Using statistics and analytics compiled by SURFER, SURFING and Strategic Market Intelligence, the comprehensive report looks at the trends that have defined the past year for surf brands, retailers and consumers.
If you consider yourself part of the surfing community, the report is fascinating and well worth a read. Here are five things we learned from “The State of Surf”:
Kelly might be king, but Bethany Hamilton is queen
Kelly Slater has been on top of the surf world for so long that it’s hard to remember a time where he wasn’t omnipresent.
And while the 44-year-old ageless wonder seems destined to take over the world, he actually isn’t the surfer fans engage with the most online.
That honor goes to Bethany Hamilton.
With just under 4.3 million followers online and an average engagement of 16,589 fans per social post, Hamilton dominates the social media scene.
Not everyone is thrilled about wave parks
But your average surfer isn’t picturing mechanical waves when they dream up their future surf vacations: Fifty-eight percent of all participants studied said they wouldn’t go on vacation to a wave park.
They are, however, open to a World Surf League Championship Tour contest held on man-made waves, with with two-thirds of participants saying they’d watch the world’s best battle it out on artificial waves.
Surfing truly is a lifestyle
You already know that surfing is more than a physical pursuit, it’s a lifestyle, but TW BIZ has the data to prove it.
“The State of Surf” reports that 67 percent of surfers surf at least once a week, with 55 percent surfing multiple times each week.
That number is huge when compared to other sports in the action sports industry. For example, only 34 percent of paddleboarders polled said they paddleboard at least once a week.
Surfers value their personal time
Surfers seem to be less tech-obsessed than others: Eighty percent of those polled said they think it’s necessary to have a “digital detox” everyday where they completely disconnect from technology.
Forget presidential candidates, surfers are the ones who really support small business
Politicians can talk about supporting small businesses all they want, but surfers are actually walking the walk: Forty-two percent of surfers said they buy their surfboards straight from their shapers, while another 39 percent said they get them from surf shops.
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