My ability to calculate sums is comparable to a chimp with a handful of dried pinto beans, so I need some help figuring out the following bit of surfing math: Matt Warshaw, in his 2008 New York Times article Surfing: a History estimates that there are about five million people in the world who surf, and ten to fifteen percent of them are women. In the US, SIMA calculates that these women were responsible for buying 503.8 million dollars worth of surf and skate clothing that same year, making it the fourth largest surf/skate related market behind shoes, men’s clothes, and boards (in that order…which in itself is a telling stratification). Even if you ignore the fact that women also purchase boards and shoes, it’s safe to say that, not only are female surfers an important part of surf culture, they represent a sizeable portion of the surf economy as well. Knowing all of this, how is it possible that the ASP was forced to cancel the Honolua Pro – an event widely regarded as the best on the women’s tour – because it couldn’t find a sponsor?
Unless I’m counting my beans wrong, something is amiss in surfer town.