I had a bit of luck this week, I have been keeping an eye on second hand windsurfing board market for about a year now looking for a cheap beginners board, but absolutely nothing has turned up, I had really given up on actually succeeding in finding one, it was more a stubborn exercise in the face of futility. Many friends have wanted to come along and try windsurfing but the cost of hiring a board is prohibitive and the boards we have are too small for a beginner, so I really wasn’t expecting to actually find anything. Casually perusing the online classified ads late one evening I saw a posting appear without a picture that read something like “I’m selling my KonaOne board it’s been heavily damaged but it’s been repaired. It has a centerboard, would be good for a beginner, comes with a fin and footstraps 1000:-” …..Well just how damaged is this board? But it’s been fixed right? Fixed by who? Well for that price its worth buying it as a garden ornament! I SMS:d the seller and luck against all odds I was the first to reply, we arranged a pickup the next day which turned up to be not even 20 kms from my home, the snow had fallen the day before and the address was in the countryside at a summer house and as I approached the lanes got smaller, darker and deeper in snow. I pulled in to the drive and the guy had dragged the board out to the front of the house. The first thing I saw in the darkness lit only by my cars headlights was that at 3.5m it’s enormous! The next thing that is difficult to miss is that about 40 cm of the front part of the board looks like it has been mummified and encased in a plaster cast! “What happed to it?” I asked. “A house fell on it” He replied in a flat meloncholic tone. “A house?!?” I exclaimed “how did that happen?”. “Ah”, he said, “a house, a house for firewood. But I fixed it”. “Yes” I said “I see”. He continued “I used four layers of epoxy, that should do it? its got a polystyrene core”. Well i thought, you would know. “Does it float?” I asked. He assured me that it did but the mummified area was “extremely slippery” well that was good enough for me. I asked him where he sails and what he has for a board these days and he told me that he lives in central stockholm and this board is too large for the smaller apertments (no shit) and that he was looking for a shorter longboard. “Well” i thought, “You sort of had one for a while”. He helped me lift the behemoth on to the roof rack of my car even in the dark I could see it was filthy covered in slippery mud and algae, it stank. It almost dwarfed my car!
I decided to take it straight to the workshop and clean it up to get a good look at exactly what I had purchased. I struggled indoors with it under its slippery stinky weight, smearing my clothing with its slime as i manhandled it through the doors.
I grabbed a screwdriver and whipped off the straps and removed the absolutely enormous centerboard, it must be over half a meter long, I then spent the best part of an hour scrubbing the filth off of it to find out that for all its lack of aesthetic elegance the guy had done quite a good job of repairing it. It’s an even repair and its pretty much back to its original form.
It has cleaned up really well, it looks like it’s been stored inside now… apart from its obvious woodshed cleaving wound scar. I will look in to getting some softdeck material for the slippery front end……. or maybe I’ll leave it nice and slippery for my own amusement, on slack days waiting for the wind, from the beach I can watch beginners negotiating their way over the nose of the board on their first tack in to the wind 🙂