Riding old boards is where it’s at
Well, riding old boards is where my budget is at. I have never bought a new surf board, a mixture of lack of budget and skill meant I was quite happy to go second hand and not spend too much. However, buying old boards has not only bought me the equipment I need at a fraction of the cost of new, it’s also brought me to people, told me a little of their stories and given me an affirmation that people in the surf community are a fabulous bunch of humans.
My first old board was Malcolm, a 7’6 O’Shea. He belonged to a friend who also had him as a first board. I remember the excitement of seeing Malcolm in the corner of my room the first night I had him. I kept sitting up in bed and putting the light on to look at him when I should have been sleeping. Malcolm came with me the week after I passed my driving test and made my first journey to the sea under my own steam. When we weren’t on a trip he sat in the corner reminding me, in my landlocked state, that the sea was just a drive away and that I was a surfer. I loved him, my friends did too, everyone knew his name.
My next old board was Big Frank . An 8’4 BIC, In a previous life he belonged to Birstol Uni Surf Club. He helped me get some waves after my injury took away the tiny bit of ability I had. He allowed me to surf when I couldn’t get to my feet quickly and while my shoulder healed. On my last trip his size and my crap paddling stopped me being able to get out back easily and I realised that although he was a lot of fun, he was actually starting to hold me back, he needs a bigger, stronger rider. This brings me to my next board.
Ever since I tried my mate Rob’s longboard I’ve been in and out of the Custard Point shop in Newquay like a yo-yo for two years. I like annoying the lovely bloke in there, stroking the boards and talking shit. I know I can’t afford one, so it’s a sort of torture. Enter stage left, Jeremy and The Board Swap.
Board Swap is exactly what it says, a place where you can swap boards. Jeremy who runs it is a top chap who will go out of his way to help you get the right board by either trading and paying the appropriate swap fee or buying outright. On his face book page he says ,
Be good to each other. Share the stoke. Happiness, smiles and memories are the most valuable things.
After Jeremy sending me a lot of board porn over a few months, he finally found something suitable for me. I hot footed it up to Staffordshire , agreed a trade fee and said a sad goodbye to Malcolm. I drove off with Daisy Duke on the roof of my silly, tiny car.
Daisy Duke is a 9’2 single fin, yellow, Custard Point Ultimate Nose Rider and just like Malcolm, she is currently in the corner of the room reminding me of the summer to come. I’m hoping to try her out for the first time very soon.
Finally, this week I acquired an 8ft Redback Revolution performance soft top. I’ve been after one of these for a while for friends to use when they visit me in summer and for myself to have a fun board that fits inside the car. I’ve named her Rosy Redback.
Rosy, was owned by a lady from Cardiff who has now treated herself to a beautiful Howzi custom board. I had planned to collect Rosy over the bank holiday weekend in a few weeks. In order to pay for Rosy Redback I put Big Frank on e bay the same night. He sold in a few hours, the buyer is a chap who lives near the lady from Cardiff so, Rosy’s seller is dropping her off with Franks buyer to make the exchange easier when I make the long journey to Wales. These two strangers have been so helpful, I love surfers I do.
I’m now looking forward to getting Daisy Duke in the water and putting my mark on her and enjoying seeing friends who don’t normally surf playing on Rosie Redback. Who knows where we will end up.
I remember once finding a Lonely Planet book in a hostel in Uruguay and inside the cover it said you must give it away when you finish with it and write your name, country and a few words before passing it on. I loved this idea. Sadly it’s not so easy to do this with our surfboards so it’s great to meet the previous and new owners of the boards I’ve had.
Every old board has a tale to tell, every old board has a past and when you take ownership of one you become part of it’s story as much as it becomes part of yours. You care for it, clean it, wax it, protect it from bumps, you repair it if it’s broken and treat like it’s made of glass, all the time adding your own invisible layer to it’s history before passing it onto the next person.
Buy an old board, give it a name, be part of a story.
Where I look for 2nd Hand Boards
Pre-loved Surf Stuff on facebook is fab direct owner to buyer group, no fees here
Second Hand Surfboards 12,000 members on Facebook, so many boards, here
Surfboards for Sale Wales, also on Facebook here
Second Hand Surf Cornwall, click here
Gumtree used surfboards, here