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How much does a surfboard cost?

“Isn’t it mandatory to be a surfer if you live at the beach? Grow your sun-streaked hair long, wear bangles and baggy pants, walk barefoot and OBVIOUSLY Mom, you HAVE to have a surfboard under your arm when you walk onto the beach.” And that’s how it started, the search for the perfect board for our eldest daughter, Kaelyn. I mean, why follow the sensible advice from those in the know, those with unused, dusty surfboards taking up space in the garage. Those who said things like:

  • Do lessons first

  • See if she loves it before you buy a board

  • She’ll need different boards for different stages of skill level

Not us! Pay no heed to that kind of advice when Facebook Marketplace delivers a second-hand board right to your news feed!


Of course, the seller is handsome, suave and a pro surfer. Turns out the board belonged to his son, who has now moved on from beginner boards leaving his old one in Kaelyn’s very eager hands.

“It’s the exact right board for her to learn on” he assures me while pocketing the cash.


I have a word with myself - look, it cost R2000, but that was a once off expense for a durable item that will keep her entertained and fit. My budget brain nods approvingly.


What my budget brain didn’t see coming was:

  • surfing lessons. A package of 5 lessons at least

  • roof rack because the board takes up half the car

  • a wetsuit because have you ever tried to swim in the Cape seas?

  • short blade swimming fins so she can paddle out past the impact zone

  • petrol to drive her to the lessons

  • time spent sitting on the beach watching her surf

OK, OK so the last one is hardly a chore - but you get the point.


Turns out a surfboard costs WAY more than R2000.

  • Was it really the exact right board for her? Not really, it's a bit small, but it works - for now

  • Will she keep it forever? Definitely not.

  • Should we have paid a bit more attention to the sage advice from those in the know? (avoids eye contact)

Have you ever noticed how the same is true for so many things in your life?


A new duvet cover for your bed?

  • Now the curtains don’t match and while we are picking out new curtains, wouldn’t the walls look better a different colour too?

New winter jacket?

  • It would pair perfectly with a new polar neck shirt and scarf.

As we head into this long weekend, think the true cost of your purchases before you swipe your credit card. Your budget brain will thank me later! PS: When all is said and spent, do I regret the surfboard purchase? Watching her face light up when she catches a wave and seeing her confidence and fitness grow after each lesson – nope, no regrets. Some purchases are simply priceless.

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