What do you need to start surfing?
One of the biggest barriers to people wanting to take up the sport of surfing is the fact that you need a surfboard, and surfboards generally don't come cheap. If you are in a cooler climate, you will also need a wetsuit. These don't come cheap either.
Luckily we have it slightly easier these days than days gone by. We have access to online auction sites which make it quite a bit easier to pick up a cheap wetsuit or board. Also, traditional surfboard making was done locally. These days there are now lots of cheap imports which are fine to begin surfing on.
To start surfing, all you really need is the following:
A surfboard. Preferably 7-9 feet long. Nice and stable and the wider the better.
A wetsuit or board-shorts. I would also recommend a rash vest to prevent the dreaded nipple-rash!
A legrope. This is really important, you don't want to be chasing your board into the shore every time you catch a wave.