5 interesting facts we learned about today’s surf community from ‘The State of Surf’

On Wednesday, TRANSWORLD BUSINESS released its latest edition of “The State of Surf.”

Using statistics and analytics compiled by SURFER, SURFING and Strategic Market Intelligence, the comprehensive report looks at the trends that have defined the past year for surf brands, retailers and consumers.

If you consider yourself part of the surfing community, the report is fascinating and well worth a read. Here are five things we learned from “The State of Surf”:

Kelly might be king, but Bethany Hamilton is queen

Push. Passion. Play.

A photo posted by Bethany Hamilton (@bethanyhamilton) on

Kelly Slater has been on top of the surf world for so long that it’s hard to remember a time where he wasn’t omnipresent.

And while the 44-year-old ageless wonder seems destined to take over the world, he actually isn’t the surfer fans engage with the most online.

That honor goes to Bethany Hamilton.

RELATED: Bethany Hamilton withdraws from ESPYs disabled athlete category

With just under 4.3 million followers online and an average engagement of 16,589 fans per social post, Hamilton dominates the social media scene.

Not everyone is thrilled about wave parks

state of surf

As you might have noticed, the race to build wave pools was all the rage over the past year or so.

But your average surfer isn’t picturing mechanical waves when they dream up their future surf vacations: Fifty-eight percent of all participants studied said they wouldn’t go on vacation to a wave park.

They are, however, open to a World Surf League Championship Tour contest held on man-made waves, with with two-thirds of participants saying they’d watch the world’s best battle it out on artificial waves.

Surfing truly is a lifestyle

state of surf

You already know that surfing is more than a physical pursuit, it’s a lifestyle, but TW BIZ has the data to prove it.

“The State of Surf” reports that 67 percent of surfers surf at least once a week, with 55 percent surfing multiple times each week.

That number is huge when compared to other sports in the action sports industry. For example, only 34 percent of paddleboarders polled said they paddleboard at least once a week.

Surfers value their personal time

state of surf

Surfers seem to be less tech-obsessed than others: Eighty percent of those polled said they think it’s necessary to have a “digital detox” everyday where they completely disconnect from technology.

RELATED: Ski film takes aim at social media obsession

Forget presidential candidates, surfers are the ones who really support small business

state of surf

Politicians can talk about supporting small businesses all they want, but surfers are actually walking the walk: Forty-two percent of surfers said they buy their surfboards straight from their shapers, while another 39 percent said they get them from surf shops.

RELATED: Can the surf shop survive the online shopping revolution?

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