Surfing is an exciting water sport that is gaining popularity around the world. With its growing fanbase, more people are looking to pick up a surfboard and ride the waves. However, surfboards can vary greatly in terms of cost depending on the type, size, brand and quality. This article will provide a breakdown of the factors that affect surfboard pricing and give estimates on how much different boards may cost.
What Influences the Price of a Surfboard?
There are several key factors that impact how much a surfboard costs:
Type of Surfboard
Surfboards most basic categorization of surfboards is by length. Shortboards, longboards and funboards are the main types, and each is suited for different skill levels and wave conditions. Shortboards tend to be the most expensive since they are designed for high performance surfing. Funboards and longboards are more affordable options for beginners and intermediates.
Larger surfboards require more materials and cost more to produce. A longer board or one with a thicker profile (more volume) will typically be pricier than a smaller, low-volume board. Most adult boards range from 5’5” to 10’6”.
Quality of Materials
Higher grade materials like epoxy resin, carbon fiber and specialty wood veneers will increase the cost of a surfboard. Most cheaper boards use standard polyurethane or polystyrene foam and fiberglass cloth on the exterior. Premium materials can make boards lighter, stronger and improve performance.
Renowned surfboard shapers and brands like Channel Islands, Firewire and JS Industries use top quality materials and construction methods. Their name comes with a premium price tag. Local shapers or no-name brands typically offer more affordable options.
Custom vs. Stock Design
Custom shaped boards are tailored to a surfer’s specific measurements, abilities and preferences. This customization comes at a higher price. Stock boards use a generic sizing/template that suits a wide range of users, keeping costs down.
Country of Origin
Surfboards that are domestically shaped and produced within the United States, such as by Channel Islands in California, tend to be more expensive than mass-produced overseas boards from countries like China or Thailand.
Surfboard Cost Estimates
With these factors in mind, here is a general overview of how much you can expect to pay for different types of surfboards:
- Beginner model from local shaper: $400 – $700
- Intermediate board from major brand: $700 – $1,000
- High performance pro model: $800 – $1,200+
- Custom shortboard: $1,000 – $3,000+
Short, high performance boards for experienced surfers carry the steepest price tag. But even beginner models can cost several hundred dollars.
- Basic longboard from unknown brand: $200 – $400
- Intermediate-level longboard: $400 – $800
- High-end nose rider model: $800 – $1,200
- Custom longboard: $800 – $2,000+
The longer nose riders used by experienced longboarders for walking up to the nose cost the most. But even starter longboards typically run $200 to $400.
- Beginner funboard: $300 – $500
- Intermediate funboard: $500 – $700
- Performance hybrid from major brand: $700 – $1,000+
Funboards and hybrid boards that blend elements of shortboards and longboards have intermediate pricing. You can find cheaper models for beginners, but the more performance-focused boards run $700 to $1,000+.
Soft Top Boards
- Basic foam surfboard: $200 – $400
- High-end soft top model: $400 – $800
Soft tops feature a foam deck for added safety and flotation. These are popular with surf schools and beginners. Even high-end models with special construction rarely exceed $800.
- Craigslist or FB Marketplace: $100 – $400
- 2nd hand surf shop: $200 – $600
Buying a used board can save you hundreds compared to a new model. But inspect thoroughly for dings and damage before purchasing.
- Consider a funboard – More versatile and cheaper than shortboards
- Buy used – Excellent deals on lightly used boards
- Purchase off-brand – Avoid big names to save some cash
- Buy local – Support your local shaper over big brands
- Take a class – Bundle board rental/lessons into package deal
- Share a board – Go halfsies with a friend on a board
The Bottom Line on Surfboard Costs
In summary, you can expect to spend around the following for a new surfboard:
- Beginner board: $300 – $500
- Intermediate board: $500 – $800
- Advanced pro model: $800 – $1,200
- Custom board: $1,000 – $3,000+
While the sky’s the limit for custom boards using ultra premium materials and a famous shaper, you can find solid beginner boards for $300 to $500. Intermediate models from top brands generally run $500 to $800. The advanced high performance shortboards used by pros and experts push up against the $1,000+ range.
Factors like type of board, size, materials, brand name and customization all affect the final cost. Be sure to consider your s
How Much Are Surfboards Material Matters
An important factor in answering the question “How much are surfboards?” lies in the selection of materials used for surfboard construction. Traditional surfboards usually feature a core crafted from polyurethane foam (PU) or polystyrene (EPS) foam. This core is then enveloped with a layer of fiberglass cloth and treated with epoxy resin. These materials, having been the industry standard for numerous years, provide a suitable equilibrium between performance and affordability.
Premium surfboard brands may also offer innovative materials like carbon fiber composites or special foam cores, which further drive up prices. While these high-performance materials can deliver superior performance, it’s important to assess whether the incremental benefits they offer align with your skill level and surfing objectives.
Functionality and Performance
When questioning “How much are surfboards?” we must consider the board’s functionality and performance characteristics, as these directly influence its price. Surfboards created for beginners or casual surfers tend to be more affordable. These boards focus on stability, forgiveness, and ease of use, thereby providing an environment where beginners can develop their skills confidently. Often larger in size and designed with user-friendly, basic shapes, these entry-level surfboards are priced with accessibility in mind.
On the other hand, surfboards designed for advanced riders or those seeking high-performance features carry a higher price tag. Performance-oriented boards are engineered for acceleration, maneuverability, and responsiveness, enabling experienced surfers to push their limits and optimize their performance in the water. These boards are typically lighter, have more refined shapes, and may incorporate advanced features like concaves, rocker profiles, or tail designs to enhance performance.
Frequently Asked Questions on Surfboard Costs
How much do professional surfer’s boards cost?
Pro surfer’s boards can cost $1,000 to $3,000+ due to using premium materials like carbon fiber and top pro models from elite brands. However, they often get sponsorships or discounts from brands.
Should I buy new or used for my first surfboard?
For your first board, buying used can save a lot of money. Just be cautious of major dings or damage. A mildly used board for $200-$400 will surf great.
What’s the best cheap beginner surfboard?
Look for used longboards or funboards in the 8-9 foot range. Avoid shortboards as a beginner. Cheap foam boards under $300 can also work but won’t hold up as well.
Can you make your own surfboard?
It’s possible to hand shape and glass your own surfboard at home but requires proper tools, materials and skill. Kits range from $200 to $600+ for high-end blanks.
Should you buy surfboards online?
Buying a board online unseen can be risky. It’s best to check out boards in person first. Some shops offer return policies for online purchases if the fit isn’t right.
How long do surfboards last?
With proper care, most boards should last 5-10 years. Longboards tend to have the longest lifespan. Shorter boards for aggressive surfing will take more abuse and wear out faster.
The cost of a surfboard can range quite a bit, but you can expect to spend around $500 to $1,000 for a quality intermediate board. Advanced shortboards and custom shapes will be over $1,000, while used or beginner boards come in under $500. Consider your level, budget and local surf conditions when selecting a board. With the right choice, your surfboard will provide years of stoke inducing rides.