By no means is surfing a cheap activity. Any surfer will tell you that surfing burns a large hole in your pocket; in the shape of surf trips, equipment and the lifestyle that is accredited to it. I have been a surfer for the majority of my life and work within the surf lifestyle industry. Over the years I have learned a number of key methods that can ensure you can live the surf lifestyle whilst not being completely broke due to it. I’m going to share a few of these with you below.
Not every surf vacation has to be accommodated by a luxury hotel. A tent can be your ticket to an extended stay at the beach scoring waves, whilst everyone else is having to check out of their expensive hotels early!
The majority of beaches in the UK, as well as in continental Europe have fully equipped camp-sites just a stone’s throw away from the surf. With a bit of research and planning, camping can be both cheap and enjoyable! Depending on location, a few simple basics, such as a rucksack, sleeping bag, blow up pillow, small cooker, mess tin and water carrier, will allow you to live comfortably with money left to spend on a few indulgencies.
Camp-sites vary in prices, depending what facilities you are after, it’s easy to secure weekly rates of no more than ￡50. When in France, look out for the Municipal camp-sites (most seaside villages have these) for the cheapest, yet basic camp-grounds.
Be sure to keep your valuables with you, as tents are easily broken in to. I can manage comfortably with a three man tent, which is perfect for both me and my board!
Oh, don’t forget a good length of string for the washing line!
Buy out of season
When buying surf clothing or equipment, buying out of season is the perfect way to save you some extra pennies. During the summer months, outlets heavily reduce any stock that they have left from the previous winter. And vice-versa, during the winter months the summer stock will also be discounted to affordable rates. Although, one must be strong willed to part with money for a pair of board shorts during December or a snow jacket during July. But believe me; you will be thankful for it when you have all your seasonal items for half the price you would initially pay for them.
Rent boards when you get there
When travelling to far afield surf destinations you can save some money by not taking your own board. Like all surfers, I’ve tried numerous boards but we all have our favourite, mainly because it’s the optimum board for our style and ability and it seems the majority of rental boards just don’t compare. Well, now they do. A simply named website, rentasurfboard.com offers something for every surfer out there. You can order and rent boards over nine different continents, for a very reasonable price, sometimes even cheaper than the hefty airport taxes for flying with your surfboard! The most important thing is they now offer more than your typical soft top rental board (although they do still have these). On my last trip to Portugal, I rented a Pukas performance short-board (a top-quality board) for 80 Euros for an entire week.
Epoxy surfboards were once very expensive, but due to newly adopted methods of production, prices have fallen over the years. Even though they are slightly more expensive that a regular, fibre glass board, epoxy constructed boards can save you money in the long run.
These type of boards are much stronger and lighter, so may save you money on flights due to the weight. Unlike a traditional board, epoxy will not damage easily when knocked or dropped, it will also not age due to elements such as the sun and salt water, and will generally last you many more years compared with a fibre glass board.
Another great way to save on your surf board is to apply a deck grip. These range from around £15-£35 but will save you buying a block of wax every time you hit the water.
When Ben isn’t getting surfing the world on a budget you’ll find him lacing writing content for www.worldadventuretravel.co.uk