– stripping surfing back down to its most elemental form

Cost Per Use

My mom taught me a very important lesson back when I was in middle school. It wasn’t one of those life altering experiences or epiphanies that change your world-view, but more of a slow creeping note that kept
resonating throughout my life as I grew older and began to evaluate my purchases more. The lesson in question was one of those childhood fads, where you feel that your status in the social order is hinging upon whether or not your parents agree to purchase some ridiculously overpriced childhood whim. Parachute pants - Rockin’ it 80’s stylieThe object of my affection – parachute pants. My mom explained it to me like this, I could buy 1 pair of parachute pants or 3 pairs of regular good old fashioned denim jeans. But if I got the parachute pants, they would have to replace the cost equivalent 3 pairs of jeans, which meant I’d be rocking the zippers non-stop. At the time, this was a no-brainer, I’d rock that shit with pride clinging to my status on the 4th grade social pecking order. I saw it as a win-win. So, needless to say I rocked the grey zippered parachute pants non-stop for quite some time. My mom explained it to me as cost-per-use. Sometimes things that seem excessively expensive compared to similarly comparable products, say a pair of parachute pants versus a pair of denim jeans, actually work out to be cheaper in the long run once you factor in the cost-per-use over their entire lifecycle.

I find myself evaluating this cost-per-use value method almost daily in my adult life. When I’m making purchases I think of how often I will use the product and that usually dictates what price range I’m willing to spend. If it’s something I’ll use daily or on a regular basis, I’m much more willing to spend more money or a better product because it will work out to be less money than buying a cheaper, less quality product that gives you hassles or doesn’t last as long. You have to take into account the usage and the effective lifespan of the product.

What the hell does this have to do with surfing you ask?

5'10 Neilson QuadI was going through some pictures the other day and came across a shot from nearly 3 years ago. I was riding a board that I still have and still ride on a regular basis. It’s a little 5’10” x 21″ quad with small waves in mind. Seeing as I live in Florida and it’s rarely over head high, this board sees a LOT of water time. It’s nothing fancy, a Clark green blank with a 6/6/6 poly glassjob and a speed finish. I’d have to think that by now the cost-per-use on this thing is probably down in the pennies-per-wave range. My mom would be extremely happy about this purchase. Just another reason to get a board from your local shaper.

• Category: board construction,

Comments are closed.