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When I buy used windsurfing equipment, what should I check it for? Obviously, visible damage would be bad, but what else?

I have read that one shouldn´t buy old boards from the 80's since they are very different from concept and technique than modern ones and can´t be paired with modern sails. Is that true, and how can I tell the old boards from the new ones apart?

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    look at how to pieces connect together. The obvious one is the mast foot, which has changed a lot along the years. There are adapters available for various types, but can be hard to find for older equipement – njzk2 Jun 12 '16 at 16:51
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    Also make sure you're buying all the pieces. I bought a bunch of gear off a couple of old people, and after they got everything out of the garage I had to ask them where the mast bases were, they didn't even know what I was talking about (it was their kid's old stuff). I had to search their garage on their behalf in order to find them. Used is used, I have some broken but still functional windsurfers, but I don't mind, because the price was right. – ShemSeger Jun 12 '16 at 18:27
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    The sails in the 80's were usually some synthetic canvas and very heavy, especially when wet. I wouldn't want to go back to that. – Flint Sep 22 '17 at 10:55
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Several things that I can think of just now!

  1. First, look online for best windsurfing equipment for your personal case: beginner, intermediate, advanced? That will determine the size of the sail, the mast, the size of the board etc... The more you know before going to buy anything, the least it is likely you will make a mistake buying something of poor quality

  2. Second, make sure your equipment all connects together and the mast can freely lean in any direction.

  3. Third, check for the sail. Has it been patched up? If so, how? Does it have bad scratches looking as though they could open up with high wind? (and back to first, is it the right size for your size and level?)

  4. Fourth, the state of the board. Especially the fin. The fin is supposed to be put straight down and hold, and you are supposed to take it off or to leave it flat with the board. Make sure this freedom of movement is good otherwise you'll have a bad time resisting water current at sea or carrying your board on the sand after a day out windsurfing.

  5. Fifth, the uphaul - that little rope - that will allow you to pull the sail out of the water. If you don't have that you can probably change it yourself, but check for it anyway!

  6. And finally, I would talk about the beam. Is that not too damaged? Plenty of people tape them up which is perfectly acceptable so don't get too worried over that if it feels strong.

Other than that, really it comes down to common sense and your instinct. I'd advise you take a look at second hand shops for a little while, that will allow you to realise what to look for. I would say I'm fairly new to windsurfing but most of the time you'll see what is good or bad, and if something is wrong you'll be able to change just that! (in case you make a mistake when buying)

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    Hey, welcome to the Great Outdoors and thank you for this excellent answer! – Paul Paulsen Sep 29 '17 at 14:43

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