While the requirements vary between sports, for most it is easy to find places where second-hand kit is sold. For water sports there are many Facebook groups where members sell second-hand kit, for reasons such as upgrading to newer models, not having enough time to do sport anymore, or giving up for health reasons. There are plenty of people out there splashing the cash on sports kit that they rarely use, and for students on a budget it’s often an opportunity to get better specs for the same price as buying new. There are many Facebook groups for selling kit, and there are usually listings on eBay and Gumtree. Often you’ll find people locally with kit you want, minimising the mileage of new (to you) kit, and even if you get it posted from elsewhere in the UK the impact is still far less than manufacturing and shipping from brand new.
Here are UEA we even have our own kit exchange Facebook group: Do Your Bit, Recycle Your Kit!
This approach does require a bit of knowledge though, you will need to know the requirements and specifications of the items you’re looking for and the recommended safety features. For many types of equipment there are guidelines about servicing, and if you’re buying technical equipment you should always ask to see the service history before purchase and check it is thorough. While this is a bit time consuming, learning more about your sports kit and equipment will likely improve your technique.
Before making any second-hand kit purchases for your sports club, please liaise with your uea+sport club coordinator to discuss this.
Submitted by Laura Taylor, 3rd Year Environmental Sciences, Sub Aqua President 2020/21