Post Updated:🕓 5 min read
Ever had that ‘Renting vs Buying a Surfboard’ decision as soon as you reach the beach?
If you have, this post is for you. If you haven’t this post is absolutely for you too. Today we’ll be going through reasons to buy vs reasons to rent, as well as some useful points you might want to consider if you’re ever challenged with this surfing equipment predicament.
Renting a Surfboard
So, one of the biggest decisions when learning to surf is the renting vs buying a surfboard conundrum. I’ve gone through this exact experience myself so obviously have all the answers.
Let’s take a quick look at the reasons to and not to rent a surfboard…
Reasons to rent a surfboard
✔️ Renting a surfboard is great value and often doesn’t cost more then £10 for a day
✔️ It is the perfect short term option for a short term stay
✔️ Rental surfboards come with everything you’ll need for your sesh, no need to buy anything
✔️ Renting a surfboard requires zero long term storage space at home
✔️ You don’t have to transport it to and from the beach
✔️ Rentals allow you to try out loads of different surfboard types and sizes
✔️ Rental surfboards are normally pretty knackered so don’t worry too much if you add a few more scuffs
Reasons not to rent a surfboard
✖️ It takes time to get used to it, and you might only have it for a few hours
✖️ There might not be any rental surfboards available when you get to the beach
✖️ Rental surfboards are typically overused so can be in pretty bad condition, hindering their performance capability
✖️ Can become expensive if you’re renting a number of surfboards for a few days
✖️ If you’re moving around, you’ll need to find a rental board every time
Typical scenarios for renting a surfboard
Taking into account the reasons for and against, I can think of a few scenarios where renting a surfboard makes total sense…
The new to surfing surfer
The first is the Level 1 never surfed before scenario. To someone who has never surfed before the only thing that matters is the ‘trying to stand up’ bit. For this reason, renting a surfboard for a day or two is the best option to take. The typical rental surfboard was created with Level 1 surfers in mind – lots of volume and lots of wave catching ability. Renting a surfboard also allows these beginner types to try out a range of surfboards without making any huge commitments.
The travelling surfer
The second scenario is for anyone travelling abroad to surf. Rentals are a great option for the surfer who is unsure about whether to take their surfboard abroad on their travels. Renting also removes any stress (lots) and or fees (even more) involved with taking your own surfboard with you abroad. Plus, with your own surfboard safely tucked away at home there’s no chance of finding it snapped in half after arriving in a foreign airport.
The growing family surfer
The third is for anyone with a growing family. It is a fact that kids grow up at the speed of light. This fact makes buying anything based on their size rather difficult. If you’ve got any keen surfing youngsters in surf school, they’ll no doubt want their own surfboard straight after. This is one of the scenarios where renting a surfboard has some great advantages over buying a surfboard.
Quick blast from the past; when I was a little lad… I attended a weeks worth of surf school and at the end was ready to purchase my first surfboard. I had saved up £75 for my 7ft foamie and after buying it was the happiest chap at the beach. However, we didn’t go back to the beach until the next summer and by this time the surfboard was now too small. Save yourself the disappointment and choose a rental surfboard until the growth spurt has slowed down.
Buying a Surfboard
Now, onto buying a surfboard and a few quick wins to consider before going ahead. The process of buying a surfboard is equal portions daunting, expensive and time consuming. Let’s take a quick look at the reasons to buy or not buy a surfboard.
Reasons to buy a surfboard
✔️ You’ll own a surfboard, so naturally you’re instantly cooler
✔️ You’ll get used to riding it, a consistent surfboard will help you progress quicker
✔️ You will always have a surfboard to ride when you reach the beach
✔️ You can purchase the exact surfboard type, look and feel you want
✔️ You’ll no longer have the hassle of sorting out a rental every time you want to go to the beach
✔️ If you look after your board it can fetch a good resale value
Reasons not to buy a surfboard
✖️ It’s a much bigger one time hit on the finances
✖️ All of it is your responsibility and it needs to be looked after properly
✖️ Requires storage space at home when its not being used
✖️ You’re going to need a way to transport it if you ever want to ride it, is the car big enough?
✖️ If bought individually there are lots of additional extras you’ll also need to buy; fins, leash, bag, roof rack etc.
Typical scenarios for buying a surfboard
Like renting a surfboard there is also a scenario where buying a surfboard makes the most sense…
The self-certified surfer
This is when a surfer realises that surfing is going to be their thing. They’ve used rentals enough and enjoyed the waves enough to want their own surfboard. When this epiphany happens, and it will happen, buying a surfboard makes much more sense over renting a surfboard.
So guys that, in a nutshell, was my quick guide on ‘Renting vs Buying a Surfboard’ – I hope you found it both useful and insightful.
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Next read: ‘How To Wash a Wetsuit’
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