El Cheapo’s Guide to Surfing – Is Surfing Expensive?

Surfing is special because it’s not a rich man’s sport. Sure you’ve got to live relatively close to the ocean, but other than that the cost to entry can be pretty low.

If you’re a beginner surfer and want to own your own equipment rather than rent, you can probably get into the water for under $400-500 – more or less expensive depending on the ocean temperatures nearby.

Compare it to something like snowboarding – you need a board, boots, binding, winter clothes, lift ticket… Or wakeboarding – board, bindings, tow rope, freaking BOAT. That stuff adds up.

But the question remains, if you’re a beginner surfer, or you’re tight on cash, or you’re just cheap – should you shell out for the most expensive surf gear, or will a cheap surfboard, cheap fins, a cheap wetsuit, and a cheap leash do the trick?

Here’s one thing to remember – cheap, mass produced commodities are often of low quality, low production and environmental standards, and short lived. That goes for everything from toasters to surfboards.

Cheap things break, cheap things don’t perform as well as better quality goods. And cheap things end up in the landfill where they’ll sit long after we’re gone.

So, if you want to be a cheap surfer – here’s my advice:

  • Buy a used surfboard rather than a cheap new surfboard.
  • Same goes for fins – look on Craigslist for some used fin sets. They might not be mint condition, but it’s a good way to start to experiment if you’re tight on cash.
  • Spend a little extra on the leash, traction pad, and wetsuit – for just a little more money, you’ll have something that’s going to last a longer time and work well.

Another tip for the cheap surfer – learn to fix your own stuff.

This includes repairing your boards, your fins, your wetsuit, your bicycle.

Repairing things is not too difficult once you get over that initial fear of the unknown.

You’ll increase the useful life of your equipment, keep them out of the landfill, and you’ll keep cash in your pocket.

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