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I'm going to travel to Australia in April and I'm traveling the east coast (from Melbourne to Cairns) with a campervan. I'm very keen on surfing and have some experience. I was wondering if it's better to buy and sell a board or rent a board multiple times. And when buying, where do I need to look for a good deal?

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    I'm Australian and I don't surf but I work in a backpacker hostel near a beach. In my experience most travellers start out renting and then buy a used board. As you get better you want a smaller more maneuverable board that is difficult for a beginner to use at all. You can sell your board and upgrade as you improve. But the value will drop as you accumulate dings and other damage. Used boards can be had from $300 AUD from other travellers or gumtree.com. New boards from $500 on clearance/out of season/special offer. These prices are for "good" boards. The prices in MH's answer seem low! – hippietrail Dec 1 '14 at 3:58
  • How long is the trip? The longer you make it, the better value buying vs renting. – WW. Dec 1 '14 at 12:42
  • We'll travel the east coast from Melbourne to Cairns in 4 weeks – TomDoes Dec 1 '14 at 12:58
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My partner I travelled 'around the block' from March to September and rented boards in various places along the east coast. Prices vary a little, but count on paying at least $20 AUD for a day (or sometimes just a half day). To put that into perspective with buying a board: in the last backpackers we stayed at (in Sydney, Bondi Beach), second-hand boards were offered up for $45.

For cheap boards, you're probably best off at backpackers, in particular in cities where travellers commonly depart the country from. You can inspect the item on the spot and make a decision based on what you see (and try to negotiate the price down of course ;)).

Another good option would be to check out Gumtree though - it's an Aussie subsidiary of Ebay without sign up/listing/selling fees and therefore very popular for buying/selling virtually any type of product or service (note: as a side effect of that, there can be quite a bit of junk and small commercial activity to sift through first, depending on the product category). Anyways, as an example, here's a list of boards up for sale in the Melbourne region (130 ads at the moment, cheapest board costs $100).

In the end, it's just a matter of simple math and how much you're willing to spend on a board of your own.

PS: I've made the assumption that by "good deal", you weren't referring to a brand-new board. Unless you plan on living on the beach for several months in a row, I doubt a new board would be a cost-effective solution for a temporary stay.

  • You've made the right assumption :) I hope to sell the board before I leave or if that fails i'll give it away. – TomDoes Dec 1 '14 at 7:50

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