Editor’s Note: Just bought a new surfboard? Check out Surfcare, a new option for peace of mind.
You just dropped an unforgiving grand(ish) on a creamy white hunk of fiberglass – straight off the rack from your local surf shop. It’s silky to the touch. Your eye skims its clean eyes with adoration. You’re beaming with pride. You’re also a little sheepish about the purchase. The expense to fragility ratio is merciless. The reef doesn’t care about your investment. Nor does the minefield of surfboards at crowded spots like Malibu. Nope. They’ll happily break your board for you and kill that joy at no cost.
The fragility of expensive surfboards has long defied logic for addicted, cash-constrained surfers. But a sensible solution may have just hit the market. Enter Surfcare: insurance for your brand new surfboard.
“I was on a six-month trip to Indonesia when I had my ‘aha’ moment,” says Surfcare Founder Nick Stolz. “I showed up to the tiny Island of Sipura in the Mentawais with a brand new quiver of boards. Within a couple weeks, however, I broke every single one of them surfing HT’s and waves on neighboring islands. That’s when I decided to make Surfcare a reality.”
According to Stolz, the brand launched last month after three years of development and hoop-jumping to abide by regulations in the understandably no-nonsense insurance industry. Insurance is not a bro-bro industry. Warranties must be vetted and maintained.
“To get a little into the weeds, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into,” says Stolz. “Insurance and specifically, the Extended Service Plan Industry is a highly-regulated industry to protect consumers, so I went through a long process to get properly underwritten and licensed. It’s been worth it, though. We are currently selling in every coastal U.S. state except Hawaii and Washington. Those will be on-boarded at some point soon. The other hurdle has been uniting the highly segmented surf industry into one network of Surf Shops and Repair Shops. This is a major value in that when someone breaks or dings their board, we’ll have a repair shop close by for a quick and convenient repair.”
Surfcare is only available within 30 days of purchase of new surfboards, SUPs, and a variety of other boards. There’s a 25 percent deductible for replacing your board, so assuming your board costs $800, you’d need to pay a $200 deductible to replace it. They offer stripped down plans that cover the essentials like breaks, buckles, and fin box breaks. The more expensive plans covers free ding repair and replacements for fins like Futures, FCS, or Longboard Fins. Fin geeks can attest to dropping three digits on a specific fin setup. Hearing those snaps can be painful to the wallet, too.
Surfcare is currently available online and in specialty stores and manufacturers like Hayden Shapes Los Angeles and Wave Riding Vehicles in Virginia Beach, Virginia and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Stolz and his partner (highly-talented cinematographer Rhett McNulty) are working to quickly expand participating shops.
“Ding Repairs are free if you purchase the Surfcare Premium Plan or better,” says Stolz. “On all plans, if your board is broken, we’ll replace it with the same model.”
As for fine print, always break out the magnifying glass.
According to the policy, “The Covered Product [surfboard] is protected against Accidental Damage such as breaks from sudden impact while in the water, or from mishandling. ADH only covers sudden events and does not include protection against theft, mysterious disappearance, misplacement, reckless, abusive, willful or intentional conduct associated with handling and use of the Covered Product
“Surfcare is designed by surfers to help surfers enjoy their new boards. To surf with peace of mind,” says Stolz.”Basically, if a surfer dings their board during use or handling, they’re covered.”
If you recently purchased a new surfboard – with potentially some forced free time and a government stimulus check – you might want to head over to Surfcare to learn more.
A couple reasons to consider, above.