PREVENTION IS THE BEST MEDICINE:
Do what you can to prevent the casual thief from walking off with your board. Don’t leave it on the car rack over night no matter WHERE you are. Don’t leave it on a rack in the car port. Don’t leave the garage door open if you keep it on a rack there (besides, it needs to be stored in a climate controlled environment). There are folks manufacturing devices to assist in locking a board down when leaving it on the car rack (temporarily, i.e.: grabbing a burger during a road trip) is necessary. Keep in mind, a dedicated rip-off scum bag will only be deterred by such devices, but they WILL slow him down. For good examples of this, check the FRIENDS page for the link to Doc’s Locks, or check out the folks at SURFING WAVES for a “how to” build your own surfboard lock….
BEFORE IT’S STOLEN:
The most important things to do in protecting a surfboard need to be done the day you buy it. Before you wax it, photograph it. The most important thing you can do to assist in the recovery of your board should it be stolen is to photograph it. Photograph the top, the bottom, the side view, and get close ups of the serial number (or any identifying marks/graphics). The photos will be invaluable in helping get your board returned. SAMPLES
Keep the receipt in a safe place (along with the photos). Keep, also, ALL the specs on the board (length, width, tail shape, thickness, color-scheme, stringer arrangement, fin layout, any identifying marks, graphics, etc).
AFTER IT’S STOLEN:
First thing, call the police. A lot of folks shy away from turning in a potential “brother of the sea”, but face it. Is the guy really your bro if he walks off with your stick? No. Call the police. Get a police report and have in it notated the serial number and description of the board. If your board is recovered, this documentation will allow you to go home with your board under your arm instead of under the watchful eyes of an evidence clerk.
Second, come to this site and post a notice. Send us the specifications of the board, email the photo, and we’ll post it in the gallery. Depending on your choice, either you will be notified by anyone spotting your board, or we will. If you wish us to be notified, we’ll in turn notify you as to where to go and who to contact to retrieve your board.
While most surfers would report a stolen board they recognized without hesitation, the size of the net thrown toward recovery becomes larger if a reward is offered. If you’re going to offer a reward, honor it when the board is returned. Our advice, however, is to offer the reward for recovery of the board and the arrest of the perpetrator. This will keep so-called friends from jerking you around by “kidnapping” your board for the “ransom”. The reward will also be available to the low-lifes friends should they want to turn in a scum bag and accept the reward. Honor among thieves is a myth.
ALSO, do some legwork on your own. While we’d like to think that surf shops, surfers, and pawn shops around the world are visiting our site, that’s not happening yet (but it will happen). Take copies of the photos of your board to surf shops and pawn shops that are close to where your board was ripped off. Depending on the size of the town the board was stolen in, you may be able to cover ALL of the said locations increasing the chances of recovery.
PLEASE: If you report a board stolen here, and ultimately recover it, PLEASE let us know (Contact Us button below) that it was recovered so we can update the report.
WHAT NOT TO DO. If you should see someone with a board you’ve seen on this site, do NOT try to take the law into your own hands. Don’t play Rambo, it’s not worth it. That’s why we have cops. Get a license tag number, or description (whatever you can) and go talk to the cops. Show them the board on the web site and give them the information. It’s their job, let them do it. You don’t want to take a chance that the barney that has the hot board is also a black belt in MooShooGaiPan or something. Once you’ve spoken with the cops, drop an email to STOLEN SURFBOARDS ONLINE and let us know what’s going on.
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