I can not use or place surfboards, when playing with my controller. It seems to be a problem with placing it down. I can line it up and try to place it but if I push the button it starts to make the character run. I found out that you can line it up and make it the surfboard be placed closer and then using the touchscreen to manually place.
It is a work around currently but I hope you guys can fix it soon. Otherwise being forced to use the touch screen while playing controller just ruins the whole experience.
Play don't starve shipwrecked android with surfboard girl with (Xbox) controller and try to place it down in the sea. (The character will start running towards where ever you placed the surfboard but not place it down.
Retrieving is fine. And placing down using the controller + touch method works. I hope this helps you to identify the problem. Please fix.