Surfing: women buying more surf products | Photo: Kirstin/WSL

Women are buying more surf-related products, and the online surfing market continues to grow.

The new Consumer Insights Study released by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) reveals that the majority of people interested in the surfing lifestyle and its products continues to move to online purchasing.

According to the research, there are 66.5 million American adult consumers who could potentially buy surf-inspired products, i.e., 27.8 percent of the US adult population. Of those, 2.2 million are regular surfers.

The report by SIMA also reveals that 60 percent of the spending takes place in physical stores. Mall stores lead with 19 percent of the market, department stores get 15 percent, and surf-and-skate shops only attract 4 percent.

Amazon has the largest online share with over 19 percent of the internet market.

"The research quantified for the first time how far the surf lifestyle and surf-inspired products spread into the broader population. Not only did we establish the size of this market but we found four key consumer profiles," explains Keith Storey, the lead researcher behind the study, and vice-president of Sports Marketing Surveys.

The four surf-inspired consumer profiles are the fashionistas (37 percent), the core-influenced consumer (23 percent); the affluents (23 percent), and impulse buyers (17 percent).

Female fashionistas are buying based on price and aesthetics and, despite their younger age and reduced involvement in surfing, their purchasing power is outstanding.

The Consumer Insights Study also notes that surf brands are still critical to buyers and that the main surf clothing values are quality, comfort, and fit.