Surf Park Summit 2021: Endless Surf Recap
On October 4 and 5 in San Diego, CA, some of the brightest minds within the rapidly growing surf park industry gathered at the annual Surf Park Summit. From wave technology providers (like ourselves) to surf park developers and even surfing legends like Shaun Tomson, Ian Cairns, and others, the event was a carefully curated mash-up of the biggest innovators within the world humanmade waves. As you can imagine, it had been quite a while since the industry had gotten together face-to-face since the pandemic started. Two virtual Summits were held over the past two years, although it was refreshing to finally see and collaborate with both new and longtime faces within the world of wave pools. With two days full of expert-led panels, special presentations, and valuable networking, it is evident that this space is in an exciting phase of its development and that we are going to see rapid growth for the unforeseeable future.
Chris Kluesener, Partner at Surf Park Central, an industry specific media company and host of the event, was amazed once again with the organic growth of the space that he continues to witness. “We have been blown away by the enthusiasm of the surf pool entrepreneur community, including the leadership shown by forward looking organizations like Endless Surf. We’re also extremely excited to see surf industry endemic brands starting to take notice as well, given the huge upside for retail shopping in surf parks all over the world. This is the next step in “crossing the chasm” for the surf pool industry.”
At Endless Surf specifically, we were thrilled to play a part in many of the invaluable discussions that are helping to “cross the chasm.” Being in the attractions development space for over 40 years, we understand the importance of working as a collective – to better all stages of a surf park’s development and ongoing operating processes. With a part of our mission being to create viable surf park businesses for our clients, that means looking wholistically at the surf park experience beyond pumping out perfect waves.
Panel highlights from a stacked lineup
Investing in Surf Parks & Wave Pools
Paul Chutter, Endless Surf President, led a panel on Financing and Investing Surf Parks. With a background in investment banking, Paul joined other finance veterans from Beach Street Development, ProSwell, Lagniappe Capital Partners, and Westlake International Group to discuss emerging finance trends within the growth of surf park developments.
Surfboard Shaping and Surf Parks, with the Olympic Gold Medal Shapers
Led by Shaun Tomson with board shaping legends Matt Biolos (Lost Surfboards) and Timmy Patterson (T.Patterson Surfboards), it was a real treat to hear about the evolution of board shaping and some of the innovations we are starting to see in designs specific to surf pool performance.
The Evolution of Surf Park Culture
VP of Business Development at Endless Surf, Andrew Thatcher moderated this panel with members from UNIT Surf Pool, PUSHparks, and Surf Diva, along with professional surfers Damien Hobgood and Ian Cairns. At the core of the discussion was the idea of how surf parks can play an integral part within the rich and storied culture of surfing, and not just be your average attraction.
The cusp of something incredible
It’s quite overwhelming to think about all the potential that lies within this space. Not to mention, what surf parks will offer for the sport of surfing in terms of providing people the chance to feel the joys of riding their first wave, or even training for athletes and lifelong surfers. With still only a handful of wave pools in operation today, and tons of innovation in technologies that we have seen pop up over the past year or so, the potential for this industry is massive.
Andrew Thatcher, VP Business Development at Endless Surf may have said it best, “We’re in the embryonic stage of the Surf Park Industry, and here we are, growing it together. How could you not be stoked?!”
For more information on Surf Park Summit and to gain access to this year’s content check out Insiders at Surf Park Central.