Surfboards break. It's an unfortunate fact of life and something that can be hard to deal with.
If you have owned a board for many years, it's hard to accept that it has ridden its last wave.
It has been by your side through countless wipeouts and gnarly rides.
It's been waxed, cleaned, protected, and transported.
It's like a third leg, and feeling it crack underneath you is heart-breaking.
But don't despair, as there may be another use for it!
Reusing surfboards is a great way to give your old board a new lease of life, but it can also help to limit the junk that's sent to landfill every year.
You'll lose a board, but you'll gain a conversation starter, a piece of furniture, or something completely unexpected...
1. Turn it into a Table
Your old surfboard is basically a long and flat surface, making it perfect for a readymade table.
Just attach some legs and you have the perfect outdoor table to enjoy drinks with friends.
You can even create your own little surf house or use it as tiki bar decor.
You can’t get a better conversation starter than that, and it’ll give you the perfect opportunity to chat about your favorite hobby as you drink with friends.
2. Make a Mailbox
Hammer your surfboard into the ground, stick a mailbox on the front, and you have just turned your old board into a new mailbox!
You'll be showing off your hobby to the world and will get something practical and decorative at the same time.
3. Stylish Coat Hooks
Attach some old fins to a simple plank of wood and you have the perfect coat-hook, ideal for a beach bum summer beach house.
Throw up a few signs and a board or two to complete the surfer aesthetic.
4. Build Some Shelves
If you are handy with the power tools, you can turn an old surfboard into a large shelf, perfect for use in a beach house or garage.
It's long, wide, and incredibly practical, and it looks infinitely better than cheap plywood furniture.
5. Hang it Up in Your Garden
It doesn't matter how old or damaged your boat is, it'll always work well as a little garden decoration.
In fact, the more damaged it is, the better, as you can regale visitors with stories of your exploits and the time you bailed on that board-breaking wave or were attacked by an angry shark (let's be honest, they're not going to fact-check you).
6. Make a Sled
A surfboard makes a great sled, even if only half of it remains. You can use it as it is or build upon it, creating something that's a little safer so that your kids can use it.
7. Build a Collection
If you're a keen surfer with a growing selection of pristine surfboards, it's time to collect some broken ones as well.
You can start stacking the broken boards up in the shed, on the walls, or in the garden.
Create a visual testament to the destructive power of the waves or just show your friends how much you love to surf.
As long as they look good, you can place them anywhere.
8. Recycle It
One of the most interesting ways to reuse surfboards is to grind them into dust, mix them with cement and use them to build garden ornaments.
Surfers have built little buddha statues, gnomes, and so much more using this method.
You have to be pretty handy and have the necessary tools, but if you do, it’s a great way to turn those broken boards into something beautiful.
9. Turn it Into a Chair
Furniture is always a reliable option and the great thing about chairs is that you can use a board of any size.
You will need to get the saw out, and you will also need some additional wood to make the frame, but it should be a relatively simple project if you're willing to invest the time.
10. Fix It
Just because your board is damaged or broken, doesn't mean it is the end of the line.
Take it to a shaper and see if there is anything they can do.
You can also try to experiment with it yourself. What's the worst that could happen?
You've already written it off, so if you end up making a mess of things, just chalk it down to experience, make a table, and move on. It's a win-win!
Summary: Why Reuse Surfboards?
We live in a throwaway society. A century ago, if something broke, you fixed it.
If you couldn't fix it yourself, you asked someone who could.
Very little was wasted because everything was precious.
These days, we've lost that connection and we don't consider appliances, equipment, and furniture to be as precious as our grandparents and great grandparents did.
Contrary to what the older generations might claim, it's not because we're all heartless consumerists. It's because things are a lot cheaper and easier to acquire than they once were.
They're also not built to last and use cheaper materials that are rarely worth saving.
Thankfully, that attitude is steadily changing.
We've seen a gradual shift away from cheap and nasty materials and toward higher-quality options.
Not only are they often better and sustainable, but they're also worth saving.
Anytime that you reuse or repurpose a surfboard, you're contributing to this changing world, this sustainable cycle.
It might seem insignificant, but it means that one less surfboard is going to landfill, and if you're using it as a table, it also means one less table is being made and sold.
If everyone adopts a similar attitude, and that spreads to future generations, we might be able to look forward to a future where we're not buried in waste like some dystopian junkyard and actually appreciate things.
So, the next time that your board breaks and you think about discarding it, keep this in mind and ask yourself how it can be reused.