'More Than They Are'

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Dispatch

Yesterday I began writing an article on today’s Black Friday sales and the state of the board industry. How the chickens from three glorious years of COVID sales have come home to roost: sales have slumped, the second-hand market is flooded, and it’s suddenly switched from a seller’s market to a buyer’s.

Even have my own little anecdote. An orange-tinted Wizstix fish - a Jughead model - bought for $100 off Gumtree, which included delivery if you can believe it. 5’8”, great shape, no marks on it, full deck traction, which may cop criticism from some quarters but has made me a convert - good grip is a bonus but stacking boards without delivering a backside wax job is its best quality.

With the draft version written, today I was going to tidy up the words and make the argument for hunting bargains. This morning, however, I read a comment on social media and I reflected on the same topic in a different way.

So yesterday’s mantra to ‘go buy boards’ is replaced by today’s ‘don’t sell boards’, and I’m not sure how that fits into the Black Friday mix.

While it’s true I’ve sold second-hand surfboards before, most of my sticks meet one of two fates: ridden into the ground or superseded, in which case they get stored in the shed or under the deck. Granted I’m a bit of a hoarder and I’ve also got the space to indulge it, but holding on to old equipment has, over time, proven to be a rewarding choice.

For one, those old boards present a timeline of my surfing. Tangible reminders of time’s past, recalled with fondness when I fondle them: special surf trips, developmental leaps, fruitful experiments, all captured in foam and fibreglass.

“It's amazing the memories that some boards hold,” wrote shaper Corey Graham in the aforementioned social media post, “they become more than what they are, some become a time capsule, others hold total sentimentality.”

And I’m nothing if not a sentimental sucker. I guess it goes with the hoarding. Decluttering is a dirty word.

For a few years I built a large collection of vintage boards, and it’s true I enjoyed tracking the design continuum from longboards to short and the various offshoots along the way. Theory is one thing but holding those outmoded curves in your hand is another.

Yet despite the boards being time capsules, none of them held my memories and I felt nothing personal when I picked them up. I’ve since retained the best and sold the rest. They were surprisingly easy to part with.

The other reason to hold onto boards is for the surprise rediscovery. 

You ride a board for six months, maybe more, and it’s good but not great - no tabula magica it the be. So the board gets superseded, which around here means it gets placed back in the rack, somewhere near the quiet corner where the dust settles and the spiders crawl.

And there it sits for a year or a decade, until a time when your surfing is flat, you’re grasping for something and it offers a flicker of recognition. A particular type of turn that felt good, or a place on the wave it liked to travel, and suddenly it’s a missing piece of jigsaw puzzle you forgot you had.

The most recent one for me was a modified version of a ‘Stuey Diver’, a model made by Stuart Paterson that mixed Pato’s own take on a mini-Simmons with elements taken from Channel Island’s Dumpster Diver such as the squared off tail. Mine, however, had an asymmetric squared off tail which may have made it hard to sell, but at any rate I’m glad I didn’t.

The board is six years old and measures 5’10 x 19 x 2 ½. Wide but thin, planes well, very responsive, and though I can’t recall why it was shelved it's running fine in the afterlife. A classic groveller rediscovered.

I’ve ridden that board every day this week. Even swapped it out for another groveller - the 5’8” orange-tint Wizstix. Didn’t sell that one of course - you won’t find it as a Black Friday special on Marketplace - but instead I placed it back in the rack, tucked away for another day.

Comments

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 11:09am

Wish I'd kept all my old boards- for all the reasons mentioned above.

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 5:04pm

+1

helmet-not-hose's picture
helmet-not-hose's picture
helmet-not-hose Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 11:39am

Nice one. When did Black Friday even become a thing here in Australia? All this week its been advertised harder than Christmas.

wallpaper's picture
wallpaper's picture
wallpaper Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 1:14pm

yeah zero fucken shame these cunts

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 10:37pm

Wow, that's a very strong reaction to a sale.

Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67 Monday, 27 Nov 2023 at 10:38am

Do you not have email RT?

epictard's picture
epictard's picture
epictard Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 11:47am

In the last few years I have been approached by old friends / associates, that I have reconnected with, telling me that they 'still have that board that you gave me'. One of which was my very first fibre-glass board, built in a backyard around 1980 by one of my parent's friends. An unlabelled single box fin. I now have that board back in my rack ... great memories flood back whenever I see it.

I have never sold an old bard but have given plenty away.

If someone turned up with my old Reflex skateboard, now that would be awesome!! But alas, I am pretty sure that I razor-tailed it into non-existence.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 12:49pm

yes i dont hoard boards always move em on when the love subsides But there are a few that i wish i had of kept just so as to renew the buzz of a good season or a few epic sessions..........and a time when i felt really in touch with the waves and my surfing..........havent had a magic board for ten years now but i wish i had of kept the ones i did have....

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 1:20pm

Here's the old/new fave:

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 11:17pm

Undeniably ,
It looks fast.....any thing with a good outline and 4 fins gets a space in the shed !

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 1:26pm

C-drives ?
Fake C-drives.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 1:34pm

Nah, they're real C-Drives, straight from Troy. Blue hexcore.

Can't be too harsh on BF sales as this morning I scored a quad set of Machado semi-keel things for a steal. Should go unreal in this board.

David.Green's picture
David.Green's picture
David.Green Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 3:45pm

Agreed, got me two sets of same, most likely the same sale, was a bit surprised at the price but def not complaining!!

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 4:23pm

Jeezus..... This Them ?
https://www.surffcs.com.au/products/copy-of-fcs-ii-rob-machado-seaside-q...
Anyone Buying ...Buy 2 Sets and Resell a Set for $100 when the Sales over....

And- $5 - https://www.surffcs.com.au/collections/fcs-clearance-sale/products/fcs-w...

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 4:12pm

Yep, my response too.

Le_Reynard's picture
Le_Reynard's picture
Le_Reynard Saturday, 25 Nov 2023 at 10:03pm

Ha! I got a set too, just arrived. They look and feel great. See how they go.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay Sunday, 26 Nov 2023 at 6:21am

Might just be perfect for loosening up a Desert Storm to extend lower range.

Fliplid's picture
Fliplid's picture
Fliplid Sunday, 26 Nov 2023 at 8:09am

@udo Buy 2 Sets and Resell a Set for $100 when the Sales over....

Ha, someone on gumtree has already done it, "brand new, still in packet, $180"

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 1:27pm

Nice one, Stu.

The board I relegate to semi retirement - even sometimes entertain the idea of selling - then triumphantly revive, is my Muzz Bourton Reef Swallow. Ordered in 2016 and serendipitously picked up and first ridden on Magic Monday of the Black NE swell, it holds a special place in my heart.

But it's ultra foiled, unforgiving, toey as hell as NC would say, and I periodically tell myself I'm too old and slow for it. One turn, though, is all it takes to change my mind.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 1:30pm

That fishing rod getting used Stu?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 1:36pm

No but it will very shortly. My expectations are low.

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 1:56pm

Sentimental hoarding is a good thing. Sort of like double negative recycling!!!

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 3:18pm

The Stuey Diver certainly sounds like the type of board you'd rescue from being buried under a big pile of stuff in your shed.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 3:26pm

It's experimental. Aside from the tail it might be hard to tell how different the thickness, foil, and planshape is to a regular board.

Was chatting to a mate recently and we both agreed experimental boards tend to run a set course: curiosity, excitement, normalisation, boredom, and then they largely get rejected. I kinda feel that way about alt boards I've had, but the difference between me and my mate is he'll hock them off, reject them outright.

He'll also regret doing so when the curiosity comes around again, as it inevitably does. That's how I feel now about the Diver and I'm glad I didn't hock it.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 5:59pm

Ah jeez, I was more making a dodgy joke about old mate at Thredbo a few years ago.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 6:27pm

I got it Andy. Nice.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 6:47pm

'Woooh'....the sound of a joke going over my head.

Think I've said the word too many times to have lost original meaning.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 7:27pm

To be fair Stu was probably snowed under at the time.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 7:41pm

Haha!

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 8:01pm

I feel bad because I appreciated the hell out of your response Stu :)

southernraw's picture
southernraw's picture
southernraw Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 3:21pm

"And there it sits for a year or a decade, until a time when your surfing is flat, you’re grasping for something and it offers a flicker of recognition. A particular type of turn that felt good, or a place on the wave it liked to travel, and suddenly it’s a missing piece of jigsaw puzzle you forgot you had."
Love this.
Beautifully said Stu.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 7:30pm

Never getting rid of another board again. Till death do us part.

Komodo's picture
Komodo's picture
Komodo Friday, 24 Nov 2023 at 8:51pm

Agree FR.
Your GT 351
Was the goods!

surfer1971's picture
surfer1971's picture
surfer1971 Saturday, 25 Nov 2023 at 5:31am

Spoke to a guy in the industry who said a certain retailer in Sydney bought 2000 Freedom leashes from FCS for $10 each and 2000 O and E grips for $10 each. Throwing them into any full price board sales as he cant sell boards as people are struggling for cash. Smart operator but it also shows how desperate the brands are to clear stock from the wharehouses. Black friday is bigger than Xmas and we are getting a interest rate hike in Dec.

cory's picture
cory's picture
cory Saturday, 25 Nov 2023 at 8:39am

I agree, it’s hilarious. The same people reacting to (insert reason) sale are the same ones complaining about inflation and interest rate hikes. Buy what you need, look after it, keep it or share it when you’re finished.

Tom1234's picture
Tom1234's picture
Tom1234 Saturday, 25 Nov 2023 at 6:09am

@stu I’m more interested in the wiz Can you post a photo of the wizstik. Is it the famous step deck

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Saturday, 25 Nov 2023 at 6:26am

https://www.swellnet.com/forums/wax/523120?page=7
Fin plugs are Powerbase ones Tom

daltz's picture
daltz's picture
daltz Saturday, 25 Nov 2023 at 8:28am

Gonna take the world by storm they said :-)

18379-260105653148-3965147-n

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Saturday, 25 Nov 2023 at 8:48am

Ha ha, Stu the hoarder writes an article justifying his hoarding habits. I’m married to a hoarder, the gymnastic rationalisations for hoarding are always hilarious, and often infuriating.

Was going to write an article length post in one of the threads explaining the science and psychology of decision making, and how the vast majority of decisions are made in the gut, not the head. The role of the brain in these scenarios is to supply the post-facto rationalisations. Just look at any of the forum threads on here.

Me, I hoard uncluttered space. Can only think of one board I got rid of that I wish I still had, but if I had it now it would be beaten up and shocking and unlikely to ever ride it again. So no regrets really.

Having a functional memory helps. Don’t need the artefact.

But you do you, Stu. :-)

daltz's picture
daltz's picture
daltz Saturday, 25 Nov 2023 at 9:09am

"I hoard uncluttered space"
best i've heard

Its a matter of perspective :-)

linez's picture
linez's picture
linez Sunday, 26 Nov 2023 at 8:19am

That's classic, batfink!
Just went and read my wife your first paragraph.....
Glad I'm not alone:)

daltz's picture
daltz's picture
daltz Saturday, 25 Nov 2023 at 9:05am

Its a little sad that some of the hummers in the quiver may never deliver what they used to, due to the extra few kg's around the waistline and stiffening of various joints. They bring back some epic memories and its hard to let go................gonna lose some kilos, give it to the grommet, etc

For me, at some point its time to purge and replace with something you are going to actually ride, a cap of around 10 sticks in the quiver, as agreed with the Mrs :-)

Nothing is more sad than an old man on a piece of kit he has no business riding hahahahahahaha, which I have been guilty of in the past and probably into the future :-)

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Saturday, 25 Nov 2023 at 11:26am

Was going to put a couple of oldies on marketplace.
Not now .
Nice read, cheers. :)

only-sams's picture
only-sams's picture
only-sams Saturday, 25 Nov 2023 at 3:55pm

I recently got my first new board in over 10 years and wasn’t sure what to do with my old one. I would have loved to keep it but I rent an inner city apartment somewhere I don’t plan on living forever so it just want practical. Also wasn’t worth anything to sell.

I ended up taking it down to the nearest boardriders club and asking that it be donated to the next young kid who signs up and might need a board. Feels better to me that it will continue to get used rather than sit around collecting dust.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Saturday, 25 Nov 2023 at 4:21pm

Kinda the same. I don't keep many boards but have given quite a few away over the years to groms. No regrets.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Saturday, 25 Nov 2023 at 6:00pm

I'm going the other way. Many boards have been collected, I know how they ride, and I'm keeping the good ones and parting with those that don't resonate. Perhaps they will resonate with someone else. I still have my first board, and given the float in the old beast, can still ride and understand it.

A good longboard is a for-life proposition, however. I'm spending time learning new aspects of the old friend. The two shortboards that died within half an hour at Supertubes back in 06 were kept, and reforged: and in doing so I've witnessed the amazing speed my son generates on one of them, a great joy.

But I don't need so many. For those that go it creates space for new experience and growth. For those that stay, they are the core of one's experience.

ryder's picture
ryder's picture
ryder Monday, 27 Nov 2023 at 8:07am

We can't have Coon cheese but we can have Black Friday?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 27 Nov 2023 at 2:00pm

Been surfing an old board shaped by Nick Miles from Sculpt that I got made in Nov 2019.

Known as the Corona board, not knowing what was ahead, but getting a purple spray on the bottom by Max at Eye Symmetry that ended up looking like the virus was portrayed in the months to come.

A magic board that's got me more barrelled than any other and absolutely flies. 2+1 with channels and a flyer tail.

It's gone all yellow but is still super light, fast, reactive and has been a ton of fun the last month. So good to get back onto it!

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Monday, 27 Nov 2023 at 2:13pm

craig can you throw up a photo plz

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 27 Nov 2023 at 8:12pm

Mental. Colour now is nothing like that ha.

durutti's picture
durutti's picture
durutti Monday, 27 Nov 2023 at 4:21pm

This article, as introduced in the flyer on the weekend, led me to my first frivolous Black Friday purchase ever - a new FCS longboard fin at almost 60% off.

¡Viva el capitalismo!