Surfonomics is a term that refers to the way we understand value, from an economic point of view, of the activity of surfing. Why would we want to do this?
There are critics of this approach who argue that a financial value cannot and should not be placed on surfing with its value being intrinsic and extending way beyond financial calculations. This is the same argument levelled at valuing nature. From a detached philosophical perspective I agree. However, the reality is that when economic value is not placed on something it gets lost in broader calculations and becomes invisible to policymakers and decision-makers, making it difficult or impossible to manage and protect.
The methodologies associated with surfonomics can be summarised as follow:
Non Market Economic Value
Non use value
Survey work / Contingent Valuation Method
Travel cost method
Capitalised real estate
Hedonomic Price Method
From the above methods the direct expenditure and consumer surplus (travel cost method) are the most common).
For more information on the background and application of these methods see Jason Scorse and Trent Hodges chapter in Sustainable Surfing - Chapter 8. Also look at Dr Chad Nelson's chapter in Sustainable Stoke - Chapter 5.1
Surfonomics is an important component in the Save the Waves designation of World Surfing Reserve status - The following surfonomics reports can be viewed and downloaded from their website
Surfers Against Sewage have produced the report: