How Much Does Surfing Cost? | Helpful Cost Guide

Last Updated March 17, 2023

Surfing appears to be a carefree pastime that is frequently connected with relaxation and being in one with nature. As with everything fun and exciting, surfing too has a price. Things start to add up quickly if you want a couple of different boards in your arsenal and wetsuits that fit your needs.

Is surfing, then, a costly pastime? Depending on how you approach it and how serious you take it, surfing may be an inexpensive hobby or an expensive sport. However, it’s safe to say that learning to surf is pretty affordable, especially if you live near the shore.

This article will answer all of your queries about how much surfing cost and everything that comes with it.

The Surfing Lifestyle: How Much Does Surfing Cost?

Initial start-up costs can frighten a newcomer away before even stepping on a surfboard. The good news is that once you have the necessary equipment, the open ocean is all you need to get started. That is how surfing is pretty accessible.

Surfing is generally less expensive than skiing, golfing, or windsurfing. The difference between skiing and surfing is that you don’t have to pay to use the beaches, unless you plan to go to the Maldives, where some resorts have private waves.

However, if you acquire wave fever, make sure you have money set out for surf trips. You can simply discover waves by traveling around the world a couple of times a year.

What Do I Need?

To begin, you’ll need a surfboard, surf fins, leash, tail pad, wax, and a travel cover. We may also include a neoprene wetsuit, a poncho for simple changing, a key lock to keep your car keys safe while you’re in the water, a wetsuit drier, and, of course, sun protection.

The list of accessories is truly endless, but so far, these are the most common surf accessories you will need.


A beginner’s surfboard can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000. You don’t need to buy an expensive or professional branded surfboard at the start of your surfing journey. As you gain experience, you will wear it out. You might discover that surfing is not for you, so don’t waste your money first.

Longboard surfboards are usually better for beginner surfers. They’re simpler to balance on and pop up on when you’re initially starting out.

You should also consider getting a foam board to help you catch waves and avoid getting hurt if you spend the entire day falling off your board. Soft top surfboards, sometimes known as foamies, can cost as little as $100.


The only other thing you’ll need is a good wetsuit once you’ve got your surfboard. Unless you’re going all out for a super high-performance suit, most wetsuits cost between $100 and $300. Make sure you get one that is within your price range.

Consult local surfers to determine the type of wetsuit you require. You might discover that you won’t need one. If that is the case, you can start by wearing many rash guards or board shorts. This will save you money over buying a wetsuit because they are less expensive.

But, if you intend to surf in cold water, you should dress as warmly as possible. With a proper wetsuit, you can stay in the water for as long as possible without getting cold.

How Much Do Surf Lessons Cost?

Depending on the popularity of the surf school and where you’re surfing, an average surfing lesson can cost anywhere from $25 to $100. In smaller, less well-known spots, one- to two-hour surf lessons cost between $10 and $20.

You could end up spending anywhere from $20 to $70 per hour in larger, more popular places. While some surf shops provide free lessons, it’s nearly always part of a more extensive marketing campaign to encourage you to buy some of their gear.

A typical surfing instruction lasts one to two hours. Depending on which lesson you receive, you may receive a half-day or full-day of instruction. Although you may be needed to bring your own surfboard and wetsuit to the lesson, most surf schools will provide you with this equipment.

In some instances, the class fee includes the rental of a surfboard and wetsuit, so make sure you understand what you’re getting and that your demands are met.

How Much Does Other Surf Accessories Cost?

So you’ve got your surfboard and wetsuit, but what about the rest of the surfing accessories? To maintain your board smooth and grippy, you’ll also need a surfboard leash, surfboard wax, and a surfboard traction pad.

At this point, any additional gear is absolutely optional. The good news is that all of the equipment, except for a wetsuit and the board itself, is very reasonable. For how useful board wax is, it’s incredibly inexpensive!

Some surfers spend a lot of money on their way of life. Surfing should be treated as a recreational activity at first. As you improve, you might consider it a way of life. Some surfers compete in surfing events to supplement their high-priced lives.

You can wind up paying $600 to $700 on new surfing equipment. Depending on how serious you are about surfing, it can be an inexpensive hobby or an expensive way of life.

How Much Does Travelling For Surfing Cost?

Unfortunately, flying on a surf trip is one of the most costly aspects of surfing. Airlines like American Airlines charge $150 for each board, despite it being just a surfboard. Do the arithmetic if you’re traveling with nine boards. The cost of the surfboard may possibly exceed the cost of your ticket.

For long-distance flights, Delta charges $200 per board. Surfboards are charged a service fee by airlines because they require specific handling. They are typically larger and irregularly shaped, making them more difficult to carry into the belly of an airplane among common baggage goods.

Surfboards, for example, are heavier and more fragile than other types of recreational equipment, necessitating special handling and, as a result, more expenditures.

Surfboards can certainly go huge. Longboards, which can be 9 feet long or longer, aren’t allowed on many carriers. However, popular shortboards, which are typically approximately 6 feet long, are within the size requirements for checked sporting equipment.

These surfboards are about the same length as alpine skis, which many airlines will transport for free.

Surfboard Rental Costs

Do you want to avoid the trouble of having to check your surfboard on a plane? Consider hiring a board at your destination; rates vary widely, but a day’s rental is usually around $30. The cost of surfing varies depending on the season and the location of the surf breaks.

Note that an hour or two should cost between $10 and $20, four hours should cost between $20 and $30, and a full day should cost between $30 and $50.

In most circumstances, full payment for any rental surf equipment is expected at the time of pick-up. Overnight surfboard rentals are uncommon unless you’re on a weekly rental or have negotiated a reasonable arrangement with the dealer.

Remember that you must always return your surfboard on time, so plan your session accordingly, considering the time it will take you to return to the shop or use the pick-up and drop-off service.

Shipping Surfboard Costs

If you don’t want to fly with your board, you can ship it through a carrier like FedEx or UPS. You may or may not save money depending on the details and location, and you’ll need to arrange for the drop-off and pick-up of your board for shipping.

The following are the standard rates for shipping a surfboard. A surfboard may be sent from the middle of the country to any coasts for $50-$90 if it’s under 6’0” in length. And, $100-$160 if it’s between 6’1” and 8’1” in length.

A surfboard costs $60-$120 to ship from coast to coast if it’s under 6 feet, and $150-$200 if it’s between 6’1” and 8’1”. A board will cost $200-$300 to ship to Alaska or Hawaii if it is under 6 feet, and $375-$450 if it is between 6’1” and 8’1”.

If you’re sending a surfboard outside of the United States, you’ll need to call the shipping firm for a precise quote.

Beach Parking Costs

Each beach is unique, and as a result, the laws for public parking vary. Some are managed by the state park system, others by the county park system, and yet others by the city where the beach is located.

Some places have a one-time fee that you pay when you arrive. Others bill by the hour, with some using a meter and others using a stamped ticket. A daily average of $10 is a reasonable starting point.

As a surfer, you should always look for flat rate parking because you never know how long it will take to go out there, get into a pleasant grove, and catch excellent waves. These fees can add up quickly if you surf a lot, but $10 a day to shred isn’t awful, and it’s the norm you should seek while parking at the beach.


Having familiarized yourself with the costs of surfing, the biggest question left unanswered is – do you have to spend a lot to surf?

Not at all! Surfing is not a costly activity in terms of money, but it does take time: time to get to the waves if you don’t live near one, time spent waiting for the correct weather and tides before you can even get out and go, and even more time spent paddling out and getting your butt kicked as you learn.

Technically, you could get a soft-top surfboard or a foamie for under $100 and have a blast right away. When the weather is beautiful, and the beach (aside from parking) is technically free, you don’t need an expensive wetsuit for a light session.

Don’t worry if you’re hesitant to invest hundreds of dollars on a hobby you may or may not enjoy. You can have a great time on a budget, and if you’re anything like me, once you catch that first wave, you’ll be hooked. Have fun surfing!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Are surf schools profitable?

A: A small surfing school’s gross profits are around $2,000 per month at most. Therefore not many become rich running this business on a small scale.

Q: What do surf shops sell?

A: Shirts, board shorts, shoes, swimwear, jeans, and jackets are the most profitable items in the surf industry. New wetsuits and surfboards are essential for enticing customers, but margins are limited, and the number of units sold is low. Surfers are more likely to purchase from online surf shops.

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