Cheap thrills on the waves

FINGAL'S very own Irish expat Andy Burke knows a thing or two about saving on surf equipment.

He didn't mind sitting down for a chat at his place of work, the Volcom Board Lab at North Kirra.

"Buying a solid board to begin with will save you money in the long run," Mr Burke said.

He said there were a lot of cheap options these days when it came to boards and it was easy to be tempted into grabbing the board that was easier on the hip pocket.

More expensive boards were made with better quality blanks (the base from which all boards are made) and have also benefited from stronger bonding materials like resin and fibreglass which will affect the strength of the board.

"Another thing that will save you cash is looking after your wetsuit, washing it out with clean, cool water and never ever washing it off in the shower under hot water," Mr Burke said.

Correct maintenance will save hundreds over the years. They don't come cheap any more, with an average "wetty" selling for upwards of $350.

Because of how stretchy and comfortable the wetsuits are these days, unfortunately it means they don't last as long. In some cases surfers will only get one winter out of a suit compared to 3-4 winters from one that is loved and looked after.

Leg ropes can save your life in an extreme situation so it is a great idea to buy a good one and look after it.

By washing your leg rope clean of sand and salt water after every surf, you will save money in the long run by making the rope last longer.

Your board disappearing into the shore after your leggie snaps is also a great incentive to have a good quality leg rope.

"Other handy tips are things like not leaving your board out in the sun and making sure it is kept in a cover, especially when travelling. Even tiny things like doubling up your leg rope string so it does not cut into the back of your board under the pressure of a wipe out," he said.

Top tips

Buy a well made board even if it's a little more expensive.

Keep your board in a good quality board sock when not in use.

Wash your wetsuit in cold, clean water and hang in a well ventilated space.

Keep your leg rope clean and double up your leg rope string.

Purchase a "wet bucket" to stop water damage to your car's interior.

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