Summary of our market study

The global surfboard market has been experiencing significant growth since 2020, with a notable increase in the number of surfers, which grew by 28.37% in the United States and 28% in Australia. This trend is reflected in France, where an estimated one million French people surfed by 2022, and the French Surfing Federation's membership doubled over ten years. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic impacting memberships in 2020, the overall interest in surfing remained strong, driving demand for surfboards. The market is expected to grow at a 5.9% annual rate from 2023 to 2033.

Moreover, surfers' increasing attention to environmental sustainability has benefitted local European manufacturers against Asian competition, with new eco-friendly products like Nomads Surfing's boards gaining popularity. Innovations, such as new thermal wetsuits and the emergence of foil and electric surfboards, have also bolstered year-round activity in the market. The sector's workforce increased by 16.1% between 2012 and 2022 in France, reflecting the industry's stability and potential for employment growth.

The Thriving Surfboard Market in France: A Reflection of Growing Surfing Popularity and Demand Dynamics

The French surfboard market is a dynamic and integral part of the country's vibrant surfing culture and economy. As of 2023, the market size can be estimated at around 200 million USD, highlighting its significant contribution to the nation's boardsports industry, which boasted sales of approximately 2.4 billion euros in 2020. France's surfing scene is primarily concentrated along the Atlantic coast, with regions like Nouvelle-Aquitaine leading not only in domestic activity but also in Europe. Surfing's appeal lies in its association with health, youth, and a trendy lifestyle that resonates strongly with modern consumers. This spike in surfing interest has propelled the surfboard market forward, with enthusiasts willing to invest anywhere from 300 to 900 euros for quality surf equipment. Surf schools play an essential role in driving surfboard demand. With the majority of surf clubs boasting fewer than 100 members and surf schools being a popular starting point for many, the rental and lessons sector heavily influences surfboard sales.

Moreover, the issuance of BPJEPS diplomas has more than tripled, suggesting an increased professionalization within the industry. The French market has witnessed a surge in environmentally conscious consumers who prefer eco-responsible surf products, an area where European manufacturers have seen growth at the expense of their Asian counterparts. Companies like the Bordeaux-based Nomads Surfing are capitalizing on this trend, offering surfboards with a reduced environmental footprint. Additionally, advancements in surfwear technology, particularly regarding thermal wetsuits, enable year-round surfing even in colder waters, further stabilizing surfboard demand throughout the year. This innovation allows for a more consistent consumption pattern, rather than being heavily concentrated in warmer seasons. In conclusion, the French surfboard market's robust growth can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the increasing participation in surfing, the sport's fashionable allure, the pivotal role of surf schools and rentals, and a concerted shift towards sustainability. With a strong foundation in regions rich with surfing heritage, combined with the changing habits and demographic profiles of surfers, the market is poised for continued expansion in the years to come.

Navigating the Crest: Key Players in the Surfboard Market Landscape

The surfboard market is as diverse and dynamic as the sport itself, with various companies contributing to its vibrancy and meeting the different demands of surfers around the world. In this chapter, we take a closer look at some of the notable entities that shape the surfboard industry, focusing on their unique offerings, market positions, and contributions to the surfing community.

  • Nomads Surfing: A Bastion of Eco-Responsibility Emerging as a standout start-up from Bordeaux, Nomads Surfing has swiftly captured the attention of eco-conscious consumers. With a strong commitment to sustainability, the company has carved out a distinctive niche in the market by producing surfboards that adhere to environmentally-responsible principles. Their eco-friendly approach is a testament to a growing trend within the industry where consumers and manufacturers alike emphasize the importance of minimizing the environmental impact of their passion for surfing.
  • FCS: Crafting Precision Equipment FCS stands out as a manufacturer of specific surfing equipment. Best known for its innovative fin systems, FCS has been a game-changer in how surfboards maneuver and perform. Through their relentless pursuit of excellence in design and functionality, they have established themselves as a go-to brand for surfers looking for precision and control in their surf gear.
  • F-One: Merging Technology with Surfing With a focus on incorporating cutting-edge technology into surf equipment, F-One has established a strong reputation in the industry. The brand is synonymous with quality craftsmanship and performance, offering a breadth of options that cater to novice and seasoned surfers alike. F-One's contribution to the market extends beyond just surfboards, encompassing a range of water sports equipment.
  • Notox: Environmental Innovation in Design Rooted in Anglet, France, Notox is a pioneer in the green surfboard movement. Beyond the traditional approach to surfboard manufacturing, Notox dares to innovate by integrating recycled materials and adopting environmentally-friendly production methods. Their dedication to ecological innovation resonates with a segment of the market that prioritizes green practices.
  • Blackwings: Quality at the Core As an offshoot of France Ouest Composites, Blackwings has quickly become a household name in the French surfboard sector. Since its inception in 2010, Blackwings has been offering a broad spectrum of surfboards that cater to a variety of surf styles while promising an exceptional performance thanks to the utilization of top-tier materials.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

The surfboard market is intimately linked to the practice of the sport. It corresponds to a sub-segment of the surfing market - beyond lessons, competitions, accessories, clubs, etc. - even if it represents the first purchase necessary for surfing . The purchase of a surfboard is therefore essential for surfers, and the evolution of this market is driven by the evolution of surfing.

With an increase in the number of surfers of 28.37% between 2019 and 2020 in the United States, and 28% in Australia, the number of surfers is growing worldwide. Although the sport is only practiced in certain geographical areas, surfing is becoming increasingly popular, and boasts a trendy, healthy image that is both Instagrammable and popular with young people in particular.

In France, surfing is mainly practiced on the Atlantic coast and in the French overseas departments and territories. By 2022, an estimated one million French people will be surfing. The number of members of the French Surfing Federation has multiplied by 2 in 10 years.

These consumers don't hesitate to spend between 300 and 900 euros on a new or used surfboard. The energy crisis and soaring raw material prices have benefited European equipment manufacturers in the face of competition from Asia. New players have appeared on the market, such as the Bordeaux-based start-up Nomads Surfing, which is also banking on eco-responsible products that are popular with consumers in this market.

Finally, the emergence of new thermal wetsuits has made it possible for surfers to practice the sport all year round, in colder waters, thus indirectly boosting the surfboard market and creating smoother consumption over the course of a year.

1.2 Global market

Surfing is growing in popularity worldwide. This has strengthened the surfboard market.

Evolution of surfboard market size World, **** - ****, in billions of dollars Source: ****

In ****, the global surfboard market was valued at *.* billion USD. The market is expected to grow at a rate of *.*% per year between **** and ****.

1.3 French market

France is a major player in the global boardsports market, with sales of *.* billion euros in ****. This represents *.*% of the sector's total sales, underlining the importance and influence of France in this industry. [***]

The number of licensees is a good yardstick for understanding part of the sector:

Trend in the number ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Tourism: driving demand for surfboards

As explained above, Nouvelle-Aquitaine is a key region for surfing and board sales in Europe and therefore in France. This pioneering role in the surf industry is partly due to the attractiveness of the region, which attracts large numbers of tourists every year, particularly during the summer season:

Source: ****

Indeed, Nouvelle-Aquitaine ...

2.2 Rentals and surf schools: an essential determinant of board demand

The surfboard industry is highly dependent on demand for surf lessons and rentals. A good indicator of the sector's dynamism is the number of BPJEPS diplomas awarded each year.

Number of BPJEPS awarded each year France, **** - ****, in units Source: ****

The number of BPJEPS (***) awarded between **** and **** shows a general upward ...

2.3 Surfer profile and habits

This section focuses on the habits of French surfers. The data were collected as part of the "Global Surfer Survey" piloted by the University of New South Wales Beach Safety Research Group (***).

Frequency of surfing among surfers France, ****, in Source: ****

For a large proportion of those surveyed, surfing is practiced once ...

2.4 Demand trends: towards an increasingly committed, responsible and ethical practice

In touch with their territory, surfers, and more generally watermen, are often concerned with preserving and protecting the environment. The federation's aim is to "educate people about the environment, protect our practice areas and prioritize federal Ecosurf action".

More than just a sport, surfing is a veritable universe, a way of ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Board sales value chain

Here is a diagram showing the general structure of the market:

Source: ****

3.2 Number of establishments and employees in the sector

to understand the structure of the sector, we need to look at changes in the number of establishments and employees. The NAF code used for this section is ****Z. It does not exclusively concern the manufacture of surfboards, but it is nonetheless interesting to study it in order to understand the ...

3.3 Surfboard production

Although it may vary slightly depending on the type of board, the manufacturing process of a traditional surfboard can be summarized with the following steps[***] :

Designing the outline: The process begins with a block of foam, either polyurethane or polystyrene, which forms the base of the surfboard. To increase its strength, ...

3.4 Surfboard distribution

Distribution takes place through a variety of channels. The most common are surfshops, often specialized in the sale of surfing equipment or board sports in general.

There are also general sports stores, in this case Décathlon, offering both entry-level and more technical boards. The French brand also offers used ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Product typology

Before looking at the different types of boards, it's worth making a quick distinction between the parts that make up a classic surfboard. Generally speaking, these are

the deck (***) ; the fins, which give the board stability; the rail, which corresponds to the sides of the board.

These main features can be ...

4.2 Board prices

The following table gives estimates of the minimum and maximum prices observed on average on the Internet for different types of surfboards. Naturally, some boards may be priced higher or lower than the estimates given in this section. These indicators give a rough idea of prices on the new market.

Source: ...

4.3 Supply trends: electric and foil boards

Foil surfboards and electric surfboards represent interesting innovations in the surfing world, each offering unique characteristics and different surfing experiences.

Foil surfboards

Foil surfboards are designed to "fly" above the water thanks to a hydrofoil (***) mounted under the board. This system allows you to surf with less friction, catching smaller waves ...

5 Regulations

5.1 General regulations

There are no specific regulations governing the sale of surfboards. However, retailers in this sector are subject to the generallawsof commerce, and must consider aspects such as location, legal form and marketing strategy. In addition, the trend towards eco-responsible surfboard manufacturing is on the rise (***), with initiatives to reduce carbon footprints ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Player segmentation

  • Tahe
  • Shapers Club
  • Quiksilver Bilabong
  • Nautix
  • SDG Distribution
  • Ripcurl
  • FCS
  • F-One
  • Bisca Glisse
  • Newave

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Market size trends for surfboards
  • Number of members of the French Surfing Federation
  • Number of BPJEPS surfing qualifications awarded each year
  • Surf clubs by number of members
  • "Have you ever taken surfing lessons?"
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Latest news

Fashion: Breton Beaumanoir ready to buy Quiksilver - 23/02/2024
  • - Negotiations between Beaumanoir and Authentic Brands Group for the acquisition of Boardriders' European assets
  • - Iconic Boardriders brands: Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, DC Shoes, Element, RVCA.
  • - Authentic Brands Group's acquisition of Boardriders took place six months before the negotiations were announced
  • - The Authentic Brands Group portfolio encompasses around 50 brands with sales of $29 billion.
  • - Authentic Brands Group acquired Boardriders from Oaktree Capital Management
  • - More than 130 jobs lost in France as a result of the change of ownership, including 73 at the Saint-Jean-de-Luz headquarters and 63 in Hossegor.
  • - Boardriders' sales at the time of restructuring were $1.9 billion, 40% of which were generated in Europe.
  • - Beaumanoir's sales are 2.2 billion euros and the company employs 14,000 people
  • - Beaumanoir has acquired La Halle, Caroll (in 2021) and Sarenza.
  • - The ready-to-wear market has declined by 10% in value since 2013.
Nautix repatriates mast production thanks to robotization - 05/09/2023
  • Nautix, the specialist in technical paints for the boating industry and sailboard accessories, is based in Guidel (Morbihan).
  • The SME employs around 30 people and generates sales of 6 million euros.
  • It has decided to re-internalize the production of composite parts, purchased over the last ten years in Asia and Eastern Europe.
Surfing: Shapers Club triples its capacity - 16/08/2023
  • Company founded in 1991 by two brothers: Thomas and Renaud Cardinal.
  • Current production: 1,000 surfboards per year with 13 employees.
  • Current sales: 1.3 million euros.
  • The company, which has been awarded the Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (Living Heritage Company) label, produces one-off pieces for individual customers or small, numbered series.
  • It also works for its competitors in the consumer market (Quiksilver, Rip Curl) when they require custom-made products for luxury houses.
  • UWL Surfboards changes its name to Shapers Club.
  • The company expects to increase production to 1,500 boards a year with the new facilities, and up to 3,000 boards with 20 employees.
  • The new Marennes workshop will also be a place dedicated to surf culture, with co-working spaces, a gym, a bar, a skate-park and a store offering a selection of boards pre-signed by guest shapers.
  • Shapers Club aims to make itself "more visible" in a sector that includes three French semi-industrial players (Euroglass from the Landes, Notox from the Basque Country and Shapers Club), alongside some thirty individual craftsmen.
Tahe Outdoors has made its surfboards less polluting - 06/07/2023
  • Tahe Outdoors is one of Europe's leading board sports specialists.
  • Tahe Outdoors plans to produce between 3,000 and 5,000 boards a year.
  • The brand's surfboards will sell for between 300 and 400 euros each, depending on model size.
  • The group plans to strengthen its position in the outdoor leisure market in France and abroad, the latter accounting for 80% of its production.
  • Tahe Outdoors employs around 200 people and generates average sales of around 50 million euros.
Quiksilver, Roxy and Billabong brands on sale - 18/04/2023
  • U.S. giant Authentic Brand in exclusive talks to acquire Boardriders group activities
  • Quiksilver-Billabong sales: over 2 billion euros
  • Global reach: 630 direct stores, 7,000 retailers, websites in 35 countries
  • Authentic Brands Group sales: $25 billion in over 150 countries
  • Authentic Brands Group network: 11,000 independent stores and shop-in-shops, 380,000 points of sale
  • Completion of Authentic's acquisition of Boardriders: scheduled for Q3 2023

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Shapers Club
Quiksilver Bilabong
SDG Distribution
Bisca Glisse

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The surfboard market | France

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