Used board market discussion

Fishface

Well-Known Member
Oct 4, 2012
543
293
Del Mar,CA
The board prices for used are out of control as we've seen. Is it inflation? is it covid and people being out of work? demand driven?

I think its the pro flippers who are driving up the costs... board source, omar, etc in San Diego for example... but the retail shops are pushing $800-1000 out the door for new shortboards at this poiint with fins etc... where's the demand / price increase coming from? we are obviously seeing demand on here with the endless WTB listings...

wondering yalls thoughts...
 

kclibman

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2018
964
1,179
L.A. County
The board prices for used are out of control as we've seen. Is it inflation? is it covid and people being out of work? demand driven?

I think its the pro flippers who are driving up the costs... board source, omar, etc in San Diego for example... but the retail shops are pushing $800-1000 out the door for new shortboards at this poiint with fins etc... where's the demand / price increase coming from?

wondering yalls thoughts...

Been waiting for this one, thanks for kicking off the thread. It's a multi-part issue for sure, as I see it, so apologies for the length:

1) COVID forces people to stay home. In a lot of coastal or coastal-adjacent communities, chock full of those who can afford to live in CA and therefore have enough disposable income to drop into a new hobby. Those who need to make ends meet liquidate some assets in the first two months, i.e. surfboards.

2) Lockdowns start in March. By the time June rolls around and stay-at-home is lifted, people are itching to get outside or stay outside. Surfing provides that. Lockdowns also grind the glassing/shaping industries to a screeching halt. All existing customs are delayed. All new customs are delayed.

3) Coastal influx of new surfers as a result. Wavestorms populate the lineup, etiquette goes to shit, etc. etc. Those who get big for their britches fast start researching what the "cool brands" are and buy into those. Mollusk and Daydream can barely keep new boards in stock because they're branding powerhouses and make surfing look cool/aspirational.

4) Scarcity comes as the result of these new buyers. More user-friendly models get snapped up faster with a renewed interest in midlengths (see why the CI Mid couldn't have come at a better time and can't stay on shelves).

5) Simultaneously, fuckin' scumbags like Cal, Evren/Solen (OfferUp), that kook Greg in SD, Rocky in San Clemente, etc., all start snapping up those user-friendly boards for a song and selling them to the hapless newcomers to make a buck, whether they surf or not. Copycats of these dipshits spring up on the used market left and right and drive up prices of normally garbage boards not worth a second thought.

6) The advent of "professional" resellers doesn't help. StokeNBroke has been driving up prices for a long time and may have singlehandedly changed the overall trajectory for a handful of labels because of his overseas and "fashion" collector/buyer connections (Omar can also eat wet shit, they're not "clients" and he is not "redefining" anything about a community that has a lot of folks who openly hate him). Jon at Board Source happened to bring on Kevin and then JP started helping out in the year before the hit; as a result, Jon has the manpower/knowledge pool to sell a ton w/North County connections and can't keep enough stock in the racks right now, potentially driving people to look on the secondhand market. Surfboard Collective sells the occasional gem but started selling more of those NoCo local handshapes from newbie shapers (some good, some bad), so they can only partially play into the big-name cachet. There's three pro resellers in SD alone, taking a bite of that market because they'll buy incoming boards for cash on the spot and then will sell at a markup, also buying used boards direct from shapers (Warren/Elmore in particular).

7) Newer surfers with disposable income and/or those who value new items (because they sure as shit ain't going more custom than "I want my Almond in blush pink/ice blue/mint/kelp") start ordering from shapers. Lovelace's wait times skyrocket because he makes user-friendly models with high levels of craftsmanship. Andreini, the same. Christenson, Mandala, Furrow, etc., the list goes on. As a result, those shapers' user-friendly models (Vaquero, C-Bucket, Flat Tracker, Clandestino, Mega Fish etc.) are in even higher demand. Blanks get scarce, COVID shutdowns and cancellations happen in production facilities/factories, labor gets spread thin.

8) Andreini vocalizes that surfboard craftsmanship is undervalued. His price increase may cause a ripple effect to other shapers who don't quite fall into the custom Christenson price bracket. See the wild Andreini movement over the last few weeks.

9) Lack of resources and an unwillingness to wait for a new custom cause newbies and the like to blow out the used market and drive up the value of boards that would have been considered for just scraps this time 18 months ago. Letgo also got folded into OfferUp in the last six months, people are on FB less and less and therefore not utilizing Marketplace, driving more eyes to Craigslist and OfferUp.

10) People with good boards hold onto them, for reasons 7 and 8, keeping the used market depleted.

JB is a wealth of knowledge but easily exploited, hence the influx of new members here with WTB posts and the like (though some have contributed and been gracious. Others are not). Think about the number of Fineline posts you’ve seen that have referenced Brian no longer shaping - that info came from here, because though few and far between, I can think of some Fineline ads that were for boards that were significantly secondhand and had even passed through JB.

That's driven more sales and trades underground and amongst friends or in other offline or closed groups. Prices there are a little higher than normal but not nearly at the same levels as the public secondhand market. It’s the reason why I won’t post any board ad in the CL thread anymore.
 
Last edited:
Jan 8, 2011
40
67
Netherlands
Can’t speak for the US market but is see prices for new US/OZ boards in Europe have gone up as well. Maybe due too reasons mentioned above, maybe because of more expensive shippingcosts or a different Euro/dollar rate. When new boards get more expensive used boards will follow...
I’ve also noticed another thing overhere in The Netherlands. A few years ago you bought a board with a fin. Lately boards are sold without fins. This means you’ve got to spend even more money to get in the water......
 
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306Bing

Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2015
559
358
OCNJ
The old supply vs demand in conjunction with demand vs quantity of supply.

Simple economics, right :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

Zzz

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2017
343
334
CA
There is lots of free money right now with 0% interest rates and constantly escalating asset prices. If you are measuring the change from March (when Covid impacted life in the US) to now used board prices have gone down if you index them against housing costs/prices, Bitcoin, oil, or even the S&P.
Lastly, I think it was referenced above but for many there is more disposable income as typical entertainment expenses (travel, concerts, sporting events, bars/restaurants) are much smaller or zero.
 

shawnzee

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2015
728
266
noco, sd
Why is we all love the high prices when we are selling but hate them when we are buying, regardless of what the product is? Cant always have your cake and eat it as well.

bidding wars on used boards is a fancy kinda cake tho. haven't had a piece myself but i'm starting to think it'll taste pretty freakin good...
 

JBorbone

Well-Known Member
Oct 18, 2017
524
947
St Augustine, FL
It takes 17-18 hours to build a car from beginning to end, mostly machine assembly with human intervention here and there. That same car will then sell for $45K, be used for 10 years on a daily basis, then sell for $1K at the END of its life, at roughly the value of the materials used to build it.

It takes 10-30 hours to build a premium surfboard from beginning to end when being built entirely by hand (varies more than the car timeframe because size and glassing specs drastically change LOE). That surfboard will sell for $1.5K, be used for 10-20 years, then sell for $200 at the END of its life, at roughly 60% less than the value of the materials used to build it.

Unfortunately "something is only worth what someone is willing to pay", but the used (and new) surfboard markets are fundamentally broken from a strictly value based perspective. There is no ISSUE at the moment with used surfboard values on the rise. It is simply the result of surfboard industry workers like myself slowly refusing to be complacent with making an insultingly low wage for a valuable skill simply because it's status-quo to do so.

Here's a 1st hand account:

I work an 80 hour work week every week to pay my bills, split evenly 40hrs/40hrs between a desk job and working in the surfboard factory here in North Florida.
At my desk job, I do nothing but build equations and financial models... i basically just push buttons on a keyboard for 8 hours/day. It requires very very minimal effort. At the factory I'm handshaping custom orders for my name-brand, shaping blanks as a ghost shaper for 2 large global labels, laminating, sanding, and polishing both my boards and all the private label boards that we have licensee rights to. We're making about 25+ boards per month. These activities are strenuous, fuck up my back, are super toxic, and require hundreds of hours (if not thousands depending on the individual) of practice in order to do properly.

And for some reason, despite the facts above, I make 6X more every 40 hours at my desk job than I do every 40 hours at the factory.

This thread seems to suggest that there's an "issue" with the fact that surfboard values (used, new, whatever) are on the rise, which in itself is the catalyst to the age-old stigma "there's no money in surfboards".
 




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