When you rent a surfboard, you have two options. One is to rent from a surf shop at the beach or near it, and the other is to rent from a surfboard company that delivers the board from a storage room or warehouse. There are sports and surf shops that are not by the beach where you can walk out with a board, too, but these are generally for buying and not renting boards.
It may sound at first like renting right at the beach would be better, but there are times when a rental service that delivers the board is what you want. The decision often rests on what your plans are and how you intend to get to the surfing spot.
Delivery to Your Home So You Can Surf Anywhere in the Region
A company that rents out boards and delivers them to your home – or hotel/motel – gives you the opportunity to use specific boards for surf trips around the region. Instead of renting one board at one beach and then returning it in the evening, only to repeat the process at different beaches and stores each day, you get a specific board and can take it with you to whichever beach you choose. You don't have to worry about not being able to use a board type you prefer, and you save time by not having to repeat the rental process each day. You get delivery, and then you wait for board pickup at the end of your trip.
See Wave Conditions and Crowds Before You Rent
But if you rent a board from a company that delivers, you won't see surf conditions in person until after you get the board. (Technically the company could deliver to the beach, but finding you in the crowd could be difficult.) If you have a board rental for a week, for example, you could just travel to another beach. But sometimes it's nice to get to the beach, decide you want to surf, and then rent a board right there. You'll have plenty of choices as board rental shops abound.
No Worries About Transporting the Board if You Have No Car
One big advantage to renting from a shop right at the beach is that you don't have to worry about transporting the board if you have no car, or if the rental car you have is not well-suited to carrying a board. Rental car companies aren't going to be very happy with a sandy, damp board placed in the backseat. And if you rent a vehicle with a roof rack, then you risk scratching the roof paint if, say, a ratchet strap buckle or bungee cord hook hits the roof as you're securing the board.
If you have no transportation, renting at the beach is obviously better so you don't have to carry it around. If you do have transportation that can carry the board, then your choice may rely on where you want to surf and whether you want a specific board.
To look at surfboard options, contact a surfboard rental service in your area.