Renting a surfboard is often a great idea for a few reasons: Locations around the world such as Los Angeles, Malibu, Bali or El Salvador have great options for rental surfboards if you look. You may want to rent a surfboard on a short trips rather then lugging a huge travel bag around. Maybe surfing is only part of your trip and you don’t want to have the board with you the entire time. You may want to rent a surfboard because the fees on the airline are super steep and board bags don’t always offer full protection from the baggage handlers. Airlines generally DO NOT cover any damage their company does to your surfboard. Period.
One Wave Surf recommends to find a rental shop and set something up ahead of your arrival. Even still it is often hard to get a board lined up for the first day you are there, but that will give you a head start. There are quite a few things to be aware of when renting a surfboard.
Here is a quick checklist to go over BEFORE your choose a board and sign the rental agreement:
- Bring your own surfboard leash and leash string! Rental leashes are notorious for coming undone while surfing and this can lead to a world of problems.
- Find out the rental shops policy on dings and broken boards before you rent. Its common policy across the globe, “you break, you buy,” but make sure you are paying actual repair cost on other issues such as rail dings and fin boxes. Also, keep in mind the actual repair cost can very dramatically between locations. Some shops have very steep policies for ding repair.
- Check that the fins are firmly in place in their boxes. It would really suck to loose a fin or a fin box during your rental.
- Be aware if the board has been broken. Boards that have been broken already are often weighted differently and will ride weird. Also, if a board has been broken it may be easier to break again. Look for paint and heavy sections across the middle of the board.
- Check for open dings on the board. You don’t want to get charged for someone else’s mistake. However, Past dings that are closed correctly should not affect your ride.
Hope this checklist helps on your next rental surfboard experience.