OrphanBoards’ mission is to build an online surfing community where Surfers of all types can gather and share all things related to surfing. Our current mission is to find good homes for surfboards that are underused, unwanted, or unneeded… But, we plan to create a mobile application where Surfers can share first-hand surf reports and other surfing experiences. One guy’s (or girl’s) board may not be “the one” for him (or her), but it might be just right for someone else. Think of OrphanBoards as a Craigslist for surfing enthusiasts, an online surfboard thrift store where kooks, groms, and pros can find a surfboard that suits their style of surfing. Surfers can barter, sell or buy surfboards for cheap, and more choices are likely available than at the rental shack on the beach or the surfshop down the street.
Unfortunately, only pro surfers (or well-off persons) can afford to work with shapers who can customize a surfboard to their liking. A new surfboard can cost at least $400. Higher-end surfboards will require you to drop at least $600. And, after you spend your entire paycheck on a new board, you may discover that it just doesn’t feel right in the water.
I founded OrphanBoards because I experienced buyer’s remorse at least five times before finding a board I wanted to keep in my quiver. Thousands of dollars later, I found my favorite board. I didn’t find it at my local surfshop. I bought it on Craigslist entirely by chance. The price: $100. Once I rode it, I knew immediately what shape, size, and volume of board would work for me. I didn’t need to pay to have one custom designed. I could afford to experiment… And, I did. I added multiple boards to my quiver – one for each type of surf condition. And, I sold those boards that didn’t work.
The “dreamboard” for a surfer at may be sitting around in an attic somewhere. OrphanBoards exists so that almost anyone can ride the board of his dreams (or at least know where to find it) at a much lower price than at any on-line or off-line shop. My belief: there are no “bad” surfboards (unless it’s broken in half). Your board just may not fit your body type or your surfing style. But it may be “magic” for someone else.
Why not rent surfboards until you find a magic ride? No surfboard rental shop is willing to rent a high-performance surfboard, and no surfshop can carry surfboards of all sizes, designs and shapes. It’s rare to find a “demo day” by surfboard manufacturers, and I wish you good luck trying to get your “boy” to let you trial his new Merrick.
Eventually, OrphanBoards plans to purchase a plethora of surfboards for surfers to trial and to donate to deserving children in beach communities starting them on their surf journey.