story and photos - Dom Domic

Have you ever asked yourself how much it costs to surf? I have, and itís alot more than you think! What comes to mind first, is of course, equipment costs. Sure itís comparable to other sports like mountain biking or snowboarding, but lets do some accounting for fun. Gotta have at least two boards, one for small days, one for bigger days -- $650 and $550 w/taxes. Then there is the necessary accessories, boots, gloves, and two leashes -- $70, $50, and 2 x $35 respectively. Grand total, not including a year supply of wax and just one wettie, just under $2000. Iím starting to bore you, everybody knows this shit! Yah probably true, but have you ever thought about the 'hidden' costs you ask? Do I mean the extra gas money, added car repairs, days of missed work and school, broken up relationships, missed opportunities, shitty jobs, saving up for trips to some surf destination every year which you wouldnít have gone to if you didnít surf, going mental because youíve arranged your whole life around surfing and you are in the middle of the worst year of surf that anyone can remember and you feel like you should quit but you canít because its the only thing that makes the rest of your shitty life OK. Well yes, all that and more!

Economists have a name for this 'hidden' or 'true cost' and it is called opportunity cost. In a nut shell, the true cost of the decision to become a surfer is not only the number of dollars spent on new equipment, or on trips, but rather the value of what must be given up in order to become a surfer. Every one of you out there has giviní up a different amount to become a surfer, so in order for you to understand how this concept works, I will use me as an example. I could start from the beginning when I moved from Calgary to Victoria with dreams of surfing everyday and a promising future as a Dentist. But in order to make this manageable and not to make myself cry I will start from this February when I graduated with an MBA. I had a choice, work or go surf...easy choice, SURF!!! The plan was to surf the best waves Central America had to offer and f*ckin deal with real life sometime later--like any true surfer would. But this plan had a substantial cost. Airfare was a reasonable $800 and I was living and travelling for about $600/month. I snapped two boards, a couple of leashes, blew out some flops, cranked my neck, etc. Total cost for four months, about $4000. Not bad...until I add in what I gave up to go on this trip. First, I gave up a $48,000/yr career. Second, because I didnít take the job, I lost out on over $10,000 in remission on my hefty student loan, plus the added interest on that loan is compounding monthly. Finally, the daily agony of searching for work in this town just so I can get some waves once in a while. Total opportunity cost over the last 10 months in order to get 68 days of waves, over $50,000 and counting! Sounds a little depressing, but look at the pics...f*ck was it worth it!

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