It's about life - not "lifestyle"
|WHAT THE HELL IS IT?
FIRST IN THE SURF INDUSTRY SERIES
|The "Surf Industry." What the hell is it?
Oh, I know what it is.
What the hell is it?
The surf industry is the collected whole of every business which makes money off surfing. It is a very complex dynamic which originated to bring better products to fellow surfers, but which has morphed into a multi-billion economic and fashion engine which has engulfed the simple act of riding waves.
They can say what they want, but the surf industry is driven by the dollar (or whatever currency exists in a given country).
This isn't a bad thing. The various businesses wouldn't exist if they weren't focused on the financial aspect. While a surfer can always find something to ride, even a piece of plywood, you would have to agree that contemporary surfing as it exists on a day-to-day worldwide level would simply cease to exist if, for example, the sole original wetsuit producer had gone broke during his first year in business. While some event like that certainly would have kept the crowds down, one might have to admit that the thrills of riding a heavy, unresponsive hunk of wood fairly straight off to the beach isn't the type of activity that one would center his or her lifestyle around.
Lifestyle? That ugly word, nailed to the cross right in the old vagabondsurf.com logo. It's about life - not "lifestyle". That's us, folks, but it's also drawing a bit of a distinction about our content. We admit that the way you live is in fact a lifestyle. What we would like to point out is that "living a lifestyle" is not the same as "living the life."
This breaks down very simply:
Did you want to be a surfer?
Did you want to surf?
Those are two different things. Most of the equipment is the same, and outwardly they look alike, but they are miles apart. One is an image, and the other is a feeling. You can be both at once, or find yourself switching back and forth. It's a balancing act, much like surfing itself.
The various types of businesses within the surfing world market to one or the other. There is much more money in the first "view". As the monsterous size of the cash crops grew, the businesses with the largest share of the pie also claimed a huge amount of influence on the sport through the print media. Western society in general has followed along with the action-oriented trends in consumer marketing, so today we are seeing a virtual tsunami of money and people bouncing around.
In this series we are going to look at various aspects of the business experience in surfing, mostly with an eye on making it more survivable to some, and more "surfer friendly" to others. We couldn't truly exist without it, but we might exist better if adjustments were made.
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