SurfCredits, Surf Resource Network’s collaboration with the Center for Surf Research and iJourneyGreen, has been really well received by the surf industry and we look forward to growing the program in the years to come. Dr. Jess Ponting (founder of the Center for Surf Research) recently wrote an article for TheInertia.com outlining the success of the SurfCredits launch with the Volcom Fiji Pro contest at Tavarua and he also details our current promotion… donate to an organization of your choice and get $25 off of a pair of Spy Sunglasses and you also get entered into a raffle to win a trip for two to Nosara, Costa Rica with Safari Surf!
Article: Dr. Jess Ponting
Just below the surface of the undeniably epic Volcom Fiji Pro, a subtle shift in the landscape of surf philanthropy took place.
In a previous article published during the Fiji Volcom Pro I outlined the Surf Credits model. Essentially it works as follows:
1. Buy surf credits to support non-profits in surf tourism destinations.
2. Get a shopping discount worth at least the value of a surf credit (free Fiji Pro t-shirt).
3. Enter a draw to win a really kick ass prize (in this case a free week for two at Tavarua).
Volcom was forward thinking enough to risk building the as-yet-untested Surf Credits program into an impressive sustainability initiative incorporated into the contest. Essentially the idea was run up the flagpole to test the breezes of consumer sentiment. Something kind of special happened up that flagpole. It worked.
Despite flying slightly under the public radar, a steady flow of internet traffic explored Surf Credits through the early days of the contest period and purchases slowly ticked over supporting the Loloma Foundation and Give Clean Water; both do great work to support the Fijian people. Then on day four of competition, something changed.
Chris Cote and Dave Stanfield were frothing hard as 10-point barrel rides rifled across the Restaurants reef one after the other. Dane Reynolds madly tweeted about the size of Dave Wassel’s balls (perhaps not the healthiest of obsessions Dane). The webcast audience was huge. Then, in between emotional exchanges with Wassel, Cote gave Surf Credits a 30 second plug. Over the next fifteen minutes as many surf credits were sold as over the three previous days combined. I emailed real time results to Cote and the webcast team. Four hours later another live plug brought the same results. In these heady moments between sets, the concept was proven. The value to the Surf Credit buyer in terms of making a tax deductible donation to great organizations and helping local communities AND receiving discounts and entry into a great prize draw is real. The ability for brands to leverage the viewers of their events and surf fans to raise significant funds for these organizations and have everyone feel good about it is now undeniable and undeniably easy.
But it’s not just about surf contests. Surf Credits is live right now. We can now make tax-deductible donations to vetted organizations around the world and get shopping specials through SPY Optics and entry into a draw to win a week in Costa Rica through Safari Surf. We are now all empowered, even incentivized, to be surf philanthropists. This idea has proven its ability to make a real impact in the lives of real people and their environments in the places we love to surf. Surf philanthropy has been democratized.
Check out more great surf journalism from the Huffington Post of the surf world at TheInertia.com.