How Much Does Surfing Cost? (Explained for Beginners)

Surfing is often looked at as a free activity where you can enjoy the adrenaline thrill of riding a wave while immersing yourself in nature.

Surfing, however, is not as free as most people think and, in fact, can become rather expensive when you start looking at top-end gear.

So,How Much Does Surfing Cost?

Surfing can cost you as little as a couple of hundred dollars or as much as 10 thousand USD or more, depending on the type of surfboard you buy, the brand of the wetsuit, and any other equipment you wish to add to your gear.

Surfboards can be found cheap when secondhand, but most new surfboards and surf equipment are expensive and can easily break your budget.

Throughout this article, we are going to look at different surf equipment and how much each item will set you back.

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How Much Does Surfing Cost?

The Cost of Surfing Equipment

The cost of surfing, as mentioned before, can vary greatly; this is why the following list provides a variety of examples to help you find a budget range that suits you.

It should be noted that prices are estimations and will differ from region to region as well as store to store.

Short Boards

Shortboards are the most refined and popular among surfers worldwide as they are fast, agile, and suitable for most mid to large waves.

These performance boards require a higher level of skill as they are on the shorter end of the size spectrum.

Shortboards and performance boards tend to be shorter than 7-foot and can often be as small as 5-foot.

Shortboards and performance boards can range from US$600 and less to well over US$10,000 for designer boards; however, a new board will usually cost you around US$1000.

Budget Shortboard
JR Surfboards, Punt Rocka
$526.42

The Punt Rocka combines features from our pro-series and small wave boxta model. Perfect for the transition from your small wave fish to standard board.Ridden 2-3 inches shorter than standard, suited to 2-6 foot waves.

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Mid Range Shortboard
Rusty, Slayer 2
$602.66

The Slayer 2 has the wide point pulled back towards the midpoint. This tends to pull in the nose and give more curve to the tail section

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High-End Shortboard
Channel Islands, Ultra Joe Spinetek
$889.47

The Ultra Joe boasts foiled rails, a double bump squash tail, narrower nose, and updated rocker profile with additional exit rocker

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Large Surfboards

Large surfboards, or longboards, are, as their name suggests, longer than performance surfboards.

Because of their extra size, they require more materials such as fiberglass, foam, and resin.

As they can often range from 8 feet to 12 feet (and sometimes longer), their price tends to be more expensive than their shorter cousins.

With more volume comes more material, and therefore, a higher cost for a giant board.

Large surfboards can be expensive and have sold for up to US$100,000; however, their price range is more commonly around US$700 – US$2,000.

Budget Longboards
NSP, Protech
$543.85

NSP’s longboards feature key performance characteristics at an attractive price point. The Protech Longboard is the perfect addition to any surfers quiver and an exceptional longboard for the recreational surfer to fast track skills, helping you develop your cross-stepping and other moves - It’s a proven classic!

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Mid-range Longboards
Walden, Magic Model Tuflite
$1,066.64

The Magic Model Tuflite stands the test of time due to its versatility and unique design features. With an emphasis on performance, with a single concave running from the nose through to the midpoint, a lot of lift is created. This makes it a perfect longboard for controlled nose riding.

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High-End Longboards
Donald Takayama, Beach Break Tuflite
$1,248.17

Possibly Donald Takayama’s most innovative surfboard design yet, the Beach Break Tuflite is designed for performance and speed all while adding stability and volume.

As an older surfer, you are likely familiar with Donald Takayama and know that there are not many surfboard shapers of the same class.

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Surfboard Leash

Without a surfboard leash, you will have a tough time keeping your surfboard close to you when you duck dive and wipe out while riding a wave.

Although surf leashes aren’t a mandatory piece of surf equipment, most surfers will argue that it is a necessary one.

The price of a surfboard leash will vary depending on its thickness, as well as its length.

Surfboard leashes go for as little as US$20 up to US$200.

Even pro surfers are made to use leashes during competitions for safety reasons.

Budget Leash
FK Surf, 6ft Core
$21.75

FK Surf leashes are made using the finest urethanes for the ultimate strength and better memory. They feature marine-grade swivels and fasteners, lightweight neoprene, and webbings that are all purpose-built to give a strong, lightweight, and super functional leash that will stand the test of time.

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Mid-Range Leash
Creatures of Leisure, 6ft Superlite Pro
$43.53

Creatures of Leisure produce some of the most advanced surf accessories in the world! Everything from Fins, leg ropes, board covers, wax, tail pads, and booties for both keen surfers and bodyboarders around the globe.

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High-End Leash
FCS, 7ft Freedom Helix
$58.05
  • Material: Natural bio-resi
  • Silicone Grip Print
  • 2mm Neoprene Padding
  • Low Profile Moulded Velcro
  • Moulded Pull-tab
  • Titanium Swivels
  • Specifically designed for wave sizes 0 - 8 ft


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Surf Wax

If you have ever experienced slipping on fresh ice, then you will be somewhat familiar with how surfing without surf wax feels.

Using surf wax is an essential part of surfing, as without it, you will find it incredibly difficult to remain standing or even paddling on your surfboard.

Surf wax is made from an array of ingredients, some synthetic and others organic.

The wax is often scented with fruit smells to create a pleasant experience.

Because surf wax is so important, it’s a good thing it only costs between US$4 and US$6 for a bar for most popular waxes.

Cold Water Wax
Ocean and Earth, Max Surf
$4.36
  • Type: Cold Water Wax
  • Colour: Green
  • Smaller, Tigheter Bumps = Superior Traction
  • Reflective, Re-Sealable Packaging
  • Eco-Friendly Formula
  • Extra Soft formula for water temps 15 degrees


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Warm Water Wax
Mr. Zogs, Sex Wax
$3.63
  • Style: Surf wax
  • Colour: Warm
  • Warm to mild tropic water temperatures


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Tropical Wax
FK Surf, Orange 80g Tropical
$3.59
  • Colour: Orange
  • 1 x Tropical 80g Great Surf Wax block
  • Xtra hard
  • Best used 25C / 75F and below


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Base Coat
FCS, Base Surf Wax
$4.32
  • Style: Base Coat Wax
  • Colour: Multi
  • Suitable for all water temps
  • 100% recycled packaging
  • Wax contains natural ingredients
  • Coconut scented
  • Quality beads
  • Made in the USA


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Traction Pads

Surf wax can, thanks to its synthetic nature, be hazardous to the environment, as well as, in cases, cause allergic reactions and rashes on your skin.

Apart from this, constantly buying wax for your surfboard can become tedious, which is why many surfers resort to using either partial or full traction pads.

Traction pads are usually made from EVA foam, Cork, or for full board pads, a grip-like material, similar but softer than those used on a skateboard.

Budget Traction Pad
Project Blank, Eco-pure 3 Piece
$21.75

The go-to pad for the surfer who wants a modern outline in 3-piece construction. Designed with unique MIX OF CORDUROY TEXTURE AND premium diamond groove pattern. Designed with a modern outline to work on a variety of tail shapes. 

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Mid-Range Traction Pad
Creatures of Leisure, Griffin Colapinto Signature Tail Pad
$47.16
  • Style: Tail Pad
  • Colour: Black
  • Diamond Loc II - Traction Pattern
  • 7mm Teardrop Wide Arch Bar
  • 30mm Alpine Kick
  • 3 Piece
  • 3M™ Adhesive
  • Responsible Packaging - Recyclable + Biodegradable


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High-End Traction Pad
Creatures of Leisure, Reliance Full Deck Traction Pad
$61.68
  • Style: Tail pad
  • Colour: Black
  • Cord - Traction Pattern
  • Flat Pad
  • 6 Piece
  • 3M Adhesive


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Wetsuits

Wetsuits serve two primary purposes when used for surfing (and other water sports such as diving), and that’s to keep you warm and protect you.

With a wetsuit that is too thin, you will quickly find yourself getting cold, while a wetsuit too thick can lead you to experience a heat stroke in the water.

It is essential to use a good quality wetsuit, but lucky for you a new wetsuit doesn’t need to break the bank.

Wetsuits can go from US$50 for spring suits and surf jackets to over US$500 for thicker and longer suits and more reputable brands.

Warm Water Wetsuits

These wetsuits are best for water temperatures above 78°F (26°C).

Warm Water Wetsuits For Women
Rip Curl, G Bomb Spring Suit
$145.21 - $152.47
  • Colour: Black
  • Material: E4 Neoprene
  • Thickness: 1mm
  • Zip through front
  • Temp Guide: >22 degrees
  • Sleeve Type: Long


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Warm Water Wetsuits - For Men
Rip Curl, 1.5mm Omega
$87.12
  • Type: Men's Wetsuit Jacket
  • Colour: Black
  • Material: Neoprene, Polyamide
  • Thickness: 1.5mm
  • Entry System: Back Zip
  • Long sleeve wetsuit jacket
  • Logo prints


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Mid-Temperature Water Wetsuits

Best for water temperatures between 64°F – 77°F (18°C – 25°C).

Mid-Temperature Water Wetsuits - For Women
XCEL, Comp 3/2mm
$261.03
  • 100% ultra flex, Nanoprene lite Japanese limestone
  • Nylon Collar to prevent hair pulling
  • Made with soft eco-friendly anti-fade dope-dye yarn
  • Water-based glue provides premium durability and bonds while being environmentally conscious
  • Triple glued and blind stitched seams
  • Reinforced Fusion X stress points
  • 100% Neoprene
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Mid-Temperature Water Wetsuits - For Men
Quiksilver, 3/2mm Syncro GBS
$253.78
  • Seam taping at critical zones
  • Supratex knee pads
  • Chest zip entry system with PK #8 plastic zip
  • Drainage holes
  • Suitable for suggested water temperatures of 13C - 18C / 56F - 64F
  • 83% Nylon, 17% Elastane


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Cold Water Wetsuits

Coldwater surfing wetsuits are best used in temperatures below 64°F (18°C).

Cold Water Wetsuits - For Women
XCEL, 6/5mm Drylock
$449.95

Just like the Drylock for men, XCEL has a winter wetsuit designed and cut for women.

This suit has all the same features as the XCEL Drylock X, but with a 6/5mm thickness to ensure maximum warmth.


Pros:
  • Includes attached hood.
  • 100% waterproof zipper with magnetic close.
  • Drylock wrist seals.
  • Stitch-free seams.
Cons:
  • Only suitable for the coldest of days.
  • When not using the hood it can become annoying as it fills with water.
  • The wetsuit is bulky and heavy when wet because of the added thickness.
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Cold Water Wetsuits - For Men
XCEL, 5/4mm Drylock

XCEL may be one of the most renowned wetsuit brands, and it's with good reason. Their wetsuits are durable, flexible, and suit the purpose that they are designed for to the tee.

The men's XCEL Drylock is a 5/4mm hooded wetsuit with the best seal on the market.

The top entry makes getting in and out of the suit tight but necessary for the added seal, while the high pile fiber chest fleece keeps you cozy and warm in the coldest of waters.

Pros:
  • Includes attached hood.
  • 100% waterproof zipper with magnetic close.
  • Drylock wrist seals.
  • Stitch-free seams.
Cons:
  • Only suitable for the coldest of days.
  • When not using the hood it can become annoying as it fills with water.
  • The wetsuit is bulky and heavy when wet because of the added thickness.
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Rash Guard

Rash guards are perfect for those sunny days where your wetsuit is just too warm, but the sun is too hot to go without proper covering.

Rash Guards are cheap and, will help prevent sunburn wax rash, and can be used inside your wetsuit to add some warmth on the coldest of days.

Rash guards average between US$20 and US$100 but can be found much cheaper, as well as more expensive.

Rash Guard - For Women
Roxy, Active Long Sleeve Vest
$58.00

Since 1990, Roxy has been proud to call itself the only female exclusive extreme sports brand.

As their products are created for women, by women, they have a better fit, style, and elegant touch.

The Active Rash Vest is a perfect example of how Roxy brings together beauty, style, and performance together.


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Rash Guard - For Men
FK Surf, Performance X
$32.59
  • Style: Men's Rash Vest
  • Colour: Royal Blue Charcoal
  • Material: Nylon, Spandex
  • Fit Type: Snug
  • Neck Line: Crew
  • Long sleeves
  • Print to chest
  • UPF 50+ protection


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Boots, Gloves, and Hoods

For times when you find yourself surfing in the coldest waters, you will likely want to use boots, gloves, and a hood.

These accessories can become expensive when you add them all up, but they are necessary to surf cold waters like South Africa and New Zealand.

Boots
FK Surf, Reef Boot
$39.84

The FK Surf Split Toe Reef Bootie features an ultra thin sole, 1.5mm flatlock neoprene, an adjustable ankle strap and comes in it's own carry sack for premium protection. Available now in a huge range of sizes. Perfect for rocks, reef and water wear. Travel boots, premium design. Far King Surf Reef Boots.

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Gloves
XCEL, Infiniti Gloves
$25.37
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Grip palms for traction
  • Plush thermo lite for warmth
  • Engineered design for a contoured fit
  • Taitex outer seam making it more durable
  • Quick dry fibres to stay and get dryer quicker


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Hoods
O’Neill, Psycho One
$43.50
  • Style: Men's Wetsuit Hood
  • Colour: Black
  • Adjustable Cinch
  • Visor
  • Anatominical fit


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Surfboard Bag

If you want to store as well as transport your surfboards to and from the beach safely, it is imperative that you use a good surfboard bag.

Surfboard bags and covers come in different styles, such as travel bags, day bags, and surfboard socks.

Depending on how many boards your bag can fit, as well as how well it is padded, a surfboard bag could cost as little as US$50 for a surfboard sock and as much as US$500 for a large, durable travel bag.

Budget Board Cover
Creatures of Leisure, Fish Icon Stretch Sox
$36.22
  • Style: Surfboard Cover
  • Colour: Military
  • Super soft stretch knit
  • Padded Nose panel
  • Drawstring with barrel lock closure
  • Reusable mesh packaging
  • Lightweight and packs down small


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Mid-Range Board Bag
FCS, 4 Board Travel Bag
$297.25
  • Colour: Black Grey
  • Outer Material: Heavy Duty Nylon
  • Lightweight material? to minimize board bag weight. 20% lighter than the previous model
  • 12mm Dual Density Padding on Body
  • 2mm Plastic Plate on Nose


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High-End Board Bag
Ocean and Earth, Quad Wheelie Shortboard Cover
$340.80
  • Material: Polyester, Foam, Tarpee
  • Fits 1-5 boards
  • Extra protection in high impact areas - nose, rails & tail
  • Double thick gusset padding with extra tough 20mm shock absorbing foam
  • External & internal compression straps protect boards by minimising movement
  • Armour weave polyester top layer


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Surfboard Fins

Surfboard fins make a huge difference to the way your surfboard performs while surfing.

Without fins or with the incorrect fins, you will find yourself sliding along the waters suffice as though you were slipping on ice.

Depending on the size of your fins and which fin setup you use, the price of your fins will vary.

Large longboard fins are expensive, but you only need one, while quad fins are small and cheap but often sold individually, which can make them costly.

Surfboard fins range between US$30 – US$300 on average.

Budget Fins
FCS, M5 Soft-Flex Tri Fin
$36.22

Softflex fins are molded using highly flexible urethane. For this reason they're safe, mostly used with softboards, and are ideal for beginners as they gain confidence in the water.

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Mid-Range Fins
FCS, Kelia Moniz PG Still Water Single Fin
$108.73
  • Featuring a classic template, perfect for cruising, driving off the bottom, and arching through turns


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High-End Fins
FCS, Big Wave G10 Quad fins
$290.00
  • Style: Quad Fins
  • Material: Performance Glass (PG) fins
  • Upright, low drag template, and stiff G10 material
  • 50/50 foils up front and 80/20 on the rear
  • Board Types: Designed to fit the FCS II Fin System


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Wet/ Dry Bag

As a surfer, you obviously have a love for the ocean, and as a result, spend a lot of time around water.

In a world full of technology, it is important to have somewhere to keep our valuables dry and safe.

Not to mention something to keep our wetsuits in once we are done surfing for the day.

Dry bags can be as cheap as a few dollars for small bags that are suited for nothing more than your phone and your keys but can reach well over US$100 for backpack-style dry bags.

Roll Top Dry Bag
Dakine, 30L Dry bag
$58.00

Whenever your adventure finds you on or near water, this is the pack to carry. Whether you aim to ensure valuables stay dry or house the soggy and sandy, this 30-liter cylindrical dry bag with rolltop closure features breathable and lightweight backpack straps in a stuff-sack style piece that can easily hold a full wetsuit, booties, gloves, leash, and other accessories.

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Carry Beach Dry Bag
Rip Curl, Surf Series All Day Carry bag
$72.50
  • Material: Polyester Crinkle
  • Magnetic closure for easy access
  • Heat-sealed lining for leakproof interior
  • Ideal for wet storage
  • Doubles as a change mat for surfers
  • Self-fabric slip pocket and mesh pocket


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Dry Bag Backpack
Creatures of Leisure, Transfer Dry Backpack
$108.73
  • 25L Capacity
  • S-Lock - triple-sealed airtight closure tech
  • IPX8 Waterproof main storage - withstands 1.5m water pressure depth
  • High-Grade Waterproof TPU Fabric
  • Waterproof Welded Seams
  • Coated Zippers
  • Lash Loops


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Surfing Lessons

Depending on where you are in the world, surfing lessons can seem as though they are almost free or at times more expensive than your surfboard itself.

It’s not necessary to take surf lessons to learn how to surf, but doing so will dramatically speed up your learning process.

The following are examples of some surf schools and their hourly prices from popular surf destinations around the world:

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USA

Costa Rica

Australia

South Africa

Japan

Surf Watch

Keeping track of the time as well as tides while you are in the water is often more important than you may think.

The last thing you want is to get back to your car after an amazing session, only to realize that you’re an hour late to work.

Or perhaps you are enjoying your time surfing on a shallow reef, only to find that the tide has dropped too low for you to surf back into shore, which means a long, painful, and destructive walk across the reef back to shore.

Surf watches are water-resistant, often show the local tides, and include a variety of helpful functions for both your surf life and daily tasks.

A surf watch can range from as little as US$50 to over US$200.

Budget Surf Watch
Addictiv Pro Tide - Digital Watch for Men byjo quiksilver
$89.00
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09/28/2022 11:10 pm GMT
Mid-Range Surf Watch
NIXON, Base Tide Pro
$128.06

Fiber-reinforced polycarbonate case with full water-resistant functionality down to 100 meters means you don’t need to hold back when you’re wearing it


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09/29/2022 02:30 am GMT
High-End Surf Watch
G-Shock GBX100-1
$129.94
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09/29/2022 06:07 am GMT

Waterproof Surf Camera

Whether you are a professional photographer wanting to take pictures of surfers on a crystal clear blue day, or if you simply want to record your own ride, a waterproof camera is essential.

Waterproof cameras aren’t cheap and can range from anywhere between US$100 for a simple digital waterproof camera and US$2,000 or more for a high-end professional setup.

Budget Surf Camera
5MP Underwater Camera
$99.99
  • 4K WATERPROOF CAMERA】Equipped with a new upgraded 4K/30FPS and 56mp, this waterproof camera records high-quality video and captures great moments, whenever they are shot, with a bang.
  • 【UP TO 10FT WATERPROOF DIGITAL CAMERA】Submersible to a depth of 10 feet for one hour at a time, waterproof without casing. Swimming, snorkeling, family play, all have brilliant performances.


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09/29/2022 07:03 am GMT
Mid-Range Surf Camera
GoPro HERO9 Black
$399.99

Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens, 5K Ultra HD Video, 20MP Photos, 1080p Live Streaming, Webcam, Stabilization

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09/28/2022 03:36 pm GMT
High-End Surf Camera
Fujifilm FinePix XP140
$259.95
  • Is 100-12800, allowing for lots of light and extremely fast shutter speed
  • Waterproof to 82 ft., shockproof up to 5. 9 ft., freezeproof to 14º f, and dustproof


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09/28/2022 04:50 pm GMT

Surf Poncho

Surf ponchos have become popular among surfers as they keep you warm, will dry you, and make putting on and removing your wetsuit easier than ever before.

Surf ponchos are not expensive and won’t set you back much more than US$50 – US$70.

Sunscreen

The sun is the leading cause of skin cancer and can lead to numerous other skin problems when we over-expose ourselves to its harsh UV rays.

Without proper protection, you put yourself at unnecessary risk.

Although we get most of our sun protection from our wetsuits or rash vests, our face, hands, neck, and feet often remain exposed. 

Without sunscreen, you will leave your surf sessions looking redder than a brand new Ferrari but in more pain than receiving a 5-finger death punch.

Although there is an array of sunscreen options, surfers tend to lean towards reef-safe sunscreen to ensure the protection of the ocean, which gives us so much joy.

Sunscreen can range from US$10 or less to well over US$100, depending on the brand, SPF, and your location.

Budget Sunscreen
Sun Bum Spf 30 Sunscreen
$15.31
  • This moisturizing sunscreen formula will protect your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays while enriching your skin with Vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals, which are the main cause of premature skin aging.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure and allow it to absorb
  • Reapply at least every two hours
  • Apply more frequently after swimming/sweating, or after an aggressive towel dry
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Mid-Ranged Sunscreen
Natural Sunscreen SPF 50
$43.76
  • An ultra-hydrating, nourishing & anti-aging sunscreen
  • Natural, reef-safe & plant-based formula effortlessly glides onto skin without leaving a thick white cast
  • Enriched with Vitamin E & Rosehip Oil to nourish skin & provide a hydration boost
  • Contains collagen-supporting ingredients for age-defying power
  • Provides broad-spectrum SPF50 UVA/UVB protection with zinc oxide
  • Water-resistant for four hours & can be used on both body & face


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High-End Sunscreen
Chantecaille, Sunscreen SPF 45 Primer
$126.17
  • A high-potency anti-aging facial sunscreen
  • Features a lightweight, oil-free & mattifying formula
  • Contains Cherry Blossom, Lemon Balm & White Tea Extract for antioxidant & soothing properties
  • Infused with stabilized sun filters that block both UVA & UVB rays
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How Much Does a Professional Surfboard Cost?

Depending on the brand, pro surfboards can vary greatly in price.

Channel Island, for example, sells their pro boards at sometimes well over US$1000 thanks to being one of Jordy Smith’s favorite shapers.

PYZEL boards, on the other hand, sell their pro boards much cheaper for around US$800.

On average, a pro board will cost you between US$800 – US$2000, but some signature boards can go for much higher.

How Much Does a Beginner Surfboard Cost?

Although professional surfboards look appealing, they’re not ideal for new surfers. 

Not only are pro boards slim, short, and low in volume, but they are also expensive and not to mention hard.

New surfers are always recommended to use a beginner board as they tend to be softer, which prevents unnecessary injuries, and larger, which makes them easier to stand on.

Beginner surfboards, thanks to their lack of epoxy and fiberglass, are often much cheaper than other surfboards and can often cost as little as US$300 new.

How Much Do Surfboards Cost to Rent?

If you are new to surfing or are simply on holiday and the waves are firing, you will likely want to rent a surfboard.

Depending on where in the world you are, renting a surfboard can be as little as US$2 an hour, while other surf destinations can reach astronomical prices such as US$40 per hour, thanks to the high demand and great surf.

Conclusion

Surfing can be an incredibly cheap sport to get into, and by using products from this list alone, you could be set up for as little as US$1166.84 for a board, wetsuit, wax, wetsuit, leash, and fins.

That being said, if you take the opposite route and look at high-end products, you could find yourself paying close to US$10,000 for a simple setup.

How Much Does Surfing Cost?
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