Just wondering on average how long you hang onto a surfboard before it breaks, you get bored with it, stolen or just want a newer one?
I haven't been surfing that long so my boards have been getting shorter and more refined than the boats I started with but it seems its about 1 year max before I am at the shops or shaper looking for something new...
I see some guys with really yellow old school thrusters with the fins glassed in still going strong. They must be over 10 years old...
Well, I've got one from 1964, but that's an exception.
My straight ahead shortboards have a lifespan of about six months. They usually break although sometimes I might get bored with one and move on. I've never sold a surfboard, if it survives its Tour of Duty then it either gets put at the back of the rack or, on occasion, donated to a cause (such as Joel Coleman's boards for the Solomon Island's deal).
Bigger boards I'll hold onto for longer simply cos they get used less and the designs don't become 'old'. I've still got a custom gun I bought in 2000 and I recently snapped one I got in 1995.
Smaller boards and grovellers I tend to hold onto for longer also. Generally they have novel shapes or design aspects (flat rocker, hi-volume, swallows, quads, etc) so I like to hop on them to freshen up my surfing. Every year or so I'll rekindle interest in a 10-year-old quad I've got. Feels like new each time, but after a month or two I'll move on again.
Normal PU boards are lucky to last a year - 6 months a pretty good call from Stu. I normally have at least a couple of pressure dings on the deck after the first surf with standard polyurethane boards, then its all downhill from there. Had a run on tuflites a handful of years back, broke a couple but have a 6'4" peter mel JC which is a keeper & great to travel with as they are robust & light. Plus I really dont give a shit if i snap it now as I've surfed it on and off for years and I could get pretty much an exact replica if I started really missing the old blue boat. I've found the haydenshapes futureflex hold up a bit better too.
Well, I am still surfing the 6'2" PU that I borrowed off my brother in law 3 years ago.
I went through a period of snapping 5 boards in 2 years once though. Kids etc mean less surfing now though so things last longer.
I couldn't tell you, I don't have any average boards. There all Australian made.
3 boards snapped in 3 months hand made in Byron - having said this it was maybe 2005-6 and we had big swell at times from memory. But normal big wave board snappage wasnt the prob for two of them - the prob was leaning hard on the tail in bottom turns and gradually breaking the inside (toeside) rail between the front and back fins due to torsion forces resulting in a fracture on the rail, then a crease, then a snap right through the tail laterally. Which is a fucker if it snaps at the bottom of a sizey wave. This is an issue of poor wear, not of a lip landing on them. I was pretty annoyed and slightly poorer, and transitioned to tuflites for a bit (which made me poorer still) which at that stage was enlightening for the buoyancy and then the durability was a secondary plus. First tuflite was the 6'4" bushman Pancho Sullivan red fire engine model which was a ripper. Til I snapped it. But that was a good 18 months or so of usage...
One more point about tuflites - they dont change whereas PU boards slowly lose their flexibility and life over a year or two. Tuflites probably are more rigid to start with anyway but stay very similar to their original performance.
For about 25 years rode poly boards mostly from local shapers, mostly customs a few off the rack,as a grom id often get a few years out of them but only because i didn't have the money for a new board so had no choice but to surf them to the very death, in reality between six months to 1 year they were beaten up, creased and snapped a couple, but normally after they had been ridden a fair while and generally snap where decks sunk heaps.
In more recent times id just turn over my PU boards every six months to a year before they were totally worthless, id find around six to 12 months they were starting to lose there magic and id feel like i needed a new board as they not only felt old but looked old.
I do have to say boards did hold up better when they were doing the old school gloss coat, also on any customs id get a patch on deck where my knee goes when duck dving or deck would sink so much over time, glass at stringer would crack.
On PU boards within fist few surfs id normally get a ding somewhere on bottom, tail or rail shatter, deck after one or two surfs would have slight depressions.
If it was an off the rack big name brand like DHD or Merrick then they would be real beaten up after six months, pretty much worthless after a year.
Had two Firewires in FST construction for over a year and im 100% happy with them both, so much more durable than a PU board and IMO the feel surfing is not that much different, i wouldn't say they go better or worse i don't buy into all that hype but a good shape goes good no matter what and these two boards go good.
Both boards after a year still have no dings on the bottom and only slight depressions on deck mostly from my duck diving knee, the one i ride the most also has two very tiny dings one on rail at nose a shatter (my head came off worse) and one smaller than a 5 cent size near the tail pad a puncher i had to fix....totally blown away by how they have held up especially as I've accidentally knocked them into doors, gates, rock faces and in my car (tradie)
On the flip side about 3 months ago got a Firewire in Rapid fire (white) construction and i give this construction a big thumbs down had about 15-20 surfs on the board, goes fine, but it doesn't seem all that much more durable than a standard PU board and although its in pretty good condition still, its got slightly more dings/rail shatter and deck compression's then my two FW in FST, im now at the point where I'm not surfing it as don't want to ding it up more and think i will sell it while its still pretty new and cut my loses and get another FW in FST.
I just wish more guys would start building vacuum bagged epoxy sandwich constructed boards so i could have more choice as now there is no way id every buy a PU board I wouldn't even buy a standard epoxy board it has to be sandwich epoxy construction.
One real benefit of durable boards is you can actually start building a quiver as your not needing to constantly turn over your board, the big plus here is when you do have a quiver is not only that you can choose the best board for conditions, but if you get bored with one board you have been ridding a fair bit, you can give your surfing a spark with an other, which in effect means your spreading your surf time over a few boards (3 in my case) which then means all 3 boards last longer, which in effect means even though you have more boards your not actually buying as many, which for me means my wife is happy and when she is happy everyones happy.
BTW. Sorry if this sound like an add for FW, for now there my go to brand because of my experience, but im real interested in Sunova and Diverse they look like there doing similar constructions.
stoked to hear your input. Probably the only mainstream alternative surfboard construction option I havent gone for so far is firewire. Not sure why, maybe cos I had a go very early days on a taj model which was pretty much the only one then and it was way too bladey with fuck all volume.
I'd be keen again with all the new models but I looked at the new volcom store or whatever it is now at coolangatta airport and nothing jumped out at me except the surfboard salesfolks.
Re DHD - I ordered my very first one a couple of months ago. They fucked up the order but fixed it quick. Its a Margo Nugget, surfed on the downside of this massive cyclone in Byron solid thommos rock/main beach plus uncrowded pass prior to things settling down for most punters, then today at my local which is exposed and no takers except me and a couple of mates I had to call to have company. My call is at this stage it is holding in really well past several shallow deck dings which happened first surf. 2 & 3/4 thick, carbon on the stringer. Could snap next surf, I dont know, but its holding up OK now and I know they pumped it out of the factory quick. In terms of the shape its got a nuts concave/double concave through the tail resulting in a sharp rail but it really works.
This is the board. I'm not a DHD rep and this is the first ever DHD I've had:
More and more I find myself going for a bit more foam and more so in the middle & nose but not too much and a rounded pin tail. Part of the ageing process? Maybe but I am all for catching waves. Just turned 40 and feeling as fit as 25 and I think surfing better. A bit more emphasis on fitness outside of, or allied with, surfing. Perhaps an issue of perspective but been barrelled a lot lately so I'm gonna just keep doing what I'm doing as its working....
I like how they have done the board profile on that website can really get a good idea of what the board would be like in real life.
Love DHD,s had a few when living on the goldie one was a magic board.
I have been running with Futureflex boards for a while now.
No issues with the construction - it holds up well in my opinion. I have compared the standard Futureflex glass job to a couple of old PU boards and although deck depressions appear quicker on them it never gets as bad as the PU boards I have or still own.
Yet to snap one. Love the way, 3 years later, my oldest FF boards still feel 'alive' just like a new board.
Took me a little while to get used to the feel of parabolic stringers but not sure if I could go back to PU boards now.
I like knowing volume, its a very useful dimension to have. Scotty yes the futureflex have a real springy feel to them. I'm a fan. I've had a handful of boards with parabolic stringers but futureflex seems to work the best.
I have been using an epoxy/polystyrene foam board with the carbon fibre rails( I think those are the right terms, I'm no expert) at least twice a week for over a year now and there are no compression dings at all. In fact the only dings are from carelessness when putting in the car or getting around tight corners in the house. It is also so much lighter than PU boards.
In the same time I have a PU board which is about 6 months younger and doesnt get used more than once a week. It has various dings from stress, compression and carelessness. Its still goes ok but I probably wouldnt buy another one.
I found that I surf much better on the epoxy light weight board.
Started shaping my own about two years ago. At the moment I'm making about 6 a year, and every 5th one is for me, so I'm getting a new board every 10 months or so.
Having said that, before I saw the light, I'd been riding a single fin that's the same vintage as me (1976) and a mal for the knee-high days that was shaped in 1992. I like to have options, so don't limit myself to just one board. Being able to shape my own means I can afford to do this without risking my marriage, as each board works out to be about $240.
I've snapped my fair share of boards over the years, but most have lasted at least a couple of years (with one notable exception, which snapped the second time I took it out).