What If We Told You You Could Insure Your New Surfboard Against Breaks And Dings...
Well, you can. And it starts at just $10 a month.
What's worse: breaking your new board first session, or watching every person you love getting mauled by a voracious pack of lions?
Answer: the lions, but only just.
New Board Anxiety is a serious medical condition that affects millions of surfers worldwide. If you or any surfer you know has suffered from this debilitating ailment, we present you with a viable (if only marginally costly) solution: Surfcare.
First and foremost, and despite how that intro read, this is not an advertisement. Or, I guess technically it is, but the crew at Surfcare didn't pay a penny for it, so good on them for creating a product so inherently fascinating that we couldn't help but write about it.
Second, Surfcare is exactly what it sounds like: AppleCare for your surfboard. It's actual, genuine, real-life insurance that you can buy as financial protection against a dinged or broken board.
Here are their available plans:
Below we chatted with Nick Stolz, founder of Surfcare, to get more info on his product and see if the juice is truly worth the squeeze.
What inspired you to start this company?
Well, I grew up breaking a ton of boards! Maybe I took that "stomp it" saying a little too literally [laughs]. I came up with the idea in Indonesia three years ago after running through a quiver at HTs. It's a bad feeling when you spend a bunch of money on a new board and break it first session, or even at all. We all know the feeling. So Surfcare was created to ease that feeling and help people charge carefree.
How long has Surfcare been around?
Surfcare has been a work in progress for over three years now, but we just began selling online and in shops this week.
Insurance is a highly-regulated industry to protect consumers, so I went through a long process to get properly underwritten and licensed. We are currently selling in every coastal US state except Hawaii and Washington. Those will be onboarded at some point soon. My partner and I come from a long history of surfing and surf industry jobs, so the other hurdle has been uniting the highly segmented surf industry into one network of Surf Shops and Repair Shops. This is a major value in that when someone breaks or dings their board, we'll have a repair shop close by for a quick and convenient repair.
How does Surfcare work? Take us through the user experience.
Buy Surfcare online or in a shop within 30 days of purchasing your new board. If you ding or break your board, call us up and we'll send you to the nearest repair shop to get a repair—no hassles. Ding repair is free and replacements have a 25% deductible.
Just so there's no confusion, how exactly does the 25% deductible work?
A 25% deductible on replacements means that if you break your $800 board, you'll pay $200 and we'll cover the rest to replace the board. There is NO deductible on ding repairs.
So if I break my board, even if it's after a year or whatever, are you actually sending me a new one? Or some pre-used thing?
Yes. Surfcare will replace the board with the same make, model, and size board, brand new.
And for ding repair, will you cover the repair costs at any ding repair shop, or do you only deal with specific ones?
We'll send you to the ding repair shop that you prefer and if you don't have a preference, we'll send you to the one that is closest and does the best work. The near-term goal for Surfcare is to make the entire repair process easier for surfers.
Because surfers now don't have to worry about cost, they can use who is quickest and does the best work. The future of Surfcare will be to file a claim online and we'll come pick up the board and have it repaired in a stated short period of time.
How long can I expect to wait for a broken board to be replaced, a dinged board to be fixed?
Ding repairs will be standard time frames, but the communication will be through Surfcare, so we'll be able to manage expectations and expedite repairs better. We've seen that a lot of issues with ding repair currently is in the communication process, so we'll keep customers happy by handling that. Broken boards will be replaced as quickly as shops have them in stock.
We will be supporting the shop that the board was purchased and replacing it from the same location. If it's a custom board, there may be longer waits to get the custom shaped and shipped.
This brings up a great point. Surfcare's goal is to help everyone involved in the surf industry. Surfers are stoked because their prized possessions are now protected. Shops and manufacturers will have increased margins on board sales as well as increased brand loyalty. And repair shops will get more business. Lastly, we'll be collecting the broken boards, repairing them, and donating to surfers in need of boards.
Your service is currently available in 34 states but you plan to get the other 16 on your program soon. Roughly how many Kentuckians do you expect to need surfboard insurance?
[Laughs] Great question! I'm expecting some of them to wander over to Waco. Who knows where we'll be seeing these pools popping up. Also, Surfcare can be purchased on SUPs, so anyone near a body of water can grab some type of board, insure it, and go out and enjoy themselves without worrying. And you can look forward to Surfcare selling internationally very soon. We'll be fixing your board no matter where you're traveling.