Surfboard Contact Info and Protection

We’ve been fortunate to have a week’s worth of actual waves around here, but that also brings out the not so savory types who like to take others’ boards while they’re out enjoying the swell. Usually, the thieves who take these boards are not the most surf savvy- they just quickly drop them off at the nearest pawn shop, collect a paltry sum of cash, and go pay their expensive tuition. Well, okay, maybe the last part is a stretch.
Anyway, not all of us have custom boards we worry about being stolen or lost. I have a Stewart Hydro Hull I bought with my very first job bonus for making a software program, so it’s extra special:

Stewie!

It has a serial number that’s kind of in a readable scrawl by the shaper, and I have pictures, but that won’t necessarily bring Stewie back. That’s when I thought it might be helpful to put a contact number on it, but I didn’t want to put it out in the open. Also, I didn’t want something permanent in the case that it NEEDED to be sold (and I mean NEEDED to be sold- knock on wood that never happens!!).
That’s when I thought of my little digital label maker. They run about $25-$30, but it’s a great investment, and I use it for everything, not just for surf stuff. I buy the 3/4″ tape in waterproof, which you can pick up at an office supply or a big box store. Using a large font (you never know who’s going to be reading the number) I printed out a phone number- not really mine for the example, of course. 🙂

Go ahead, call it.

Next, I needed a place to put this that wouldn’t be open but that could be accessed easily. I decided to put it on the inside face of the center fin box. You can also put it on one of the side bite fin boxes, but keep in mind that someone will need an Allen wrench or a fin key. I figured a thief is not going to take the time to take the fin off and remove your number, but once it gets to the pawn shop or a fellow surfer finds it, this may catch on enough that you can put the notice out to remove the fin and say “Call Me!”
First, I cleaned the inside of the fin box very well to remove any sand, dust, or debris or the label won’t stick:

Clean out that fin box!

Next, I removed the backing from the adhesive label and used tweezers to help me place the label inside the inner face of the fin box:

Using the tweezers, I pressed down the label well against the side of the box to ensure good adhesion:

Replace the fin, and now, you have a little peace of mind that all you have to do is tell the local pawn shops and local surf forums to remove the center fin on a Stewart Hydro Hull and call the number without going into a lot of descriptions the pawn shop guy probably won’t comprehend.

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