Surf's Up Magazine

How Much Does Surfing Cost?

  • Date: February 9, 2024
  • Time to read: 5 min.

You can anticipate spending around $750 on all of your surfing gear. You may need half that amount if you buy used or second-hand goods. Also look at other cost-cutting suggestions, which we’ll go over in further detail within this post.

surfing costs

What do you Need to Start Surfing?

Before we get into what you require, there are a few things to think about since these will influence exactly what you require or not!

If it’s your first time surfing, then we strongly advise taking a few lessons from a certified ISA instructor.

Lessons aren’t expensive and they will enable you to get a sense of the equipment required to surf. More importantly they’ll give you time to decide whether it’s a sport you’d like to pursue more seriously.

Main Pieces of Gear

You’ll need the following to get started: surfboard, wetsuit, leash, fins, and wax. If you’re lucky enough to surf in tropical water then you won’t need a wetsuit.

If you have all of these, you’re ready to go and learn how to surf. We’ll now look at each of the items mentioned above in greater detail, as well as how much to pay for them and how to save money if you want to learn surfing on a budget.


A decent surfboard for a learner should not cost much more than $400 new. Used surfboards for beginners are typically half the price, around $150-250 on sites like Craigslist. The best surfboards to learn on are soft top or foam surfboards. Read our post on How Much is a Surfboard for more information.


Although you would want to buy a wetsuit for winter surfing, as mentioned above, you may be able to start surfing in the summer and get a lot of hours in the surf without one. Therefore, only buy one if completely necessary.

When you’re ready to buy a wetsuit, we recommend getting your first one from a local vendor rather than an internet retailer. They cost between $200 to $300.

This is due to the fact that wetsuits need a near-perfect fit. They are also bulky and difficult to return, even if you have free shipping.

Once you’ve discovered a brand that you like, you may purchase the same or similar ones online in the future knowing they will fit well.

surfers in wetsuits

Surf Wax

Surf wax is inexpensive (about $3 a bar), but it’s critical when learning to surf. Without any wax on it, your surfboard will be very slippery. Wax is essential to provide good grip underfoot.

In most places, one bar of wax may be used for up to a year. However, depending on the temperature changes in your region, you might want to use a different density of wax. Surf wax comes in different densities depending on the water temperature.

If you’re looking for a way to wax your surfboard, start by adding wax in a grid-like pattern. Utilize the corner of the wax before rubbing the flat side of the wax over it in a circular motion. This has long been my method of choice for applying wax, and that is still how I do it.

Surfboard Fins

Surfboard fins are required since they allow you to direct your board and go straight through the waves into the water. Fins are generally included in beginner surfboards, so you won’t have to buy them. There are numerous kinds of surfboard fins available.

Check the product description for each beginner surfboard you look at to see if it says “includes fins” or “fins included.” These make those boards into a fantastic surfing starter pack.

When purchasing secondhand, be sure to inspect the ad and inquire about if fins are included. This might be a good excuse to receive a discount if they aren’t there, but keep in mind that many of the soft-top boards you’ll see will require unique fins from the same manufacturer.

The most popular fin configurations are FCS and Futures Fins, which will generally be found on more advanced surfboards. They typically cost around $50.


To keep yourself connected to your surfboard, you’ll need a leash to attach yourself to it at all times. This will cost you about $30.

It also helps you stay connected to your board when you fall, so it won’t wash back into shore. In the 1960s and 70s before the advent of the surfboard leash, surfers would have to swim after their boards, which often meant a surf session would end early because a surfer would exhaust themselves swimming after their board.

When purchasing a first surf leash, ensure it is from a reputable surf hardware company. This is because a leash is safety equipment, so buying a low-quality one may only cause you more difficulties in the future!

Tip: Avoid purchasing a surf leash that has been used, since they can easily break when exposed to the elements, leaving you susceptible to injury if a wave washes your board back in to shore.

Plus, because the Velcro straps on old leashes may quickly wear out, waves can easily pull your leash off your leg making your surfboard a hazard in the water.

surfer applying sunblock

Useful Extras

These are accessories that are not always essential, but nice to have.

Waterproof Key Holder

If you’re driving your car or motorbike to the beach, you’ll need a waterproof keyholder as well. This is because many robbers are aware that surfers hide their keys beneath/around their cars, so they may potentially be watching you when you do!

Add to that the fact that most automobile keys these days are electronic, meaning they will most likely break after one usage without a fully waterproof cover/holder.

Changing Poncho

Unless your local break has changing rooms, you’ll most likely find yourself getting changed in the car park. Changing ponchos are usually made from beach towel fabric and enable you to get changed without exposing yourself.

They also help dry you off in the process, which means that if you have a changing poncho you won’t need to use a towel after your surf. A really nifty piece of gear indeed.


You may be thinking that because you surf in a cold, cloudy country that sunblock isn’t all that important. Well, we’re here to tell you that it is.

UV rays in today’s world are stronger than ever, and it’s a common misconception that you should only apply sunblock when it’s sunny. Make it a habit to apply sunblock every time you go out for a surf.

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