Asking how much does a surfboard cost is kind of like asking how long is a piece of string? But, by and gosh, we’re not going to stop until you know what you should be paying for a surfboard and where the other end of that string is.
In this article, we are going to break down the different types of surfboards available to you, their prices, and where your skill level fits into the surfboard buying equation.
Just like everything that’s worth something in this world, over time, 99% of surfboards will depreciate in value. This is because they will incur wear and tear on their surf riding adventures, as well as get a little staining from the sun, and a little heavier from the water.
This is good news for people starting out on their surfing journey, as there are some scorching deals to be had on secondhand surfboards.
Whether you decide to scout around your local surf shops, peruse Facebook Marketplace and eBay, or rummage around your town’s thrift shops and swap meet, there is a secondhand surfboard out there for you.
Depending on their condition and age, secondhand surfboards can be picked up for as little as 50 bucks, and as much as $600 for a good condition longboard. Generally, though, most secondhand surfboards that are worth your hard-earned dollars are in the $150 – $350 range.
The surfboard market has gone rather ballistic in recent years, as many of the world’s big-name shapers now charge in excess of $1000 for a new surfboard.
Here in America, companies like Channel Islands, Mayhem, Album, Pyzel, and Slater Designs all fetch very high prices for their shapes. This is partly due to the globalization of surfboards, with these brands bringing out surfboard models that surfers from all over the world are chasing.
The second reason is that high-quality foam, from which surfboards are built, is becoming a scarcer commodity.
If you’re thinking about ordering a new longboard from someone like Christenson or Almond, you could even be paying over the $2000 mark for the pleasure, we know, crazy right?
But many surfers will save up their pennies and pay these high prices because they want the best, and these surfboard brands produce the best.
If you’ve got your sights set on a new surfboard, but aren’t too keen on paying the premium prices that the high-flying surfboard brands fetch, then there is another way.
Although they are a dying breed, local underground shapers can make as good a surfboard as anyone, and most will charge a whole lot less for their craftsmanship.
Do your research, ask around out in the lineup, find out who makes the best boards in your local area and give them a go. Building a personal relationship with your local shaper can be hugely beneficial to your surfing.
This is because they will be able to shape you custom surfboards that are geared towards your strengths as a surfer.
Also, unlike the big-name brands that often use computer-generated machines to churn out their shapes, local shapers will often build each of their boards by hand.
These brand-new, handmade beauties will typically set you back in the ballpark of $500 – $800. Also, if, over time, your shaper sees that you’ve put your trust in them by repeatedly buying their boards.
Then you could be treated to their mate’s rates, which can knock a hundred bucks off your board cost, just like that.
Shaping A Surfboard Yourself
Another savvy way of owning a surfboard is to make it yourself. Now, we’re not saying that total novices should set up a shaping bay in their backyard and think they’re going to be shredding on the very first board that they shape, it just doesn’t happen.
However, and like everything in life, surfboard shaping is a gradual process that you get better at over time. Also, once you have the set-up at home, it can be a super frugal way of both shaping your own boards to surf, and maintaining those surfboards that you surf.
Once your surfing buddies clock onto the fact that you actually know what you’re doing, they will start lining up around the corner for repairs and you could even start making some money.
Money that will help go towards buying blanks (foam), fiberglass, and resin. Surfboard blanks can cost between $70 and $140, depending on their size and quality, but for home use, you’re looking at somewhere close to $100 mark.
A 1-gallon tin of resin will set you back $60, while sheets of fiberglass are the cheapest piece to the puzzle at $5 – $10 each. You’ll also need fin boxes to set your fins in, and they typically go for $15 a pop.
So once you acquire the tools, materials, and space, you could be producing handmade boards for as little as $200, surf away, no more to pay.
As is evidenced above, there are a few different ways to come at the question of how much does a surfboard cost? Though, whichever way you decide to come at it, there’s no escaping the fact that surfboards are expensive.
And with the way the industry is going, expect their prices to keep on rising. Secondhand surfboards are definitely a good starting point for beginner and even intermediate surfers. Surfers who are eager to improve but do not need the lightest board on the market to do so.
As practical as secondhand surfboards can be, we’re not going to lie, there really is nothing quite like bringing your brand new surfboard home from the shop, or shaper’s bay, and staring at it for hours of no end.
The cost may be rising, but the pure stoke that a new surfboard gives surfers is exactly the same. We hope this article has given you an insight into the costings surrounding all surfboard buying options, and you’ll be able to make an informed decision on your next beloved board. Good luck!