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How To Buy a Used Snowboard: 5 Things To Look For

If you’re looking to replace your current snowboard or stock up on a few spare boards, you may want to consider buying a used model. But when buying a used snowboard, it’s crucial to verify that your chosen board is in top-notch shape.

To buy a used snowboard, you’ll want to find a reputable seller that can verify the board’s age and condition. Snowboards can wear down quickly the more they’re used and the older they are, so it’s vital to check out the board’s features to ensure that it’s still safe and secure enough to use again.

Still, you can learn how to buy a used snowboard by looking for specific indicators. For example, a snowboard with multiple cracks and holes isn’t likely to last for long, so checking for these signs of damage can help you select the possible option. So, without further ado, let’s explore the top five things to look for when buying a used snowboard.

Things To Look For in a Used Snowboard

There are several physical indicators of a solid, ready-to-ride board. If you’ve never bought a used snowboard before, you might be asking yourself, “how do I know if a snowboard is good?” 

The key to purchasing a quality board is to ensure you’re hitting these top five points before making a purchase. Explore each part of this checklist to help you choose the best possible used board.

1. Solid Sidewalls

Snowboards aren’t made of one single material. Instead, they’re a composite of various materials, including fiberglass, steel, and wood. Unfortunately, after long-term use and exposure to the elements, these layers can begin to degrade and split apart.

One of the first signs of an aging snowboard is small vertical cracks along the sidewalls of the board. These can start as small, splinter-like lines along the sidewalls, but they often widen with time and form noticeable gaps.

Though these cracks might seem inconsequential, they can lead to a weaker, less stable board. They can also expose the inner layers of your snowboard to ice and snow, causing them to break down and decompose more rapidly. 

While searching for a used snowboard, be sure to choose an option with solid, unsplit sidewalls. Otherwise, you might be buying something that only lasts for a few runs.

2. A Stable Base

A snowboard’s base is what allows it to slide gracefully across the snow. But bits of unsecured die-cut or rough areas in the plastic can result in a challenging run and slow speeds. Flaws in a snowboard’s base can also weaken it, causing unexpected snaps or breaks while riding.

If you’re buying a used board online, it can be a little tricky to assess a snowboard’s stability. But you should be able to access pictures of its base and check for significant signs of damage. 

Little bits of unsecured sticker or die-cut are relatively easy to fix, but massive strike impacts, gashes, or holes should be avoided at all costs. After all, a damaged and unstable base is bound to make for an unpleasant experience.

3. Firm Edges

Cracks in a snowboard sidewall often lead to split edges, which is a significant sign of damage. If the used snowboard you’ve got your eye on doesn’t have firm, sealed sidewalls, you might want to move along to a different option. 

But the slightly thicker sidewalls aren’t the only edges you’ll want to check out. Used boards with deep slashes, cracks, or holes along the tail or nose can be dangerous and often feature deeper internal rot and damage.

Remember, unsealed snowboard edges can let water and ice into the heart of the board, damaging both the core and the topsheets. Unscrupulous sellers can reseal edges and fill small cracks or holes. However, resealing a topsheet is a little trickier. 

4. Sealed Topsheet

The topsheet is the uppermost portion of a snowboard. It’s often made of thick plastics that help protect the board from everyday wear and tear. And while minor scratches or dents don’t make a significant difference in rideability, an unsealed topsheet will.

If you notice that the top of your chosen snowboard seems to be flaking off slightly, the topsheet portion may be badly damaged. When a snowboard’s topsheet is badly nicked, moisture can trap itself between this layer and the ones beneath it. 

This causes the topsheet to pull away from the other layers of the board. Over time, this seemingly tiny flaw can lead to a wasted board. Therefore, buyers should always ensure that the used board they’re buying has a sealed, well-maintained topsheet.

5. An Undamaged Core

Many of the things we’ve mentioned are incredibly easy to spot. But a snowboard’s core sits at the very heart of its many layers. As such, checking its strength and condition can be challenging.

That said, one of the best ways to check for an undamaged core is to look for it. If you can’t see the core peeking through any holes or cracks in the other layers, there’s a good chance that the body is still intact and in excellent repair.

If you’re interested in buying used boards and refurbishing them, the core will be the most crucial thing to assess. After all, fiberglass and hard plastic topsheet are both relatively simple to reapply to a used board. But fixing its core is an entirely different matter, especially if it has started to rot.

How Do You Know if a Snowboard Is Good?

Keeping an eye out for common signs of damage can help you avoid bad snowboards. Cracks, holes, and splitting layers are some of the most apparent signs of a broken board. 

But in addition to things to avoid when choosing a used snowboard, there are several qualities to look for, such as solid, unsplit sidewalls and a sealed topsheet that lies flat against the base. If you’re purchasing a snowboard from an online seller, you’ll want to take time to scrutinize product photos.

Used snowboards with few photos, or blurry photos, may be in far worse condition than described. You might also want to check your seller’s previous customer reviews to ensure you’re purchasing from a reputable seller, which can help you avoid accidentally buying a bad snowboard.

How Long Does a Snowboard Last?

A snowboard can last for up to about fifteen years, especially when maintained and properly stored. But this is the best-case scenario. Most snowboards bite the frost far earlier, often due to unseen rocks, rough impacts, and consistent usage.

The more often you use your board, the more quickly it’s bound to develop cracks, holes, and splitting layers. As such, the lifespan of your snowboard often comes down to your skill level and how often you use it. 

The folks at Riding Boards maintain that “[the] average snowboard should last a rider between 150 and 200 days.” This estimate is useful when buying a new board but can be challenging to apply to used boards. 

After all, most riders don’t keep a day-by-day account of how often they’ve used their board. Consequently, shoppers looking for a used snowboard should focus on assessing the board’s condition and choosing a reputable seller. 

Is a 10 Year Old Snowboard Still Good?

A ten-year-old snowboard could still be good if it doesn’t show any apparent signs of damage, such as cracked sidewalls or a hole-studded base. Proper storage and occasional riding can prolong the life of a snowboard. 

If your seller didn’t ride much and kept their board in a dry, temperate space, you may be able to find a decade-old board that’s still ready to shred some snow.

Where To Buy a Used Snowboard

Now that we’ve addressed what to look for in a used snowboard and how long the average snowboard lasts, let’s discuss where to buy a used board. After all, there are several options, and some may be better than others.

Generally, when buying a used snowboard, you’ll want to opt for a local seller. This is because snowboards can be slightly more expensive to ship over long distances due to their size. However, it’s also essential to choose a reputable retailer.

If you can’t find any trustworthy sellers in your area, choosing from a more selective online marketplace like eBay or Amazon could be the better option. You could also choose to purchase from online retailers that specialize in used athletic equipment.

Whichever option you choose, be sure to look for solid snowboards that have sealed topsheet layers, zero holes, and no cracks along the sidewalls.

Facebook Marketplace

The first place you may want to try looking for used snowboards is Facebook Marketplace. If you already have a Facebook account, you can access local goods for sale by opening the Facebook app or website and clicking or touching the storefront icon at the top of your screen.

From there, you can search a predetermined area around your location to search for used snowboards for sale. Local options are often the most affordable and convenient solution, as local sellers may be eager to part with their unused sporting equipment. 

Local sales also mean that you may be able to pick up your snowboard relatively quickly. That said, depending on where you live, used snowboards could be challenging to find via Facebook Marketplace. 

Additionally, some Facebook sellers aren’t entirely trustworthy. Remember, when purchasing from Facebook Marketplace, it’s crucial to always meet during the daytime, and if possible, at a public place. 

If you don’t live in an area where snowboarding is popular, or you feel more comfortable purchasing from a registered business, you can also choose to visit your local sporting goods store. Many sporting goods stores carry used equipment, including snowboards.

Local Sporting Goods Stores

Depending on where you live, you might have a sporting goods store within your town or city. Whether this store is a chain or an independently owned and operated retailer, there’s a chance they may carry used gear.

So before you begin browsing through the hundreds (sometimes thousands) of online options, take a moment to visit your closest sporting goods store and ask if they might’ve used snowboards for sale. Even if they don’t, they may know a local retailer who does!

Of course, individuals living in warm states may not be able to find snowboards. If you don’t live near a snowboarding destination, it might be better to check your online options.

eBay

Before 1995, the idea of a global online auction seemed like a fever dream. But with the birth of eBay came the initial stirrings of what would become an international online shopping industry. 

Though eBay is no longer one of the only online shopping platforms, it remains one of the most popular for those searching for used items. That’s because eBay is primarily a platform for private sellers.

You can find a menagerie of various items on eBay, from vintage 1970s clothing to collectible baseball cards. You might also be able to find a used snowboard in excellent condition.

When buying from eBay, be sure to consider seller rating and product images. For example, if the person offering the snowboard has a low rating, it may not be a trustworthy option. And if the uploaded photos are blurry or there are only a few pictures, you might also want to try a different seller.

Of course, private sellers on Amazon are verified and face a somewhat stricter enrollment process than eBay users. If you’d like to buy a used snowboard online, but you’re wary of Facebook Marketplace and eBay, you could always try Amazon.

Amazon

Amazon is one of the largest online retailers in the world. They have more than 100 warehouses across the US and nearly 200 global centers. As such, you can find almost anything your heart desires on Amazon, including used snowboards.

However, your selection may be limited, as private sellers may prefer other platforms to sell used goods, including Letgo. If you’ve got a smartphone or a tablet, you may have better luck using this buyer-friendly app instead.

Letgo

Letgo is quickly becoming one of the most trustworthy apps for buying and selling used items. That’s because it features a rating system that allows users to assign a score to their experience.

This feature can help you avoid potential scams and stay safe while searching for a used snowboard. Additionally, Letgo allows buyers to communicate with sellers without revealing personal information, such as your phone number. 

As such, choosing to buy a used board through this app could be one of the safest and smartest ways to find a local option without using Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

Geartrade

If in-store options aren’t available and you’re not comfortable using eBay or Amazon, you might want to consider Geartrade. It’s a service dedicated to purchasing high-quality used sporting and camping equipment and reselling it at a fair price.

You can find snowboards, ski equipment, and durable outdoor clothing at affordable prices, though you will need to pay for shipping. Additionally, some items are nearly just as expensive as brand-new options due to their excellent condition and quality.

Still, if you haven’t had much luck finding a used snowboard via the other above options, you may want to give Geartrade a second look. Besides, if you have any used equipment that you’ve been hoping to part with, you may be able to sell your gear to them!

Conclusion

When looking for a used snowboard, it’s essential to check for solid sidewalls, a stable base, and firm, un-split edges. It’s also wise to ensure the snowboard in question has a sealed topsheet and a virtually damage-free base and core. 

Though snowboards can last up to fifteen years when correctly maintained and stored, it’s not uncommon to replace them after about 200 days of use. When choosing a used snowboard, be sure to consider local opportunities first. Doing this can save you a bundle on shipping costs.

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