Do you want to sell an old surfboard?

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Why USEDSURF in San Clemente should be your first stop when it’s time to make room in your board rack at home

By Jake Howard

Do you have a few old surfboards gathering dust in the rafters of your garage? Some may have special sentimental value. Stick to those.

Others may be worth something over time. Keep them; they can help fund tuition one day.

But like an old pair of jeans you’ve long since outgrown, some boards don’t fit anymore, and it’s time for them to go. As a recovering surfboard collector (admittedly still in the early stages of recovery), I’m here to say all is well. In fact, cash in!

But what about those old surfboards you know you’ll never ride again? In the past I tried selling boards on Craigslist but found that to be a hassle. Arranging meetings with strangers and getting put down turned out to be more of a pain than it was worth. Seeing one of your favorite $50 boards is kind of heartbreaking.

Most surf shops around Dana Point and San Clemente have used racks, but in many cases this is where team rider boards are shuffled into their next life. Plus, seeing an old battered board next to a rack of fresh, shiny white shapes is a tough sell unless you cut the price dramatically.

This summer, I finally found the time and motivation to dig through all my old boards and part with them. I decided to try my luck at USEDSURF in the San Clemente surf ghetto. Always busy, he expressly deals with the transport and sale of used surfboards – and the store crushes him.

Opened in the early 2000s, USEDSURF is now one of the largest used surfboard companies in the world. Boasting an inventory of hundreds and hundreds of boards at any one time, it also offers a rad fin demo program with over 200 fin sets to choose from. It’s an amazing resource to have right here in our backyard.

To get started, I went online to to see what I needed to do to get the process started. The first thing to understand is that they charge a 25% consignment fee (minimum $25). Considering the level of service he ultimately provided and the fair prices he helped me set for my advice, I had no problem with this.

With hundreds of boards on offer, USEDSURF on Calle de Los Molinos in San Clemente is the perfect place for anyone looking to sell a board or buy something that has already been ridden. Photo: Jake Howard

Surely that’s better than meeting a random person on Craigslist in a parking lot somewhere.

Another thing to remember is that the boards you hope to sell must be in good condition. All wax and stickers should be removed. Dents should be repaired and the board should be sealed and ready to ride.

I chose six boards to bring. All were in fairly good condition. And in the end, USEDSURF decided it would take four boards. The two he didn’t take were big wave pintails with glass fins which he said would take up too much space and not generate interest in mid-summer – a fair assessment. (Anyone want to buy a 7’6″ board?)

After filling out a bit of paperwork on each painting, I was good to go. The staff told me they would text me if any of the boards sold out. Within a week, one of the boards had been sold. A week later another board was purchased. And a week or two later, a third board had sold. Every time a board sold I got a text message and USEDSURF had a check pending (he also does Venmo).

Stoked would be an understatement. I had no idea my boards would go so fast and sell for the prices they did. I came back from my experience at USEDSURF wanting to refer them to all my surfboard loving friends.

It was great to make room in the board rack at home and put some money in my pocket.

So if you’re looking to sell some of your old boards, check out USEDSURF and follow them on Instagram; it also makes for good content.

Jake Howard is a local surfer and freelance writer living in San Clemente. A former editor of Surfer Magazine, The Surfer’s Journal and ESPN, he now writes for several publications, including Picket Fence Media, Surfline and the World Surf League. He also works with philanthropic organizations such as the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center and the Positive Vibe Warriors Foundation.

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