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Report: Specific Strategies Needed to Target Women Surfers

Industry Sector



5 December 2011


Mike King

Type of News


World surfing market is forecast to reach $13.24 billion by the year 2017. Although the recent global recession had thrown a temporary dampener on growth patterns, the surfing market is expected to recover poise with recovery in world economy, and expansion in sport participation rates.

According to the new market research report, the surfing industry has realized tremendous gains during the past several years, and continues to evolve. The primary driver is the initiative of surfing equipment makers, marketers and associations to make surfing much more approachable than it was in previous years with the roll out of several public surfing facilities and artificial reefs. The sport of surfing has also become a fashion trend and manifested itself into a billion-dollar market. Increased accessibility and affordability has drawn significant number of surfing participants and has attracted wider demographic clusters beyond just the younger generation. Demographically, the overall surfers continue to expand and become more female and older than in the past thanks to growing consumer awareness and liking, and surfing becoming an important part of youth culture. The growing popularity of longboards that makes learning surf easier, the growth of the surf schools, and the ‘style' and ‘coolness' quotient associated with the surf culture is leading to increase in the surfing participation. To cash in on the emerging demographic profile, professional surfing associations, such as the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association and European Surfing Federation have increased the visibility of the sport through promotional and educational programs designed to attract new surfers.

According to Global Industry Analysts, the surfing industry is marked by fluctuations, which are seasonal and trend-driven. Factors impacting the business climate in the marketplace include - economic conditions, levels of disposable incomes, and consumer demographics. Historically, the resonating growth in the industry was largely the result of the rise in the number of spectators and participants spurred on by the immense popularity and introduction of such events as X Games, and wider cable TV coverage of skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing events. The recent economic slowdown has temporarily taken the wind out of the market's sails, with consumers curtailing expenditure on leisure travel and consumables.

The continued fall in employment rates, reducing incomes, reduction in household wealth, falling disposable incomes, and plummeting per capita spends, together pushed growth patterns of the retail industry into a rough patch. Surfing apparel took the heaviest blow with fewer apparel selling in the years 2008 & 2009. Carryover equipment sold relatively well as retailers slashed prices to bring in more customers and reduce inventories. The trend has been especially pronounced of late, largely as a result of the growing consumer preference for cost-effective, price competitive products as they attempt to reduce their expenses against a backdrop of deteriorating economic conditions. However, the economic recession was only a part of the reason for declining purchases by surfers. The surfing market will be limited by market maturity, and declining birth rates particularly in developed countries. Volume sales of surfing apparel and equipment depend highly on demographic trends, as the 30-plus market, do not tend to purchase as many T-shirts or board shorts as youngsters. Even while declining birth rates are putting a damper on sales of surfing gear in developed markets, the popularity of surfing in developing markets offer manufacturers an opportunity take advantage of the growth potential in the post recession period.

The US and Europe together account for a major share of the global Surfing markets revenues. Widely perceived as a game of the youth, surfing has emerged as an indicator of cool and casual lifestyle for young minded people. The surfing apparel and accessories market is not restricted to the actual participants, but include consumers who purchase brands and styles associated with it. Given the demographic profile of participants in this game and higher margins associated, surfing apparel ranks as important as surfing equipment. Enthused by the opportunities existent in this space, leading sportswear makers are emphasizing on the concept of sport-specific apparel that appear both dynamic and fashionable to its consumers. Market for Surfing Apparel in Europe is expected to surge at a CAGR of nearly 5.0% during the analysis period.

Major players in the global marketplace include AJW Surfboard, Billabong International Limited, Body Glove International LLC, Channel Islands Surfboards, Firewire Surfboards LLC, Globe International Ltd, Gul Surf Co, Harbour Surfboards LLC, Hurley International LLC, Naish International, O'Neill, Quicksilver Inc, Rip Curl Inc, The adidas Group, Volcom Inc., among others.

The research report titled Surfing: A Global Strategic Business Report by Global Industry Analysts provides a comprehensive review of market trends, issues, drivers, company profiles, mergers, acquisitions and other strategic industry activities. The report provides market estimates and projections (in US$ Millions) for major geographic markets including the United States, Europe, Australia, and Rest of World. Product segments analyzed in the report include Surfing Apparel and Others.

Full Report Details:


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