Surfing is not an expensive sport, but it’s not quite as cheap as football or basketball.
You can’t just buy a ball for $20 and then head to the local courts or park.
To surf, you’re going to need a surfboard, and depending on the weather, you may also need some basic clothing and equipment.
What is the Cheapest Way to Get Into Surfing?
The cost of surfing will differ slightly depending on when and where you surf, as well as a few other factors:
Surfing in the summer is quite cheap, providing you don’t live too far from the beach.
You’ll still need a surfboard, of course, but you can ditch the wetsuit and stick with a simple base layer or boardshorts instead.
You’ll also need some wax, a leash, some sunblock, and a surfing hat, but these are very inexpensive, and you can usually get on the water for just $400.
If you have a little more cash in your budget, consider buying a rash guard, as it will protect against the sun’s harmful rays and will also prevent chafing as you lie down on the wax and paddle.
If you’re surfing in the winter, you’ll need to think about a wetsuit, as well as protective base layers.
It will be colder and harsher, and the waves will also be bigger and tougher, which means you may need to rethink your choice of surfboard.
Generally speaking, the winter is not a great time for a complete beginner.
When you add the cost of lessons, base layers, and a wetsuit, winter surfing could cost you anywhere from $800 to $1,000.
Your Skill Level
As a complete novice, you can expect to pay more than someone with a little experience.
That’s because you’re going to need surf lessons.
Some beginners even visit surf camps and spend several hundred bucks on their surfing education.
You don’t need to visit a camp, but you will need a few lessons, and they could cost you anywhere from $50 to $150 depending on the instructor, location, season, and length.
Surf lessons and surf camps are generally much cheaper on the east coast than they are on the west coast.
However, there are few surfing destinations on the east coast and it’s also colder, so that may increase the price a little.
Of course, if you live hundreds of miles from the coast and need to take an expensive surf trip every time you want to catch some waves, you’re going to run up some hefty travel bills.
If you work in education, we have some bad news for you: Surfing is going to get expensive.
The fact that your vacation time also happens to be peak season means you’ll pay a lot more for a surf trip inside and outside the United States.
Surf destinations in Hawaii, South America, Australia, and Europe sky-rocket during peak times, and unless you can get some time off work, that’s pretty much all you have.
Your Shopping Habits
If you buy from local surf shops, you’ll probably pay more for your basic equipment than you would if you purchased from Amazon or Costco.
You can save money on your surfboard, boardshorts, leash, and other essentials by shopping online and looking for whatever discounts and coupons you can find.
You can also shop for used gear on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, and other used marketplaces.
Tips for Surfing Cheaply
Take all of the above into consideration, the following will help you to pay less:
- Not purchasing a surfing lesson (not needed for advanced surfers, essential for beginners)
- Buying your surfboard and equipment online or from used marketplaces
- Living on the west coast
- Avoiding popular surf destinations during peak seasons
- Surfing during the summer months
What is the Cheapest Surfboard?
Looking for the cheapest option really isn’t the way to go.
It often means that you’re getting something that will let you down after a few surfing sessions or even the first time that you hit the waves.
If your surfboard doesn’t last, you’ll need to buy another one fairly quickly, and once you do, that cheap surfboard will begin to look pretty expensive.
Instead, look for a quality surfboard that’s available for a reasonable price.
It may sound like a big ask, but there are a lot of surfboards in this category.
You can find many great options on Amazon, but in our opinion, some of the best ones are sold by Costco.
These surfboards include the Wavestorm, which has gained a cult following because of its low cost and surprisingly good quality.
You can get a very good Wavestorm surfboard for less than $200, which is a very reasonable price to pay for a surfboard that should last for several years.
Where Should a Beginner Surf?
If you’re a complete beginner, look for a longboard and some mild surf conditions.
You don’t need big waves as a complete beginner and can enjoy yourself on relatively small and harmless waves.
Check the surf reports on sites like Surfline to determine where you should be surfing.