Surfing Economics

What is the value of a wave?

Surf Survey

As surfers, we know our waves are valuable, but, unfortunately our needs and interests are not always heard when it comes to coastal management.

A team of researchers (who are also surfers!) at the Australian National University have developed a survey to understand the importance of surfing for our wellbeing and the economy. This survey is the first of its kind in Australia, and it will help inform policies that recognise and protect surfing environments.

The survey will take less than 10 minutes and you’ll get the chance to win a Rip Curl wetsuit (valued at up to $900), a surfboard of your choice (up to $1,000) and one of two $250 Visa vouchers.

If you live in Australia and have surfed at least once in the last 12 months, please complete the survey here

Surfing brings personal, financial and environmental benefits to thousands of communities across the world.

‘Surfing Economics’ is the body of research dedicated to the understanding of the multiple values of surfing.

Surfing is essentially free– jumping in the water, paddling and catching a wave. We do not pay to catch waves. Waves have no price. But having no price does not mean waves have no value. Quite the opposite.
Surfing is a lifestyle sport that contributes to the physical, mental and social wellbeing of millions of surfers across the world. Further, avid surfers spend thousands of dollars in equipment and travel, feeding billions of dollars into local and global economies.

We know surfing is valuable. But do we know how much? What is the value of surfing? What is the value of a wave? These are the questions ‘surfing economics’ is trying to answer.

Through ‘surfing economics’ it is possible to understand the financial and non-financial values associated with surfing, in a rigorous, science-based manner.  It is through such systematic understanding that coastal planning and policies can be adequately informed to take into consideration the true value of surfing.

About Surfing Economics

Surfing is more than just a sport – it is a lifestyle. Over 50 million people across the world practice surfing on a regular basis. Surfing contributes to personal well-being, social cohesion, regional development and many other ascpets that benefits surfers and non-surfers alike.

Money cannot buy happiness.
Happiness, comes in waves

Market values

Over 50 million people across the world practice surfing on a regular basis. Direct expenditure in equipment, travel and real estate contribute billions of dollars to local and regional economies.

Non-Market values

Surfing provides benefits that cannot be bought or sold, like wellbeing and social cohesion. These are often called ‘non-market benefits’. The value of these benefits may be difficult to quantify.