Sports need some investment. Gear is essential for almost any sport, even running. For running, you need a pair of running shoes, which can cost anywhere from 5 dollars, to over 300 dollars.
Sports which have gear lite bats, snowboards, balls, racquets, clubs, can cost much more than other sports which have little to no gear. Surfing is a sport which also does not have a lot of gear. You technically need a surfboard and a swimsuit. That should not be that expensive?
As always, it depends on the level of the gear, as well as how much one maintains their board.
Here is a financial breakdown of surfing.
A Surfing Board
When you want to go surfing, you need a surfing board. Their prices go anywhere from 100 dollars to a couple thousand dollars. Surfboards for beginners should be around 300 dollars, but not more than 500. A beginner should not pay money for a professional board, mostly because the boards can break, and a beginner will make more mistakes than a professional. This is a relatively hefty investment for most people, particularly if they are not sure that they want to do surfing.
There is always an option of renting a board to see whether you like the sport or not.
Surfers need a wetsuit. Why? To keep the body warm. They are usually made out of neoprene and are used to keep body heat from escaping. Suits can be thicker or slimmer, depending on their purpose. When one is surfing in colder weather, a thicker suit, also known as a steamer or full body suit, should be used to keep one from freezing.
Suits can cost anywhere between 120 up to a thousand dollars, which is too much for a beginner. Depending on when and where they plan to surf, a thicker suit might be necessary. So far, the initial costs of surfing are around 500 dollars, which is not that expensive, given what people pay for phones these days.
Traction Pads and Wax
These are expendable items, which need to be used regularly. A surfboard needs to be waxed in order not to be damaged and to stay grippy. Traction pads do the same, except that they are placed on certain parts of the board, so that the surfer can always know where to find grip. These things wear out and need to be used on a regular basis, but these things can be thought of as maintenance expenses.
Somewhere to Surf
If you live near an ocean or sea, surfing can be done for relatively little money, provided you have the gear. If your surfing passion includes traveling to a new location every time, then it is going to cost more money, particularly if there are hundreds of miles of travel involved.
Like most sports, surfing can be expensive, or relatively affordable, if you purchase the appropriate gear for a beginner. Intermediate and advanced surfers will likely want better gear, so their hobby would have larger investments.