How Much Does Surfing Cost? A Guide to Surfing Expenses

Surfing is a popular water sport that has gained immense popularity in recent years. It involves riding waves on a board and is a favorite pastime for many beach enthusiasts. However, one of the most common questions that beginners ask is, “How much does surfing cost?” “How expensive is surfing?“.

The answer to this question is not straightforward as the cost of surfing can vary depending on several factors. The cost of surfing can include expenses such as the cost of surfboards, wetsuits, lessons, and accessories. The cost of surfing can also vary depending on where you live and the popularity of the surfing spots in your area. For example, surfing lessons in smaller areas can cost between $10 and $20 per hour, while in larger areas, the cost can range from $20 to $70 per hour.

In this article, we will explore the various factors that contribute to the cost of surfing and provide a comprehensive breakdown of the expenses involved. Whether you are a beginner looking to get started or an experienced surfer looking to upgrade your gear, this article will provide you with all the information you need to know about the cost of surfing.

how much surfing cost

Understanding the Basics of Surfing

Surfing is a popular water sport that involves riding waves on a surfboard. While it may seem intimidating to beginners, with time and practice, anyone can learn how to surf. Here are some basics to keep in mind:


Surfboards come in various sizes, shapes, and materials. Beginners typically start with a longboard, which provides stability and buoyancy. As they progress, they can switch to a shorter board, which allows for more maneuverability. Wetsuits are also essential for surfing, as they keep the surfer warm in cold water. They come in different thicknesses and styles, depending on the water temperature and personal preference.


Surfing involves paddling out to the lineup, waiting for a wave, and then catching it at the right moment. Once the wave is caught, the surfer must pop up onto their feet and ride the wave while maintaining balance. It takes time and practice to master these techniques, but with patience and perseverance, anyone can become a competent surfer.


Surfing can be a dangerous sport, especially for beginners. It is important to surf in designated areas and to be aware of the local conditions, such as currents, tides, and rocks. Surfers should always wear a leash, which attaches the board to their ankles, and should never surf alone. It is also important to respect other surfers and to follow proper etiquette in the water.

woman sitting on white cushion near glass window


The cost of surfing can vary depending on location, equipment, and lessons. A beginner’s surfboard can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000, while a wetsuit can cost between $125 and $350. Surfing lessons can range from $25 to $100 per hour, depending on the popularity of the lessons and location. While the initial investment may seem steep, surfing can provide a lifetime of enjoyment and physical activity.

Initial Costs

When it comes to surfing, there are a few initial costs that are necessary to get started. These costs include purchasing a surfboard, buying surfing gear, and potentially taking surfing lessons.

Surfboard Purchase

The most significant initial cost for surfing is purchasing a surfboard. The cost of a surfboard can vary widely depending on the type, size, and quality. A beginner’s surfboard can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000. It’s important to note that beginners don’t need to buy an expensive or professionally branded surfboard at the start of their surfing journey. As they gain experience, they can upgrade to a better board.

Surfing Gear

Surfing gear is another essential initial cost. The gear includes a wetsuit, surfboard wax, surfboard fins, a surf leash, and a waterproof key holder. The cost of surfing gear can range from $200 to $500. It’s important to purchase gear that is appropriate for the water temperature. For example, tropical water requires a different type of wax than cold water. The cost of gear can be reduced by purchasing used or second-hand equipment.

Surfing Lessons

Surfing lessons are optional but highly recommended for beginners. Surfing lessons can range from $50 to $100 per hour. Taking lessons from a professional instructor can help beginners learn the basics of surfing and avoid developing bad habits. Some surf schools offer package deals that include equipment rental and multiple lessons, which can help reduce the cost.

ultimate wetsuite guide surfing and gear

Overall, the initial costs of surfing can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on the quality of gear and equipment purchased. It’s important to note that the cost of surfing is a one-time expense, and once the surfer has the necessary gear and equipment, the cost of riding waves is essentially free.

Ongoing Costs

While the initial investment of purchasing a surfboard and gear can be significant, there are also ongoing costs to consider when calculating the total cost of surfing. These costs can include travel, maintenance, and upgrade costs.

Travel Costs

Unless you live right by the beach, getting to and from your chosen surf spot can involve some cost. This could be in the form of gas for your car, public transportation fares, or even flights and accommodation if you’re planning a surfing trip abroad. The cost of traveling to surf spots will vary depending on your location and the distance to the beach.

Maintenance Costs

Maintenance costs are another ongoing expense in surfing. Surfboards need to be waxed regularly to maintain traction, which can cost around $1 to $3 per bar of wax. Depending on how often you surf, you might need to replace your leash, fins, or even your surfboard due to wear and tear over time. Wetsuits can also require occasional repairs or replacements if they get damaged.

Upgrade Costs

As you progress in your surfing journey, you might want to upgrade your gear. Upgrading to a better surfboard, a higher quality wetsuit, or advanced fins can enhance your performance in the water. Keep in mind that these upgrades come at a cost and will increase your overall investment in the sport.

Cost-Saving Tips

While surfing can be an expensive sport, there are several ways to save money and make it more affordable.

Buy Used Gear

Buying used gear can save a lot of money. Many surf shops and online platforms sell used surfboards and wetsuits at a fraction of the cost of new ones. Be sure to check the condition of any used gear before purchasing, as some may need repairs or have significant wear and tear.

Group Lessons

If you’re a beginner, consider taking group lessons rather than private ones. Group lessons are usually cheaper and can be a fun way to meet new people and make friends in the surfing community.

Surf Locally

If possible, surf at your local beach to save on travel costs. Traveling to far-off surf spots or international destinations can significantly increase your surfing expenses. Surfing locally can also help you become familiar with your local break and improve your skills more quickly.

Do Your Own Maintenance

Learning how to do your own board repairs and wetsuit maintenance can save money in the long run. Simple repairs like fixing dings on your board or small tears in your wetsuit can be done at home with the right tools and materials.

Overall, while surfing can be an expensive sport, it’s possible to make it more affordable with smart decisions and a bit of planning. It’s worth remembering that the benefits of surfing – such as the physical exercise, the connection with nature, and the pure enjoyment of the sport – often outweigh the costs.

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What is the initial cost of getting into surfing?

The initial costs include the purchase of a surfboard, which can range anywhere from $300 to $1,000 for beginners, and surfing gear like a wetsuit, surfboard wax, fins, a leash, and a waterproof key holder. The gear could cost between $200 to $500. Additionally, optional surfing lessons can range from $50 to $100 per hour. The total initial cost can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on the quality of gear and equipment purchased.

What are some of the ongoing costs associated with surfing?

Ongoing costs of surfing include travel expenses to get to your surf spot, maintenance costs like regular waxing of your surfboard and occasional replacements of gear due to wear and tear, and upgrade costs if you decide to enhance your performance with better gear or more advanced equipment.

How can I save money on surfing?

There are a few ways to save money on surfing. These include buying used gear, taking group lessons which are usually cheaper than private ones, surfing locally to save on travel costs, and learning how to do your own board and wetsuit maintenance.

Is surfing expensive? Is surfing an expensive sport?

Surfing can be expensive due to the cost of equipment, maintenance, and travel. However, with careful planning, smart decisions, and cost-saving strategies, it can be made more affordable. Additionally, the benefits of surfing, like physical exercise, connection with nature, and enjoyment of the sport, often outweigh the costs.


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