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How many surf sessions?

February 16 2009 | Surf Protection, Surf Economics,
by Chad Nelsen



Earlier I posted on how many surfers there are in the US. This is a follow up about how often they surf. The same 2001 marine recreational survey used in that previous post also estimated how many visits to the beach surfers made in a year.

As the graphic above illustrates, there were a total of about 76.5 million surf visits in the US in 2000.

This means that surfers averaged about 22 surf sessions per year.

The top states for annual surf sessions were Hawaii, California, Florida, and North Carolina. The number of days of participation (visits) for the top five states could not be estimated because there was an insufficient sample size per state after the top 4.

At Trestles (a top quality wave with a avid local surf population), survey respondents reported an average annual visitation of 109 visits/year.

A study on surfer illness in Oregon found that surfers averaged 77 surf visits per year.

If I had to guess, I would say that you'd find that the average number of annual surf sessions is bimodal - there is a large number of surfers who average 5-15 days per year and then there are more avid groups along the coasts that average closer to 70-150 visits a year. More information on the behavior of surfers is needed to figure this out. Hopefully, the Surf First surfer survey will help us start to answer this question and others.

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