The Cost of Surfing: Is Surfing Expensive?

Every sport in the world costs money, and surfing is no exception. Financing any sport or hobby can take up some, if not a lot, of money, and it takes the proper budgeting and breaking to determine the cost of catching a ride on the waves.

Many people underestimate the cost of surfing, thinking that all you need is a surfboard and you’re good. But in totality, you’ll need more than that, especially if you are a beginner or planning to become an enthusiast.

Initially, surfers must invest in lessons, proper surfing equipment, and possibly traveling before fully committing. So, it is vital to determine whether you want to pursue surfing as a hobby, competitive sport, or lifestyle. By doing so, you will also know which costs are appropriate for your choice.

The Price of Surfing: A Hobby

Suppose you’re looking into surfing as a hobby. In that case, you can actually save more while enjoying the benefits that come with it. Many people surf as a hobby or as the occasional stress reliever. With this, they are able to do the sport at a more affordable level. Although, it is also important to realize that as a hobby, you can’t be at your best with it.

With that, many people still rent a surfboard on the beach, which can cost anywhere between $10-$30 an hour or two. Surf shacks also allow people to rent their board half-day for about $30-$50. Some even rent a board for an entire day, priced at around $50-$100 for a whole day. Some travelers even try to catch a deal with rental shops to rent a surfboard throughout their stay, which costs more depending on the agreement they’ve made with the shop.

However, constantly renting this equipment costs more than investing in the right gear. This is beneficial, especially for those who would want to frequent their surfing time. 

Here are the basic things you’re going to need to invest in when wanting to be a surfing hobbyist:

  1. Surfing Lessons - There are tons of places that offer great surfing lessons. But you will also need to do your own research because the cost will depend on the location, your level of surfing, and finally, how many people are taking the lesson. It can cost anywhere from $50-$200 each.
  2. Surfboard - As a surfing hobbyist, you can either have a new surfboard or scour the Internet for a great second-hand one. The right surfboard is your partner in riding the waves, so choosing the right one is best. A brand-new surfboard can cost $300-$1,300 or more. Meanwhile, a second-hand one can be anywhere from $100-$600, depending on where you look.
  3. Fins - This is an important part of your surfboard; it helps you control how you move around the water despite the current. Fins typically cost anywhere from $80-$200.
  4. Leash - The leash keeps surfers attached to their boards, especially when they get thrown off by strong waves. It can cost from $30-$100.
  5. Wetsuit - Wetsuits are created to help surfers and swimmers alike retain their body heat and fight off the coldness of the sea and ocean.
  6. Wax - In order to add grip to their surfboard, surfers apply different waxes depending on the water temperature. The cost of board wax is just around $5 and is relatively cheap.

As a hobbyist, you can also invest in lifejackets, which are around $10-$40, to help keep you safe during those days when you feel like you’re getting rusty. 

Overall, as a hobbyist, you must be ready to invest in the necessities rather than spending too much on the occasional surf shops on the beach.

The Price of Surfing: A Competitive Sport

Several people would look at surfing and realize what a challenging sport to be at the mercy of the winds and waves as you ride it out. The World Surf League is known as the governing body of professional surfing.

Professional surfing takes years and years of training, especially when competing as a sport against different kinds of surfers from all over the world. Similarly, to become a professional, a surfer must be able to surf in all types of waves, whether big waves, point breaks, or more. 

For professionals, added gear on top of the essentials is needed. Here are some of the extra things you need:

  1. Wetsuit Boots - It may look odd to some. Still, wetsuit boots are pretty surfer feet from the harsh temperature of the sea or ocean. The thickness of these boots may vary depending on the coldness of the water. Wetsuit boots are priced at $45-$200.
  2. Wetsuit Hood - Another arsenal surfers need to battle the cold waters is a wetsuit hood. Apart from the foot, the head is also a fragile part of the body. So, protecting it from harsh conditions and possibly brain freeze is essential. This is priced at either $35-$100 each.
  3. Wetsuit Gloves - The last necessity professionals need is a pair of wetsuit gloves to protect their hands from the frigid waters. Similar to boots, gloves come in a variety of thicknesses depending on the freezing temperature of the water.

This gear may be for something other than casual surfers. Still, professionals must always have them, especially when competitions are starting.


Overall, professionals understand the importance of having your own gear. It is through investing in the right equipment that is appropriate for each temperature and climate that you will fully reap the benefits of surfing, one wave at a time.

Surfing, as a whole, can be expensive or very affordable, depending on what your priorities are. There are multiple ways to save up and make the right purchases. You need to thoroughly research everything from surfboards to your professional gear. All you need now is to decide and go ahead because the waves are waiting.

James Davis

Written by James Davis

I'm a true California local, and I've spent my life riding the waves along our stunning coastline. Surfing has always been my greatest love, and in my writing, I try to capture its genuine essence. My words aim to transport you into the heart of the surf culture, where the ocean and surfers come together in perfect harmony.

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