Program

Research paper

Title of Paper

The search for perfection: Examining surf travelers’ construction of the perfect wave

Presenter Bios (50 Words)

Dr. Lindsay Usher’s research focuses on host communities in coastal tourism destinations. Her primary research investigates surf culture and surf tourism. Other interests include climate change and tourism sustainability. She is an assistant professor of Park, Recreation and Tourism Studies at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.

Dr. Brooke Porter explores human interactions with the sea. Her research investigates tourism as a development and conservation strategy in lesser-developed regions. She is postdoctoral research fellow at AUT in NZ and serves as scientific adviser to The Coral Triangle Conservancy, an NGO focusing on marine conservation in the Philippines.

Abstract (150 Words)

The search for the perfect wave, brought into the surfing imaginary by the movie, The Endless Summer, is considered the primary motivation for surf travel. Researchers have examined the ways in which the surf media has perpetuated this concept and driven surfers to remote parts of the world seeking perfect surf. However, much of the literature assumes a similar definition of the perfect wave. Research on surf travelers has found that many surfers agree on the perfect wave size, but there are differences among surfers in the type of wave and surf break they prefer. The purpose of this study is to explore surf travelers’ descriptions of the perfect wave. Using an online survey of approximately 144 surf travelers, it revealed a number of differences in the ways surfers define the perfect wave. The results carry important implications for surf tour operators and destination managers.

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The search for perfection: Examining surf travelers’ construction of the perfect wave

The search for the perfect wave, brought into the surfing imaginary by the movie, The Endless Summer, is considered the primary motivation for surf travel. Researchers have examined the ways in which the surf media has perpetuated this concept and driven surfers to remote parts of the world seeking perfect surf. However, much of the literature assumes a similar definition of the perfect wave. Research on surf travelers has found that many surfers agree on the perfect wave size, but there are differences among surfers in the type of wave and surf break they prefer. The purpose of this study is to explore surf travelers’ descriptions of the perfect wave. Using an online survey of approximately 144 surf travelers, it revealed a number of differences in the ways surfers define the perfect wave. The results carry important implications for surf tour operators and destination managers.