If you’re like me, something new catches your eye every time you walk into a surf shop. And of course, you want it. It’s just like when you were a kid walking into a candy store, only now everything’s more expensive and you can’t just guiltily walk out with your purchase stuffed into your pants pockets.
A recent stop at my local surf shop was no different for me. As I walked to the back of the shop, I locked my gaze on a beauty. Among all the others in the rack, I saw her gleaming with symmetrical lines and nice curves. She had a color that catches your eye and lines that would make you hold your breath. I felt nervous, a bit uncertain as I took her off the rack and laid her down to get a better look. Ten feet of single fin sexiness and a potentially perfect addition to my quiver. I had to have her. I did the math in my head and cringed a bit. And then the “One in, one out” rule hit me.
My wife, aka “Minister of Finance,” was already spoiling my fun and I hadn’t even spent anything. I could hear her voice in my head. “If you are going to get a new board, which one are you getting rid of?” she would be asking me expectantly. “Do you really need to spend more money on this stupid sport? How about selling some of the crap you already have?”
I ran through a mental inventory of all my boards and remembered that each has a good vibe, story, or epic sesh. Breaking those bonds would be hard so I thought about it for a bit. How did I amass such a collection over the years despite that “one in, one out” rule and the financial discipline that my wife enforces on fun things?
This is when I realized I have used six, mostly underhanded tactics that have allowed me to walk the shady line on how many boards I keep and the traceable cash flow required to feed my obsession. Despite having a small collection while single, I managed to grow my quiver significantly while married. Here is my contribution to help you add that new ride to your stable when big brother or sister is watching:
1. The old, “I traded boards with a friend” trick.
This one always works, especially if your surfing friend is a true friend and won’t rat you out. When asked where you got that board just say, “I traded boards with (fill in the name here).” The key here is that hopefully your significant other doesn’t know exactly how many boards you have and by saying “traded” it gets you around the spending money on stupid things discussion.
2. Hide it in a bag, wedged in between other bagged boards.
If you’re a bag person who only takes the board out for surfing and your significant other doesn’t really surf this will certainly work. But remember the board must fit in the bag and blend in as if camouflaged. Don’t try to stuff a shiny, brand new single fin mid-length in thinking it will fit in that extra fat guy shortboard bag. You’ll get caught.
3. Hide it behind another board or somewhere in the garage that people don’t bother to look.
This could work and has worked in the past, but often gets you busted. If the board is found out at a later date then no biggie, but if it’s soon after your purchase then you are screwed. It is also a recipe ripe for a ding. Trust me.
4. Stash it at a good friend’s house.
This certainly works if your good friend is single. It can even work if they are married as long as their own significant other isn’t too aware or cares to rat you out. The only downside is potentially needing that board when your friend is away on vacation or business. So get that garage door code.
5. “I have always had it. I guess you never noticed before.”
You will likely get a verbal beat down for this one and are potentially not having sex for weeks. But if your significant other is gullible enough it will work. To be honest, it actually hasn’t worked all that well for me but it is an option. And honestly, assuming you can do without sex for a week or two, in the long run, you’ll probably still get to keep the board because she’s not really going to make you sell the thing.
6. Just shoot it straight.
My mom always said honesty is the best policy. So fess up and just say, “Yep, I bought another board. I work hard and I need my toys. All my habits are healthy. Would you prefer I spend my money out drinking?”
Just prepare yourself to deal with the consequences as mentioned in point number five.
So, there you have it. Six ways to hopefully get around nagging about new surfboards without having to get rid of old ones. Now go build that quiver and do so with a clean conscience. And remember to always pay in cash.