Renting vs Buying A Surfboard

🕓   4 min read

✏️   Updated on 26th March 2024


Why hello and welcome to my helpful ‘Renting vs Buying a Surfboard’ guide.

Now, this is one of the biggest conundrums beginner surfers come across… do I rent or buy a surfboard? Well luckily I’ve created this post for that exact conundrum and this is what we’ll be looking at…

1. Reasons To Rent a Surfboard
2. Reasons Not To Rent a Surfboard
3. Typical Scenarios For Renting
4. Reasons To Buy a Surfboard
5. Reasons Not To Buy a Surfboard
6. Typical Scenarios For Buying

It’s an easy read so grab a cuppa.




1. Reasons to rent a surfboard

  • Renting a surfboard in the UK costs no more than £10 for a day, so it’s cheap
  • It is the perfect short term option for a short term stay
  • Rentals come with everything you’ll need for your sesh, no need to buy anything
  • Renting a surfboard means zero storage space required
  • Don’t have to transport it to and from the beach
  • Rental surfboards allow you to try loads of different types and sizes
  • Most rental surfboards are already knackered so you don’t have to worry as much about damage

Generic dude with a rental


2. Reasons not to rent a surfboard

  • Takes time to get used to any new surfboard, a rental is no different
  • When you get to the beach there might not be any rentals available
  • Rental surfboards are typically overused so they don’t perform very well
  • Can get expensive overtime if you rent for a number of a days
  • Restricted to rental surfboard spots rather than going wherever you want


3. Typical scenarios for renting a surfboard

Taking into account the reasons for and against, I can think of a few scenarios where renting a surfboard makes total sense…


1. The new to surfing surfer

The first is the Level 1 never surfed before scenario.

To someone who has never surfed before, standing up is the real goal. For this reason, renting a surfboard is the best option. The typical rental surfboard was created with Level 1 surfers in mind. They have a tonne of volume and that all important wave catching ability.


2. The travelling surfer

The second scenario is for anyone travelling abroad to surf.

Rentals are a great option for surfers who’re unsure about travelling with their own surfboards. Renting also removes any stress and/or fees involved with taking your own stick abroad. Plus, with your own surfboard safely tucked up at home there’s no chance of it snapping on arrival at a foreign airport.

3. The growing family surfer

The third is for anyone with a growing family.

I’ve been told that kids grow up fast, so anything size based isn’t going to last long. This is where renting a surfboard makes perfect sense.

When I was a little lad, I was lucky enough to have a weekend in Polzeath learning to surf. By the end of the two days I was pumped and wanted to purchase my first surfboard. I saved up £75 and finally bought a a blue 7ft foamie from Putsborough. Unfortunately, I didn’t get back to the beach until the next summer… by this time the board was too small for me and I had learnt this valuable lesson.




4. Reasons to buy a surfboard

  • You’ll own a surfboard, so naturally you’re instantly more cool
  • You’ll get used to riding it, a consistent surfboard will help you progress quicker
  • You will always have a surfboard to ride when you reach the beach
  • You can purchase the exact surfboard you want
  • No more hassle of sorting out a rental every time you want to go to the beach
  • If you look after your surfboards can fetch a good resale value

Probs same dude as above


5. Reasons not to buy a surfboard

  • It’s a much bigger financial hit
  • No more playing games, you’re now totally responsible for it
  • Requires storage space at home when its not being used
  • You’re going to need a way to transport it if you ever want to ride it, is the car big enough?
  • If bought individually it requires additional extras like fins, leash, bag, roof rack etc.


6. Typical scenarios for buying a surfboard

Like renting a surfboard there is also a scenario where buying a surfboard makes the most sense…


1. The self-certified surfer

This is when a surfer realises that surfing is going to be their thing.

They’ve used rentals enough and just know they want to own a surfboard. When this epiphany happens (and it does happen) buying a surfboard is the only thing that makes sense.





So guys I hope you found this guide on ‘Renting vs Buying a Surfboard’ helpful.

Everyone’s situation is different so I think it’s important to take both considerations into account. Take me for example, I spent a Summer using rentals because I had no money. But in that time I fell in love with surfing, and now I have my own surfboard and it’s awesome!

Would be great to hear in the comments for those of you who used any of the guide above. As always, be sure to follow on the usual socials below to keep up to date with the latest surfing content!


Follow on:            


Next read: ‘How To Wash a Wetsuit’

Notify of

Inline feedbacks
View all comments