Pacific Long Boarder Banner
Image 1 for Survey: Surfing economics & the value of surfing – put in your 10 cents worth – and maybe win something

Are you in the picture?

Survey: Surfing economics & the value of surfing – put in your 10 cents worth – and maybe win something

28 May 23

Australian National University are conducting a public survey on surfing economics and the value of surfing. It should take approximately 10 minutes to complete - and you will have the opportunity to enter a draw to win a Rip Curl wetsuit of your choice (valued at up to $900) a voucher for a surfboard of your choice (up to $1,000), and two $250 Visa gift cards. Link to the survey at the bottom.

Surfing Economics: understanding the value of surfing to Australian economy and society

Thank you for choosing to participate in this survey.

The purpose of this survey is to understand the value of surfing to Australian society. This information can be used to inform coastal planners and policy-makers about the importance of our surf breaks and the need to protect them from issues, such as coastal erosion, poor water quality or urban developments.

Before we start the survey, below is detailed information about the purpose and context of project, we need to provide in accordance with The Australian National University ethics & integrity policies.

The survey is limited to adults (18+ years old) who currently live or have lived in Australia over the past 12 months.

Participant Information Sheet  (Protocol number: 2022/822) 

Researcher: The primary investigator of this research is Dr Ana Manero. Dr Manero holds a PhD in agricultural economics from the Australian National University (ANU), (2018) and an M.Sc. in Civil & Environmental engineering (2008). Dr Manero’s research expertise is in environmental management, including land and water resources. Dr Manero has 15 years of experience combing academia, consulting and the public sector. Dr Manero is now developing the field of ‘surfing economics’ in Australia. Dr Manero is recipient of the ANU 2022 Asia Pacific Innovation Program (APIP) Basic and Applied Research Grant for conducting this research project. 

General Outline of the Project: 

Description and Methodology: Surfing is among the top-five nature-based activities in Australia, and the second most practiced water-based sport, only after swimming. Current participation is 3.3% of the adult population, up from 2.1% in 2018. Surfing has been found to attract faster economic growth, as well as greater labour movement and investment into regional areas. Further, surfing is understood to be a major factor contributing to physical and mental health, which translates into greater personal and societal wellbeing for surfers and their communities. This research aims to document and quantify the value of surfing to the Australian economy and society. This information may inform policies, such as the definition of surfing reserves, which can contribute to greater environmental preservation and protection of surfing breaks. By gathering information on the importance of surfing, it will be possible to better communicate with governments and decision-makers about issues affecting surfers across Australia. 

Participants: Survey participants will be members of the Australian population, who are over 18 years of age and self-identify as surfers (typically meaning they surf at least once a year, or have the ability to surf). The sample will be of at least 500 participants, recruited through purposive sampling. 

Use of Data and Feedback: We expect to publish the results of this research in peer-reviewed journals, as well as at international and national conferences. In addition, a brief and/or opinion piece will be provided online, in sites such as The Conversation and

Project Funding: This project is funded under the 2022 Asia Pacific Innovation Program (APIP) Basic and Applied Research Grant. 

Participant Involvement: 

Voluntary Participation & Withdrawal: The participation in the survey is voluntary and you may, without negative consequences, refuse to answer a question, decline to take part or withdraw from the research. You may withdrawal without providing an explanation, at any time until the data are analysed and the work is prepared for publication. 

What does participation in the research entail? By answering this survey, you will help us understand the value of surfing to Australian society. The anonymised responses collected during this survey will be analysed and the results shared with policy-makers and the general public. Questions in this survey include eliciting some personal information, such as household income, personal wellbeing, education level and marital status, among others.

This information is needed for statistical purposes to understand how our sample of surfers compares to participants of other sports and the Australian general population. This information will be compared against sport participation data by the Australian Institute of Sport ( and Personal Wellbeing Index results published by the Australian Centre on Quality of Life ( ). You can choose not to answer these personal questions and still complete the survey.

Location and Duration: The survey will be administered online and expected to last under 10 minutes. 

Remuneration: Upon survey completion, participants can opt-in to enter the draw (‘trade promotion lottery’) to win one of gift voucher for a surfboard (valued at up to $1,000) and one voucher for a Rip Curl wetsuit (valued at up to $900), and two Visa gift cards (2x $250). The lottery will be conducted by the primary investigator on or before 30/04/2023.

Lottery participants will be numbered according to the order of survey completion and, winners will be selected through a computerised random number generator. In compliance with ACT legislation and guidelines ( ), winners will be notified via email and their names published (see the following link for winners’ names after 31/05/2023 )

Risks: We do not anticipate any significant risk, discomforts, hazards or side effects. All answers will be kept confidential and de-identified. No sensitive information will be sought from respondents. E-mail addresses from participants entering the prize draw will be immediately removed from the primary database and stored separately. 

Benefits: As one of the first steps in the field of ‘surfing economics’ in Australia, this work can help better inform coastal management plans, conservation policies and benefit-cost-analyses in surf-rich areas. This could be applied to a range of interventions, from access paths, shark protection systems and beach clean ups, to large-scale erosion protection structures, artificial reefs, wave pools and surf-protected areas. From a policy perspective, understanding the value of surfing can bring a major societal change, for example, by Australia following the legal precedent set by New Zealand and Peru, where surf breaks are granted statutory protection under national environmental laws. 

Exclusion criteria: 

Participant Limitation: The exclusions for this research will be people under the age of 18 and those who do not self-identify as surfers (typically meaning they surf at least once a year, or have the ability to surf). 


Data management in this project will strictly follow the ANU’s, including Code of Research Conduct and Privacy Policy. In addition, national guidelines will also be followed, including the Australian Privacy Principles (or APPs). No one outside of the nominated research team will have access to the information provided. In particular, all data will be de-identified, as Protected Personally Identifiable Information (PPII) will be replaced with research identification codes (ID codes). 


In collecting your personal information within this research, the ANU must comply with the Privacy Act 1988. The ANU Privacy Policy is available at and it contains information about how a person can: 

Access or seek correction to their personal information; 

Complain about a breach of an Australian Privacy Principle by ANU, and how ANU will handle the complaint. 

Data Storage: 

Where: The data will be collected, handled, stored and shared in a manner that complies with the ANU’s and national polices, to ensure no information is improperly divulgated. In particular, access to documents containing Protected Personally Identifiable Information (PPII) will be strictly limited to the research team. Files containing electronic data will be stored in password-protected computers or files. Among researchers, files will be securely shared through the ANU’s OneDrive storage system. Access to files is strictly restricted to team members only. Public accessibility of non-confidential data (e.g. summary statistics) may be made available via the Research Data Storage Infrastructure nodes and the ANU Data Commons. 

How long: In accordance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, we will keep the data securely sorted for five years from the date of any publication arising from the research. 

Handling of Data following the required storage period: Data from the survey will be destroyed at the end of the required storage period. 

Queries and Concerns: 

Contact Details for More Information: For further requests for information or queries regarding the study, you may contact Dr Ana Manero (+61 2 6125 0574 or

Ethics Committee Clearance: The ethical aspects of this research have been approved by the ANU Human Research Ethics Committee (Protocol 2022/822). If you have any concerns or complaints about how this research has been conducted, please contact: 

Ethics Manager 

The ANU Human Research Ethics Committee - The Australian National University 


 - Forwarded to PLB by Andrew McKinnon – Chairman, Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve Inc. 


<< Previous   Print   Next >>

Please choose your region

Australia | US / Rest of the World

(Changing your region, will clear your cart)