Insights, News

Why Developers Are Capitalizing On Surf

As surf continues to grow past the ocean and into the mainstream, key developers around the world are taking notice. The industry of surfing is expected to continue growing to over $5 billion by the year 2030. This exponential growth is creating opportunities around the globe to capture a growing market, in and away from the ocean.

In recent years, the global surfing community has experienced an unprecedented surge in popularity. Surfers worldwide now number between 20 to 35 million, with the USA alone witnessing a staggering 94% increase in surfers over the past 17 years. Even more striking is the rise in female participation, with a 60% increase among girls aged 14-17 and a 20% increase overall. This surge has translated into more crowded ocean surf breaks post-pandemic, with a 35% increase in attendance. As evidenced by these staggering numbers, surf is taking the world by storm, bringing with it major potential for developers.

Surf’s Response to The Experience Economy

A shift in consumer spending habits paired with social media and trendy activities have all led to a boom in growth for the experience economy. According to EventBrite, 78% of millennials would rather spend their money on memorable experiences compared to tangible items. With no signs of this trend slowing down, developers around the world are doing their best to capitalize on it. The question is how does one stand out in a crowded market. Our answer? Surf.

Unlike other competitive socializing activities such as mini-golf, bowling, axe-throwing and darts, surfing brings with it a rich culture and lifestyle backed by a global community. It doesn’t take an expert to realize the thrill of surfing in the ocean is limited to a lucky few. The desire for the surf lifestyle has spilled over into areas that don’t border oceans with surfable waves.

Young girl riding on FlowRider

The rise of social media further amplifies surfing’s appeal, with users craving shareable moments and unique content. The psychological fear of missing out, otherwise known as ‘FOMO’, drives individuals to seek out experiences being had by their friends and influencers they follow, making surfing a magnet for social media engagement and user-generated content.

You can read the full article about FlowRider’s long history with the experience economy and competitive socializing here.

Surf Is A Secret Weapon To Enhancing ROI

Inland surf technologies like stationary waves and surf pools serve as anchor attractions that draw in crowds and activate surrounding spaces. Whether it’s a leisurely day out with friends or a corporate event, the presence of a surf wave adds an element of excitement and novelty. By leveraging the attraction of surfing, businesses can create dynamic spaces that cater to a diverse range of activities, from dining and socializing to work and relaxation.

For most surf venues, the ROI is typically broken down into a three-tiered model. Whether it’s an Endless Surf wave pool or a FlowSurf deep-flow wave, the surf technology is the first tier of ROI and the center of attention. Surf sessions, lessons, events, and buy outs are the revenue generators for this tier.

The immediate area surrounding the wave is the next tier of ROI and where your guests and spectators will spend all of their time when not on the wave. Incorporating food and beverage, retail, other activities into this space is crucial to building the atmosphere outside of the pool, essential for keeping guests on site longer.

The third and final tier is the opportunity to place additional amenities surrounding the venue. For technologies like Endless Surf this may look like waterfront developments for large scale communities. FlowRider and FlowSurf technologies with their smaller footprints are prime to be the center of a commercial venue. The key to this tier is using surf as an incentive for residential/commercial tenants and consumers alike.

Above is an illustration of the three tiers of ROI for an Endless Surf wave pool.

Different Types of Waves for Different Types of Venues

Through major advancements in wave-making technology, the concept of inland surfing offers a spectrum of possibilities, with various wave types for different consumer groups and footprints for venue spatial constraints. Whether it’s a compact urban setting or a sprawling leisure resort, surf technologies like FlowRider, FlowSurf, and Endless Surf offer a tailored solution to accommodate the needs of every venue.

Not only do these products offer different price points and sizing, most importantly they offer unique experiences. At the heart of each is a complimentary experience to the thrill of surfing in the ocean at unique points of entry. For example, FlowRider is the most accessible to younger children and older adults with the ability to lay down a bodyboard, while still offering exciting standup riding to those in between. FlowSurf offers a more classic surf experience, while still maintaining a relatively compact size similar to a FlowRider. Rounding out these technologies is Endless Surf, whose large footprint offers the closest experience to ocean surfing with full size and traveling waves.

Capitalizing On The Hottest New Development Type

Inland surfing isn’t just a passing fad—it’s a cultural phenomenon that is reshaping the leisure and entertainment landscape for years to come. From its exponential growth trajectory to its intrinsic appeal as a lifestyle choice, surfing holds immense potential as a catalyst for innovation and revenue generation.

If you’re looking for the ultimate anchor to your venue we offer the full spectrum of surf technologies under one roof. Check out our different products here: