Despite how man may try, come wave pool, artificial reef, or otherwise, good waves that occur naturally and are discovered by chance have a mystic quality that cannot be replicated. And according to Sydney University economist Dr. Sam Wills and Thomas McGregor of Oxford University, good waves may be worth more than their weight in stoke and froth. “We find that surfing waves contribute approximately US$50 billion to global economic activity each year,” reads the study.
From 1992 to 2013, McGregor and Wills studied 5000 surf breaks across 146 countries. In a study, published Monday, McGregor and Wills and their team from Sydney University’s School of Economics conclude that a quality wave can result in as much as 2.2 additional percentage points worth of growth for local gross domestic product (GDP) – one of the key barometers used by economists.