Technology Waves In New Surfing Prospects
As technology integrates with more and more industries, innovative developers are applying their skills to every element of surfing.
From wetsuits and other clothing to surfboards, accessories and even the environment, people are now realising there is scope to make change with technology.
So far the most accessible and noticeable tech successes in the industry have been focused on surfers. Analysis of wave patterns and surfboard construction materials, for example, has helped companies like Global Surf Industries design the ultimate boards for any person and any surf conditions.
Similarly, wetsuit fabric has become more sophisticated as manufacturing technology has improved, paving the way for new options like light-weight, heated wetsuits that can help you have a longer session even in the middle of winter.
But beyond these consumer-focused advances, there are also moves to develop surf parks with man-made waves. Man made waves and wave pools are already established all around the world, but many in the surfing industry can see the benefits of adapting this technology for surf stadiums or parks to help expand the sport.
While it would not be the same as going out into the ocean, surf parks do have potential to create more predictable conditions to help people train and compete in a safer environment.
“Skaters grow up wanting a skate park. Surfers grow up wanting a Surf Park,” a quote from world surfing champion Kelly Slater reads on the homepage of the Surf Park Summit website.
The Summit was held for the first time in September 2013, with speakers including Fernando Aguerre, PT Townend and Shaun Thomson.
“As we see it, the mission is clear: build authentic, sustainable and profitable surfing experiences to grow the surf industry and provide the mental, physical and emotional stoke of surfing outside the ocean,” the Surf Park Summit website says.
With this technology, the Surf Park Summit says there is the potential to change the way surfing is perceived on an international scale.
“The predictable nature of Surf Parks also makes surfing better suited for syndicated television as it can be scheduled and easily broadcasted to the masses. As a result, the action sports retail industry will experience exponential growth and the sport of surfing will continue to thrive.”
Early reports suggest the first sustainable surf parks are still a long way off, but it is a great example of the potential changes the industry faces as technology is developed and adapted for surfing.
Whether you thrive on the raw, unpredictability of wild waves or just want to be out in the water every day, there is no doubt the digital age is opening up a brave world of other surfing possibilities.