason for this blog post. This post will go through advantages and disadvantages of buying new vs second hand, with a few tips for good measure.

 

Buying a Brand New Surfboard

A brand new surfboard is that shiny new looking thing that, if bought, comes straight out local surf shop or in the post.

It will have never been touched by human hands, except the skilled hands of the shaper of course. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of brand new vs second hand when if comes to new surfboards?

Brand New vs Second Hand-new-surfboard

Advantages of buying a brand new surfboard

  • It will be the exact surfboard type, shape, size and look you want
  • There will be nothing wrong with it
  • It will have a better resell value than a second hand surfboard
  • Modern surfboards last a very long time if looked after
  • Can come with some guarantees

Disadvantages of buying a brand new surfboard

  • Much bigger hit on the finances
  • You’re often much more worried about it getting damaged
  • More money to lose if it gets damaged beyond repair straight away

Typical scenarios for buying a brand new surfboard

Taking into account the advantages and disadvantages, I can think of a big scenario where buying a brand new surfboard makes total sense…

The serious surfer

After time amongst the waves learning the basics on rentals and used surfboards, there comes a time when a brand new surfboard is a very attractive thing. This is one of those when it buying brand new makes total sense… and is actually what I did. Using rentals and used surfboards are a great way to start before splashing the cash on a well earned brand new surfboard.

 

Buying a Second Hand Surfboard

So, the second hand surfboard. There are a few places where you can get these things.

Worldwide marketplaces like ebay, gumtree and craigslist all have sellers of second hand surfboards. There’re also lesser known marketplaces dedicated to surfboards, one of them is secondhandboards.com.

Brand New vs Second Hand-used surfboard

But, what is the brand new vs second hand conundrum like when it comes to second hand surfboards?

Advantages of buying a second hand surfboard

  • It’s a lot cheaper
  • You can try more surfboard types for the same amount of money as one brand new surfboard
  • You wont be worrying as much about any small knocks and bumps it gets
  • Won’t depreciate in value as quickly as a brand new surfboard

Disadvantages of buying a second hand surfboard

  • Don’t know how well its been looked after
  • It may need repairing
  • It might not be exactly what you want
  • Wont perform as well as a brand new surfboard
  • No guarantees offered

Typical scenarios for buying a second hand surfboard

Here are a few solid examples of why second hand surfboards are a great…

The beginner surfer

If you’re just starting out and want to own your first surfboard, a second hand surfboard is not a bad 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 will let you get on with learning to surf without having to be looked after that well.

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.

The travelling 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.

Tips For Buying a Second Hand Surfboard

  1. See it in real life – this is a must to help prevent yourself from getting ripped off.
  2. Make it naked – wax and stickers can hide a lot of stuff. To really see a surfboards condition, these things need to be removed.
  3. Ask why the surfboard is being sold – probably not going to tell you “because it sucks” but still worth the ask.
  4. Check the fin boxes – crack lines, salt marks and any discolouration can help knock the price down.
  5. Check the stringer – Similar to the fin boxes you want the stringer in good condition so check for any cracks in the wood.
  6. Bundle package – Try and get any other accessories thrown in, the seller probably wont be needed them anyway.
  7. Transportation – it may not be love at first sight but if it is make sure you can transport it away into the sunset.
  8. Haggle – assume the seller will be willing to move on their original price point, especially if some of the above is looked into.

 

Buying a Brand New Wetsuit

Moving onto the wetsuit and whether or not things change when it comes to brand new vs second hand.

Now, naturally there are some similar points to buying a brand new surfboard, however, there are a few that are specific to the wetsuit. Lets start with the advantages and disadvantages of buying a brand new wetsuit.

Brand New vs Second Hand-new wetsuit

Advantages of buying a brand new wetsuit

  1. It will be the exact wetsuit type, size and look you want
  2. There will be nothing wrong with it
  3. Modern wetsuits last a very long time if looked after
  4. Comes with a standard guarantee
  5. Can trade it in if you need a new one
  6. Nobody will have pee’d in it

Disadvantages of buying a brand new wetsuit

  1. It costs more

Typical scenarios for buying a brand new wetsuit

So, there is one key scenario where buying a brand new wetsuit makes total sense and one scenario that is specific to the wearer…

The serious surfer

Yes, the serious surfer makes a return. For those looking to make surfing their weekend hobby, buying a brand new wetsuit is a great choice. As long as it gets used a brand new wetsuit will prove value for money more times than not.

The hygienic surfer

This is completely down to each individual but hygiene is important to some so thought it was worth a mention. Obviously wetsuits put up with certain bodily fluids, so buying a brand new wetsuit removes any chances of cross decontamination, if you know what I mean.

 

Buying a Second Hand Wetsuit

Just like second hand surfboards, online marketplaces like ebay, gumtree and craigslist are your best friends if you’re looking for a second hand wetsuit. Your local surf shop might also have some good quality second hand wetsuits too, so don’t forget to check there.

Brand New vs Second Hand-used-wetsuit

Advantages of buying a second hand wetsuit

  1. It costs a lot less

The cost thing might be a big reason to get a second hand wetsuit but there are a few things to think about before buying one…

Disadvantages of buying a second hand wetsuit

  1. You won’t really know how well its been looked after
  2. It may already have some cosmetic damage that will reduce its ability to keep you warm
  3. Won’t perform as well as a brand new wetsuit
  4. Material might not be as flexible as it use to be
  5. No guarantees offered
  6. Less able to trade it in if you need another one
  7. Someone else will have pee’d in it

Typical scenarios for buying a second hand wetsuit

Despite the disadvantages, here are some great reasons to get a second hand wetsuit…

The budget surfer

For those looking for a cheap wetsuit but don’t want to rent one for every surfing sesh, a second hand wetsuit makes a lot of sense. Much cheaper than buying a brand new wetsuit and you can still get out there.

The tactical surfer

For those who know a thing or two about wetsuit specs, a second hand wetsuit can be a great purchase. There are some great high spec wetsuits out there in the second hand marketplace. You can find better specced second hand wetsuits for the same amount of money as an entry model brand new wetsuit.

Tips For Buying a Second Hand Wetsuit

Brand_New_vs_Second_Hand_Second_Hand_Wetsuit_thewaveshack.com-min

If you’re planning on getting a second hand wetsuit there are a few things worth doing before buying…

  1. See it in real life – again it really makes a lot of sense to see it yourself.
  2. Try it on – this will tell you a lot about the wetsuit, but most of all if it fits correctly.
  3. Ask why the wetsuit is being sold – still worth the ask.
  4. Seams – check any fraying of thread, it can help knock the price down.
  5. Zips – do they work smoothly and go all the way up and down?
  6. Material – are there any holes or weak areas in the material, these can also help knock the price down.
  7. Haggle – assume the seller will be willing to move on their original price point, especially if some of the above is looked into.

 

Should You Buy Brand New Or Buy Second Hand?

Well, it all comes down to your own personal situation and the things that are important to you.

I’ve had a very similar journey for both my surfboard and my wetsuit. I spent a summer learning to surf whilst renting out both a wetsuit and surfboard each time.

Once I was confident enough with my general technique (three months of trying) it had gotten to the stage where owning my own brand new equipment was all I could get excited about. I found the surfboard and wetsuit I wanted and got them a few months later, literally the best purchases I’ve ever made.

Buying a second hand surfboard did cross my mind but didn’t feel I had enough experience to tell a good one from a bad one. This led to me not wanting to get ripped off by buying a broken board. I knew if I bought brand new equipment there wouldn’t be any things to look out for so justified the additional cost in my eyes.

In summary, it’s totally down to your own situation and what you think is the right decision.

 

Summary

That is it guys, my surfing equipment guide to brand new vs second hand. I hope you’ve picked up some useful tips for when you’re purchasing your next surfboard or wetsuit.

Feel free to check out my other social media channels and let me know what you think!

 

Recommended next read: ‘Renting vs Buying’

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