Surfers Textbook

Section 1- Overview of the surfing industry

( This section contains more pages. Purchase " The Surfers Textbook" now to gain access to the full 416 pages)

Most people are not aware of the size and extent of the surfing industry and its overall contribution to the economy. If you closely study 'The Surfing Industry – a graphical view' it will become much easier to understand why it is estimated to exceed over $800 million per annum income to the country. The manufacturing arm of the surfing industry alone in the Gold Coast CityCouncil exceeds $200 million per annum*.

Unfortunately, due to the fact there has been a lack of research into the financial impact of surfing it has been difficult for promoters to sell the concept to business leaders, the Government andthe community. This combined with the popularly held belief of surfers as 'beach bums' and that manufacturers do not have 'proper or real jobs' contribute to deprive the industry as a whole of its legitimate recognition. Consequently, the advent of professional surfing and the need for support by private enterprise and government bodies has necessitated a change in the image and structure to align with mainstream sports competing for the limited funds and support availableto develop the sport. This has been a slow and difficult process due to the nature of the sport and conflicting philosophy between the 'grass roots, soul surfing life-style' with the professional 'business orientated' approach. In the past there has been more than one occasion when sponsors have withdrawn support over concern with the organiser or competitors’ behaviour which is in conflict with the positive image the event is to portray. With the growth of club competition and the opportunities for talented and dedicated individuals at a professional level, the public are continuing to take the sport on board demanding and generating greater media coverage in itself. Major businesses outside the industry are also contributing significant amounts of money for prize pools, payment of administration and travel costs etc.

The development of materials and techniques has led to changes in how surfcraft are made. Innovations including use of profiling machines, fin and resin systems are some of the aspectslooked at. The majority of manufacturers now use computers to design and make even the smallest changes to any design feature of the board. A growing number of manufacturers use this technology tied into the use of complex shaping machinery with only a few companies providing service tothe rest of the industry.

*Refer to the Appendices for Survey at the conclusion of this section. Although this is relatively old data it does provide a good insight into the industry.