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Hang Ten, Save the Earth | The Benefits of Buying Secondhand Surfboards for a Sustainable Future

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Analiese Hudson

7 May 2023

an illustration of a girl surfing

One evening, I was out in the water, sitting on my board, enjoying the peacefulness of the ocean. I overheard a conversation between a surfer and his friends. He was talking about how he never buys used boards, and it caught me off guard. I mean, sure, buying a brand new board can be exciting and even rewarding, but have you ever thought about the impact that decision could have on the environment? It's not just a financial investment; it's an investment in the future of our planet.

The Impact of New Boards

Surfing is a beloved activity enjoyed by people all around the world. It allows us to connect with nature and experience the thrill of riding the waves. However, the production of surfboards can have a significant negative impact on the environment. The materials used in the manufacturing process are not only finite but can also have harmful environmental impacts. The production of new surfboards often involves the use of foam, fiberglass, and resin, all of which can be detrimental to the environment when extracted and processed. In addition to this, the production process generates waste, including excess materials and emissions.

That's where buying a used surfboard comes into play. By purchasing a pre-owned board, you're not only reducing waste but also extending the life of a product that has already been manufactured. Every time a new surfboard is produced, resources are consumed, and waste is generated. But when you buy a used board, you're helping to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills or the ocean. The surfboard is being used for its intended purpose rather than being discarded after a short period of use, delaying the need for a new one, and reducing the demand for new surfboards.

secondhand surfboard shop

Why Buy Used?

It's not just the environment that benefits from buying used surfboards; there are also many personal benefits. For one, it's a cost-effective alternative to purchasing a brand new board. Plus, buying a used surfboard can offer a unique and exciting experience. It can be fun and rewarding to search for the perfect used surfboard that may no longer be produced or available as a new board. You may even find a board that has its own character and history, adding to the overall charm of your surfing experience. I found my favorite board at a local used shop in Honolulu.

However, it's essential to note that not all used surfboards are created equal, and it's crucial to do your research before purchasing one. Some used surfboards may be damaged or not in good condition, which could lead to additional repairs or replacement in the near future. Before buying, it's important to inspect the board thoroughly and ensure that it is suitable for your skill level and intended use.

Ethical Boards

At WorldChanger, we believe in responsible surfing and care about who makes and sells our surfboards. It's important to consider the seller of the used surfboard to ensure that you're buying from a reputable source, such as a surf shop or a trusted individual. Doing so can increase the likelihood of getting a quality board and reduce the likelihood of purchasing a stolen one. Unfortunately, surfboards are valuable items, and it's not uncommon for them to be stolen and sold. The surfing industry is not immune to ethical issues, such as labor exploitation and unfair wages. By purchasing a used surfboard, you are avoiding supporting the production practices of companies that may not align with your values. Additionally, buying used board can reduce the demand for new surfboards, which can help reduce the pressure on companies to produce surfboards at a faster rate and potentially compromise on ethical standards.This creates an opportunity for ethical businesses to thrive, leading to a more sustainable surfing industry.

More Susty Tips for Surfers

Aside from buying used surfboards, there are other ways to promote sustainability in the surfing community. One way is to consider the materials used in the production of new surfboards. Alternative materials, such as sustainably sourced wood or eco-friendly foam made from recycled materials, can be used instead of traditional materials. Bizia Surf on Oahu takes the invasive species of Albizia on the island and turns it into quality Surfboards. If you wanna look at their boards and learn more about them, check out Using biodegradable resin for glassing can help reduce the amount of plastic waste generated by the surfing industry.

a girl surfing a wave

Another way to promote sustainability in the surfing community is to dispose of surfboards properly. When a surfboard is no longer usable, it's important to dispose of it in an environmentally responsible way. Many surfboards are made with materials that are not biodegradable, so simply discarding them can have negative impacts on the environment. Surfboards can be repurposed into other items, such as furniture or art, or recycled into other products.

I believe surfing is a sport that is deeply intertwined with nature. As surfers, we often find ourselves in the midst of stunningly beautiful landscapes, surrounded by beautiful water. Surfers should be the biggest advocates in taking an active role in preserving and protecting the environment we so greatly depend on. We should make sure the sunscreen we wear isn't hurting the reef, which keeps the precious ocean alive. We should wear swimmies and boardshorts from brands that also share the love of the ocean, and don't damage it in production. There are also more brands creating sustainable fins, leashes, wax, as well as boards. A few of my favorite brands are Skatie, Cariuma Surf, and Seea. They can all be found at

Buying used surfboards reduces waste, conserves resources, supports the circular economy, is cost-effective, and can offer unique and interesting surf experience. It can also promote community building, support local businesses, and keep unethical business from being supported. While buying used boards is not the only way to promote sustainability in the surfing community, it is a simple and effective way to reduce the environmental impact of surfing and promote a more sustainable future. By taking small actions, surfers can make a big impact in preserving the natural beauty of our oceans and beaches for generations to come.

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