Surfing will make its debut at the Tokyo Olympics this year, exposing people to the best surfers in the world, according to the Washington Post. But questions have arisen as to whether or not surfing can be a sport accessible to all.
The Seattle Times reports that surfing has become an expensive and inaccessible sport. Yes, you can surf all day at the beach. To compete in general, you need to afford the right advice, training, and lessons.
Companies are trying to connect with surf fans in general to inspire a new group of surfers.
For example, IPD International launched a first line of men’s clothing suitable for surfing fans. This is similar to how brands like DC Clothing have created clothing and shoes for skateboarders.
The IPD team is made up of “long-time surfers and like-minded people who aspire to something authentic and have deep connections to surfing,” according to an emailed statement to Deseret News. The brand offers surf-themed shirts, shorts and swimwear. He’s trying to make surfing more mundane, and something for ocean and swimming fans to embrace.
Likewise, SurfearNEGRA seeks to reach people outside of the wealthy, as it hosts and funds surf boot camps for girls of color, according to the Seattle Times.
However, surfing is an event that requires a certain accessibility. You need an ocean, after all. It depends on the surf conditions which vary by region. Travel, transportation, and the high costs of living in places with good surfing conditions can be a hard sell for many.
“There are still invisible barriers to overcome in making surfing fair,” Gigi Lucas, founder of SurfearNEGRA, told the Seattle Times.
Controversy can be observed in Brazil and Australia. The former does not have the same economic conditions as the latter, which is why Australia has enjoyed success in the wider surfing community, Brazilian surfer Italo Ferreira told the Seattle Times.
“They have a giant school with easy access, where you can have a coach, a physio, masseurs, guys who can help you anytime with video analysis, availability of surfboards at all times, pools to swim, places to practice, “Ferreira mentioned. “If you don’t have these conditions, you put your knees on the ground and pray to God to help you. “