90% of intermediate surfers say they will travel internationally to surf. How do we know this?

Surf Park Central Releases 2023 Consumer Trends Report

Surf Park Central, the organization behind Surf Park Summit, has released the 2023 Surf Park Consumer Trends Report focused on the future of surfing outside the ocean.

The report is an almost 100-page analysis of trends and statistics fueling the multi-billion dollar human-made wave industry. The report contains years of survey data with expert analysis, plus a partnership with Surfline, the leading surf forecast and surfing media organization, that brings even more surf industry information to the most extensive report of its kind.

“The surf park industry at large is going to find this an incredibly useful document,” says Dr. Jess Ponting, Surf Park Central Co-Founder, an SDSU professor who focuses on surf and sustainable tourism, and the writer of the Consumer Trends Report. “An industry first, this report brings together Surfline survey data on surfer numbers and behaviors in key markets and draws on over eight years of original Surf Park Central survey data to create the most comprehensive picture of surfing participation and consumer trends ever produced.”

“By combining existing data with original survey data, we are able to provide unprecedented granularity in our understanding of who is surfing and how. I’m really happy to be able to provide this report to an industry that has been crying out for actionable data.”

The paper dives deep into data specific to surf parks, including changing surf park consumer attitudes, usage trends and user preferences, anticipated vs. actual spending, and sustainability

considerations over time and broken down across a range of user groups.

Some key points include:

  • Surfing has grown exceptionally in the last few years, but the youth sector has seen the greatest increase, with a growth of 145% between 2007 to 2022.
  • More than 70% of beginners and 90% of intermediate surfers say they will travel internationally to surf.
  • Women disproportionately favor selecting wave height and sharing surf with family and friends, while they are less worried about a guaranteed wave count.
  • 92% of surfers are willing to pay more for sustainable surf tourism experiences, and that money is being left on the table.
  • According to Surfline, 35% to 40% of all Surfline users started surfing in the past five years.
    Surfline provides key information only the world’s leading surf forecast, weather and media company can access.

    “Upon entering the surf park industry years ago, I immediately noticed the lack of comprehensive data that could be trusted to make sound business decisions,” said Surfline’s VP of Wave Venues & Progression, Pete Jozsi. “We applaud Surf Park Central’s efforts to make this data available and we were happy to augment it with insights derived from our audience of five million surfers globally. We look forward to bringing more data in the future to ensure all stakeholders in the surf park industry have reliable insights to power their projects and operations.”

    Others in the industry have also taken note of the document, including wave technology companies and media.

    “The SPC Consumer Trends Report is a one-of-a-kind study that will truly shape how our industry makes decisions,” said Andrew Thatcher, VP of Business Development for Endless Surf. “This powerful document is an incredible tool that can be used by investors, developers, and surf park enthusiasts alike.”

You can check out a teaser of the report here or at Surf Park Central