THE SHED TIP OF THE DAY: How To Shop For In A Used Board


Here at Birds Surf Shed, We love all things related to the surfboard. New, used, old, clean or beat. Each board carries its own unique story and history that speaks to each individual person. You never know what you might find on our racks, but know that we are here to help match you up with the perfect board for your surfing needs.

As much as we would all love to go buy a new board off-the-rack, sometimes you can find incredible deals in the used board area of the shop. Old team rider boards, trade ins and classic wall hangers all make their way into the used board section of the surf shop.  Here are a few tips on how to properly inspect the entire board to save you stress and money in the future.

Make Sure ALL Wax is removed and Nose/Tail Guards are Off

There are many dings that can hide beneath the layers of old wax. Its best to strip it off before hand if the shop hasn’t already done so.  Another common area that dings are likely to gather is under the rubber nose guards or tail deck pads. While you may not want to take these off, make sure you give those areas a good once-over. If there are no open dings or soft spots, thats a good sign.


Look for Stringer Cracks and De-lamination(Delam)

It is important when buying a used board to feel the deck area to make sure there are no soft spots or de-lamination. De-lam is when the glass has seperated from the foam core making the board susceptible to breaking and poor performance.  If the de-lam is small and in these areas, don’t be alarmed, it can be repaired. However if it is a large area make sure you ask the sales clerk for more information.

Next, check the stringer that runs along the center of the board. Look for cracks and if you find them make sure there are no stress cracks or soft areas in the area. This would be a “weak point” that could cause trouble down the road.


Beware of Excessive Spray Paint

People like to give their board a little personality with spray paints and fun colors. When buying a board that is covered extensively in spray paint, chances are something could be covered up underneath. It is like buying a used car and seeing that the hood has been repainted, which brings you to question its condition. If the board is covered in spray paint make sure to ask the seller questions about any previous repairs or damage. Use your intuition to make that decision on whether or not it is a good buy; your gut is your best instinct in that situation.


Check for Multiple “small” dings

When a board looks like it is in good shape aesthetically, although has a bunch of “small dings” all over—it is time to weigh your costs. Even if it is a small ding, chances are it is still going to leak water. Make sure that the board is water-tight and ready to ride and has been well-maintained by the previous owner.


Analyze Fin Areas

When buying a board always inspect around the hardware (fin boxes and leash plug). Check for fiberglass crack lines around the plugs and boxes, salt marks, or yellowing discoloration. If there are minor surface cracks, it will generally be okay, however if the box/plug is pushed in or popped out, it is going to have to be replaced.

Another typical stress crack that appears is at the end of longboard fin boxes. This is not concerning unless there is notable water damage in the foam which can be seen by the discoloration. It too is normal wear and tear. Just be sure to look out for broken boxes and plugs because they can be an extra expense if you need to have them fixed.

Original Post from Joe Ropers Righteous Repairs

Birds Surf Shed goes through each board to make sure all these concerns are addressed and we stand behind all the boards we sell: New or used.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

THE SHED JOURNAL- Photos, Stories & Videos

Screen Shot 2023-03-24 at 1.15.00 PM

Birds Surf Shed: IG Sessions – Endless Summer Legend Mike Hynson

Screen Shot 2023-03-16 at 11.56.42 AM

Birds Surf Shed: IG Sessions – Steve Lis Fish

Bird Huffman Town & Country Twin Fin

Birds Secret Stash: T&C Twinny Part 2

Bird's Surf Shed Secret Stash

BIRDS SECRET STASH: 1981 Town & Country Twin Fin Part 1