Surfboard rentals: choose a service located near the beach | Photo: Shutterstock

Waves are constantly breaking all over the world, and if you're on a surf trip or a family vacation, it's always good to know you can rent a surfboard anywhere there's a gem to be ridden.

Surf travel is always an exciting experience, but it can also be a traumatizing one. While traveling with our favorite surfboards is an undeniable commodity, it may lead to damaging precious cargo.

Additionally, if you're embarking on planes, trains, coaches, buses, and taxis, your board will be transported and handled in often precarious conditions.

Sometimes, and unfortunately, a good surfboard travel bag might not be enough. Instead of scoring epic waves, you end up living a nightmare.

Traveling the world with your surfboard is also extremely expensive, and that's when surfboard rentals become a smart option.

Today, surfboard rentals are an essential source of income for surf shops and surf schools. However, as a client, you should know what to expect and how to rent a surfboard.

Whether you're in Waikiki, San Diego, Biarritz, or Kirra, renting a surfboard is relatively easy and cheap.

Surfboard rental centers offer not only classic shortboards but also beginner foam boards, longboards, stand-up paddleboards, and bodyboards.

Not all businesses follow the same rental rules and regulations. For example, some rental services deliver any surfboard directly to your exact location.

Here's what you should look at before renting a surfboard:

Surfboard for hire: they should be ready to hit the waves | Photo: Shutterstock

Check the Surf Beforehand

One of the most frequent mistakes made by people who rent surfboards is paying for them before checking the wave conditions onsite.

So, make sure you read the surf report and confirm the local tide times before deciding on renting a surfboard for a couple of hours.

Compare Prices and Renting Time Options

Each business has its renting time plans and prices. The most common options are hourly rentals, half-day rentals, and daily rentals. There are also some places that rent boards on a weekly basis.

The prices vary with the seasons and the location of the surf breaks. However, you should pay between $10 and 20$ for an hour or two, around $20 and $30 for four hours (half a day), and from $30 to $50 for a full day.

In most cases, a full cash payment is required at pick-up time for any rented surf equipment.

It is not common to see overnight surfboard rentals, except if you're on a weekly rental or if you negotiate a special arrangement with the dealer.

Remember that you should always return your surfboard on time, so make sure you plan your session wisely, including the time needed to get back to the shop or pick up and drop off service.

Rental Surfboards Should Be Ready to Go

A surfboard is made for surfing, so whenever you're renting one, it should be ready to go. Never accept a board that doesn't include the leash and comes completely waxed up.

If the surf rental owners ask you for extra cash for both items, then you should probably leave and find an alternative.

Surf rentals: make sure you know what you're paying | Photo: Shutterstock

Prepare for Age Restrictions and Full Deposit

The majority of surfboard rentals are very strict and clear about the age of the renter.

In most cases, you need to be over 18 years old to rent a surfboard. If you're not, ask your parents or friends to do it for you.

Surf rentals generally require valid identification - ID card, passport, or driver's license - and credit card to make a proper deposit on the rental surfboards.

Never allow surfboard rental owners to scan, photograph, or photocopy your documents. In many countries, that is a prohibited practice.

Deposits should reflect the original price of the surfboard you're about to rent. So, in most cases, expect to leave a caution deposit of between $20 and $300.

Choose the Hire Location Wisely

Surf rentals located in front of the desired surf breaks are always better than having to get in a car, drive from the shop to the ocean, and vice-versa.

If you're spending money on renting surfboards, at least don't waste precious time. Choose a service located across the street or on the boardwalk.

Also, avoid picking up a board in front of a black ball flag beach or a shark-infested region.

Pay Attention to the Penalties

Accidents happen all the time. If, for any reason, the surfboard is not returned in good condition, you may be forced to pay for damages or total loss.

Typically, damages include small dings, cuts, holes, and bumps. For them, expect to pay between $25 and $50.

However, if the surfboard is stolen or completely destroyed, you should expect to pay around $250.

Finally, when the board is not returned on time, the surf rental owner will ask you for a compensation of $X for each half-an-hour, hour, or day of delay.

Finally, remember that the surf rental service is not responsible for the client's safety, injury, or death while surfing.

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