It’s your own fault. You could have been a barefoot runner (no gear required!). But you’re not. You practice a sport dependent on artisan-crafted space-age technology. That, and high-quality wetsuits and plane tickets. Sorry.
To be happy, they say you should spend money on experiences and memories, not stuff. In your case, that means gas, jet fuel, campsites, boardbag fees, boat trips and Bintang. Until you find a suitcase of cash floating in the ocean (yet another reason to paddle out), here are a few things not worthy of your cash stash:
1. Fancy Fins.
Look, I think really nice fins are beautiful, too. There are tons of gorgeous designs and colors. And if I wasn’t paying back Uncle Sam for more stuff than I care to admit, I’d buy a slew of them. But me and Sam got shit to work out. And until we do, I’ll buy cheap fins.
The thing is, unless you’re putting Jordy Smith-levels of torque into your wraps, nice fins probably matter very little. You certainly can manage without dropping well over a Benjamin to get the ideal blend of stiffness, flex and sex appeal.
They don’t always look as steezy, but you can cop a thruster set for less than half the price of mainstream brands. Yo, if you do notice a difference in performance, stop reading this article and start competing on the WQS. I want to see you at Sunset next winter.
2. Brand New Surfboards off the Rack.
That new stick the mags are giddy over? Please. Like I said, I got Uncle Sam on my back. That’s why I camp out on Craigslist where, at this very moment, loads of people with maxed out credit cards are selling barely-used, designer boards in your exact dimensions. There are plenty of chumps out there silly enough to pay retail — that’s why you don’t have to. Buy ‘em, sell ‘em, trade ‘em. Wax ‘em, then axe ‘em. They’re easier to try out and ditch than a Tinder date.
3. Leash Strings.
Pretty much everything out there advertised as a surfboard leash string is a ripoff. Even sold in packs, they usually cost between 50 cents and a $1 per string, and can actually cost way more if you’re looking to get something stronger for longboards or SUPs…For reals?
I think it’s good practice to change your leash string frequently. (I mean, unless you want your board to take a solo trip to the rocks.) But when strings cost somewhere between a Snickers and a latte, you can see why so many hang around until they’re sun-bleached and ratty.
Enter good old parachute cord. The stuff is stupid cheap, found in any hardware store and usually stronger than the low-grade nylon cord that passes for leash strings. One quick search turned up 100 feet of cord in a zillion colors for less than $9. Free shipping, too! The beauty of having a long roll is this: You can cut your strings to your desired length, meaning you can double it over for extra strength on your SUP, or tailor the length to perfectly fit the rail saver on your leash. When you have 100 feet of it, you won’t think twice about switching out an old string. Plus, fun colors!