Advice for buying second hand windsurfing equipmentHarvey Dawkins
Buying used windsurfing equipment
There are some great deals to be had buying used windsurfing equipment. There is a thriving used windsurfing equipment market and you can save huge amounts of money on buying new equipment.
The obvious place to start is ebay. However whilst ebay does have some great deals available it is really best suited to windsurfers who know exactly what they are looking for. If you are a first time buyer I would advise staying away from ebay unless you have got some reliable advice on exactly what you are looking for.
The most important thing is to be clear on what you are looking for. The best thing is to get some advice on the size of board and sail you are looking for. There are lots of places you can get advice both online and in person. I find it is always good to have a chat with someone in the know as you can ask all those questions. You may have a friend that windsurfs or pop down to a windsurfing shop or centre like Lagoon Watersports and have a chat to one of the staff.
Windsurfing is a sport that has a habit of developing and moving quite quickly. Not long ago it would have been considered unwise to buy a board or sail that was over 5 years old. That has changed a bit as the pace of change has slowed and now you can easily purchase a board or sail up to about 8 years old and it will be perfectly usable as long as it is in reasonable condition.When looking at boards you need to check the windsurf board is water tight. Look for any repairs. Repairs are not a bad thing you just need to check they have been done properly and are not taking in water. Give repaired areas a squeeze and if they are soft or spongy that is not a good sign. Check the deck of the board has grip on it, the condition of the foot straps and deck pads. Take a look around the mast track and fin box and check for cracks. Put the fin in the board to make sure it fits. Worn graphics and the look of the board will play a part in the value of the board but they are cosmetic rather than structural.
On the sail front, again, a repair is not the end of the world as long as it has been done properly. Sails with any significant repairs should be pretty cheap. Check all the battens are in the sail and the tensioners work. Check batten pockets for tears. Minor tears are cosmetic and can be hardly worth fixing but bigger ones should be reflected in the price. The mast tube, luff sleeve, may have a few nicks in it from wear and tear. A large tear may reflect a broken mast in the past. Again small tears in the luff sleeve should not be a deal breaker but should be reflected in the price. The best thing to do is actually rig the sail so you can see it works on the mast and boom you have or are buying.
There are quite a lot of things to check for someone new to windsurfing. If you go to an established store or windsurfing centre you may pay a fraction more than from a private buyer but you will be able to get excellent advice, probably be able to get everything you need in one place and have a degree of back up and come back.
Lagoon Watersports is the countries largest North and Fanatic windsurf test centre and replaces its equipment every year. The club sells off used windsurfing equipment that is often less than a year old and gives buyers great value. For those looking for something cheaper it is worth asking as with well over 20 years of teaching there are always some bargains to be found lurking in the cupboard.
View Lagoon Watersports list of used windsurfing gear and equipment for sale.
See you on the water