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How Much is a Surfboard Worth? 442. March 23, 2023

Updated: Apr 4



KEY SCRIPTURE Luke 12: 31-34 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.


RELEVANCE I have some good friends from Tassie who I spent time with in China on a mission trip in 2017. They get around quite a bit and are now working with Haitian Christians raising finance to further a school project for a destitute community.


The last time they were here on the mainland, they sold postcards and other items to raise money. On the way home from the church they were speaking at, I told my wife I would sell my most-prized surfboard and donate the money, which I didn't get around to doing.


They returned on another speaking tour, so under the pressure of guilt mixed with a desire to see the money put to better use, I took it down from the rack and began cleaning and polishing it.


This sale might sound easy to you, but I need to paint a clear picture of what is happening. It's not just an ordinary board, far from it. It is a mid-60s vintage classic 9'6" Klemm-Bell longboard (AKA plank, Mal, Malibu). And it was made in Williamstown Vic before Terry Klemm and Reg Bell moved to Newport, then Parkdale, then to Victoria's surf mecca Torquay to become the biggest surf shop there when I started surfing in 74'. Yep, at that stage, it was bigger than Rip Curl. These are the days before giant conglomerates bought out surf brands like Piping Hot, Golden Breed, Mambo etc.


I vividly remember the day I found and fell in love with it. It was 1981, sunny to the point that a surfer could easily take the day off and go to the coast (But I wouldn't do that, would I?). I was 26 years old, driving a ute between locations—Brunswick to Glenroy, and I was a tad early. The temptation hit me when I spied a shop out of the corner of my left eye selling secondhand goods. Long before garage sales became popular, my dear old dad, poor as they come, inducted me into the scab's alley way of looking for gold amongst the rubble, and it's still not out of my system to this day.


I had a few minutes to spare, and when I saw a car park directly out the front, I could sense there was gold in this store—for me!


As I walked in the huge front door and cast my eyes around the junk that the owner was trying to make look like buried treasure, there it was, way down the back, standing regally amidst the saleable debris, beckoning me to come closer. Even the colour was like tarnished gold. It lured me to its rear location in a mix of the hypnotism and curiosity of a long-time gem fossicker. This was the day of my lucky strike. Bewildered that nobody had staked a claim on this beauty, I touched it, feeling its rails and running my hand over the dust-covered deck, then spun it around to check the other areas for damage. It had some minor dings, and the foam inner blank was slightly discoloured due to water damage. But overall, a pot of genuine gold.


As if I'd just won a big game in a casino and had to take my chips to the cashier's window to swap for cash, I picked up my jackpot for following my instincts and hunted down the owner to pay the measly sum of $29.


The board was so long it barely fitted on my ladder rack. Like a nurse with a patient, I gently wrapped it carefully with whatever I had and tied it down, then continued to Glenroy with a winner's smile.


After 42 years and various homes, including mum's shed for years, it's time to part with my beloved. And there is a strong sense of loss. But the needs of those joyful but struggling kids, who would never be educated except for that primitive school, overrides any attachment issues I might feel. Heather and I want to give more, but we've spread our money over various causes and only have so much.


Our western world allows the unnecessary accumulation of goods, which is a far cry from the depleted lives lived by others and vastly contrasting the living standards of Christ's disciples. When we run through our budgets, there are many extras we don't need but think we do. Living simply can be a way of life; our small sacrifices become extra clothes, food or education for someone else.


We can live within our means and often humble our standards without pain or suffering. God has our back when we give cheerfully out of a pure heart.


2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.


Our precious Lord knows how to distribute so His providence can feed the rich and poor alike. When the Israelites gathered the Manna in the desert, Exodus 16:18 says, "...he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating."


The poor need the not-so-poor. Those on the breadline need taxes and free-will offerings from those who can afford them. That includes the re-purposing of my prized surfboard (Sob!) In the end, the value of a surfboard depends on one's perspective.


Can you please pray for an excellent price for the board?


PRAYER Dear Lord, once I realised I hadn't sold my surfboard when I said I would, I felt the guilt of a promise-breaker. Then additional remorse poured over me as I realised money for these children was sitting on a rack in my shed collecting dust when it could be buying more books or helping pay for teachers or supplies. Father, please show me how you would like me to budget and allow me to live within that budget.

Photo by Ross Sokolovki

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