The Latest Surfing Trends and Fads: Spring Edition

Once again, I’ve got a fresh batch of surfy gimmicks and gadgets from the surfing world. Am I EVER given any of these things for free? No freakin’ way- I’m the last average surfer chick they’d want reppin’ their brand, and that’s all good with me. Some of these I think are great ideas, but some paddle straight into a huge closeout.

As always, N-Joy….

Shower Toga

 

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So this is another Kickstarter funded product that allows you to take a full shower in the open. This may be necessary after surfing in a remote location, or if you need to return to work with minimal stink. To me, this is an easy DIY project with an old shower curtain (instructions here, kids), but I guess there are enough people who don’t have time nor interest to go the DIY route. The price is pretty high in my opinion, but I guess if you’re part of the need-it-now crew, thirty bucks (plus tax and shipping) isn’t bad. They also sell a rinse kit that is very similar to another DIY project I’ve done. Just sayin’.

Cost: $29.95
Pros:
  • If you don’t wanna do DIY and have 30 bucks to spend on a fancy shower curtain, this looks like a good one
  • If you’re against the wonders of indoor plumbing and live with a bear named Ben, this was made for you
Cons:
  • It’s a $30 shower curtain

 

Shark Eyes

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So this has become THE hot item as of late, and I’ve seen it on quite a few boards around here. Developed by Australian surfers, they are large eye stickers placed on the bottom of your board to supposedly deter sharks from below, minimizing the chance of being attacked. Hey, it’s the psychology of it all, ya know? Come to think of it, I had my DIY anti-shark device on my board when I was NOT attacked by a shark, but just popped in the head by an errant stingray. Thesis defended, drop da mic.

Oh, wait- I forgot. I don’t have the Australian cred. D’OH!

Cost: $20 per sticker
Pros:
  • Great gift from a nervous Surf Mom to her Groms
  • Fun decor for any type of board
  • Cheaper than SharkBanz
  • Could end up in an interesting staring contest with a shark
Cons:
  • Shouldn’t be construed as any type of guarantee- local awareness always matters
  • It’s a big sticker of an eye….that’s a little freaky
  • As of today’s post, their website is down, so….that’s never a good sign

 

Hang Air

This product is a wetsuit hanger that contains a waterproof air fan to dry your wetsuit faster than just slinging it over your shower rail. I honestly didn’t think much of it when it first came out, but now I’m a total believer. It’s pricey, but I’ve had mine for a few seasons now, and I’d never surf in winter without it. I can hang my suit up wet after an afternoon sesh, turn it on, and the next morning it’s totally dry. This is also good for those multi-day SCUBA trips, because a dry wetsuit is a good thing at 8:00 A.M. on a cattle boat out to a reef. Keeps the suit usable for a longer time too, in my opinion. Also nice is that it’s made in the USA from recycled materials too.

Cost: $69.90 
Pros:
  • Keeps the stank out
  • Prolongs the life of the suit by preventing mold and bacteria growth
  • The hanger holds up to 100 lbs- that’s a lot of soakin’ wet gear it can handle
Cons:
  • Pricey up front, about the cost of an average wetsuit
  • The large size of the hanger may make it difficult for smaller wetsuits to fit over it properly (I have some difficulty with mine)

 

MyGo Mouth Mount for GoPro

Ok, so it constantly amazes me the number of different GoPro camera mounts available on the market. I have noticed a trend within the last year of these “mouth mounts” on many surfers using GoPros in the lineup. Yes, these mounts- used by Kelly Slater himself- can produce some outstanding footage of the inside of Pipeline from your simple GoPro, making for some epic surf vids.

Problem is, how often are YOU surfing at Pipeline? Yeah, me neither.

The mouth mount honestly looks a bit dangerous to use in a heavy swell. While the footage can be worth it on big barreling waves, most surfers won’t be dazzled by their own video- I’ve seen a handful of decent looking mouth-mounted shots, and they’re all from Slater, of course. So it’s a meh accessory for someone like me.

Cost: $29.99 (marked down from $34.99)
Pros:
  • Comes with bite supports that claim to give more stable footage
  • About average price of most GoPro anything
  • Compact and easy to use for a skilled surfer
Cons:
  • Can be dangerous for even an intermediate surfer to use in rough surf
  • No flotation (but a lanyard is included)
  • This type of angle is typically not desired for average waves and/or surfers- it won’t really impress your buds unless it’s a gnar barrel

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Hope you enjoyed checking out some phunky phresh surfy gadgets and trends out there in the fun Surfing World. Above all else though, we all just wanna catch as many waves as humanly possible, right? The rest is….well, just even MORE gravy.

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Somewhere in between always works, brah

10 Tips on Selling Used Surfboards

In my last post, I talked about 10 tips for buying used surfboards. Since I’ve been on both sides of a board sale WAY too many times, I’ve got some more tips that will hopefully help you out if you want to sell your used boards too.

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Tips for Selling Used Surfboards

1. CLEAN the board.

     When I mean clean, I mean ALL wax and wax residue, all stickers and sticker residue, and any other random skid marks, ya ripper. This will improve the look of the board tremendously, save the buyer the hassle of cleaning it, and you can honestly say you weren’t hiding any condition issues with the board when you sell it, which makes for a much smoother deal.

Get that wax OFF!



2. RESEARCH similar boards on the market before listing.

    You need to know what you have before you sell it. Luckily, I’ve had honest shop owners stop me from a bad decision (thanks Core Surf!), but that’s not always the case. Use Craigslist, internet surf forums, and visit surf shops to compare pricing. The longer the board is, the higher the cost- in general (a 9’ longboard should be priced higher than a shortboard, if in the same condition.)

3. BE REALISTIC when setting a price.

     If you read my last post, I estimate that even brand new boards lose 20% of their value walking out the shop door. This is because a surfboard is a specialty item, with a narrow audience. Deduct even more from the price if you the board has custom graphics or wild colors, since this narrows the potential buyers even more. This is also a good lesson to remember when you go to buy or trade that next surfboard. Again, the exception to this rule would be in the vintage or collectible surfboard market, where a certain “look” might be sought after.

This Dewey Weber is a “collectible” type of longboard.


4. CONSIDER surfboard consignment.

    Many surf shops offer used surfboard consignment. Some even have “trade-in” programs, which are a great value if you like trying out new shapes every year, like me. Consignment fee types can vary from a percentage of the sale of the surfboard, to a flat fee. I like shops that charge a flat fee to sell your board (e.g. $50 for a shortboard, $100 for a longboard, etc.) I consider it a fee for displaying it in a store where people will be looking specifically for a surfboard. Plus, the shop owner has to work on making the sale for you. You’ll take a hit on your profits, but I guarantee you’ll get your money a lot faster, if that’s an issue.

5. TELL your surfer friends about your surfboard.

     I’m not saying sell to your surfer friends, but if you’re planning on selling a board, sometimes there are fellow surfers who may find it a bit rude if you don’t give them first dibs. Even if your immediate circle isn’t interested in your used board, I’m sure they’ve got other surf squads they hang out with too to help spread the word on your board for sale. A bonus: doing a transaction with people you know and possibly trust and vice versa. Makes everyone more accountable.

6. INSIST on cash.

    Unless you’re selling a surfboard to Grandma, don’t take checks, gift cards, credit cards (charges can be reversed easily), or promises to “be right back with some cash.” Take cash only, and don’t get burned because of your eagerness to sell.

7. NEGOTIATE WITH MORE than just the price.

     A while back, I sold a used paint-penned 7’ funshape to a dad looking for a fun first surfboard for his daughter. I was fortunate that the daughter LOVED my paint job and the board, but the dad was still hesitant to buy it. When I offered to throw in a 7’ OAM leash I had that I no longer needed, it sealed the deal for the indecisive dad too. By offering an accessory like a leash or a board bag that fits the surfboard you’re selling (you may not be using the accessory again anyway once you sell the board), it might encourage a buyer who is on the fence.

This is the board I sold that I had painted. Glad the buyers liked it.

 



8. DON’T suffer the lowballers and scammers.

     There are ALWAYS twits out there looking to scam you or waste your time. I hate when people will just send out “whatever you’re asking- with a 90% discount” as an offer on my used surfboard listing. It’s just a fishing expedition. Don’t be offended by those lowball offers, but DO keep track of all the offers you receive, since that info will help you now and for any future boards you might sell. 

9. MAKE a Selling Timetable.

     If you sell your surfboard on consignment, they usually do this part for you. But, if you’re selling on your own, don’t let your board linger out there forever for sale. If you haven’t heard ANY offers within 3 days on a site like Craigslist, you may be pricing a board too high, and need to come down. Just like a store, the longer the stuff sits around, the more discounted it becomes. If you can’t sell the board in a week, maybe consider dropping the price by 10% each week until it sells. Make sure you have an absolute bottom selling price, and a plan if it doesn’t sell at all. Yikes-a-rama.

10. DON’T put “Price is FIRM” on your used surfboard.

     This is the ultimate buyer turnoff. I’ve passed up even looking at a surfboard I probably would have otherwise snatched up right away. Why? Because if they’re not willing to negotiate, they’re not really ready to sell usually. Some of those listings come from husbands whose wives forced them to list their surfboards SOMEWHERE on Craigslist. By putting “$800- price is firm” on their dinged-up 7’2” Big Wave Body Glove Gnar Gun from 1985 prevents a sale from ever being considered. Hey- it’s happened.

Hope you enjoyed these posts about buying and selling used surfboards, and take away a bit of wisdom from my foolishness.

    

My Recent Surf Lesson

So usually, I try to stick with surf-crafty things on here, but hey, it’s my blog, so I do what I want.

Damn right

 
So, lately, I’ve decided to take up surf lessons again. I feel I’ve hit a plateau (going on about 5 years now, sheesh), and I wanted to try and improve.

The difference this time is, it’s just for me. No particular goals. No contests, no sponsorships, no accumulating gnar gnar photos of me ripping. After all, I’ve reached middle age, and my need for others’ approval has greatly declined.

If there is a goal, I’d just like more of that momentary feeling of glide on a wave, more often, with a better understanding of how to get there again and again. One day, I won’t be able to surf anymore, so I want to have as many memories built up in my head to replay over and over, good and bad.

My new coach is an interesting guy to say the least . He’s well known in the surfing community, and he has earned his “cred” on massive Hawaiian waves I’d never dare to surf- and lived. If you’ve got the time, read his stories. They’ve definitely given me a new perspective.

In my first lesson this week, the waves were near flat, so he talked to me about mindfulness. This applies to anything you wish to learn, not just surfing. I tend to joke around and laugh a lot, because things are just NEVER as critical as people create them to be. However, I should resolve myself to focus more on learning than being silly and goofy when trying to improve my surfing skills.

Ok, I’ll still do a little of this

 

With the improvement in surfing, the fun naturally follows. He told me an example of a concert pianist at Carnegie Hall performing solemnly, intently, to his audience, yet to him, he is experiencing he height of enjoyment. He becomes fully immersed in his passion.

No, I’m not aiming for Carnegie Hall level mastery of surfing. Perhaps more of a regular late night soul jam session in the garage on the weekends, but I’m not quitting my day job.

In the second half of my lesson, he actually pushed me into waves so I could learn how to angle into a wave better- no paddling- just a focus on ONE cross step. It was a humbling experience to be pushed in, but did it ever work. When I popped up, I was able to crosstep easier than I had in my many attempts over the years. Wave after wave. Focused on the task. I’m beginning to see what he’s talking about. I’m already stoked for my next lesson.

Walking up the beach, some random guy on the beach walked up to me and said, “You surfed really good.”

Oh. Sorry, I didn’t even realize there was anyone there….

Keepin’ it real

The Kook is Back!

Long time, no see!
I’d like to say I’ve been on an around the world surfing trip as an undercover spy, but, alas, didn’t happen, so no pics. I have been busy with the Florida Surf Museum, lots of volunteering projects, MUCHO house stuff, and course- surfing!
I’ve got some new projects to share, plus some new tools I’ve acquired since my last post.
The Kook is back!