PRIME PUMPING: Noosa Festival of  Surfing lives of the local quality breaks as does much of the local economy.
PRIME PUMPING: Noosa Festival of Surfing lives of the local quality breaks as does much of the local economy. Surfshots Noosa

What stirs Noosa stoke revealed in survey

NOOSA has been given an insight into who surfs at Noosa and what keeps them coming back.

This was part of the Noosa Festival of Surfing and University of the Sunshine Coast's presentation of "surfonomics” by research chief investigator Dr Javier Leon. He and his team have presented the findings of a surfing survey at The Surf Effect, a family friendly event held at The J alongside short surfing films as an added bonus.

Dr Leon, who runs USC's "surfonomics” geography subject, says the Noosa World Surfing Reserve has long been known as an international surfing hotspot, but that until now little was known about the social and economic factors surrounding its surf culture.

That's why he and a team of students surveyed surfers at Noosa over six weeks, observing what type of surf craft were used, the age and gender of surfers and even surf etiquette.

"One thing we learned is that water quality is very important to surfers but, as expected, crowding is the main factor that would deter surfers coming to Noosa,” Dr Leon said.

The gathering discussed a range of crucial issues and insights gleaned from speaking to surfers.

The survey covered four broad topics: The individual, including their gender, level of surfing, board preference and where they come from; their surfing effort, including how often and for how long they surf; their expenditure in the region and elsewhere for comparison; and their motivation, including what could potentially deter them from surfing.

Dr Leon said gathering data on attitudes around these topics would help planners preserve and enhance the surfing amenity of Noosa, while helping local businesses understand the economic benefits of surfing.

The event also featured live music, a discussion on surf culture with Dr Leon and master board shaper Tom Wegener.


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