5 Things to Avoid when Buying a Used Surfboard

Are you in the market for a used surfboard? Here are five things that you should watch out for before you decide to say goodbye to your hard earned cash:

1. Soft Spots

We all know that too many soft spots on a piece of fruit can be a bad thing. The same can be said for soft spots on a used surfboard. If you find a soft spot on a used surfboard, there's a high probability that the surfboard is starting to de-laminate. Remember that de-lamination is to surfboards like rust is to cars. Once it develops a stronghold, you've got major problems on your hands. The lamination is what keeps the surfboard's foam core protected from the water, sun and surf. Without proper lamination the surfboard will weaken, take on water and be of little surfing value.

2. Bubbles

Bubbles are another sign that de-lamination has started or that the original lamination was done sloppily. How the bubble got there is not all that important. The point is, if you feel or see bubbles on the surfboard's surface, hold onto your cash and walk away.

3. Extra Weight

Buying a used surfboard that has some serious weight to it is about as prudent as trying to swim with a cinder block under your arm. Remember that surfboards are meant to float and weight affects buoyancy. The extra weight is also an indicator that the surfboard has structural problems that have caused it to become waterlogged.

4. Discoloration

If the used surfboard you're eyeballing has discoloration, you may want to set it down and move on to the next. The discoloration could be caused by something as mundane as sun exposure or as detrimental as water damage. One way to determine the cause of the discoloration is to look for other problems like extra weight, soft spots and cracks.

5. Cracks and Dings

Because you are buying a used surfboard, there is a good chance that the ones you'll be looking at will have some cracks and dings. Cracks and dings can be problematic depending on their size, location and whether or not the previous owner attempted to repair them. For example, a sizable crack in the center of the surfboard could cause it to break when you try and stand up on it. Furthermore, untreated or poorly repaired cracks near the fins could affect the way the surfboard moves in the water. They could also cause the surfboard to become waterlogged. Therefore, the best way to approach dings and cracks is to examine them closely and then use your best judgment. If the damaged areas look like trouble, then it probably isn't worth the investment.

Killeen Gonzalez enjoys water sports with her family and has a history of interviewing pro surfers.

More from this contributor:

Surfboard Buying Tips for Beginners

Interview with Pro Surfer Warren Metcalfe

Billabong's Financial Woes Impacts Surfing Community

Why do Some Surfers Resist Adding Surfing to the Olympics? Fan's View

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Updated Saturday, Feb 25, 2012