New surfboards, as we all know, are expensive. And, unfortunately, they’re also easy to break. Snapping or dinging a brand-new fiberglass investment has happened to every surfer at least once — and when it happens, it’s a shitty, sinking feeling.
Straight out of the why didn’t I think of that department, Surfcare is a new insurance company that protects the hard-earned cash you spend on your very fragile surfboards. How does it work? Well, it’s pretty straightforward, actually: Buy a Surfcare plan directly from the surf shop where you purchased the board, or (within 30 days of buying the board), sign up for Surfcare by uploading a photo of the surfboard and the receipt on the Surfcare website, and choose a plan there. 10 bucks monthly gets you coverage against breaks, buckles and fin boxes. 12 bucks and you also get ding repair. And for 14 dollars your removable fins are insured as well. (Yearly plans are discounted further.)
“We created Surfcare off that feeling that you get when you break your favorite board on the first session while it’s pumping,” says founder Nick Stolz. “It’s always been our goal to help people surf happier and to eliminate some of that bad, board-break feeling.”
Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t. Whether you break your board on your first wave, or two years later (the max protection period), so long as you’re still insuring that board Surfcare will work with the surf shop or manufacturer where you purchased it and replace it with a brand new replica. In either scenario, all you’re on the hook for is a 25 percent deductible (of your original cost of the board.) Same goes for fins. If you dock yourself on the reef and lose one of your brand-new $110 FCS H3’s, Surfcare will replace the set (again, after a 25 percent deductible.)
As for ding repair, there’s no deductible there. If you ding your board, just call Surfcare up and they’ll send you to the nearest repair shop (or your favorite repair shop) to get your board fixed, and at no cost to you whatsoever.
“The goal is global,” continues Stolz. “We want the repair and replacement process to be seamless around the world. We’re building a global network of stores and repair shops that you’ll have access to while at home or traveling. As Surfcare grows, the process will become quicker and easier. In the near future, if you ding or break your board, you’ll be able to pull up the Surfcare site, place a claim on your phone, and sit back and wait for us to come to you.”
When you break it down yearly, it’s a no brainer, really. For $144/year (or $119 if you pay up-front), you get unlimited free ding repair, and it’ll only cost you 25 percent ($250 on an $800 surfboard) if you snap the damn thing. If you’re likely to break that $800 board at some point in your first two years of ownership (say, if you spend a good amount of time trying new manuevers), a Surfcare plan literally pays for itself.
And from a surf shop perspective, it makes even more sense. Now customers can repair and replace their new boards at the same place where they made their original purchase. Which means surfers are stoked and so is the shop, as they’ll be making more revenue. It’s a total win-win. Even better, Surfcare plans to collect those customers’ broken boards, repair them and donate them to people who can’t afford a board, ultimately cutting down on wasted foam and fiberglass and stoking out underprivileged surfers in the process.
“Surfcare helps shops to differentiate themselves from their competitors, generate extra revenue on every board sold and builds store loyalty as Surfcare brings customers back to shops for repairs and secondary purchases if and when their board happens to break,” says co-founder Rhett McNulty. “Because if you can get a protection plan on your new camping gear, phone or mountain bike, why shouldn’t you be able to get a plan that covers your new board?”
It’s a good question. And one we now have an answer for.