Surfing is more than just a hobby; it’s a lifestyle. If you’re like most surfers, the ocean calls to you constantly. Unfortunately, surfing isn’t always affordable. Expenses like transportation, surfing equipment, and housing during surf trips can quickly add up. But there are many ways you can get in tons of surfing while still staying within your budget and not breaking the bank.
Set Yourself a Budget
Before you start planning your surf season, sit down and create a budget both for your monthly expenses and for your surfing. Creating a monthly budget can help you to identify areas where you’re spending unnecessarily. After all, do you really need both a Netflix and Hulu subscription? Once you have a better idea of your current monthly spending, you can determine how much money you can put into your surfing fund.
Next, create a budget for your surfing. Try to incorporate all of the expenses you might incur, from lodging to travel to the cost of your equipment. Having all of your expenses down on paper can help you determine whether that trip you’re planning is practical this year and may help you to weigh different surf locations to decide which ones you can really afford. This is just one of the ways that surfing can teach us about both life and business. Crunching numbers and making an honest assessment of surfing costs is good practical experience.
Get Creative With Travel
Traveling to the perfect beach can be a significant expense that will eat into your surf budget, so you may need to consider a few different travel options. Hopping on a plane may seem ideal, but it can be more expensive than other modes of transportation, depending on your destination.
Instead of flying, consider buying a budget car that will get you to more local surfing destinations. When buying a car, think about factors such as your needs for the vehicle (the ability to carry your board is a must), whether a new or used car is best, and just how much you can afford to spend on the car. If you have friends who will be traveling with you, everyone can pitch in toward the cost of gas, making trips more affordable.
If you’re dreaming of bigger and better surf trips with your entire group of friends, traveling by RV might be a better choice. You’ll need to learn about handling and driving an RV, but camping at an RV park can save money over the cost of a hotel room, especially during long-term trips. RV rentals can be affordable when split among multiple people, but if a friend already has an RV, this can be an ideal situation for everyone.
Do Your Research
Spending some time on research can amount to big savings. If you’re planning to buy new gear, head to social media or online classified sites to see if you can find a used surfboard for sale at a discount. Keep an eye on sales at surf shops, and be sure to check out the clearance section to see if you can find that new wetsuit you need at a discount.
Research is also important when it comes to planning out the ultimate summer surf road trip or just identifying local surf destinations. Researching what other surfers are saying about particular spots can help to pinpoint the places you want to be sure to hit. If you’re planning to fly, details like the cost of checked baggage and baggage restrictions can help you to avoid unexpected fees.
A little research can also help you to identify great housing opportunities, and understanding the cost of housing in different areas may factor into the destinations you incorporate into your surf trip. Try to network with other surfers in your surf destinations to get the inside scoop on local housing. Search AirBnB for affordable housing opportunities during your stay and see if you know any local friends or family who might let you crash on their couch. If you must stay in a hotel or motel, do some careful research to compare rates, look for perks like continental breakfast offers, and make sure that you get the best rate possible.
You might have your heart set on a particular surf destination this year, but that might not be the best choice when you look at your budget. Stay flexible in planning your surfing. Be open to new opportunities; after all, it’s important to seek out a little discomfort in your surfing life. Don’t forget that goals are important and can keep driving you forward, so don’t feel that you have to accomplish all of your surf goals this season or even next season. When you’re surfing on a budget, you’ll need to make some sacrifices. Maybe that great destination has to wait until next year when you’ll have more money saved up. But that beach you have a chance to hit up in the next state over during a trip with friends? Who knows what adventure awaits?