The Rise of Luxe Surf Travel (at Least According to the NY Times)
Travel Blog • Jim Benning • 02.12.07 | 10:53 AM ET
Anyone who surfs or knows people who do realized years ago that the sport had shed its dirtbag image—that doctors and attorneys now eagerly lay claim to the title “surfer” (even if they don’t much surf) and that big bucks are spent on travel to remote, uncrowded breaks in places like Central America and Indonesia. Now, the New York Times is on the case. In a front-page story yesterday, the Times breathlessly reported: “For $10,000 a day, you can have the ultimate surfing sojourn in Indonesia aboard the 110-foot Indies Trader IV, a sort of floating hotel with 15 cabins, a helipad and three-course meals with wine. A motorized tender takes you to the waves.” And about today’s surfers: “This new species of surfer contributes to a booming market for vacation packages, instruction, equipment and real estate near some of the world’s best surf breaks. Like golf, surfing has become an ideal activity around which to discuss business.”
The Times reports that it’s “unclear” why surfing’s image has changed:
It is unclear why surfing has found a broader respectability. Some point to the initial public offering of Quiksilver, the board apparel and accessories company, in 1986 as a catalyst. Perhaps reflecting surfing’s laid-back roots, concrete figures on participation are hard to come by. Two million people consider themselves active surfers in the United States, twice as many as 20 years ago, according to Action Sports Retailer, the leading board-sports industry trade show.
Some credit has to go to Bruce Brown’s classic surf movie “The Endless Summer.” Those Wall Street brokers and anesthesiologists now buying up beachfront property in Nicaragua were kids when the movie debuted 40 years ago. Now that they have some disposable income, these professionals can realize their dreams of an endless summer—or at least a two- or three-week summer—on increasingly remote and far flung beaches.
More information on surf trips aboard the Indies Trader IV, by the way, can be found at its Web site.