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Identity, lifestyles, and brand marketing in Canadian women's surfing : an ethnographic study Mercer, Lisa 2006

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I D E N T I T Y , L I F E S T Y L E S , A N D B R A N D M A R K E T I N G IN C A N A D I A N WOMEN'S SURFING: A N ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY  by  LISA  MERCER  H.B.K., Lakehead University, 2000  A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE  OF  M A S T E R OF ARTS  in  T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E  STUDIES  (Human Kinetics)  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A December 2006  © Lisa Mercer, 2006  ABSTRACT O v e r the past decade, w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g has b e c o m e i n c r e a s i n g l y p o p u l a r i z e d i n the m e d i a  and i n a d v e r t i s i n g as a desirable recreational a c t i v i t y and c o m p e t i t i v e sport, and m o r e and m o r e C a n a d i a n w o m e n are n o w p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n s u r f i n g than ever before ( N i c k s o n , 2 0 0 0 ) .  O v e r the same p e r i o d , w o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r has also emerged as a p o p u l a r f a s h i o n trend f o r  C a n a d i a n g i r l s and y o u n g w o m e n ( O s t r o w s k i , 1999) w i t h the result that s u r f i n g apparel is n o w a g r o w t h industry i n C a n a d a ( H a m i l t o n et a l . , 2 0 0 2 ) . D e s p i t e these d e v e l o p m e n t s ,  h o w e v e r , there remains an acute l a c k o f research o n these trends i n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g .  T h e r e are v e r y f e w studies o n the d e v e l o p m e n t o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g and no studies c o u l d be f o u n d that have l o o k e d at s u r f i n g as a f o r m o f c o n s u m p t i o n i n a c o n s u m e r s o c i e t y i n f l u e n c e d b y brand m a r k e t i n g .  In an effort to h e l p fill this gap, this study d r e w o n p r i o r w o r k i n c o n s u m e r research b y  Schouten and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) and i n sports subcultures b y W h e a t o n (2000), a n d a n a l y z e d the r e l a t i o n s h i p between w o m e n ' s s u r f culture i n W e s t e r n C a n a d a and the  m a r k e t i n g activities o f the C a n a d i a n s u r f w e a r industry. S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r  (1995) e x a m i n e d the interplay o f subcultures and m a r k e t i n g a m o n g H a r l e y - D a v i d s o n  m o t o r c y c l e o w n e r s , and W h e a t o n (2000) studied the l i n k between identity and sport and leisure lifestyles i n a w i n d s u r f i n g c o m m u n i t y . M y thesis research c o m b i n e d their t w o frameworks  u s i n g an ethnographic approach and e x a m i n e d the i m p a c t o f r e t a i l i n g and  m a r k e t i n g o n the g r o w t h o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g , o n s u r f culture, and s u r f products consumption.  F i f t e e n i n d i v i d u a l s w e r e i n t e r v i e w e d f r o m three different p o p u l a t i o n s i n western C a n a d a :  w o m e n surfers, s u r f w e a r retailers, and C a n a d i a n s u r f b r a n d representatives.  Through  these conversations, eight factors w e r e i d e n t i f i e d as c o n t r i b u t i n g to the g r o w t h o f  w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a : (i) changes i n wetsuit t e c h n o l o g y , (ii) c r o s s o v e r appeal f r o m skateboarding and s n o w b o a r d i n g , (iii) cultural and style influences f r o m C a l i f o r n i a , (iv) increased d e m a n d for w o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r and s u r f f a s h i o n s , (v) the g r o w t h o f c o m p e t i t i v e s u r f i n g i n B C , (vi) increased m e d i a exposure o f C a n a d i a n  w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g , (vii) d e v e l o p m e n t o f C a n a d i a n s u r f businesses, and ( v i i i ) w o m e n ' s increased c o m f o r t w i t h the identity o f ' b e i n g a surfer'.  T h e i n t e r v i e w s c o n f i r m e d that the s u r f scene i n C a n a d a is less i n t i m i d a t i n g and m o r e  accepting o f w o m e n surfers than m a n y other locales i n c l u d i n g C a l i f o r n i a . T h e w o m e n  surfers reported a deepening o f c o m m i t m e n t to the s u r f l i f e s t y l e as they a d v a n c e d i n the sport and it i n c r e a s i n g l y b e c a m e a d e f i n i n g c o m p o n e n t o f their self-identity. T h e y also  reported that their c o n s u m p t i o n o f s u r f products contributed to their sense o f identity.  T h e study f o u n d that s u r f brands have h e l p e d to fuel the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f l i f e s t y l e s and products into the mainstream b y e x p a n d i n g product offerings and m a k i n g t h e m m o r e  accessible to the general p u b l i c . T h e thesis concludes that C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g demonstrates features o f a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n and m a y best b e thought o f as a ' c o m m o d i t y - o r i e n t a t e d s u b c u l t u r e ' ( W h e a t o n , 2 0 0 0 , p. 261) that is d r i v e n b o t h b y a  d e v e l o p i n g w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g subculture (the hard-cores) and b y the market activities  (product d e v e l o p m e n t , w o m e n ' s w e a r b r a n d i n g , w o m e n ' s - s p e c i f i c retailing) o f the m a j o r s u r f brands.  Ill  T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract  ii  Table o f Contents  iii  List o f Tables  v  Acknowledgements  vi  CHAPTER I  INTRODUCTION  1  II  LITERATURE REVIEW  6  2.1 H i s t o r y o f S u r f i n g  7  2.2 H i s t o r y o f S u r f i n g i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a  11  2.3 T h e B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a S u r f Scene  16  2.4 T h e E x p a n s i o n o f W o m e n ' s S u r f i n g and the S u r f W e a r Industry  18  2.5 T h e C o n c e p t o f S u b c u l t u r e  22  2.6 C o n s u m e r Research  30  2.7 Sport L i f e s t y l e s , Identity, and C o n s u m p t i o n  40  METHODOLOGY  51  2.8 M a r k e t T r e n d s : W o m e n i n the Sport M a r k e t p l a c e III  Rationale Sample  44  :  51  53  Ethical Considerations IV  54  RESULTS  :  D a t a C o l l e c t i o n and A n a l y s i s Interviews  Participant/Non-Participant O b s e r v a t i o n Photographs and F i e l d N o t e s  Surf Media  O r g a n i z a t i o n o f the C h a p t e r  55  55 '.  55  58  59 '.  4.1 T h e S u r f Scene i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a 4.2 Factors F u e l i n g the G r o w t h o f C a n a d i a n W o m e n ' s S u r f i n g  59  60  61 66  i. C h a n g e s i n wetsuit t e c h n o l o g y  67  i i . C r o s s o v e r appeal f r o m skateboarding and s n o w b o a r d i n g  69  i i i . C u l t u r a l and style influences f r o m C a l i f o r n i a  71  iv. Increased d e m a n d for w o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r and s u r f fashions  ..74  v. T h e g r o w t h o f c o m p e t i t i v e s u r f i n g i n B C  76  v i . Increased m e d i a exposure o f C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g  80  v i i i . W o m e n ' s increased c o m f o r t w i t h the identity o f ' b e i n g a surfer'  84  v i i . D e v e l o p m e n t o f C a n a d i a n s u r f businesses  81  iv  4.3 T h e A p p e a l o f the S u r f C u l t u r e  85  4.4 E v i d e n c e o f C o n s u m p t i o n  88  F e m a l e Surfers are C o m m i t t e d to C o n s u m i n g S u r f T h e m e d Products 4.5 E v i d e n c e o f S u b c u l t u r a l Features and C o n d i t i o n s  i. H i e r a r c h i c a l s o c i a l structuring: F r o m hard core surfers to posers  i i . C o r e values and l o c a l i z e d d i f f e r e n c e s  i i i . S e l f transformation (deepening o f c o m m i t m e n t )  iv. Rituals  4.6 S u r f i n g is a ' C o m m o d i t y - O r i e n t a t e d S u b c u l t u r e '  4.7 L i n k between Identity, L i f e s t y l e s , and C o n s u m p t i o n  4.8 D i f f u s i o n o f S u r f L i f e s t y l e s and Products into the M a i n s t r e a m  :  90  90  92  94  96  98  102 105  i. T h e ' c o o l n e s s factor  107  i i i . W o m e n - s p e c i f i c m a r k e t i n g and sales  110  i i . T h e industry  i v . M a r k e t i n g to j u n i o r c o n s u m e r s  4.9 R o l e o f M e d i a i n the D i f f u s i o n o f S u r f L i f e s t y l e s i. Print m e d i a  ii. Electronic media V  88  DISCUSSION  5.1 R e f l e c t i n g o n T r e n d s i n the W o m e n ' s Sport M a r k e t p l a c e 5.2 R e f l e c t i n g o n T r e n d s i n C a n a d i a n W o m e n ' s S u r f i n g 5.3 R e f l e c t i n g o n S u r f B r a n d M a r k e t i n g  T h e R o l e o f C o n s u m p t i o n i n R e l a t i o n to O n e ' s Identity T h e D i f f u s i o n o f S u r f L i f e s t y l e s i n the M a i n s t r e a m  108  116  119  121  123 ...121 128  129  131  132  135  5.4 R e f l e c t i n g o n S u b c u l t u r a l T h e o r y  138  VI  INSIDER ROLE  147  VII  CONCLUSIONS  153  A N e w G e n d e r O r d e r i n S u r f i n g and the S u r f P r o d u c t s M a r k e t p l a c e  144  7.1 O p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r Future R e s e a r c h  154  7.2 S t u d y L i m i t a t i o n s  157  Bibliography  160  Appendix I  C o p y o f U B C Research Ethic's Board Certificate o f A p p r o v a l  165  A p p e n d i x II  R e c r u i t m e n t Letter  167  A p p e n d i x III  Consent Form  169  Appendix IV  O v e r v i e w o f the R e s e a r c h M e t h o d o l o g y  172  V  LIST OF T A B L E S T a b l e 1 S u r f B r a n d Retailers  56  T a b l e 2 C a n a d i a n S u r f B r a n d Representatives  57  T a b l e 3 W o m e n Surfers  57  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I w o u l d l i k e to extend m y gratitude to those w h o took the t i m e to enjoy this j o u r n e y w i t h m e . I w o u l d l i k e to a c k n o w l e d g e the support o f the surfers, retailers, and s u r f b r a n d representatives w i t h w h o m I interacted throughout the course o f this research and w i t h o u t w h o m I c o u l d not have c o n d u c t e d this research. I a m forever grateful to m y thesis c o m m i t t e e c o n s i s t i n g o f D r . Robert Sparks, D r . P a t r i c i a V e r t i n s k y , and D r . B r i a n W i l s o n , for b e i n g open-minded to m y research interests and h e l p i n g m e prepare f o r this research. M y a d v i s o r B o b has r e m a i n e d enthusiastic throughout this process, and has c o n t i n u o u s l y supported and encouraged m e d u r i n g the hurdles I encountered a l o n g the w a y . H i s guidance was instrumental to the successful c o m p l e t i o n o f this project. F o r a l l those w h o b e l i e v e d i n m e and w h o supported m e I a m most grateful. I a m t r u l y blessed to have a l o v i n g and u n d e r s t a n d i n g f a m i l y , and a close network o f dear friends. L a s t l y , I w o u l d l i k e to extend m y thanks to m y colleagues f o r e x p o s i n g me to the s u r f w e a r industry and g i v i n g m e the o p p o r t u n i t y to g r o w p r o f e s s i o n a l l y a l o n g s i d e them. F u r t h e r m o r e , I a m most grateful to those w h o lead m e to s u r f and i g n i t e d that same passion within me.  1  CHAPTER I - INTRODUCTION This study analyzes the relationship between women's surf culture in Western Canada and the marketing activities o f the Canadian surf wear industry. Its objectives are twofold: i) to critically examine how the marketing o f surf products affects surfing lifestyles and product consumption, and ii) to describe how surf lifestyles and products, in turn, become diffused to a larger population o f young women and girls. The study is intended to enhance our knowledge o f the factors affecting the development o f women's surfing i n Western Canada and to add to our understanding o f the interplay o f subcultures and marketing in consumer culture, by illustrating the link between lifestyles, identity, and consumption. With the rise in popular media portrayals o f women's surfing as an empowering activity (e.g., the film ' B l u e Crush') and the growth o f women's surfing over the last several years, it is important to be able to document the social, cultural, and market conditions and trends driving these changes. In particular, research is needed that takes account o f the experience o f surfing from the standpoint o f women and gives voice to their points o f view in addition to the points o f view o f the surfing industry and o f men. Very few studies to date have analyzed women's surfing lifestyles generally, and none that I could find have looked at surfing as an activity o f consumption in a consumer society which is influenced by brand marketing. In addition to providing a multidimensional research perspective, this study is also intended to provide a Canadian perspective on what is a growing global phenomenon, women's surfing. This study w i l l provide an improved understanding o f women's surfing subcultures in Western Canada, the emergence o f Canadian women surfers, and the factors that are fueling the growth o f the surfing apparel industry.  2  T h e thesis represents one o f the f e w studies that have f o c u s e d o n the i m p a c t o f r e t a i l i n g and b r a n d m a r k e t i n g o n the g r o w t h o f C a n a d i a n sports, and has the potential to p r o v i d e insight into the role o f r e t a i l i n g and b r a n d m a r k e t i n g i n the e x p a n s i o n o f w o m e n ' s sports m o r e generally. T h e rise i n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g is part o f a larger p h e n o m e n o n o f w o m e n ' s increased i n v o l v e m e n t i n sports as participants and c o n s u m e r s . It is w i d e l y d o c u m e n t e d that w o m e n are e m e r g i n g as a distinct and p o w e r f u l segment i n the sport m a r k e t p l a c e ( B r a d i s h , L a t h r o p , & S e d g w i c k , 2 0 0 1 ; B r a n c h , 1 9 9 5 ; L o u g h , 1996; S h o h a m , R o s e , K r o p p , & K a h l e , 1 9 9 7 ; Sparks & Westgate, 2 0 0 2 ; Sutton & W a t l i n g t o n , 1994). Y o u n g w o m e n , i n particular, h a v e b e c o m e an important sub-segment for sport, sport-related p r o d u c t s , and sport marketers ( S h o h a m et a l . , 1997). W i t h i n the w o m e n ' s sports context, w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g has i t s e l f b e c o m e i n c r e a s i n g l y v i s i b l e and accepted as a legitimate recreational and c o m p e t i t i v e sport. C a n a d a emerged o n the w o m e n ' s s u r f scene w i t h the d e v e l o p m e n t o f the n a t i o n ' s first all-girls s u r f s c h o o l i n 1999 ( N i c k s o n , 2000). W o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r has emerged as m a i n s t r e a m f a s h i o n ( O s t r o w s k i , 1999), and s u r f apparel has b e c o m e a b o o m i n g i n d u s t r y i n C a n a d a ( H a m i l t o n et a l . , 2 0 0 2 ) . C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g c o m p r i s e s a n i c h e market w i t h i n the o v e r a l l sport o f s u r f i n g as w e l l as w i t h i n w o m e n ' s recreation and sports m o r e b r o a d l y . T h e a i m o f the research reported i n this thesis was to d o c u m e n t the i n t e r p l a y o f r e t a i l i n g and m a r k e t i n g w i t h i n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g , s u r f i n g culture, and s u r f i n g products c o n s u m p t i o n , f o c u s i n g on the w a y s that p o p u l a r culture and c o m m e r c i a l culture interrelate w i t h one another. A f o c u s e d r e v i e w o f recent w o r k o n subcultures, sports subcultures and c o n s u m e r culture was undertaken to assess the a b i l i t y o f e x i s t i n g f r a m e w o r k s to account for these interactions. T h e thesis ends up b u i l d i n g o n selected  3 research o n sports subcultures and c o n s u m e r research d r a w i n g o n W h e a t o n ' s (2000) n o t i o n o f identity f o r m a t i o n t h r o u g h sport and leisure lifestyles and S c h o u t e n & M c A l e x a n d e r ' s (1995) c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f identity e x p r e s s i o n t h r o u g h sport c o n s u m p t i o n . T h e rationale for this approach is contained i n part i n the h o l i s t i c f r a m e w o r k that these t w o perspective help to achieve. T h i s has both practical and c r i t i c a l theoretical i m p l i c a t i o n s . A s K a t e s (1998) notes i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n o f the potential benefits o f c o m b i n g f r a m e w o r k s f r o m s o c i a l theory, c o n s u m e r research and sport m a r k e t i n g to study sport, " B y b r i n g i n g the discourses o f c o n s u m e r b e h a v i o r , sport s o c i o l o g y [subcultural.theory], and sport m a r k e t i n g together, n e w research agenda and n e w m a r k e t i n g insights [can] r e s u l t " (p. 29). T h e research expands o n the idea o f identity f o r m a t i o n t h r o u g h sport subcultural s o c i a l i z a t i o n ( D o n n e l l y and Y o u n g , 1988; W h e a t o n , 1998, 2 0 0 0 ) , and the e x p r e s s i o n o f identity t h r o u g h sport c o n s u m p t i o n ( S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r , 1995), and h i g h l i g h t s the l i n k between identity, lifestyles, and c o n s u m p t i o n a m o n g w o m e n surfers. A s W h e a t o n (2000) notes, " T h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f different sources o f i d e n t i f i c a t i o n h a v e e x p a n d e d , i n particular the increased s i g n i f i c a n c e o f c o n s u m p t i o n practices s u c h as sport and leisure lifestyles i n the c o m m u n i c a t i o n and maintenance o f self-identity for g r o w i n g segments o f the p o p u l a t i o n " (p. 255).  Schouten  and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) s i m i l a r l y state, "In o u r c o n s u m e r culture p e o p l e do not define themselves a c c o r d i n g to s o c i o l o g i c a l constructs. T h e y do so i n terms o f the activities, objects, and relationships that g i v e their l i v e s m e a n i n g " (p. 59). In their terms, the relationships f o r m e d as a result o f " a shared c o m m i t m e n t to a particular product class, brand or c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t y " c o m p r i s e a 'subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n ' (p.43). T h e y continue that " T h e concept o f the subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n is robust enough to  4 encompass v i r t u a l l y any group o f p e o p l e united b y c o m m o n c o n s u m p t i o n values and b e h a v i o r s " (p. 59). In this context, the f o l l o w i n g research questions w e r e p r o p o s e d : H o w does the m a r k e t i n g o f s u r f i n g products impact surf-culture and its d i f f u s i o n into c o n s u m e r culture? H o w is s u r f w e a r c o n s u m p t i o n l i n k e d to identity f o r m a t i o n i n female consumers?  Four  w o r k i n g hypotheses w e r e also d e v e l o p e d : a) S u r f w e a r c o n s u m p t i o n is an integral part o f a surfer's lifestyle and identity, b) S u r f brands have e x p a n d e d their lines to reach surfers, but also to reach female teens and pre-teens, c) F e m a l e teens and pre-teens use s u r f w e a r to help construct their identities, and d) T h e net effect o f these t w o trends is an increase i n c o n s u m e r interest i n s u r f w e a r and i n the s u r f brands market. T h e m a j o r i t y o f research o n sport subcultures has r e c o g n i z e d the i m p o r t a n c e o f u s i n g ethnographic methods to the study o f sport subcultures (Butts, 2 0 0 1 ; K l e i n , 1986; Schouten and M c A l e x a n d e r , 1 9 9 5 ; W h e a t o n , 1998, 2 0 0 0 ) . A s W h e a t o n and T o m l i n s o n (1998) suggest "It is o n l y ethnographic study that can p r o v i d e a c u l t u r a l analysis that does not just focus o n p u b l i c discourses or texts, but explores the ' m e a n i n g and pleasure o f these practices to those w h o participate i n t h e m ' " (p. 2 7 0 , c . f , H a l l , 1996, p. 59).  The  studies that facilitated i n s h a p i n g this research use i n t e r v i e w s as their p r i m a r y m e t h o d o f data c o l l e c t i o n and f o u n d this m e t h o d to be quite effective i n g a i n i n g entry into the subculture and/or furthering an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the culture ( S c h o u t e n & M c A l e x a n d e r , 1995; W h e a t o n , 2 0 0 0 ) . In S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r ' s (1995) analysis o f the H a r l e y D a v i d s o n subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n , the researchers i n t e r v i e w e d three a p r i o r i g r o u p s : riders, dealers, and corporate m a r k e t i n g d e c i s i o n makers. S i m i l a r l y , for the context o f  this study three groups w e r e i n t e r v i e w e d : surfers, retailers, and C a n a d i a n s u r f b r a n d representatives.  6  CHAPTER II - LITERATURE REVIEW In this chapter I r e v i e w recent w o r k o n subcultures, sport subcultures, and c o n s u m e r culture. T h i s chapter is d i v i d e d into eight sections that c o m p r i s e the literature that is g e n e r a l l y or s p e c i f i c a l l y l i n k e d to the thesis t o p i c . T h e sections are as f o l l o w s : (1) H i s t o r y o f S u r f i n g ; (2) H i s t o r y o f S u r f i n g i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ; (3) T h e B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a S u r f Scene; (4) T h e E x p a n s i o n o f W o m e n ' s S u r f i n g and the S u r f W e a r Industry; (5) T h e C o n c e p t o f S u b c u l t u r e ; (6) C o n s u m e r R e s e a r c h ; (7) Sport L i f e s t y l e s , Identity, and C o n s u m p t i o n ; and (8) M a r k e t T r e n d s : W o m e n i n the Sport M a r k e t p l a c e . T h e first section i n the literature r e v i e w traces b a c k the o r i g i n o f s u r f i n g , its cultural traditions, and the emergence o f w o m e n surfers. T h e s e c o n d category c h r o n i c l e s the d e v e l o p m e n t o f s u r f i n g i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a and f o l l o w s the i n f l u e n c e o f C a n a d i a n s u r f i n g pioneers. T h i s leads into a d e s c r i p t i o n o f the uniqueness o f C a n a d a ' s s u r f scene. T h e fourth section focuses o n the g r o w t h o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g and the e x p a n s i o n o f the w o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r industry. S e c t i o n f i v e analyzes the term ' s u b c u l t u r e ' and the vast amount o f literature s u r r o u n d i n g this concept. T h e next p o r t i o n h i g h l i g h t s s o m e o f the w o r k done i n c o n s u m e r research and draws o n research done b y S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) and W h e a t o n (2000) to situate the f r a m e w o r k f o r this study. T h e seventh section analyzes the relationship b e tw e e n i d e n t i t y and sport and leisure l i f e s t y l e s , and the i n f l u e n c e o f c o n s u m p t i o n o n o n e ' s sense o f identity. F i n a l l y , the last area e x a m i n e s trends i n the w o m e n ' s sport m a r k e t p l a c e and reports o n the i n f l u e n c e o f s p e c i f i c c o n s u m e r groups i n the sports product market.  7  2.1 History of Surfing S u r f i n g has received little attention f r o m s o c i a l science scholars (Farmer, 1992), and the l i m i t e d a c a d e m i c research there is has f o c u s e d m a i n l y o n the h i s t o r y o f the sport ( B o o t h , 1995, 2 0 0 1 ; Irwin, 1 9 7 3 ; Pearson, 1979) and its role i n subcultural s o c i a l i z a t i o n (Butts, 2 0 0 1 ) . M o s t o f the i n f o r m a t i o n that is a v a i l a b l e has c o m e f r o m articles i n p o p u l a r press m a g a z i n e s , newspapers and trade j o u r n a l s . B o o t h (2001) recently p u b l i s h e d an article o n the history and g r o w t h o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y w h i c h d o c u m e n t e d the setbacks and gains a l o n g the path to increased acceptance o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g . T h e o r i g i n s o f the sport are thought to be i n the P a c i f i c Islands. H a w a i i a n s and P o l y n e s i a n s w e r e observed e n j o y i n g s u r f i n g i n the late 1700s ( G a b b a r d , 2 0 0 0 ) . T h e first written account o f s u r f i n g w a s m a d e b y C a p t a i n James C o o k o n a F e b r u a r y d a y i n 1778: A s h i s ship p u l l e d into K e a l a k e k u a B a y i n the H a w a i i a n Islands, C o o k w a s a m a z e d to see m e n and w o m e n r i d i n g l o n g w o o d e n p l a n k s across the face o f the i m m e n s e w a v e s . S h o r t l y after, w i t h the arrival o f m i s s i o n a r i e s , s u r f i n g w a s n e a r l y eradicated i n the H a w a i i a n Islands u n t i l a r e v i t a l i z a t i o n m o v e m e n t w a s started b y H a w a i i a n s i n the early twentieth century. T h e m i s s i o n a r i e s h a d associated the practice o f s u r f i n g w i t h p r o m i s c u i t y and g a m b l i n g . (Butts, 2 0 0 1 , p. 2) S u r f i n g w a s i n t r o d u c e d to Southern C a l i f o r n i a b y H a w a i i a n G e o r g e Freeth i n 1907, and to A u s t r a l i a b y D u k e K a h a n a m o k u i n 1915 ( G a b b a r d , 2 0 0 0 ) . D u r i n g this t i m e , surfers i n C a l i f o r n i a and H a w a i i e x p e r i e n c e d extensive f r e e d o m . B y c o m p a r i s o n , s u r f i n g i n A u s t r a l i a and N e w Z e a l a n d f r o m 1910 to the late 1950s was sanctioned b y the S u r f L i f e S a v i n g A s s o c i a t i o n , and w a s restricted to s u r f l i f e s a v i n g m e m b e r s o n designated beaches (Pearson, 1979). C a l i f o r n i a was a centre f o r surfboard e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n f r o m 1920  8  o n w a r d s w h i l e v e r y f e w t e c h n o l o g i c a l i n n o v a t i o n s took place i n the first part o f the twentieth century i n A u s t r a l i a and N e w Z e a l a n d (Pearson, 1979). A l s o , n o t e w o r t h y d u r i n g the 1930s and 1940s was the l a c k o f reference to w o m e n b o a r d riders. P i c t u r e s taken at the t i m e c o n f i r m e d that w o m e n w e r e part o f the beach culture but rarely w o u l d a photograph show a w o m a n riding a s u r f b o a r d (Booth, 2001). B y the outbreak o f W o r l d W a r II, s u r f i n g h a d b e c o m e a r e c o g n i z e d leisure a c t i v i t y o n the P a c i f i c R i m , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the areas o f Southern C a l i f o r n i a , A u s t r a l i a , N e w Z e a l a n d , P e r u , and S o u t h A f r i c a . In the w a r years W a i k i k i ( H a w a i i ) was the s y m b o l o f n e w h e d o n i s m w i t h beach b o y s and w a h i n e s (beach girls). U n l i k e A u s t r a l i a and C a l i f o r n i a , H a w a i i preserved the pleasure-seeking culture and no restrictions w e r e i m p o s e d o n b a t h i n g costumes ( B o o t h , 1995). S u r f i n g b e c a m e an o r g a n i z e d sport f o l l o w i n g the S e c o n d W o r l d W a r ( B o o t h , 1995), and " b e g a n its trek t h r o u g h p o p u l a r A m e r i c a n culture i n the 1 9 5 0 s . . .[and] t h r o u g h t i m e a particular demeanor, language, and l o o k . . .developed w h i c h denote[d] m e m b e r s h i p o f the s u r f i n g s u b c u l t u r e " (Butts, 2 0 0 1 , p.2). M a l i b u , C a l i f o r n i a b e c a m e a p o p u l a r s u r f i n g spot i n the late 1940s and early 1950s ( G a b b a r d , 2 0 0 0 ) . In the 1950s and early 1960s s u r f i n g w o m e n reappeared w i t h the emergence o f the lighter, m o r e m a n e u v e r a b l e M a l i b u s u r f b o a r d d e v e l o p e d b y Joe Q u i g g i n 1950 f o r w o m e n surfers i n M a l i b u ( G a b b a r d , 2 0 0 0 ) . In 1956, " G i d g e t " ( K a t h y K o h n e r ) w e n t to M a l i b u and the f o l l o w i n g year the b o o k w r i t t e n b y her father F r e d e r i c k K o h n e r , Gidget, was p u b l i s h e d ( G a b b a r d , 2 0 0 0 ) . " A t the c u l t u r e ' s apogee i n the 1960s, w o m e n w e r e l a n d l o c k e d b i k i n i babes or, at best, H o l l y w o o d ' G i d g e t s ' w h o left the h e a v y s u r f i n g to the g u y s " ( M a r s h , 1997, p. 44).  9  In 1954, the first international s u r f c h a m p i o n s h i p was o r g a n i z e d b y the W a i k i k i s u r f c l u b i n M a k a h a , H a w a i i ( B o o t h , 1995). W o m e n participated i n this c o m p e t i t i o n u n t i l organizers subsequently created separate c o m p e t i t i o n s for w o m e n and m e n surfers ( B o o t h , 2 0 0 1 ) . O a h u ' s N o r t h S h o r e b e c a m e a s u r f i n g M e c c a o n c e the w a v e s w e r e f i n a l l y r i d d e n ( G a b b a r d , 2 0 0 0 ) . S u r f i n g styles also d i v e r s i f i e d i n the late 1950s r e c o g n i z i n g r e g i o n a l differences. A s B o o t h (1995) e x p l a i n s , " t w o r i d i n g styles e m e r g e d i n the m i d 1960s. H a w a i i a n surfers d a n c e d w i t h w a v e s , f l o w i n g i n s m o o t h r h y t h m w i t h their natural d i r e c t i o n ; A u s t r a l i a n surfers danced o n w a v e s , ' c o n q u e r i n g ' , ' a t t a c k i n g ' , and r e d u c i n g t h e m to stages o n w h i c h to p e r f o r m " (p. 194). H a w a i i a n styles c o m b i n e d w i t h other p o s t w a r s o c i a l changes, s u c h as the rise o f y o u t h culture and car culture i n the 1950s, transformed C a l i f o r n i a s u r f i n g . T h e s u r f i n g p o p u l a t i o n i n C a l i f o r n i a g r e w r a p i d l y i n the m i d d l e o f the 1950s r i s i n g f r o m 5,000 participants i n 1956 to 100,000 surfers i n 1962. C a l i f o r n i a n s u r f i n g was p o p u l a r i z e d i n H o l l y w o o d s u r f m o v i e s and w o m e n surfers w e r e seen i n G i d g e t (1959) and T h e E n d l e s s S u m m e r (1964), as w e l l as i n m a g a z i n e s , and s u r f i n g demonstrations. T h e 1960s brought about the d e v e l o p m e n t o f r e g i o n a l and national s u r f associations starting i n C a l i f o r n i a and N e w S o u t h W a l e s , A u s t r a l i a . In 1964, various representatives o f national s u r f associations together f o r m e d the International S u r f i n g Federation (ISF)  and the first w o r l d s u r f i n g c h a m p i o n s h i p was h e l d that year i n M a n l y ,  A u s t r a l i a ( B o o t h , 1995). Surfers r e c o g n i z e d the i m p o r t a n c e o f o r g a n i z e d c o m p e t i t i o n as b e i n g essential for p u b l i c acceptance. T h e ISF separated m e n and w o m e n into different c o m p e t i t i o n s , h o w e v e r , the rules that w e r e eventually set up i n 1976 d i d not e x c l u d e w o m e n from p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n m e n ' s events or v i c e versa ( B o o t h , 2 0 0 1 ) . In the late 1960s,  10  c o m p e t i t i v e s u r f i n g suffered a relapse as a n e w generation o f surfers shunned c o m p e t i t i o n and took to the w a v e s as 'soul-surfers' ( B o o t h , 1995). D u r i n g the second h a l f o f the twentieth century, it b e c a m e i n c r e a s i n g l y evident that females w e r e b e i n g m a r g i n a l i z e d i n the sport and that a fraternal structure p r e v a i l e d w h i c h l i m i t e d their s o c i a l acceptance and access. In the 1970s, females w e r e d e p i c t e d i n photographs i n non-stereotypical, athletic poses that c h a l l e n g e d the gaze o f the m a l e v i e w e r . H o w e v e r , a r a d i c a l shift b e c a m e evident i n the 1980s as w o m e n b e g a n to be represented as s e x u a l objects and p h o t o g r a p h i c techniques changed to embrace the s e x u a l i z e d l o o k , pose, and gaze o f f a s h i o n m o d e l s . W o m e n further struggled i n the 1970s and 1980s to o r g a n i z e their o w n c o m p e t i t i o n s w h i c h s i g n a l e d the d e n i a l o f the l e g i t i m a c y o f w o m e n surfers ( B o o t h , 2001). In 1974, w o m e n surfers m o t i v a t e d b y Jericho P o p p l e r f o r m e d the W o m e n ' s International S u r f i n g A s s o c i a t i o n ( W I S A ) to spearhead the d e v e l o p m e n t o f a p r o f e s s i o n a l w o m e n ' s c i r c u i t . T h e s e events w e r e l a r g e l y C a l i f o r n i a based and w e r e the first to o f f e r w o m e n p r i z e m o n e y ( B o o t h , 2 0 0 1 ) . In 1976, W o m e n ' s P r o f e s s i o n a l S u r f i n g ( W P S ) f o r m e d i n H a w a i i to secure increased p r i z e m o n e y and m o r e events f o r w o m e n .  was  The  W P S set out to s m o o t h relations b etw een surfers, contest directors, and the m e d i a ( B o o t h , 2001). In 1977 w o m e n c o m p e t e d i n f i v e p r o f e s s i o n a l s u r f i n g events i n A u s t r a l i a , B r a z i l , C a l i f o r n i a , H a w a i i , and S o u t h A f r i c a . These f i v e events c r o w n e d M a r g o O b e r g , w h o w a s fifteen at the t i m e , the first o f f i c i a l p r o f e s s i o n a l f e m a l e c h a m p i o n o f s u r f i n g . In the same year, M a r g o o p e n e d her s u r f s c h o o l o n K a u a i . In 1983, the A s s o c i a t i o n o f S u r f i n g Professionals ( A S P ) took o v e r the International P r o f e s s i o n a l S u r f i n g (IPS) and W o m e n ' s Pro S u r f i n g ( W P S )  circuits ( G a b b a r d , 2 0 0 0 ) . A n o t h e r s i g n i f i c a n t watershed i n w o m e n ' s  11 s u r f i n g o c c u r r e d i n 1986 w h e n L i s a A n d e r s o n , at the age o f 17, turned pro and j o i n e d the A S P (Gabbard, 2000). W o m e n s u r f i n g c o m p e t i t i o n s d i d not d e v e l o p e v e n l y around the w o r l d . C a l i f o r n i a n and H a w a i i a n surfers benefited but A u s t r a l i a n organizers often c a n c e l l e d w o m e n ' s events and there was a l a c k o f interested sponsors and l i m i t e d p r i z e m o n e y f o r A u s t r a l i a n w o m e n . T h e distance to other c o m p e t i t i o n s g l o b a l l y and the cost o f travel h i n d e r e d the a b i l i t y o f A u s t r a l i a n w o m e n to compete internationally. W e l l into the 1990s w o m e n ' s p r o f e s s i o n a l s u r f i n g r e m a i n e d a p o o r m a t c h to the m e n ' s c i r c u i t ( B o o t h , 2 0 0 1 ) .  2.2 History of Surfing in British Columbia T h e practice o f s u r f i n g i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ( B C ) dates b a c k 4 0 years, and has been transformed o v e r t i m e into a u n i q u e l y B C experience. B C has m a n y distinct s u r f i n g c o m m u n i t i e s i n c l u d i n g T o f i n o , U c l u e l e t , J o r d a n R i v e r , and S o m b r i o B e a c h . J o r d a n R i v e r and S o m b r i o B e a c h are m o r e r e a d i l y accessible f r o m V i c t o r i a ( S h i l l i n g , 2003) whereas T o f i n o and U c l u e l e t are further north o n V a n c o u v e r Island and are less accessible. A s S h i l l i n g reports, B e f o r e 1956 T o f i n o and U c l u e l e t w e r e their o w n islands o n V a n c o u v e r Island because there was no road t h r o u g h the saw-tooth M a c k e n z i e R a n g e mountains and across Sutton P a s s . . . A f t e r 1956 there was a dusty, d i r t y and dangerous l o g g i n g road, and i n 1964 M a c M i l l a n - B l o e d e l L t d . and f e l l o w forest-company giant, B C Forest P r o d u c t s L t d . , b u i l t H i g h w a y 4 i n exchange for l o g g i n g concessions f r o m the p r o v i n c i a l government. T h e environmentalists and the surfers a m o n g the m i l l i o n or so visitors to T o f i n o and U c l u e l e t e v e r y year o w e it  12  to those l o g g i n g c o m p a n i e s f o r getting t h e m out o f the w o o d s and into the water, (p. 11) D u r i n g this t i m e , T o f i n o and U c l u e l e t w e r e m a i n l y f i s h i n g and l o g g i n g v i l l a g e s and h a d not yet b e c o m e tourist destinations (p.30). E a r l y B C surfers w e r e a d e t e r m i n e d , i n v e n t i v e group and h a d to i m p r o v i s e materials i n order to fabricate boards to s u r f o n as S h i l l i n g (2003) a f f i r m s : O n e t h i n g that characterized most surfers i n B C i n the early days was their w i l l i n g n e s s to s u r f p r a c t i c a l l y a n y t h i n g , f r o m p l y w o o d to glass-over f o a m boards. W i t h the nearest s u r f shops i n [the state of] O r e g o n , B C surfers h a d to scrounge boards any w a y they c o u l d . S o m e early surfers tried to m a k e and shape their o w n boards, (p. 60) P r i o r to 1995, s u r f businesses i n T o f i n o w e r e not c o m m o n p l a c e . T h e e c o n o m y at the t i m e w a s not capable o f s u s t a i n i n g them. A pioneer i n T o f i n o ' s s u r f industry. L i v e to Surf, the first s u r f b o a r d rental business i n T o f i n o opened its doors i n 1984 and s t i l l r e m a i n s i n operation today. T h e first International S u r f Contest i n B C was h e l d o n L o n g B e a c h , south o f T o f i n o i n 1966. T h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f the W i c k a n i n n i s h Inn o n L o n g B e a c h i n 1964 and the arrival o f s u r f i n g pioneers lead to the i m p r o b a b l e d e v e l o p m e n t o f the T o f i n o and U c l u e l e t s u r f scenes. T h e o r i g i n a l pioneers w h o l i v e d i n cedar shacks and cabins a l o n g the P a c i f i c coastline o f f o f V a n c o u v e r Island introduced their c h i l d r e n to the sport thereby s e c u r i n g the future o f C a n a d i a n s u r f i n g . R a l p h D e v r i e s w h o h e l p e d construct the W i c k a n i n n i s h Inn was first i n t r o d u c e d to the sport o f s u r f i n g b y s o m e v a c a t i o n i n g C a l i f o r n i a n s i n 1964, and he c o m p e t e d i n B C ' s first s u r f c o m p e t i t i o n i n 1966 ( S h i l l i n g ,  13 2003). T h e f a m i l y lineage and p a s s i n g d o w n o f technical aspects o f s u r f i n g can be seen i n R a l p h ' s s o n , Peter D e v r i e s w h o took to the water at a v e r y y o u n g age and became a sponsored surfer, c o m p e t i n g i n international s u r f i n g c o m p e t i t i o n s . Peter e v e n t u a l l y w o n the Q u i k s i l v e r / R o x y S u m m e r S u r f J a m 2 0 0 0 i n T o f i n o , B C .  In M a y 2 0 0 3 , Surfer  th  M a g a z i n e r a n k e d h i m 94  i n the. h i g h l y regarded g l o b a l r a n k i n g o f the " H o t 1 0 0 " surfers  under the age o f 21 i n the W o r l d ( w w w . B C S A . c a c . f , Surfer M a g a z i n e , M a y 2 0 0 3 ) . T o f i n o has changed d r a m a t i c a l l y o v e r the years and p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the last decade. " T o f i n o w a t c h e d its f i s h i n g industry die and its forests embraced b y m o s t l y urban environmentalists. L a n d values b e g a n to skyrocket. C e d a r shacks w e r e r e p l a c e d b y houses straight out o f any suburb. W h a l e s became a tourist a t t r a c t i o n " ( S h i l l i n g , 2 0 0 3 , p. 66). A pristine coast is an i n c r e d i b l e resource for the pure pleasure o f locals and f o r the e c o n o m i c i n j e c t i o n that tourists and transient surfers p r o v i d e . T h e t o w n o f T o f i n o has a year r o u n d p o p u l a t i o n o f 1000 inhabitants but is n o w attracting over a m i l l i o n visitors each year. In the early 1990s there w e r e a h a n d f u l o f people s u r f i n g i n T o f i n o ' s waters.  As  S h i l l i n g notes, the start o f the s u r f i n g b o o m i n B C began i n the m i d 1 9 9 0 ' s and the late 1990s m a r k e d a s i g n i f i c a n t change w i t h m o r e and m o r e w o m e n t r y i n g the sport. T h e c h i l d r e n o f B C ' s o r i g i n a l surfers h a v e h e l p e d support the d e v e l o p m e n t o f the sport w i t h the creation o f s u r f s c h o o l s and s u r f businesses. J e n n y Stewart (nee H u d n a l l ) w h o o w n s and operates S u r f Sister S u r f S c h o o l is the daughter o f J i m H u d n a l l , one o f T o f i n o ' s o r i g i n a l surfers. S u r f t o u r i s m is b e c o m i n g an important e c o n o m i c contributor to l o c a l coastal c o m m u n i t i e s ( S h i l l i n g , 2 0 0 3 ) . " T h e m a n y surfers around p r o v i d e the service industries w i t h a cheap l a b o u r force. A l s o , there is m o r e tourist m o n e y f l o a t i n g a r o u n d ,  14  m o r e s u r f s c h o o l s , m o r e leisure a c t i v i t y , and m o r e non-extractive uses o f w i l d e r n e s s " (p. 14). S i n c e its i n c e p t i o n i n 1993, the B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a S u r f i n g A s s o c i a t i o n ( B C S A ) has been r e c o g n i z e d b y the C a n a d i a n S u r f i n g A s s o c i a t i o n and the International S u r f i n g A s s o c i a t i o n as the g o v e r n i n g b o d y for s u r f i n g i n W e s t e r n C a n a d a and for representing west coast surfers. T h e B C S A aims to d e v e l o p surfers w i t h i n B C and to p r o v i d e t h e m w i t h the o p p o r t u n i t y to b u i l d their s k i l l s i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y ( w w w . B C S A . c a ) . T h e S u m m e r S u r f J a m is a sponsored two-day j u d g e d contest that a l l o w s l o c a l surfers to compete against an international f i e l d i n the c o m f o r t o f their h o m e break.  The  first S u r f J a m took place i n 1988 w h e n the retail outlet W e s t b e a c h o r g a n i z e d a s m a l l s u r f contest o n L o n g B e a c h . T h e l o c a t i o n changed the f o l l o w i n g year to C o x B a y and this event continues to get b i g g e r and attract m o r e sponsors, and subsequently; m o r e p r i z e m o n e y , m o r e competitors and spectators. T h i s annual event showcases B C ' s top surfers and enables therri to compete i n p r o f e s s i o n a l c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h pros f r o m the U S .  This  event has seven d i v i s i o n s to a c c o m m o d a t e a l l the different levels and f o r m s o f s u r f i n g . T h e B C S A hopes to further d e v e l o p its athletes t h r o u g h l o c a l c o m p e t i t i o n s p e c i f i c a l l y the S u m m e r S u r f J a m and b y s e n d i n g its top surfers to m o r e r e g i o n a l contests s u c h as the W e s tp o rt C l e a n w a t e r C l a s s i c i n W a s h i n g t o n and a f e w pro events i n California. In the past, the B C S A f o c u s e d o n creating a C a n a d i a n N a t i o n a l S u r f T e a m that w o u l d travel to compete i n the w o r l d s u r f i n g games. T h e w o r l d s u r f i n g games are h e l d e v e r y t w o years and can be d u b b e d the ' O l y m p i c s ' o f s u r f i n g w i t h teams f r o m a l l o v e r the w o r l d m e e t i n g i n various l o c a t i o n s for the ten d a y event. B C S A s u c c e s s f u l l y entered  15  its first f u l l C a n a d i a n T e a m at the games i n B r a z i l i n 1994. T h e team traveled to H u n t i n g t o n B e a c h , C a l i f o r n i a i n 1996, to P o r t u g a l i n 1998, and then b a c k to B r a z i l i n 2 0 0 0 . M o r e recently, a k e y focus o f the B C S A is d e v e l o p i n g B C talent at b o t h the p r o f e s s i o n a l and amateur levels l o c a l l y .  T h e B C S A have p r o v e d successful i n their  efforts and the increased p o p u l a r i t y o f the S u m m e r S u r f J a m is evidence o f the increased support i n d e v e l o p i n g l o c a l talent and e n c o u r a g i n g the y o u n g e r generation to compete and secure the future o f C a n a d i a n s u r f i n g ( w w w . B C S A . c a ) . F o l l o w i n g a g r o w i n g trend w o r l d w i d e i n the c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n o f s u r f i n g , s u r f schools became c o m m o n place around the area o f T o f i n o . In order to establish a code o f conduct, s u r f s c h o o l g u i d e l i n e s , and s u r f instructor q u a l i f i c a t i o n s for s u r f s c h o o l s operating w i t h i n the P a c i f i c R i m N a t i o n a l Park b o u n d a r y , the B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a A s s o c i a t i o n o f S u r f Instructors ( B C A S I ) was d e v e l o p e d i n 2 0 0 2 . T h i s association is dedicated to t r a i n i n g and c e r t i f y i n g s u r f i n g instructors and coaches and e n s u r i n g that a standard o f safe and efficient s u r f i n s t r u c t i o n is m a i n t a i n e d . A group o f dedicated surfers f o r m e d the B C A S I as s u r f s c h o o l s f l o u r i s h e d i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , and u n t i l 2 0 0 2 d i d not have to operate under s p e c i f i c rules and regulations w i t h regard to l i a b i l i t y insurance, s u r f instructor q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , equipment standards or m a x i m u m instructor to student ratios. B C A S I u p h o l d s the highest standards f o r the industry so that increased c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n does not lead to n e g l i g e n c e and q u a l i t y issues. T h e B C A S I seeks to m a k e the industry safer and m o r e effective b y s t a n d a r d i z i n g instructor t r a i n i n g and s u r f s c h o o l operations ( w w w . B C A S I . c o m ) .  16  2.3 The British Columbia Surf Scene T h e s u r f is unique i n B C , and thick wetsuits are r e q u i r e d for the i c y P a c i f i c waters ( N i c k s o n , 2 0 0 2 ) , that crash onto spectacular beaches b a c k e d up against old-growth r a i n forest. T h e s u r f scene i n B C tends to e x h i b i t l o c a l i z e d group n o r m s that are distinct f r o m other g e o g r a p h i c a l l o c a t i o n s , and even t h o u g h west coast riders are part o f g l o b a l s u r f i n g culture, they share traditions that are u n i q u e to their situation (Pearson, 1982). S u r f i n g i n C a n a d a is a year-round pursuit and the c l i m a t e and temperature o f the water m a k e s f o r a t r u l y C a n a d i a n experience. " Y o u need a wetsuit to s u r f here. C l a y o q u o t S o u n d , where s u r f t o w n T o f i n o is located, can get f o u r metres o f r a i n a year, and the w a v e s here are best i n the w i n t e r t i m e " ( S h i l l i n g , 2 0 0 3 , p. 11). T o f i n o and U c l u e l e t h a v e an average water temperature o f 8-11 degrees C e l s i u s ; whereas, Jordan R i v e r and S o m b r i o B e a c h h a v e an average water temperature o f 5-6 degrees C e l s i u s ( S h i l l i n g , 2 0 0 3 ) . A s E l i z a b e t h N i c k s o n (2002) describes her experience a l o n g the shores o f P a c i f i c R i m N a t i o n a l Park, " t h e o c e a n out here is i m m e n s e l y p o w e r f u l , grey, and t h i c k w i t h salt.. .on this section o f c o a s t " ( p . A L 8 ) . T h e best s u r f i n g c o n d i t i o n s result f r o m w i n t e r storms. A s S h i l l i n g notes, W i n t e r t i m e is r e a l l y the o n l y t i m e y o u can r e l i a b l y s u r f S o m b r i o or the Jordan R i v e r , b o t h o f w h i c h d e p e n d o n w i n t e r storms f o r suitable w a v e s . . . A huge w a v e i n T o f i n o . . . w o u l d be ten feet.. . w i t h an average w a v e about three-to-five feet h i g h . M o s t w a v e s at S o m b r i o or Jordan R i v e r are i n the three-to-five feet range. B o t h S o m b r i o and the J o r d a n R i v e r p r o v i d e consistent w a v e s . T h e s u r f at T o f i n o is a ' b e a c h s u r f - ever c h a n g i n g . T h e w a v e s at Jordan R i v e r are f o r m e d b y a p o i n t break  w a v e s that f o r m i n reaction to a l a n d f o r m and are, therefore,  17 consistent. T h e w a v e s at S o m b r i o are f o r m e d b y a r e e f break, w h i c h also produces consistent waves. ( S h i l l i n g , 2 0 0 3 , p. 16-17) J o r d a n R i v e r and S o m b r i o B e a c h are less a c c e p t i n g o f beginner surfers.  These  locations are m o s t l y m a l e - d o m i n a t e d and e x h i b i t a l o c a l i s m that makes it d i f f i c u l t f o r outsiders. " J o r d a n R i v e r still has a well-earned reputation for a l o c a l s - o n l y attitude.. .Because so f e w people surfed J o r d a n R i v e r i n the early 1970s, a heightened sense o f entitlement and o w n e r s h i p d e v e l o p e d a m o n g the c l u b b i e s " ( S h i l l i n g , 2 0 0 3 , p. 37). " L o c a l i s m is not u n i q u e to J o r d a n R i v e r . It is encountered i n m a n y s u r f spots around the w o r l d . W h a t is h a r d to understand is w h y it exists i n B C , where there are f e w s u r f e r s " (p.39). U n l i k e J o r d a n R i v e r , l o c a l i s m and a negative v i b e have never been part o f the s u r f scene i n T o f i n o . It m i g h t be due to the w i d e expanse o f the beach or perhaps because T o f i n o is an actual t o w n . J o r d a n R i v e r was a c o m p a n y t o w n , sparsely populated, where little sense o f c o m m u n i t y was able to d e v e l o p . It i s , i n a sense, u n c l a i m e d territory that a b u n c h o f outsiders m a d e their o w n . In T o f i n o , o n the other h a n d , there is a sense o f b e l o n g i n g to a c o m m u n i t y without the l o c a l i s m . ( S h i l l i n g , 2 0 0 3 , p. 43) A s a result, T o f i n o has b e c o m e a p o p u l a r s u r f destination f o r f e m a l e surfers and is a yearr o u n d h o m e for a substantial n u m b e r o f surfers. M o s t w o m e n first experience the sport i n the m o r e a c c e p t i n g waters that surround the area o f T o f i n o .  18  2.4 The Expansion of Women's Surfing and the Surf Wear Industry E v e n t h o u g h , w o m e n h a v e been s u r f i n g p r o f e s s i o n a l l y f o r decades, o n l y recently has s u r f i n g gained increased v i s i b i l i t y i n the m e d i a and i n the sports product m a r k e t p l a c e ( H a m i l t o n , L o c k e , Perry, R e s s n i e r , S m i t h , and W i l l i a m s , 2 0 0 2 ) . A decade ago a w o m a n w h o wanted to learn to s u r f w o u l d not have felt w e l c o m e . T h e e x i s t i n g s u r f stores d i d n ' t carry wetsuits, board shorts, rash guards, or other products designed f o r w o m e n surfers. I f any w o m e n - s p e c i f i c products e x i s t e d d u r i n g this t i m e , there w e r e not m a n y . T h e first w o m e n - o n l y s u r f shop ' W a t e r G i r l ' opened i n 1995 i n E n c i n i t a s , C a l i f o r n i a and the o w n e r I l o n a W o o d started a m i n i - r e v o l u t i o n i n the s u r f w e a r industry ( G a b b a r d , 2 0 0 0 ) . F e m a l e surfers w a n t i n g to find w o m e n ' s products w o u l d not have a p r o b l e m i n the late 1990s o n w a r d s as w o m e n ' s s u r f gear began to appear everywhere. T h i s m a y have been an i n d i c a t i o n that s u r f i n g l i k e other extreme sports w a s b e c o m i n g m o r e gender neutral ( O s t r o w s k i , 1999). In the s e c o n d h a l f o f the 1990s w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g e x p e r i e n c e d a r a p i d g r o w t h i n p o p u l a r i t y . A s B o o t h (2001) a f f i r m s , T h e industry is e n j o y i n g unprecedented e c o n o m i c prosperity o n rising c o n s u m p t i o n o f h i g h - f a s h i o n c l o t h i n g and accessories w i t h s u r f i n g m o n i k e r s . O n e indicator o f the b o o m i n g i n d u s t r y is the purchase o f l e a d i n g s u r f w e a r manufacturers b y m u l t i n a t i o n a l c o m p a n i e s - L i g h t n i n g B o l t and H a n g T e n b y P a c i f i c D u n l o p , and M a m b o b y G a z a l C o r p o r a t i o n [and H u r l e y International b y N i k e ] - and the p u b l i c l i s t i n g o f other major c l o t h i n g and equipment c o m p a n i e s , i n c l u d i n g Q u i k s i l v e r and B i l l a b o n g . (p.3) T h i s t i m e around the w o m e n w e r e the ones h e l p i n g to b r i n g the sport b a c k ( M a r s h , 1997). C h a n g e s i n t e c h n o l o g y , such as lighter boards and the c o m e b a c k o f l o n g  19 boards h e l p e d o p e n the sport to w o m e n . It is estimated that currently one-third o f A u s t r a l i a ' s t w o m i l l i o n surfers are female ( B o o t h , 2001). B o a r d - T r a c , a C a l i f o r n i a research f i r m that specializes i n action sports recently reported that 1 6 % to 2 2 % o f the 2.4 m i l l i o n surfers i n the U.S are female, and the percentage o f w o m e n s u r f i n g e v e r y d a y has m o r e than d o u b l e d i n the past three y e a r s " ( G o n z a l e z , 2 0 0 2 , p. 63). S i n c e the 1970s w o m e n have penetrated m a n y s p o r t i n g spheres ( W h e a t o n & T o m l i n s o n , 1998). In m a n y different realms o f sport, w o m e n are b e i n g r e c o g n i z e d as a distinct and p o w e r f u l target market. A s R o b C u m m i n g s (1997) points out: A s i m i l a r scene is b e i n g p l a y e d out from M o n t a u k to M a l i b u as m o r e and m o r e w o m e n drop into that e x c l u s i v e m e n ' s c l u b , the fraternity o f s u r f i n g . . .the real g r o u n d s w e l l i n the sports p o p u l a r i t y is b e i n g generated b y o r d i n a r y w o m e n w o m e n w h o are d o i n g things w i t h surfboards that G i d g e t never dreamed of. (p. 19) A c c o r d i n g to C u m m i n g s (1997) w i t h the i n f l u x o f w o m e n , the sport is c h a n g i n g i n i n n o v a t i v e and unpredictable w a y s , and is attracting the attention o f marketers, retailers, and non-surfers g l o b a l l y . A n u m b e r o f c o n d i t i o n s throughout the 1990s contributed to a n e w s u r f i n g culture that is m o r e accepting o f w o m e n . B o o t h (2001) i d e n t i f i e d the f o l l o w i n g c o n d i t i o n s as m a i n contributors to the g r o w t h o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g : the r e v i v a l o f l o n g boards, the emergence o f n e w r o l e m o d e l s , r e s o l u t i o n o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g style, a shift i n attitude r e g a r d i n g the m a r k e t i n g o f f e m a l e s e x u a l i t y , a r e v i t a l i z e d p r o f e s s i o n a l w o m e n ' s tour, and n e w products dedicated to f e m a l e surfers. A l t h o u g h l o n g boards have been c r i t i c i z e d f o r b e i n g h e a v y to transport, they are m o r e buoyant and stable m a k i n g it easier f o r w o m e n to stand up and catch waves.  In 1997 and 1998 K a h l u a sponsored the w o m e n ' s pro tour and  20 increased the p r i z e m o n e y a v a i l a b l e to w o m e n surfers. In 1995 S u r f i n g m a g a z i n e added S u r f i n g G i r l as an annual insert and i n 2 0 0 0 s i x editions w e r e p r o d u c e d .  Similarly  A u s t r a l i a ' s Surfer L i f e b e g a n a t w o page supplement c a l l e d C h i c k and i n 1998 an independent m a g a z i n e was l a u n c h e d . L i s a A n d e r s o n b e c a m e r e c o g n i z e d as a role m o d e l for w o m e n surfers and was credited w i t h g i v i n g w o m e n authority i n a m a l e - d o m i n a t e d subculture. A s a p r o f e s s i o n a l surfer, L i s a A n d e r s o n w o n f o u r c o n s e c u t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n o f S u r f i n g P r o f e s s i o n a l s ( A S P ) w o r l d titles between 1994 and 1997 ( B o o t h , 2 0 0 1 ) . T h e n u m b e r o f w o m e n p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n s u r f i n g has c o n t i n u e d to rise ( O s t r o w s k i , 1999) and it is apparent that a s m a l l but persisting market n o w exists for w o m e n d e s i r i n g to learn to s u r f as e v i d e n c e d b y the o p e n i n g o f g i r l s - o n l y s u r f schools ( G o n z a l e z , 2 0 0 2 ) . In 1996, I z z y T i h a n y i o p e n e d S u r f D i v a the first a l l - w o m e n ' s s u r f s c h o o l i n L a J o l l a , C a l i f o r n i a ( G a b b a r d , 2 0 0 0 ) , and the first g i r l s - o n l y s u r f s c h o o l opened i n 1999 o n the west coast o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ( N i c k s o n , 2 0 0 2 ) . S u r f i n g c o m p e t i t i o n s for w o m e n w e r e also o n C a n a d a ' s beaches and waters. K e y brand manufacturers i n the s u r f i n d u s t r y h a v e sponsored these events o n C a n a d a ' s west coast. A c c o r d i n g to H a m i l t o n et a l . (2002), s u r f w e a r is n o w a $2.4 b i l l i o n i n d u s t r y and g r o w i n g . T h e t w o biggest c o m p a n i e s , B i l l a b o n g and Q u i k s i l v e r , i n 2 0 0 2 w e r e already e x p e c t i n g " t h e i r lines o f g i r l s ' b o a r d shorts, T shirts and other apparel to s o o n meet or beat earnings f r o m b o y ' s l i n e s " ( H a m i l t o n et a l . , 2 0 0 2 , p. 54). T h i s is an i n d i c a t i o n that the market g r o w t h o f s u r f i n g apparel has been d r i v e n i n part t h r o u g h the e x p a n s i o n o f female lines. E s t a b l i s h e d s u r f w e a r manufacturers and n e w independent labels have been d e s i g n i n g brands s p e c i f i c a l l y for w o m e n . O s t r o w s k i (1999) indicates m o r e than one quarter o f Q u i k s i l v e r ' s sales c o m e f r o m its g i r l s R o x y d i v i s i o n . R o x y w h i c h produces  21 s u r f and s n o w b o a r d clothes f o r w o m e n started i n 1994, and sales, escalated f r o m $ 1 m i l l i o n the first year to an estimated $128 m i l l i o n i n 1999. In targeting the untapped market o f female surfers, Q u i k s i l v e r was at the b e g i n n i n g o f an upsurge i n the s u r f i n d u s t r y ( O s t r o w s k i , 1999). D u r i n g this p e r i o d , s u r f w e a r also shifted into m a i n s t r e a m f a s h i o n , e s p e c i a l l y a m o n g G e n e r a t i o n Y g i r l s ( O s t r o w s k i , 1999). H e i d i B a r t h o l o m e w , director o f m a r k e t i n g and d e s i g n f o r B i l l a b o n g A u s t r a l i a has c o m m e n t e d o n the l i n k between s u r f apparel, s u r f lifestyles, and self-identity f o r the G e n Y market. She states that " G i r l s are e m b r a c i n g the l i f e s t y l e , the w h o l e s u r f i n g e x p e r i e n c e . . . E v e n g i r l s w h o h a v e never caught a w a v e l i k e w e a r i n g the f l o p p y , casual c l o t h e s " ( H a m i l t o n et a l . , 2 0 0 2 , p. 53). T h e w i d e s p r e a d p o p u l a r i z a t i o n o f s u r f style has e v e n m a d e its impact i n the prairie, l a n d - l o c k e d t o w n o f C a l g a r y . A C a l g a r y store o w n e r attributes the appeal o f s u r f i n g w i t h the " f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h all things C a l i f o r n i a ( n ) . . . w e wanted to e p i t o m i z e e v e r y t h i n g about C a l i f o r n i a , but i n C a l g a r y " ( K l a f f k e , 2 0 0 2 , p. B 5 ) . T h e pattern o f c o n s u m p t i o n that results, o f m i x i n g s u r f w e a r f a s h i o n w i t h other elements o f teen and pre-teen f a s h i o n fits w i t h L u r y ' s (1996) d e s c r i p t i o n o f the a d o p t i o n o f l i f e s t y l e trends. She writes, " . . . w h i l e o n l y a s m a l l m i n o r i t y o f y o u n g p e o p l e m a y have adopted the c o m p l e t e ensemble o f subcultural style, large numbers are seen to h a v e d r a w n o n selective elements, creating their o w n m e a n i n g s and uses f r o m t h e m " ( L u r y , 1996, p. 194). Recent f i l m s have also contributed to the rise i n p o p u l a r i t y o f s u r f i n g l i f e s t y l e s and s u r f f a s h i o n . G o n z a l e z (2002) c o m m e n t s o n this n o t i n g that, " H o l l y w o o d has p i c k e d up o n the trend; D i s n e y ' s L i l o & S t i t c h and U n i v e r s a l ' s B l u e C r u s h , b o t h o f w h i c h celebrate female s u r f i n g , m a y m a k e r i d i n g the w a v e s even m o r e p o p u l a r " (p. 63).  As  22  I z z y T i h a n y i , founder o f the S u r f D i v a s u r f s c h o o l f o r g i r l s states " E v e r y little g i r l w h o sees [ B l u e C r u s h ] is g o i n g to want to s u r f ( H a m i l t o n et a l . , 2 0 0 2 , p. 52). T h e increased p o p u l a r i t y o f g i r l s s u r f i n g , i n turn, has i n f l u e n c e d brand marketers to target this d e m o g r a p h i c segment i n their m a r k e t i n g c a m p a i g n s w h i c h contributes to the p o p u l a r i t y o f s u r f w e a r w i t h this group. A s O s t r o w s k i (1999) has o b s e r v e d , m a n y teens are m o r e fascinated b y extreme sports (skateboarding, s u r f i n g , and s n o w b o a r d i n g ) than b y j o c k sports ( f o o t b a l l , basketball and baseball). T h e s e teens m a y participate i n the activities o r share i n the lifestyle associations and identity o f the sports b y p u r c h a s i n g b r a n d e d apparel. A s Schouten and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) indicate, " S u b c u l t u r a l l y created styles m a y b e shared o r imitated b y a m u c h larger audience o r m a r k e t peripheral to the core subculture and m a y even b e c o m e i m i t a t e d and c o m m e r c i a l i z e d for mass c o n s u m p t i o n " ( S c h o u t e n & M c A l e x a n d e r , 1 9 9 5 , p. 43). B o o t h (2001) has c a u t i o n e d , h o w e v e r , that " c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n also threatens to u n d e r m i n e the cultural tenets o f s u r f i n g . . . w h i l e w o m e n consumers o f s u r f products p r o m i s e the i n d u s t r y unprecedented e c o n o m i c prosperity, they also pose a threat to the v e r y cultural authenticity o n w h i c h the i n d u s t r y d e p e n d s " (p. 16).  2.5 The Concept of Subculture T h e term ' s u b c u l t u r e ' has been used i n i n c r e a s i n g l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y w a y s b y sport s o c i a l theorists and requires a b r i e f e x p l a n a t i o n i n context. A s Crosset and B e a l (1997) state, " W i t h i n sport ethnography, the term subculture has been e m p l o y e d so b r o a d l y that the term has lost m u c h o f its explanatory p o w e r " (p. 73). E t h n o g r a p h i e s o f sport subcultures have often exaggerated cultural resistance and p o s i t i o n e d sport subcultures as  23  o p p o s i t i o n a l to the parent culture (Crosset & B e a l , 1997). T h e term subculture is often construed as s y n o n y m o u s w i t h deviants and their activities, and the p r e f i x ' s u b ' is s o m e t i m e s interpreted as b e i n g i n f e r i o r to m a i n s t r e a m values. F o r the purposes o f m y research, I shift a w a y f r o m w h o l l y o p p o s i t i o n a l elements and e x a m i n e the l i n k between c o n s u m p t i o n , identities, and s u b c u l t u r a l theory i n the emergence and g r o w t h o f the w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g industry i n C a n a d a . A s Pearson (1979) suggests " A s u b c u l t u r a l n o r m m a y be different f r o m the ' n o r m ' o f the parent culture or o f another subculture and yet b e w i t h i n a tolerable range o f b e h a v i o r [and therefore not ' d e v i a n t ' ] " (p. 20). D o n n e l l y ' s (1981a) d e f i n i t i o n o f subculture m o s t adequately captures the w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g c o m m u n i t y for m y purposes. D o n n e l l y (1981a) defines a subculture as " A c o l l e c t i v i t y o f groups and i n d i v i d u a l s w h o possess c o m m o n c u l t u r a l characteristics and w h o interact w i t h each other, or w h o have the potential to interact w i t h each other either d i r e c t l y o r s y m b o l i c a l l y (i.e., t h r o u g h s u c h m e d i a as m a g a z i n e s and n e w s l e t t e r s ) " (p. 570). S i m i l a r to other subcultures, sport subcultures m a y be d i s t i n g u i s h e d as subsystems w i t h i n the d o m i n a n t culture, and characterized b y a different set o f n o r m s , values, b e l i e f s , and s y m b o l s ( L e o n a r d II, 1991).  a. Youth Subcultures Sc h o l ars i n f l u e n c e d b y the B i r m i n g h a m C e n t e r for C o n t e m p o r a r y C u l t u r a l Studies have f o c u s e d o n the analysis o f y o u t h subcultures. A notable cultural studies analysis o f post-war y o u t h subcultures i n B r i t a i n is H e b d i g e ' s (1979) Subculture: T h e m e a n i n g o f style (Crosset & B e a l , 1997). S i n c e the 1950s n e w y o u t h groups h a v e  24 emerged i n w h i c h c o n s u m p t i o n p l a y e d an integral role i n their existence ( B o c o c k , 1993). A s L u r y (1996) notes: There is n o w a l o n g and w e l l - k n o w n h i s t o r y o f y o u t h subcultural styles, f r o m the teddy b o y s and the m o d s , to the skins and p u n k s , to h i p h o p and rave, w h i c h has o c c u p i e d the attention o f s o c i o l o g i s t s , j o u r n a l i s t s , and m u s i c and f a s h i o n commentators a l i k e , (p. 193) H e b d i g e (1979) based h i s analysis based o n the p u n k and reggae subcultures present i n B r i t a i n d u r i n g the m i d 1950s to m i d 1970s. H e b d i g e e x a m i n e d the l i n k b e t w e e n the p r e d o m i n a n t l y w o r k i n g class y o u t h subcultural styles and the styles o f the sizeable b l a c k i m m i g r a n t c o m m u n i t y . H e suggests that w e s h o u l d be "interested i n subculture- i n the expressive f o r m s and rituals o f those subordinate groups - w h o are alternatively d i s m i s s e d , d e n o u n c e d , and c a n o n i z e d ; treated at different times as threats to p u b l i c order and as harmless b u f f o o n s " ( H e b d i g e , 1 9 7 9 , p. 2). L u r y (1996) proposes f o u r m a i n c o n d i t i o n s that have contributed to the emergence o f post-war y o u t h styles i n B r i t a i n : i) the t r a d i t i o n a l p e r i o d f r o m dependent c h i l d h o o d to independent a d u l t h o o d has been greatly lengthened i n m o d e r n i n d u s t r i a l societies, ii) youth b e c a m e a s i g n i f i c a n t c o n s u m e r market, i i i ) s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l changes s u c h as the breakup o f t r a d i t i o n a l h o u s i n g patterns and the i n c r e a s i n g e m p l o y m e n t o f w o m e n and iv) A m e r i c a n i z a t i o n (popular culture) o f B r i t i s h cultures. H a l l and Jefferson (1976) i n their analysis o f B r i t i s h post-war y o u t h cultures p o i n t out that " O n e o f the m a i n functions o f subcultural style is to define the boundaries o f g r o u p m e m b e r s h i p as against other g r o u p s " (p. 180). T h e meanings that subcultures create often stand i n o p p o s i t i o n to the accepted m e a n i n g s o f the m a j o r i t y - to the  25  " d o m i n a n t social-cultural o r d e r " (p. 12). S i m i l a r l y H e b d i g e (1979) suggests that the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a style that deviates f r o m the interests o f the d o m i n a n t groups i n s oci ety signals a refusal against the p r e v a i l i n g i d e o l o g i e s . T h r o u g h the e x p r e s s i o n o f style subcultures challenge h e g e m o n y , w h i c h H e b d i g e , d r a w i n g o n H a l l (1977), defines as: A situation i n w h i c h a p r o v i s i o n a l a l l i a n c e o f certain s o c i a l groups can exert total s o c i a l authority o v e r other subordinate groups, not s i m p l y b y c o e r c i o n or b y the direct i m p o s i t i o n o f r u l i n g ideas, but b y w i n n i n g and s h a p i n g consent so that the p o w e r o f the d o m i n a n t classes appears b o t h legitimate and natural, (p. 16, c . f , H a l l , 1977) H e b d i g e (1979) adds that " T h e tensions betw een d o m i n a n t and subordinate groups can be f o u n d i n the surfaces o f subculture - i n the styles made up o f m u n d a n e objects w h i c h have a d o u b l e m e a n i n g " (p. 3). T h r o u g h their appearance subordinate groups appropriate certain objects (e.g. safety pins, tubes o f V a s e l i n e , scooters, t a m p o n s , plastic clothes-pegs), and these objects s i g n i f y the presence o f difference f r o m d o m i n a n t groups and are a s i g n o f f o r b i d d e n identity, or m a y be a source o f v a l u e to those w h o h o l d them as markers o f identity ( H e b d i g e , 1979). L u r y suggests that " T h e h o m o l o g o u s coherence o f y o u t h subcultures is created t h r o u g h the process o f b r i c o l a g e - the process i n w h i c h objects acquire n e w m e a n i n g t h r o u g h r e c o n t e x t u a l i z a t i o n ( 1 9 9 6 , p. 197). B o c o c k (1993) adds that a l t h o u g h y o u t h groups use " . . . s p e c i f i c c o n s u m p t i o n patterns as a w a y o f m a r k i n g a b o u n d a r y b e t w e e n peer group m e m b e r s h i p and outsiders.. .group boundaries are m u c h m o r e fluid than under c o n d i t i o n s o f m o d e r n i t y ; p e o p l e do not feel that they b e l o n g n e c e s s a r i l y to the same s o c i a l status g r o u p , or e v e n the same ethnic g r o u p , into w h i c h they w e r e b o r n " (p. 80).  26  H e b d i g e ' s (1979) essential point is that these ' d e v i a n t s ' (p. 19) v i o l a t e the s o c i a l order, and are detached f r o m the n o r m through their d e f i n i n g characteristics o f m u s i c and style. H e b d i g e further reveals that each subculture i n B r i t a i n is a n o r m a l response to a particular set o f s o c i a l c i rc u ms tan ces d u r i n g that t i m e p e r i o d . T h e deviant b e h a v i o r o f y o u t h subcultures is understood as a c o l l e c t i v e reaction o f y o u t h themselves to structural changes that took place i n B r i t i s h post-war society ( H e b d i g e , 1979). A k e y f i n d i n g i n this w o r k is that style and patterns o f c o n s u m p t i o n can serve as means for c o n s t r u c t i n g an identity. In B r i t a i n , the first m a l e y o u t h group w h o e m e r g e d w i t h a d i s t i n c t i v e sense o f i d e n t i t y was the teddy b o y s . A s B o c o c k (1993) a c k n o w l e d g e s " T h i s identity was constructed, i n large part, around a d i s t i n c t i v e pattern o f c o n s u m p t i o n , that o f Edwardian-style c l o t h i n g , a s p e c i a l hairstyle, and a taste for r o c k ' n ' r o l l m u s i c " (p. 100). S i m i l a r l y , H e b d i g e (1979) c l a i m s that the m o d style attempted to compensate f o r the m u n d a n e p r e d i c t a b i l i t y o f the w o r k i n g w e e k " b y e x e r c i s i n g c o m p l e t e d o m i n a t i o n over h i s private estate - his appearance and c h o i c e o f leisure p u r s u i t s " (p. 91). T h r o u g h style, y o u t h i n B r i t a i n have created an alternative i d e n t i t y for themselves: a sense o f otherness ( H e b d i g e , 1979). H e b d i g e (1979) a c k n o w l e d g e s that it is o n l y a matter o f t i m e before s u b c u l t u r a l signs (dress, m u s i c , etc.) b e c o m e mass-produced objects f o r m a i n s t r e a m f a s h i o n .  "In  e v e r y successive subculture there is a c y c l e l e a d i n g f r o m o p p o s i t i o n to d e l u s i o n , f r o m resistance to i n c o r p o r a t i o n " (p. 100), and b o t h the market and the m e d i a p l a y a r o l e i n the c o n t i n u a t i o n o f this c y c l e . L u r y (1996) argues that the last authentic y o u t h culture was punk w h i c h emerged i n the late 1970s and early 1980s.  " Y o u t h s u b c u l t u r e s , " she writes,  " c a n no l o n g e r exist i n t o d a y ' s c o m m e r c i a l l y predatory e n v i r o n m e n t . . . they no sooner  27  emerge than they are s w a l l o w e d w h o l e b y c o n t e m p o r a r y c o n s u m e r c u l t u r e " ( L u r y , 1996, p. 198). T h i s w o r k s p r o v i d e s a u s e f u l b r i d g e to sports subcultures, m a n y o f w h i c h are also youth-driven. In this context, sports subcultures can be c o n c e p t u a l i z e d as groups w h o demonstrate c o m m o n identities and a f f i l i a t i o n s w i t h each other based o n the l i f e s t y l e c o n d i t i o n s o f their activity and its cultural s y m b o l i s m w h i c h are b o t h rooted i n the c o n s u m p t i o n o f c o n s u m e r products i n a c o n s u m e r market e c o n o m y . In s u c h an e n v i r o n m e n t , product and brand s y m b o l i s m matters, as do the sport and g r o u p ' s identities.  b. Sports subcultures K a t e s (1998) has p r o p o s e d that " O n e o f the m o s t interesting branches o f b o t h the sport m a r k e t i n g and c o n s u m e r research d i s c i p l i n e s - f r o m b o t h theoretical and m a n a g e r i a l perspectives - is the study o f subcultures w h o s e s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n r e v o l v e around various brands or a c t i v i t i e s " (p. 26). In the literature o n sports subcultures, the process o f subcultural s o c i a l i z a t i o n has been l i n k e d to identity f o r m a t i o n ( D o n n e l l y and Y o u n g , 1988; W h e a t o n , 1998, 2 0 0 0 ) , and the e x p r e s s i o n o f identity through sport c o n s u m p t i o n ( S c h o u t e n & M c A l e x a n d e r , 1995). W h e a t o n ( 1 9 9 8 , 2000) e x a m i n e d the r o l e o f identity i n the case o f w i n d s u r f i n g subcultures, and her research o u t l i n e d the array o f gender relations i n the sport. B e a l (1996) discusses the alternative d e f i n i t i o n s o f m a s c u l i n i t y and its effects o n gender relations that are manifest i n the subculture o f skateboarding. In her observations o f the skateboarding subculture, she a c k n o w l e d g e s the l a c k o f female p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the sport. T h e p r e d o m i n a n t l y m a l e participants  28  i d e n t i f i e d the l a c k o f a strict f o r m a l structure, f r e e d o m o f self-expression, emphasis o n p a r t i c i p a t i o n and co-operation, and the a b i l i t y to c h a l l e n g e their o w n p h y s i c a l l i m i t s as m o t i v e s for their i n v o l v e m e n t i n the sport. T h e m a l e skaters also i d e n t i f i e d the p h y s i c a l nature o f the sport, l a c k o f female participants, and the lack o f peer support as barriers f o r females i n the sport ( B e a l , 1996). B e a l (1996) reported that " B o t h the males and females have i n t e r n a l i z e d the d o m i n a n t i d e o l o g y o f sport as a m a l e s o c i a l r o l e . . . A n d as l o n g as females are j u d g e d b y a standard o f m a s c u l i n i t y i n a patriarchal society they w i l l a l w a y s be m a r g i n a l i z e d " ( B e a l , 1996, p. 219) H o w e v e r , A n d e r s o n (1999) i n her analysis o f the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f gender i n the e m e r g i n g sport o f s n o w b o a r d i n g suggested that " U n l i k e most o r g a n i z e d sports [ f o o t b a l l , b a s e b a l l , b a s k e t b a l l ] , s n o w b o a r d i n g is e m e r g i n g i n a context o f w o m e n ' s sport p a r t i c i p a t i o n and is not a u t o m a t i c a l l y considered a m a s c u l i n e p r a c t i c e " (p. 59).  Heino  (2000) a n a l y z e d the l i f e c y c l e o f s n o w b o a r d i n g as a n e w sport, and f o u n d that there is a l i f e s t y l e s p e c i f i c to s n o w b o a r d i n g that is resistant to the d o m i n a n t sport o f s k i i n g and the s o c i a l values that s k i i n g represents. H e i n o (2000) suggests that the " m e d i a h a v e appropriated the i m a g e o f y o u t h f u l r e b e l l i o n i n s n o w b o a r d i n g and c o m m o d i f i e d i t " (p. 176), r e s u l t i n g i n a s i m i l a r d i f f u s i o n o f s n o w b o a r d i n g culture to non-snowboarders as noted i n the case o f s u r f i n g m e n t i o n e d p r e v i o u s l y . A g r o w i n g b o d y o f research o n sport subcultures has f o c u s e d o n gender relations and s o c i a l i z a t i o n and acceptance w i t h i n sport subcultures ( A n d e r s o n , 1999; B e a l , 1 9 9 6 ; K l e i n , 1986; L e o n a r d II, 1991). T h e i m p o r t a n c e o f c o m m i t m e n t and d e m o n s t r a t i n g p r o f i c i e n c y i n the sport has also been a n a l y z e d w i t h respect to negotiating, r e n e g o t i a t i n g , and sometimes s u b v e r t i n g the c o n t e m p o r a r y gender order ( W h e a t o n & T o m l i n s o n , 1998).  29  Y o u t h sport subcultures also demonstrate a u n i q u e style that contributes to identity f o r m a t i o n a m o n g the y o u t h i n v o l v e d . A t the b e g i n n i n g o f s n o w b o a r d i n g , snowboarders f o u n d their cultural roots i n s u r f i n g , s k a t e b o a r d i n g , and the " g a n s t a " ( A n d e r s o n , 1999). " T h e p o p u l a r i t y o f the hip-hop l o o k , and its a p p r o p r i a t i o n b y suburban y o u t h f r o m its urban o r i g i n s a l l o w e d for an easy j u m p from skateboard and s u r f i n g style to s n o w b o a r d s t y l e " ( H e i n o , 2 0 0 0 , p. 178). ' S t y l e ' b e c o m e s m o b i l i z e d as a means to demonstrate group m e m b e r s h i p and to d i s t i n g u i s h authentic m e m b e r s f r o m the ' p o s e r s ' , e.g. a non-surfer p l a y i n g the r o l e o f a surfer (see A n d e r s o n , 1999). A poser often adopts the " m a n n e r i s m s , attitudes, language, and styles o f dress, speech, and b e h a v i o r that he or she perceives to be characteristic o f [core] established m e m b e r s o f the s u b c u l t u r e " ( D o n n e l l y & Y o u n g , 1988, p. 2 2 3 ) , but is d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e f r o m a neophyte w h o shapes an i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h the c o n s u m p t i o n o f goods to assist i n his or her s o c i a l i z a t i o n into the subculture. M a r k e t e r s f o l l o w the c h a n g i n g styles o f y o u t h culture and adjust their brands a c c o r d i n g to current market trends. In essence, b r a n d marketers, advertisers, and promoters can learn a great deal f r o m the ' a u t h e n t i c ' hard-core m e m b e r s o f the group. A l l styles that take f o r m i n the m a i n s t r e a m arise f r o m the subculture itself. " T h e creation and d i f f u s i o n o f n e w styles is i n e x t r i c a b l y b o u n d up w i t h the process o f p r o d u c t i o n , p u b l i c i t y , and p a c k a g i n g w h i c h m u s t i n e v i t a b l y lead to the d i f f u s i o n o f the s u b c u l t u r e ' s subversive p o w e r . . .[They feed] back into h i g h f a s h i o n and m a i n s t r e a m f a s h i o n " ( H e b d i g e , 1979, p. 95). A c c o r d i n g to W h e a t o n (2000), this u l t i m a t e l y means that the subculture is a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n . A s she writes:  30  The surfing subculture...is a 'commodity-oriented subculture' in which consumer capitalism is essential to its inception and growth.. .Surfing supports 'two fundamentals o f American capitalism, consumerism and individualism'...This expansion o f capital is particularly evident in the commodities linked to these activities such as equipment and clothing, (p. 261) Surfing style has fed directly into mainstream fashion. Boardies, hoodies, Reefs, bikinis, and surf branded merchandise adorn store shelves. Meanwhile, youth are fueling the industry, attempting to fashion an identity out o f their purchases.  2.6 Consumer Research In order to more clearly specify the importance o f consumption in contemporary sport subcultures it is useful to draw on some o f the work that has been done in consumer research. For example, Bennett (1999) drawing on Maffesoli's concept o f tribus (tribes) applied the framework o f neo-tribes to an empirical study o f the contemporary dance music scene in Britain. According to Maffesoli the tribe is "without the rigidity o f the forms o f organization with which we are familiar, it refers more to a certain ambience, a state o f mind, and is preferably to be expressed through lifestyles that favor appearance and form' (Bennett, p. 605; c.f, Maffesoli, 1996). Bennett criticizes the subcultural theories developed by the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies ( C C C S ) , and argues that "The concept o f 'subculture' is unworkable as an objective analytical tool in sociological work on youth, music and style" (p. 599). Bennett indicates that "The term 'subculture' is also deeply problematic in that it imposes rigid lines o f division" (p. 603), and implies that subcultures "exist outside o f the mainstream"  31 (p. 6 0 4 ) , or i n essence that they are i n h e r e n t l y deviant. H e writes that the term ' s u b c u l t u r e ' b e c o m e s " a c o n v e n i e n t ' c a t c h - a l l ' term used to describe a range o f disparate c o l l e c t i v e practices w h o s e o n l y o b v i o u s relation is that they all i n v o l v e y o u n g p e o p l e " (p. 605). A c c o r d i n g l y , the concept o f neo-tribes was introduced as an alternative theoretical m o d e l for the study o f y o u t h . These g r o u p i n g s are characterized b y f l u i d boundaries and floating  m e m b e r s h i p s and " a l l o w s f o r the s h i f t i n g nature o f y o u t h ' s m u s i c a l and s t y l i s t i c  preferences and the essential fluidity o f y o u t h c u l t u r a l g r o u p s " (p. 614). M u n i z and O ' G u i n n (2001) i n their r e v i e w o f neo-tribalism further e m p h a s i z e this fluid nature o f these groups and m e n t i o n that " t h e y f o r m , they disperse, [and] they re-form as s o m e t h i n g else, r e f l e c t i n g the constant s h i f t i n g identities o f p o s t m o d e r n c o n s u m e r s " (p. 4 1 4 ) . T h i s research is i d e n t i f i e d as a p o s s i b l e means to describe y o u t h groups d i f f e r e n t l y than u s i n g subcultural theory. T h e concept o f neo-tribes is effective f o r a n a l y z i n g the y o u t h dance m u s i c scene; h o w e v e r , for the purposes o f m y study, it does not capture the s e m i permanent nature o f the s o c i a l group o f w o m e n surfers I wanted to study. B e n n e t t ' s analysis o f lifestyles is important to m y study therefore m a i n l y because o f its c o n n e c t i o n between identity, l i f e s t y l e s , and c o n s u m p t i o n . M u n i z and O ' G u i n n (2001) f r o m their o w n part i n t r o d u c e d the concept o f b r a n d c o m m u n i t y as a f r a m e w o r k f o r understanding c o n s u m e r b e h a v i o r . A b r a n d c o m m u n i t y is d e f i n e d as " a s p e c i a l i z e d , n o n - g e o g r a p h i c a l l y b o u n d c o m m u n i t y based o n a structured set o f s o c i a l relationships a m o n g admirers o f a b r a n d " (p. 4 1 2 ) . U n l i k e m a r g i n a l i z e d subcultures, b r a n d c o m m u n i t i e s embrace aspects o f the s u r r o u n d i n g culture's i d e o l o g y . M u n i z and O ' G u i n n (2001) used ethnographic and computer-mediated e n v i r o n m e n t data to e x p l o r e the brand c o m m u n i t i e s o f F o r d B r o n c o , M a c i n t o s h , and Saab. It is important  32  to draw attention to the core components o f c o m m u n i t y w h i c h essentially are the d e f i n i n g characteristics o f a brand c o m m u n i t y as i d e n t i f i e d b y M u n i z and O ' G u i n n . T h e first element and most important c o m p o n e n t o f c o m m u n i t y is a ' c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f k i n d ' d e f i n e d as "the i n t r i n s i c c o n n e c t i o n that m e m b e r s feel t o w a r d one another, and the c o l l e c t i v e sense o f difference from others not i n the c o m m u n i t y " (p. 4 1 3 ) . T h e other t w o components o f c o m m u n i t y are shared rituals and traditions, and a sense o f m o r a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . It is suggested that brand c o m m u n i t i e s are i n fact l a r g e l y i m a g i n e d c o m m u n i t i e s . M u n i z and O ' G u i n n (2001) postulate that " T h e s e c o m m u n i t i e s m a y f o r m around a n y b r a n d , but are p r o b a b l y m o r e l i k e l y to f o r m around brands w i t h a strong i m a g e , a r i c h and lengthy history, and threatening c o m p e t i t i o n " (p. 4 1 5 ) . B r a n d c o m m u n i t i e s can be b e n e f i c i a l to marketers i n that they can p o s i t i v e l y affect b r a n d e q u i t y and actualize the relationship v a l u e o f a b r a n d ( M u n i z and O ' G u i n n , 2 0 0 1 ) . T h e concept o f b r a n d c o m m u n i t y is an important a d d i t i o n to the study o f c o n s u m e r culture, h o w e v e r , its f o r m a l characteristics, as d e f i n e d b y M u n i z and O ' G u i n n i m p o s e several l i m i t a t i o n s . It is suggested that m e m b e r s o f a b r a n d c o m m u n i t y t y p i c a l l y are intensely devoted to a b r a n d , oppose c o m p e t i n g brands, and possess a shared consciousness. T h e s e brands often have a r i c h h i s t o r y and tend to preserve the traditional m e a n i n g o f the brand ( M u n i z & O ' G u i n n , 2 0 0 1 ) . T h e brands studied b y M u n i z and O ' G u i n n (2001) m a y have been c a r e f u l l y selected as ideal markers o f c o m m u n i t y i n order to better fit the n o t i o n o f b r a n d c o m m u n i t y . In regards to w o m e n ' s s u r f brands, m a n y o f these brands have been recently added to the market and do not have an established history. F u r t h e r m o r e , it is anticipated that consumers o f s u r f brands do not focus entirely o n one brand w i t h s u c h intensity d u r i n g each purchase d e c i s i o n . It is  33  i m p r o b a b l e that consumers o f one s p e c i f i c s u r f brand w o u l d f o r m a c o m m u n i t y b o u n d b y their passionate d e v o t i o n to the b r a n d . Indisputably, s o m e brands m a y be preferable to b o t h the mainstream c o n s u m e r and the subculture m e m b e r , but w i t h regard to the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f their identities it w o u l d seem product category is m o r e important to these i n d i v i d u a l s . F o r the purpose o f m y research the focus o f c o n c e r n is not o n a particular brand or consumers o f one brand s o l e l y . T h e r e f o r e , an alternative f r a m e w o r k is needed that better suits the objectives o f m y study. S h o h a m and K a h l e (1996) a p p l i e d the concept o f c o n s u m p t i o n c o m m u n i t i e s to the m a r k e t i n g o f sport services. T h e y define a c o n s u m p t i o n c o m m u n i t y as a " g r o u p o f people h a v i n g c o m m o n c o n s u m p t i o n interests" (p. 12). T h e y i d e n t i f i e d t w o types o f c o m m u n i t i e s : c o n s u m p t i o n and c o m m u n i c a t i o n i n their research. S h o h a m and K a h l e (1996) b e l i e v e d that sport marketers c o u l d benefit f r o m understanding the m e d i a habits o f different c o n s u m p t i o n c o m m u n i t i e s . M e m b e r s h i p i n a c o m m u n i c a t i o n c o m m u n i t y can take the f o r m o f spectator, v i e w e r , or reader. In their f r a m e w o r k , c o n s u m p t i o n c o m m u n i t i e s are based o n three types o f s p o r t i n g activities a) c o m p e t i t i v e sport, b) fitness sport and c) nature-related sport ( S h o h a m & K a h l e , 1996). T h e researchers b e l i e v e d that " I n d i v i d u a l s w h o b e l o n g to each o f the three c o m m u n i c a t i o n c o m m u n i t i e s s h o u l d d i f f e r i n sport c o n s u m p t i o n " (p. 12). T h e i r results determined that sport marketers w o u l d m o r e l i k e l y benefit f r o m targeting a l l three groups o f c o n s u m p t i o n c o m m u n i t i e s i n their m a r k e t i n g strategies ( S h o h a m & K a h l e , 1996). F o r the purposes o f m y study the c o n s u m p t i o n c o m m u n i t i e s i d e n t i f i e d are too b r o a d to adequately situate the sport o f s u r f i n g i n the f r a m e w o r k . C o n s u m p t i o n c o m m u n i t i e s w o u l d be advantageous f o r the  34  brand m a r k e t i n g c o m p o n e n t o f m y study, but w o u l d ignore the important characteristics o f the subculture b e i n g studied. Schouten and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995), i n their ethnographic w o r k o n HarleyD a v i d s o n m o t o r c y c l e o w n e r s e x a m i n e d the p h e n o m e n o n o f subculture f r o m a c o n s u m e r b e h a v i o r perspective. T h e i r study i n t r o d u c e d the concept o f a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n i n order, T o better understand consumers and the m a n n e r i n w h i c h they o r g a n i z e their l i v e s and identities. R e c o g n i z i n g that c o n s u m p t i o n activities, product categories, o r even brands m a y serve as the basis f o r interaction and s o c i a l c o h e s i o n , the c o n c e p t . . .solves m a n y p r o b l e m s inherent i n the use o f ascribed s o c i a l categories as devices f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g c o n s u m e r b e h a v i o r , (p. 43) T h i s research is transferable to other ' c o n s u m p t i o n - o r i e n t e d subcultures' (p. 4 3 ) . Schouten and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) define a 'subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n ' , as " A d i s t i n c t i v e subgroup o f society that self-selects o n the basis o f a shared c o m m i t m e n t to a particular product class, b r a n d , or c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t y " (p. 43). Other characteristics i n c l u d e an i d e n t i f i a b l e , h i e r a r c h i c a l s o c i a l structure; a u n i q u e ethos, or set o f shared beliefs and values; and u n i q u e j a r g o n s , rituals, and m o d e s o f s y m b o l i c e x p r e s s i o n (p. 43). T h e s e groups are o f interest to c o n s u m e r researchers and b r a n d marketers w h o want to understand the structure and ethos o f a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n w i t h the intention o f r e c o g n i z i n g their c o n s u m p t i o n choices and c o n s u m e r b e h a v i o r , thereby potentially creating a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h them. S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) p r o p o s e that,  35 A subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n comes into existence as people i d e n t i f y w i t h certain objects or c o n s u m p t i o n activities and, t h r o u g h those objects or activities, i d e n t i f y w i t h other p e o p l e . . .The structure o f the subculture, w h i c h governs s o c i a l interactions w i t h i n i t . . .is a direct r e f l e c t i o n o f the c o m m i t m e n t o f i n d i v i d u a l s to the ethos, (p. 48) Subcultures o f c o n s u m p t i o n g a i n e v e n m o r e interest f o r marketers as subcultural styles are d i f f u s e d to a broader group o f c o n s u m e r s . Hard-core or high-status m e m b e r s o f a c h i e v e d subcultures f u n c t i o n as o p i n i o n leaders. S u b c u l t u r a l l y created styles m a y be shared or imitated b y a m u c h larger audience or market peripheral to the core subculture and m a y even b e c o m e imitated and c o m m e r c i a l i z e d for mass c o n s u m p t i o n . ( S c h o u t e n & M c A l e x a n d e r , 1995, p. 43) In r e c o g n i t i o n o f this research, I anticipate that C a n a d i a n female surfers represent a distinct subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n . T h i s p o p u l a t i o n is c o m m i t t e d to c o n s u m i n g surfthemed products. T h e s e w o m e n h a v e a shared c o m m i t m e n t to these products, certain brands, and o v e r a l l c o n s u m p t i o n activities. In essence, core f e m a l e surfers m a y m a k e significant purchase d e c i s i o n s i n other product categories (e.g. h o m e s , cars, travel, etc.) based o n their c o m m i t m e n t to the s u r f i n g subculture. A n understanding o f the s u r f i n g subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n w i l l a l l o w researchers and b r a n d marketers to g a i n an understanding o f h o w surfers o r g a n i z e their l i v e s and identities. In order to practice the sport o f s u r f i n g one must c o n s u m e products, as s u r f i n g is a ' c o m m o d i t y - o r i e n t a t e d s u b c u l t u r e ' ( W h e a t o n , 2 0 0 0 , p. 261). T h e p r i m a r y product essential to practice the sport o f s u r f i n g is a s u r f b o a r d , a l t h o u g h it can be argued that o n  36  the west coast o f C a n a d a , a wet suit is e q u a l l y as important. W i t h regard to the f e m a l e sport consumer, certain brands m a y be better than others at r e c o g n i z i n g the p r o d u c t needs and preferences o f female surfers. A s w o m e n i d e n t i f y themselves w i t h these surf-themed products they w i l l b e g i n to i d e n t i f y w i t h others w h o share their c o m m i t m e n t to this subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n . T h i s thesis recognizes the process o f d i f f u s i o n as s u b c u l t u r a l style is d i f f u s e d to a broader group o f female consumers. T h e w o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r industry has c a p i t a l i z e d o n the c i r c u l a t i o n o f s u r f style to the m a i n s t r e a m market and consequently, s u r f w e a r has gone t h r o u g h a p e r i o d o f c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n f o r mass consumption. Schouten and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) suggest that another characteristic o f a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n is an i d e n t i f i a b l e , h i e r a r c h i c a l s o c i a l structure. In their ethnographic w o r k w i t h H a r l e y - D a v i d s o n m o t o r c y c l e o w n e r s it was a c k n o w l e d g e d that " S u b c u l t u r e s o f c o n s u m p t i o n d i s p l a y c o m p l e x social structures that reflect the status differences o f i n d i v i d u a l m e m b e r s " (p. 50). Status is based o n an i n d i v i d u a l ' s c o m m i t m e n t to the i d e o l o g y o f the subculture r a n g i n g f r o m the m o s t c o m m i t t e d (hard core) to the less c o m m i t t e d (soft core). It is expected that a s i m i l a r structure w i l l be i d e n t i f i a b l e i n the s u r f i n g subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n . T h e status o f a surfer is m o s t l i k e l y based o n their c o m m i t m e n t to the sport, various products, and their l e v e l o f experience. W h e a t o n ( 1 9 9 8 , 2 0 0 0 ) i n her analysis o f the subculture o f w i n d s u r f i n g indicates that a w o m e n ' s status is based o n her c o m m i t m e n t to the sport and o n w i n d s u r f i n g prowess and " n o t the c o n s p i c u o u s d i s p l a y o f equipment or subcultural s t y l e " ( 2 0 0 0 , p. 254). It c a n be argued t h o u g h that the most c o m m i t t e d , higher status w i n d s u r f e r s w o u l d also be c o m m i t t e d to the w i n d s u r f e r s ' i d e o l o g y o f c o n s u m p t i o n i n that " T h e c o n s u m p t i o n  37  o f objects - s p e c i f i c a l l y the equipment or k i t - is central to w i n d s u r f i n g " ( W h e a t o n , 2 0 0 0 , p. 261). F u r t h e r m o r e , W h e a t o n (2000) noted the h o m o g e n e i t y i n w i n d s u r f e r s ' v i s u a l appearance and she i n d i c a t e d that w i n d s u r f e r s demonstrated 'style d e n i a l ' w h i c h is described as " s y m b o l i c resistance to the i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f s u r f style into m a i n s t r e a m f a s h i o n and its subsequent c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n " (p. 266). A s s u c h , w i n d s u r f e r s w o r e and purchased branded m e r c h a n d i s e but d i d n ' t want to be seen as " b u y i n g into an i m a g e " (p. 266). H o w e v e r , p u r c h a s i n g the best equipment and c l o t h i n g does not a u t o m a t i c a l l y m a k e y o u an insider i n the subculture o f w i n d s u r f i n g , as p r o f i c i e n c y , k n o w l e d g e , and c o m m i t m e n t to the sport are f u n d a m e n t a l l y important status s y m b o l s ( W h e a t o n , 2 0 0 0 ) . It is anticipated that there w i l l be v i s i b l e s y m b o l s to i d e n t i f y the female surfer's p o s i t i o n i n the subculture. T h e d i s p l a y o f equipment is'not u n e q u i v o c a l and further analysis accessing the degree o f p r o f i c i e n c y and l e v e l o f c o m m i t m e n t i n the sport w i l l determine the surfer's actual p o s i t i o n i n the subculture. A less core surfer cannot b u y their w a y into the core o f the subculture; consequently, the d i s p l a y o f equipment is not an accurate measure o f subcultural status. Further analysis w i l l i d e n t i f y the amount o f structure w i t h i n the s u r f i n g subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n . S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) i d e n t i f y several d o m i n a n t values prevalent i n the H a r l e y ethos. T h e d o m i n a n t value i n the H a r l e y - D a v i d s o n subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n ( H D S C ) is personal f r e e d o m and the H a r l e y - D a v i d s o n m o t o r c y c l e stands f o r ' l i b e r a t i o n f r o m c o n f i n e m e n t ' (p.52). T h e w o m e n ' s s u r f subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n w i l l y i e l d a u n i q u e set o f core values and m e m b e r s w i l l f i n d means o f e x p r e s s i n g t h e m through the c o n s u m p t i o n o f certain brands and their usages. A s S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) suggest that,  38  U n d e r l y i n g the b e h a v i o r s o f a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n is an i d e n t i f i a b l e ethos, that i s , a set o f core values that are accepted to v a r y i n g degrees b y all its adherents. T h o s e values f i n d e x p r e s s i o n i n certain products or brands and their usages.. . c o m m i t m e n t to k e y brands and p r o d u c t usage b e h a v i o r m a y be h e l d w i t h r e l i g i o u s intensity, even to the point o f e l e v a t i n g certain brands to the status o f i c o n s , (p. 55) W h e a t o n (2000) reveals that " W i n d s u r f i n g , l i k e m a n y other n e w sport subcultures s u c h as skateboarding, s n o w b o a r d i n g , and s u r f i n g , has an anti-mainstream c o m p e t i t i o n ethos (p. 260). A n o t h e r characteristic o f a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n is the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f self. S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) e m p h a s i z e that the, I n d i v i d u a l ' s m o v e m e n t into and t h r o u g h the commitment-based status h i e r a r c h y o f the H D S C constitutes a gradual transformation o f the self. L i k e m e m b e r s o f other groups that r i g h t l y can be c a l l e d subcultures o f c o n s u m p t i o n , s u c h as s k y d i v e r s and surfers, b i k e r s undergo an e v o l u t i o n o f m o t i v e s and a d e e p e n i n g o f c o m m i t m e n t as they b e c o m e m o r e i n v o l v e d i n the subculture, (p. 55) A s W h e a t o n (2000) relates, " S p o r t i n g subcultural identity is not f i x e d ; it is a d y n a m i c process u n d e r g o i n g constant t r a n s f o r m a t i o n " (p. 2 5 8 , c.f. D o n n e l l y & Y o u n g , 1988). In the s u r f i n g subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n , surfers and the m e d i a w i l l act as m o d e l s for appropriate c o n s u m p t i o n b e h a v i o r ( S c h o u t e n & M c A l e x a n d e r , 1995). A s S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) r e c o g n i z e , " B y understanding the process o f self-transformation undergone b y i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n , a marketer can take an active role i n s o c i a l i z i n g n e w m e m b e r s and c u l t i v a t i n g the c o m m i t m e n t o f current o n e s "  39 (p. 57). T h e s e researchers indicate that the c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n o f certain subcultural products is not u n c o m m o n and use the e x a m p l e o f s u r f styles repeatedly b e i n g c o p i e d into p o p u l a r s w i m w e a r to illustrate this point. S u b c u l t u r a l meanings undergo co-optation into the larger f a s h i o n system ( H e b d i g e , 1979), so that the r e s u l t i n g products are acceptable to larger segments o f m a i n s t r e a m c o n s u m e r s (Kates, 1998). S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) c a u t i o n that, E f f o r t s to c a p i t a l i z e o n the m a r k e t a b i l i t y o f a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n also entail risks commensurate w i t h the benefits. A t t e m p t s to e x p l o i t the subculture b y b r o a d e n i n g its appeal m a y have a d e a d l y c o r r u p t i n g i n f l u e n c e o n the subculture itself. Part o f the p s y c h i c benefit o f b e i n g a b i k e r [surfer] is the d i s t i n c t i o n o f b e i n g part o f a m a r g i n a l group, (p. 58) A s a result, T h e m a r k e t i n g consequence o f this danger is that brand m a n a g e m e n t is faced w i t h a veritable tightrope w a l k between the c o n f l i c t i n g needs o f t w o disparate but e q u a l l y important groups o f c o n s u m e r s : those w h o g i v e the p r o d u c t its m y s t i q u e and those w h o g i v e the c o m p a n y its p r o f i t a b i l i t y . (Schouten & M c A l e x a n d e r , 1995, p. 59) It is advantageous f o r marketers to understand the structure and ethos o f a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n . T h i s k n o w l e d g e m a y assist i n the s o c i a l i z a t i o n o f n e w m e m b e r s , m a y accrue increased customer l o y a l t y , and m a y m a k e a m a r g i n a l subculture m o r e accessible to m a i n s t r e a m consumers ( S c h o u t e n & M c A l e x a n d e r , 1995). M y thesis was designed to help e x p l a i n the s u r f i n g subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n and the values s p e c i f i c to m e m b e r s o f the w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n i n W e s t e r n C a n a d a . S c h o u t e n and  40 McAlexander (1995) suggest that "As an analytic category the subculture of consumption solves nagging problems inherent in the use of other, a priori categorizations for the understanding of consumption patterns" (p. 59). Although, Schouten and McAlexander (1995) use a primarily male-dominated group of motorcycle owners to situate their theory, these findings are equally transferable to different demographic groups and consumption activities. For the purposes of my research it is anticipated that this overall framework best supports the objectives of my study.  2.7 Sport Lifestyles, Identity, and Consumption "Debates about changing contemporary Western societies have emphasized the increasingly fluid and fragmented nature of identities, suggesting that people draw their sense of identity from increasingly diverse sources, including sport and leisure lifestyles" (Wheaton, 2000, p. 254). Wheaton and Tomlinson (1998) denote in their study on windsurfing subcultures that "new sports such as windsurfing have been perceived as the product of a post-modern society and culture in which sporting and physical activity offer a basis for the generation of new and multiple identities (p. 252). Wheaton and Tomlinson (1998) suggest that "The windsurfing culture is an important site of identity creation for committed women windsurfers, an environment in which female participants negotiate status and construct feminine identities as active sport participants" (p. 259), "detached from their role as mothers and from their male partners" (p. 263), and "norms of female embodiment" (p. 269). Donnelly and Young (1988) in their research into the process of identity formation in sport subcultures, indicate that socialization into sport subcultures is viewed as,  41  A far m o r e deliberate act o f identity c o n s t r u c t i o n . [Identity is created] t h r o u g h a variety o f means, the most s i g n i f i c a n t o f w h i c h is m o d e l i n g , i n w h i c h , the neophyte m e m b e r begins to deliberately adopt m a n n e r i s m s , attitudes, and styles o f dress, speech, and b e h a v i o r that he or she perceives to be characteristic o f established m e m b e r s o f the subculture, (p. 223) D o n n e l l y (1981) states that " T h e p r i n c i p a l p s y c h i c r e w a r d o f subcultures is that they p r o v i d e their m e m b e r s w i t h an identity [e.g. I a m a s u r f e r ] " (p. 575). C o n s u m p t i o n , lifestyles, and self-identity are p r o f o u n d l y l i n k e d ( W h e a t o n , 2 0 0 0 , p. 255). M e a n w h i l e the concept o f ' l i f e s t y l e ' is used to " d e s c r i b e the sensibilities e m p l o y e d b y the i n d i v i d u a l i n c h o o s i n g certain c o m m o d i t i e s and patterns o f c o n s u m p t i o n and i n articulating these cultural resources as m o d e s o f personal e x p r e s s i o n " (Bennett, 1999, p. 6 0 7 , c.f. C h a n e y 1994, 1996). T h i s d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n c o u l d essentially be construed as h o w " i n d i v i d u a l identities are constructed and l i v e d o u t . . . [The concept o f l i f e s t y l e regards] i n d i v i d u a l s as active consumers w h o s e c h o i c e reflects a self-constructed n o t i o n o f i d e n t i t y " (Bennett, 1999, p. 607). Furthermore, C h a n e y (1996) states that " L i f e s t y l e s therefore help to m a k e sense o f what people d o , and w h y they do it, and w h a t d o i n g it means to them and o t h e r s " (p. 4). In post-modernity, the relationship between lifestyles, self-identity, and c o n s u m p t i o n is m o r e p r o n o u n c e d . B o c o c k (1993) reveals that i n postm o d e r n i t y , goods b e g a n to get r e c o g n i z e d as h a v i n g s y m b o l i c value, and w o m e n as consumers gained " s o m e c o n t r o l o v e r the m e a n i n g s to be associated w i t h c o n s u m p t i o n " (p. 96). A s B o c o c k (1993) relates: T h e c o n s c i o u s chosen m e a n i n g i n most p e o p l e ' s l i v e s c o m e m u c h m o r e f r o m what they c o n s u m e than what they produce. C o n s u m e r goods h a v e b e c o m e a  42  c r u c i a l area for the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f m e a n i n g s , identities, gender roles, i n p o s t m o d e r n c a p i t a l i s m . C o m m o d i t i e s are not just objects o f e c o n o m i c e x c h a n g e ; they are goods to think w i t h , goods to speak w i t h . (p. 96) Increasingly, people are c h o o s i n g certain types o f w o r k o v e r others i n order to be consistent w i t h l i f e s t y l e values, and this is creating a shift a w a y f r o m seeing p r o d u c t i v e status as a basis for s o c i a l identity ( C h a n e y , 1996, p. 15). A s illustrated b y W h e a t o n and T o m l i n s o n (1998) i n their ethnographic w o r k o n the subculture o f w i n d s u r f i n g , they suggest that to the core m e m b e r s " w i n d s u r f i n g was a 'culture o f c o m m i t m e n t ' . W i n d s u r f i n g was central i n their l i v e s : It o r g a n i z e d their leisure t i m e , their w o r k t i m e , their c h o i c e o f career, and w h e r e they l i v e d " (p. 261). F u r t h e r m o r e , i n post-modernity w o r k roles are o f less s i g n i f i c a n c e i n p r o v i d i n g i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h a sense o f identity than their activity as consumers ( B o c o c k , 1993). In post-modernity, " p e o p l e . . . i n c r e a s i n g l y tend to (re)present themselves t h r o u g h w h a t they c o n s u m e . W h o one i s , is m o r e and m o r e c o m m u n i c a t e d to others, as w e l l as to oneself, b y what one wears, d r i v e s , does d u r i n g periods o f leisure, and so o n " (Firat, 1994, p. 2 1 7 ) . A s W a r d e (1994) outlines, a central feature o f the s o c i a l theories o f late m o d e r n i t y and post m o d e r n i t y is the n o t i o n that, P e o p l e define themselves t h r o u g h the messages they transmit to others t h r o u g h the goods and practices that they possess and d i s p l a y . T h e y m a n i p u l a t e or manage appearances, and thereby create and sustain a " s e l f - i d e n t i t y " . In a w o r l d w h e r e there [are] an i n c r e a s i n g n u m b e r o f c o m m o d i t i e s to act as props i n this process, identity b e c o m e s m o r e than ever a matter o f the personal selection o f  43  self-image. Increasingly, i n d i v i d u a l s are o b l i g e d to choose their identities, (p. 878) A s s u c h , c o n s u m p t i o n has c o m e to p l a y a s i g n i f i c a n t role i n the process o f active identity c o n s t r u c t i o n ( B o c o c k , 1993), and for the c o m m u n i c a t i o n and maintenance o f self-identity ( W h e a t o n , 2 0 0 0 ) . B a u d r i l l a r d (1988) c o n c e p t u a l i z e d c o n s u m p t i o n "as a process i n w h i c h a purchaser o f an i t e m is a c t i v e l y engaged i n t r y i n g to create and m a i n t a i n a sense o f i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h the d i s p l a y o f purchased g o o d s " ( B o c o c k , 1 9 9 3 , p. 67.) In essence, " C o n s u m p t i o n is n o w an active endeavor. It is the p r o d u c t i o n and s i g n i f i c a t i o n o f o n e ' s self-image [identity]. It is h o w one constructs and (re)presents (one) s e l f to o b t a i n position(s) i n soci ety and m a i n t a i n l i v e l i h o o d " (Firat, 1994, p. 2 1 7 ) . " C o n s u m p t i o n , then, offers a sense o f c o n t r o l o v e r c o m m u n a l m e a n i n g s o f o n e s e l f and s o c i a l relations, it offers a means o f c o n t r o l l i n g to s o m e extent the context o f e v e r y d a y l i f e " ( F i s k e , 1989, p. 25). Y o u t h c o n s u m e s p e c i f i c products i n the sports marketplace i n order to p r o d u c e their self-image; and thereby, create a self-identity. T h r o u g h m a n i p u l a t i o n and management o f appearances, y o u t h represent themselves i n a unique manner. T h e m o d e i n w h i c h y o u t h are p e r c e i v e d b y others is central to this identity construction. B r a n d s u t i l i z e l o g o s to differentiate themselves f r o m other products, and y o u t h use branded goods to d i s t i n g u i s h themselves f r o m other y o u t h . T h e c o n s u m p t i o n o f ensembles o f activities and/or products essentially creates an i d e n t i t y w h i c h gets transmitted to others, and identities are m a l l e a b l e and v a r i e d and can change. " W h e n consumers b e c o m e c o n s c i o u s o f the necessity to cultivate v a r i e d self-images, they b e g i n to p e r c e i v e  44  themselves as m a r k e t a b l e items and their c o n s u m p t i o n becomes a p r o d u c t i v e means f o r (re)production o f selves (self-images)" (Firat, 1994, p. 221).  2.8 Market Trends: Women in the Sport Marketplace It is w i d e l y d o c u m e n t e d that o n e o f the most significant trends i n sport and w i t h i n the sport m a r k e t p l a c e is the dramatic rise and i n f l u e n c e o f w o m e n as sport c o n s u m e r s ( B r a d i s h , L a t h r o p , & S e d g w i c k , 2 0 0 1 ; B r a n c h , 1995; L o u g h , 1996; S h o h a m , R o s e , K r o p p , & K a h l e , 1997; Sparks & Westgate, 2 0 0 2 ; Sutton & W a t l i n g t o n , 1994). T h i s increased prevalence o f f e m a l e c o n s u m e r s i n the sport marketplace and o f w o m e n ' s sports i n general has been attributed to a n u m b e r o f factors i n c l u d i n g : increased opportunities f o r females as sport participants at a l l levels o f sport, a n increase i n the n u m b e r o f female sport spectators, a gradual shift t o w a r d cultural acceptance o f females i n sport settings, enhanced m e d i a interest i n w o m e n ' s sport, the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f q u a l i t y sport products d e s i g n e d s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r w o m e n , a n d increased d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g a n d p u r c h a s i n g p o w e r o f w o m e n . In a d d i t i o n , there is a p e r c e p t i o n that m a n y maled o m i n a t e d sport markets are n o w saturated a n d stagnant w h i l e w o m e n have increased their c o n s u m p t i o n o f sport a n d sport-related products and account f o r a n i n c r e a s i n g share o f the sport c o n s u m p t i o n d o l l a r ( B r a d i s h et a l . , 2 0 0 1 ; B r a n c h , 1995; Sutton & W a t l i n g t o n , 1994). In m a n y different realms o f sport, w o m e n are b e i n g r e c o g n i z e d as a distinct and p o w e r f u l market segment. W o m e n h a v e b e e n sport participants and spectators f o r quite s o m e t i m e h o w e v e r , the manner i n w h i c h w o m e n are v i e w e d b y sport marketers a n d advertisers as a desirable target market is c h a n g i n g ( B r a n c h , 1995). " W o m e n are n o w b e i n g v i e w e d as a unique and g r o w i n g target market segment, a g r o u p  45  to be r e c o g n i z e d and d u l y considered w h e n sport property-rights holders and marketers b e g i n d e l i b e r a t i n g their p r o d u c t ' s p o s i t i o n and c o n c e p t " ( B r a n c h , p. 9). In the m i d s t o f these recent market trends, y o u n g w o m e n have emerged as an important sub-segment for sport, sport-related products, and sport marketers, and m a y p r o v i d e g r o w t h f o r t r a d i t i o n a l l y male-oriented c o m p a n i e s and industries ( S h o h a m et a l . , 1997). T h e d e m o g r a p h i c segment i d e n t i f i e d as G e n e r a t i o n Y and understood as c h i l d r e n o f the b a b y b o o m e r s and b o r n after 1978 c o m p r i s e s t o d a y ' s pre-teen and teens. T h i s generation is regarded as the fastest g r o w i n g d e m o g r a p h i c group o n the continent ( B r a d i s h et a l . , 2 0 0 1 ) , and is r a c i a l l y diverse ( N e u b o r n e , 1992). In C a n a d a alone, G e n e r a t i o n Y has been i d e n t i f i e d as a g r o u p that represents almost $ 1.4 b i l l i o n w o r t h o f " r e a l s p e n d i n g p o w e r " b o t h i n terms o f d i s p o s a b l e i n c o m e and i n terms o f eventual inherited w e a l t h ( B r a d i s h et a l . , 2 0 0 1 , p. 2 0 ; c . f , Steinberg, 1998). W i t h i n this segment it is important to note that female pre-teens and teens have emerged as distinct c o n s u m e r s . S p o r t i n g g o o d manufacturers are b e g i n n i n g to r e c o g n i z e the market potential o f this p r e v i o u s l y u n e x p l o r e d d e m o g r a p h i c . T h i s generation has an i m p a c t o n major purchase d e c i s i o n s w i t h i n their h o u s e h o l d , i n a d d i t i o n to d e c i d i n g h o w to spend their o w n m o n e y ( B r a d i s h et a l . , 2 0 0 1 ) . T h o s e c o m p a n i e s w h o choose to ignore the b u y i n g p o w e r o f this generation w i l l threaten the v e r y future o f their brands. U n l i k e , G e n e r a t i o n X that w a s n ' t large e n o u g h to threaten b o o m e r brands, G e n e r a t i o n Y , b o r n between 1979 and 1994, is substantial e n o u g h to l a u n c h r i v a l brands that can j e o p a r d i z e the success and/or existence o f b o o m e r b r a n d names. T h i s generation g r e w up i n a media-saturated, b r a n d c o n s c i o u s w o r l d , and respond to ads d i f f e r e n t l y than their parents ( N e u b o r n e , 1999). T h i s generation w i l l be i n c r e a s i n g l y b r a n d l o y a l to those c o m p a n i e s that craft products and  46  pitches that are m o r e realistic and m o r e representative o f their values. In a matter o f a f e w years, this generation w i l l be b u y i n g their first cars, h o m e s , and m u t u a l funds. T h e b u y i n g habits they d i s p l a y t o d a y w i l l lead them into their first k e y purchases o f y o u n g a d u l t h o o d ( N e u b o r n e , 1999). T h e y o u t h d e m o g r a p h i c has tremendous c o n s u m e r i m p a c t and b u y i n g p o w e r , and f o r w a r d - t h i n k i n g c o m p a n i e s w i l l tend to f o r m relationships w i t h these consumers n o w , i n order to r e m a i n c o m p e t i t i v e i n the future. W h i l e m u c h research has e x a m i n e d the b a b y - b o o m and G e n e r a t i o n X n i c h e markets, r e l a t i v e l y f e w studies have e x a m i n e d the G e n e r a t i o n Y f e m a l e sport c o n s u m e r ( B r a d i s h et a l . , 2 0 0 1 ) . A s Steinberg (1998) a c k n o w l e d g e s , " F o r a l l the m o n e y and effort b e i n g p o u r e d into the market, there remains an a w f u l s y m m e t r y . . .as a generation [they are] s k e p t i c a l , m e d i a - s a v v y and almost preposterously w e l l - i n f o r m e d about the w o r l d around t h e m , yet w e k n o w v e r y little about t h e m " (p. 61). T h e s e recent changes i n the sport marketplace illustrates the need for further research w i t h this d e m o g r a p h i c . A c c o r d i n g l y , B r a d i s h , L a t h r o p and S e d g w i c k (2001) p u b l i s h e d a study that e x a m i n e s the female pre-teen and teen as a distinct segment o f the sport m a r k e t p l a c e . T h i s study d r e w its s a m p l e f r o m a group o f f e m a l e participants w h o attended an elite sport c a m p that p r i m a r i l y offered elite-level basketball and v o l l e y b a l l . " S u b j e c t s w e r e s u r v e y e d to e x a m i n e c o n s u m e r and p s y c h o s o c i a l characteristics relative to s o c i a l and cultural i n f l u e n c e s , p s y c h o l o g i c a l and personal-trait b e h a v i o r s , and c o n s u m e r b e h a v i o r and m a r k e t i n g preferences s p e c i f i c to the sport marketplace i n general and the s p o r t i n g g o o d marketplace i n p a r t i c u l a r " ( B r a d i s h et a l . , p. 19). T h i s s a m p l e reported its most, frequent  sport purchases to be c l o t h i n g ( 5 5 . 4 % ) , f o l l o w e d b y shoes ( 3 4 . 9 % ) and  equipment ( 4 . 8 % ) . T h e s e i n d i v i d u a l s also v i e w e d themselves as h i g h l y engaged i n their  47 own sport participation and consumer decisions. With regard to choice of name brand and style of sport product, self was the greatest influence (53.5%), followed by mother (8.2%) and female friends (6.1%). This analysis "demonstrates the strength and growth of female sport consumers as sport-product decision makers and spenders, and signals their identification as a key niche or target market segment within the sport marketplace" (Bradish et a l , p. 19). These findings may not be transferable to other consumer groups; however, this research is beneficial to sport marketers by providing insight into this virtually untapped market segment. Sport marketers will benefit with an improved understanding of generational differences in the women's sport market. Furthermore, this study demonstrates the need for future research focusing on the female sport consumer in other realms of sport and within the context of sport subcultures to form a broader understanding of this consumer group. "Sporting good manufacturers understanding these consumer preferences is crucial to making more informed decisions about their sport consumers to sustain further long-term organization success" (p. 20). Bradish, Lathrop, and Sedgwick (2001) suggest that, The Generation Y female sport consumer is elite and informed, possessing a clear articulation of needs and consumer preferences. When one considers the synergistic effect of the rising phenomenon of women's sports and the echo-boom generation, the pre-teen/teen female may well be one of the most influential markets of the future, (p. 23) Combining these two trends of women as sport consumers and the buying power of Generation Y has created a manifold of sport marketing opportunities. Women are no  48  longer treated as an afterthought i n the m i n d s o f sport marketers, p r o m o t e r s , and corporate advertisers as marketers b e g i n to r e c o g n i z e the potential f i n a n c i a l i n f l u e n c e o f this sector ( B r a d i s h et a l , 2 0 0 1 ) . " A s a c o n s u m e r g r o u p , w o m e n n o w possess the m a r k e t i n g potential to m a k e a s i g n i f i c a n t impact u p o n the b o t t o m l i n e o f c o n s u m e r and spectator sport o r g a n i z a t i o n s that are w i l l i n g to c o n s i d e r these o b v i o u s trends i n the sport m a r k e t p l a c e " ( B r a n c h , 1995, p. 10). T h i s d e m o g r a p h i c shift i n the sport m a r k e t p l a c e is c a u s i n g sport marketers to adjust their strategies i n hopes o f o b t a i n i n g the support o f this . segment. It is suggested that i n order to g a i n the support o f this generation, marketers must m a k e their pitches m o r e realistic, and m a k e their c a m p a i g n s m o r e l o c a l and subtle ( N e u b o r n e , 1999). In order to secure b r a n d l o y a l t y w i t h the female sport c o n s u m e r w h o has a heightened s e n s i t i v i t y to s o c i a l issues and corporate r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , it is also cautioned that marketers must change the tone i n w h i c h they speak to w o m e n (Sutton & W a t l i n g t o n , 1994). B r a n d l o y a l t y is an important concept f o r brand marketers to c o n s i d e r w h e n i n t r o d u c i n g or e x p a n d i n g their brands into the w o m e n ' s sport m a r k e t p l a c e . B r a n d l o y a l t y d e f i n e d b y A a k e r (1991) is the a b i l i t y to attract and retain customers. B r a n d l o y a l t y is one o f four measures o f brand equity d e f i n e d b y K e l l e r (1998) as " m a r k e t i n g effects u n i q u e l y attributable to the b r a n d " (p. 4 2 ) , and is one c o m p o n e n t used to "[evaluate] the relative strength o f c o n s u m e r b r a n d s " ( G l a d d e n , M i l n e , and Sutton, 1998, p. 1).  The  emphasis i n e s t a b l i s h i n g b r a n d equity is o n customer satisfaction. C u s t o m e r l o y a l t y is c r i t i c a l to brand marketers and " t o m a i n t a i n i n g p r o f i t a b i l i t y because a l o y a l c u s t o m e r base p r o v i d e s a p r o f i t s t r e a m " (p. 3). A l t h o u g h a l l f o u r c o m p o n e n t s : p e r c e i v e d q u a l i t y , brand awareness, b r a n d association, and b r a n d l o y a l t y contribute to brand equity, the  49  concept o f brand l o y a l t y w i l l be i d e n t i f i e d as a c r i t i c a l element o f m a r k e t i n g strategies targeting the female sport consumer. A brand i t s e l f can be defined as " A name, term, sign, s y m b o l , or c o m b i n a t i o n o f them w h i c h is intended to i d e n t i f y the goods and services o f one seller or group o f sellers and to differentiate t h e m from those o f c o m p e t i t o r s " ( K o t l e r , 1991, p. 4 4 2 ) . B r a n d representatives o f s u r f brands are an a p r i o r i group i n m y interviews to d o c u m e n t the g r o w t h o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g and to g a i n an understanding o f the w o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r industry f r o m the perspective o f the b r a n d creators. O n e o f the most effective strategies i n m a r k e t i n g sport and sport products to w o m e n is l i k e l y to be l i f e s t y l e m a r k e t i n g (Sutton & W a t l i n g t o n , 1994).  Lifestyle  m a r k e t i n g is a "strategy for s e i z i n g the concept o f a m a r k e t a c c o r d i n g to its m o s t m e a n i n g f u l recurrent patterns o f attitudes and activities, and subsequently t a i l o r i n g products and their p r o m o t i o n a l strategies to fit these patterns" (p. 12). In order f o r a c o m p a n y to g a i n the long-term c o m m i t m e n t o f the w o m e n ' s sport market, it is essential for marketers to research f e m a l e consumers and their lifestyles i n order " t o create products that f i l l a n i c h e f o r that [particular] m a r k e t " (p. 13). A s s u c h , C o m p a n i e s and sponsors s e e k i n g to target and reach the female c o n s u m e r must demonstrate the a b i l i t y to not o n l y understand the lifestyles and interests o f w o m e n , but to e f f e c t i v e l y c o m m u n i c a t e the i m a g e and d i r e c t i o n o f the c o m p a n y as c o m p a t i b l e w i t h that l i f e s t y l e and image. (Sutton & W a t l i n g t o n , p. 11; c . f , H o w e l l , 1993) In essence, the k e y f o r sport o r g a n i z a t i o n s and sport-related businesses is i n the " d e s i g n o f strategies that appeal to a w o m a n ' s sensitivities t o w a r d quality, p r i c e value(s), feelings, and e m o t i o n a l w e l l - b e i n g " ( B r a n c h , 1995, p. 12).  50  T h e g r o w t h o f the s u r f i n g industry has been i m p a c t e d b y the support and e x p a n s i o n o f w o m e n ' s s u r f brands. A concept that is important to the g r o w t h o f the w o m e n ' s s u r f i n d u s t r y is ' n i c h e m a r k e t i n g ' . A c c o r d i n g to S h a n i (1997), n i c h e m a r k e t i n g " i s a b o t t o m up a p p r o a c h . . .The marketer starts b y i d e n t i f y i n g the needs o f f e w customers (niche i n the market) and g r a d u a l l y b u i l d s up a customer base large e n o u g h to create a market niche (a n i c h e i n the market that has a sufficient s i z e to p u r s u e ) " (p. 10). A n i c h e can start w i t h a core group o f customers w h o are i n v o l v e d i n a u n i q u e sport a c t i v i t y . . . A n i c h e strategy requires the o r g a n i z a t i o n to focus o n its core (best) c u s t o m e r s . . . W i t h such a r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l customer base, c o m p a n i e s must b u i l d long-term relationships to create a v e r y l o y a l group o f customers, (p. 11) T h e m e t h o d o l o g y chosen for this study identifies these m a r k e t i n g issues and s h o u l d result i n an i m p r o v e d u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f h o w important the core w o m e n surfers are to the b r a n d m a n u f a c t u r e r ' s c u s t o m e r base. Other m a r k e t i n g strategies w i l l l i k e l y be i m p l e m e n t e d b y b r a n d manufacturers n o w that a r e c o g n i z a b l e n i c h e has spread to a larger segment o f female c o n s u m e r s o f s u r f wear. T h e s e different m a r k e t i n g strategies w i l l be i d e n t i f i e d and d e s c r i b e d i n further detail later p e n d i n g their i m p o r t a n c e to the interviewees i n this research. W o m e n ' s s u r f i n g i n effect c o m p r i s e s a n i c h e market w i t h i n the sport o f s u r f i n g and w i t h i n the o v e r a l l f r a m e w o r k o f w o m e n ' s c o n s u m e r markets.  51  CHAPTER III - M E T H O D O L O G Y Rationale T h i s thesis b u i l d s o n the ethnographic research conducted b y S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) and W h e a t o n (2000), and f o l l o w e d a s i m i l a r ethnographic d e s i g n for c o l l e c t i n g i n f o r m a t i o n u s i n g participant observation and interviews. T h e study d e s i g n encompassed three different p o p u l a t i o n s : w o m e n surfers, retailers, and C a n a d i a n representatives o f s u r f b r a n d manufacturers. In each case the impetus was o n g a i n i n g an understanding o f the w o m e n ' s s u r f scene and the s u r f w e a r i n d u s t r y f r o m the perspective o f each respective group. In this w a y , it was anticipated that a m u l t i - d i m e n s i o n a l v i e w w o u l d be obtained and the m a i n objectives o f the study w o u l d be met: i) to c r i t i c a l l y e x a m i n e h o w the m a r k e t i n g o f s u r f products affects s u r f i n g lifestyles and product c o n s u m p t i o n , and ii) to assess h o w s u r f lifestyles and products, i n turn, b e c o m e d i f f u s e d to a larger p o p u l a t i o n o f y o u n g w o m e n and girls. A data c o l l e c t i o n strategy was d e v e l o p e d that encompassed m u l t i p l e sources o f i n f o r m a t i o n i n c l u d i n g tape-recorded i n t e r v i e w s , photographs, f i e l d notes, i n t e r v i e w notes and d o c u m e n t analysis. One-to-one, semi-structured i n t e r v i e w s w e r e p l a n n e d to be conducted i n person or v i a the telephone. T h i s approach " c o m b i n e ( s ) u n i f o r m i t y o f q u e s t i o n i n g w i t h openness to n e w i n f o r m a t i o n " (Sparks and Westgate, 2 0 0 2 , p. 65), and was c o n s i d e r e d o p t i m a l f o r the k i n d s o f i n f o r m a t i o n that w e r e anticipated. In particular, since o n l y l i m i t e d research h a d been done o n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g , " o p e n n e s s to n e w i n f o r m a t i o n " was seen as a c r i t i c a l c o n d i t i o n f o r the interviews. In a d d i t i o n to taper e c o r d i n g , data c o l l e c t i o n i n c l u d e d t a k i n g photographs, f i e l d notes and i n t e r v i e w notes. F i e l d notes w e r e intended to r e c o r d any i n f o r m a t i o n that w o u l d enable a better understanding o f the w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g subculture and the s u r f w e a r industry, i n c l u d i n g  52  i n f o r m a t i o n about s u r f i n g locales, retail store lay-out and product d i s p l a y space, and social relational features s u c h as p e o p l e ' s interactions, dress codes, speech and m a n n e r i s m s . A d e s c r i p t i o n o f w h o was present, what was h a p p e n i n g , and w h e r e the observation t o o k place was i n c l u d e d i n the note-taking p r o t o c o l (Neutens and R u b i n s o n , 1997). T h r e e i n t e r v i e w guides w e r e d e v e l o p e d (see A p p e n d i x I V ) to a c c o m m o d a t e the three p o p u l a t i o n s . T h e questions w e r e c o m m o n across the guides, and w e r e d e s i g n e d to elicit d i s c u s s i o n s ' a b o u t s u r f i n g identities, the s u r f i n g l i f e s t y l e , and the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f identity t h r o u g h b r a n d c o n s u m p t i o n , as w e l l as perceptions o f the s u r f w e a r i n d u s t r y , b r a n d i n g , and m a r k e t i n g . In this w a y , the i n t e r v i e w s w e r e expected to p r o v i d e data appropriate to the research questions o f the study. T h e length o f the i n t e r v i e w s w a s set at 30 to 90 minutes. T h e interviews w e r e intended to be i n f o r m a l and interviewees w o u l d be encouraged to be spontaneous and interactive, f o c u s i n g o n their i n d i v i d u a l perceptions, an approach that has been termed a " c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h a p u r p o s e " (see H a m m e r s l e y and A t k i n s o n , 1995). F o r this reason, use o f an audio-recorder was p l a n n e d i n order to facilitate this process. A data analysis strategy was also d e v e l o p e d . T h i s i n v o l v e d first t r a n s c r i b i n g the f i e l d notes and audio-recordings o f i n t e r v i e w s , then r e v i e w i n g the transcripts for m a j o r themes and sub-themes w i t h i n the context o f the research questions f o r the study f o l l o w i n g an i n d u c t i v e approach. T h e i d e a w a s to g r o u p data together and l o o k f o r s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences across the responses, and thereby b u i l d the k e y themes f r o m the b o t t o m up ( P a l y s , 1997).  53  Sample T h e s a m p l i n g m e t h o d used f o r the study was p u r p o s i v e s a m p l i n g . A s P a l y s (1997) e x p l a i n , p u r p o s i v e s a m p l i n g is used w h e n " p e o p l e or l o c a t i o n s are i n t e n t i o n a l l y sought because they meet some criteria f o r i n c l u s i o n i n the s t u d y " (p. 137). F o r the purposes o f this study, I r e c o g n i z e d three a p r i o r i g r o u p s : surfers, s u r f w e a r retailers, and C a n a d i a n s u r f b r a n d representatives. F i f t e e n i n d i v i d u a l s f r o m these three target populations w e r e i n t e r v i e w e d 1) w o m e n surfers (n=5), 2) s u r f w e a r retailers (n=5), and 3) C a n a d i a n s u r f b r a n d representatives (n=5). I sent each potential participant a recruitment letter (see A p p e n d i x II) and a consent f o r m (see A p p e n d i x III) i n v i t i n g their p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n this study. T w o f e m a l e surfers w e r e recruited f r o m a W e s t C o a s t s u r f i n g c o m m u n i t y t h r o u g h a l o c a l s u r f s c h o o l for w o m e n - o n l y . T h e o w n e r o f the s u r f s c h o o l w a s one o f the i n t e r v i e w participants.  T h e s u r f s c h o o l w a s i d e n t i f i e d f r o m the W o r l d W i d e W e b .  Three  a d d i t i o n a l surfers w e r e recruited t h r o u g h conversations w i t h other surfers and t h r o u g h r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f r o m s u r f industry p r o f e s s i o n a l s . T h e s e surfers w e r e selected o n the basis o f their p o s i t i o n i n g i n the s u r f i n g subculture, that is, their age, and level/type o f subcultural i n v o l v e m e n t . F i v e s u r f w e a r retailers w e r e selected f r o m c o m p a n y w e b sites and t h r o u g h w o r d o f m o u t h . I recruited retailers i n the V a n c o u v e r L o w e r M a i n l a n d w h o sell s u r f m e r c h a n d i s e and h a v e a g i r l s ' designated area at their store. F u r t h e r m o r e , I recruited C a n a d i a n s u r f b r a n d representatives w h o represent large market s u r f brands for females. T h e s e representatives w e r e recruited i n the same m a n n e r the retailers w e r e and they h a d the authority to speak o n the b e h a l f o f the b r a n d manufacturers.  54  All participants were over the British Columbia age of majority and were able to give consent for themselves. Individuals who consented to participate were interviewed by Lisa Mercer at the location of their home, office, or an agreed upon location. In the event that a face-to-face interview was not feasible, a telephone interview was arranged.  Ethical Considerations For this research, I received ethics approval on March 27, 2003 from the University of British Columbia Behavioural Research Ethics Board (see Appendix I). This research posed minimal potential risks to the participants of this study. Subjects may have felt uncomfortable being interviewed or talking in the presence of a taperecorder. The interviews took place in a comfortable environment chosen at the interviewee's discretion to minimize any discomfort. Furthermore, no proprietary or revealing 'inside' information was requested that could threaten their job or business. Additionally, participants were given the option to refuse to answer any particular questions during the interview process, and were able to withdraw from the interview and or study at any time without question. Strict confidentiality was maintained and findings were summarized anonymously. Access to the data was restricted to the Principal Investigator, Dr. Robert Sparks, and the Co-investigator, Lisa Mercer, who reviewed their responsibilities for confidentiality and identified a locking file cabinet, computer system and laboratory procedures for insuring confidentiality.  CHAPTER IV - RESULTS T h i s chapter focuses o n the m a i n f i n d i n g s o f m y ethnographic i n q u i r y into the w o m e n ' s s u r f culture i n W e s t e r n C a n a d a , and the m a r k e t i n g activities o f the C a n a d i a n s u r f wear industry. T h e research w a s undertaken to i d e n t i f y k e y factors that have affected the d e v e l o p m e n t o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g i n W e s t e r n C a n a d a and to a d d to o u r understanding o f the interplay o f subcultures and m a r k e t i n g i n C a n a d i a n c o n s u m e r culture. T h r e e inter-related and unique groups were studied: w o m e n surfers, retailers, C a n a d i a n s u r f b r a n d representatives.  Data Collection and Analysis Interviews Semi-structured i n t e r v i e w s w e r e c o n d u c t e d w i t h 5 w o m e n surfers, 5 s u r f w e a r retailers, and 5 C a n a d i a n s u r f brand representatives. O f the s u r f w e a r retailers i n t e r v i e w e d , f o u r w e r e m a l e and one w a s female. T w o o f the retail spaces w e r e located i n N o r t h V a n c o u v e r and three w e r e located i n V a n c o u v e r . T h r e e o f the stores h a d an adjacent w o m e n ' s store w i t h a separate store entrance. T w o o f the stores d i v i d e d their space between w o m e n ' s and m e n ' s product o f f e r i n g s . T h r e e o f the stores w e r e suppliers o f other b o a r d sports equipment, and t w o stores carried strictly b e a c h w e a r and s u r f fashions. A l l o f the retailers h a d w o m e n m a k i n g the b u y i n g d e c i s i o n s f o r the w o m e n ' s products i n the store. T h r e e o f the s u r f b r a n d representatives w h o w e r e i n t e r v i e w e d w e r e female and t w o w e r e male. T w o o f the representatives w e r e based i n W h i s t l e r ; t w o resided i n V a n c o u v e r , a n d one i n the L o w e r M a i n l a n d . F o u r o f the brands w e r e s u r f brands and o n e w a s a l i f e s t y l e b r a n d . A s c a n be expected, a l l the surfers i n t e r v i e w e d  56 w e r e female. T w o o f the surfers l i v e d i n T o f i n o , and three resided i n the Greater V a n c o u v e r area. A l l f i v e o f the participants h a d been s u r f i n g f o r a m i n i m u m o f 5 years. In all cases, p s e u d o n y m s are used throughout the thesis to protect the identities o f the study participants. T a b l e s 1, 2, and 3 describe the i n t e r v i e w participants and the context o f the interviews. These i n t e r v i e w s w e r e c o n d u c t e d between June 1 1 , 2003 and September 5 , t h  th  2003 and ranged i n duration f r o m 30 to 90 m i n u t e s . A l l three groups w e r e i n t e r v i e w e d a c c o r d i n g to their a v a i l a b i l i t y and as a result it was not u n c o m m o n to meet w i t h a retailer and a s u r f b r a n d representative o n the same day. T e n o f the i n t e r v i e w s w e r e c o n d u c t e d face-to-face i n the greater V a n c o u v e r area. T h e s e i n t e r v i e w s t o o k p l a c e at the participant's o f f i c e or place o f business (six) or at a neutral l o c a t i o n s u c h as a coffee shop or outdoors (four). F i v e i n t e r v i e w s w e r e c o n d u c t e d v i a telephone because o f the geographic l o c a t i o n o f the participants or their c o n f l i c t i n g w o r k c o m m i t m e n t s . T w o o f the telephone i n t e r v i e w s w e r e c o n d u c t e d w i t h s u r f instructors i n T o f i n o and three o f t h e m w e r e w i t h C a n a d i a n s u r f b r a n d representatives, t w o w e r e based out o f W h i s t l e r , and one in Vancouver. Table 1 S u r f B r a n d Retailers Identifiers  Gender  Interview F o r m a t  Store L o c a t i o n  Store L a y o u t  R e t a i l e r #1  Male  P e r s o n to P e r s o n  North Vancouver  W o m e n ' s and m e n ' s  (R-l,Dan)  R e t a i l e r #2  Male  Person to Person  Vancouver  (R-2, P h i l )  R e t a i l e r #3 (R-3, C o l i n ) R e t a i l e r #4  Male  Person to Person  North Vancouver  Male  P e r s o n to Person  Vancouver  Female  P e r s o n to P e r s o n  Vancouver  (R-4, Scott) Retailer #5  (R-5, S u z y )  s p e c i f i c stores *  W o m e n ' s s p e c i f i c store w i t h s o m e m e n ' s product W o m e n ' s and m e n ' s s p e c i f i c stores W o m e n ' s and m e n ' s s p e c i f i c stores * W o m e n ' s and m e n ' s shared store  * N o t e : These stores w e r e j o i n e d but had different store names and entrances.  57  Table 2 Canadian Surf Brand Representatives Identifiers  Gender  Interview F o r m a t  Representatives Location  Brand Representative #1  Male  Person to Person  (B-l, Liam) Brand Representative #2  Male  T e l e p h o n e Interview  Surfing  Whistler  Roots i n  P e r s o n to Person  Lower Mainland  (B-3, J a c k y ) Representative #4  Female  T e l e p h o n e Interview  Vancouver  Female  T e l e p h o n e Interview  Whistler  10-22 year olds  Roots i n  14-25 year  Surfing  (B-5, Leanne)  Table 3 Women Surfers Identifiers Surfer #1  Home Location  Interview F o r m a t  Years Surfing  Tofino  T e l e p h o n e Interview  16 years  Vancouver  P e r s o n to P e r s o n  5 years  Vancouver  Person to Person  8.5 years  Tofino  T e l e p h o n e Interview  5.5 years  Vancouver  P e r s o n to Person  7 years  (S-l,Kendra) Surfer #2  (S-2, M a r l e y ) Surfer # 3  (S-3, B r o o k e ) Surfer # 4  (S-4, A n n ) Surfer #5 (S-5, Stephanie)  olds  Brand  Roots i n  Representative $5  13-18 year  Lifestyle  Surfing  (B-4, T r i s h ) Brand  A l l ages  Roots i n  Surfing Female  Brand  Market  Vancouver -  Representative #3  Target  Identity  Fashion Exchange  (B-2,Jason) Brand  Brands  N o t e : T h e n u m b e r o f years s u r f i n g reflects the amount r e c o r d e d at the t i m e o f the interview.  T h e i n t e r v i e w questions had 9 to 12 m a i n probes that h e l p e d guide the i n t e r v i e w s (see A p p e n d i x I V ) . T h e m a i n questions often generated further d i s c u s s i o n . S o m e o f the responses o v e r l a p p e d w i t h other questions i n the i n t e r v i e w guide w h i l e , other responses were short and r e q u i r e d considerable p r o b i n g . T h e participants responded quite d i f f e r e n t l y and the f l o w and tone o f the i n t e r v i e w s can b e seen i n their c o m m e n t s w h i c h I  olds 16-28 year olds  58  have p r o v i d e d to h e l p illustrate the f i n d i n g s . A l l i n t e r v i e w s , b o t h face-to-face and b y telephone, w e r e audio taped and then transcribed into a M i c r o s o f t W o r d ™ c o m p u t e r file. Data analysis software w a s not used. D u e to the fragmented nature o f the responses, the i n t e r v i e w s w e r e later re-transcribed to ensure their accuracy. T h e data analysis entailed r e v i e w i n g the transcripts for major themes and sub-themes w i t h i n the context o f the major research questions f o r the study. T h e transcripts w e r e r e v i e w e d m a n y times a n d s i m i l a r responses w e r e o r g a n i z e d into potential categories. T h e s e categories w e r e t h o r o u g h l y r e v i e w e d and cross-compared and w e r e further o r g a n i z e d into nine k e y areas. T h e i n t e r v i e w responses w e r e arranged into these nine areas and passages w e r e selected that w e r e representative o f the k i n d o f statements that w e r e made. T h e quotes a n d c o m m e n t s m a d e d u r i n g the course o f the i n t e r v i e w s are representative o f the g r a m m a r and w o r d c h o i c e u t i l i z e d i n context i n the conversations and d i s c u s s i o n s that t o o k place.  Participant/Non-Participant Observation T h e participant/non-participant o b s e r v a t i o n c o m p o n e n t o f the study i n v o l v e d three separate trips to T o f i n o d u r i n g the p e r i o d o f m y data c o l l e c t i o n . T h e s e trips w e r e o r g a n i z e d i n order to grasp a clear u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the w o m e n ' s s u r f scene i n W e s t e r n C a n a d a and to g a i n access to w o m e n surfers. T h e first trip to T o f i n o t o o k place o n June 13 - 1 5 , 2003 d u r i n g w h i c h I w a s a spectator at the R o x y / Q u i k s i l v e r S u m m e r S u r f J a m . th  th  T h i s event enabled m e to observe the presence o f m e d i a , sponsors, spectators, and the c o m p e t i t i v e s u r f scene i n C a n a d a . T h i s trip also i n v o l v e d observations at s u r f breaks, s u r f stores, and at s u r f s c h o o l s i n order to g a i n an understanding o f the l o c a l s u r f culture. th  th  T h e next trip t o o k place f r o m A u g u s t 7 -12 , 2 0 0 3 and i n v o l v e d v i s i t i n g U c l u e l e t , L o n g  59  B e a c h , and n u m e r o u s s u r f businesses. I had several i n f o r m a l conversations w i t h w o m e n surfers and m a d e contact w i t h s u r f instructors and s u r f s c h o o l participants for future conversations and i n t e r v i e w s . T h e last trip f o l l o w e d m y last f o r m a l i n t e r v i e w and took place f r o m September 12-14 , 2003 d u r i n g w h i c h I w a s an active participant at the R o x y th  S u r f Sister S u r f C a m p . S e v e r a l i n f o r m a l conversations o c c u r r e d w i t h c a m p participants and instructors and I recorded n u m e r o u s f i e l d notes.  Photographs and Field Notes Photographs w e r e u t i l i z e d to capture the l i v e d experience and enable m e to reflect o n the scene, the styles, w h o w a s there, and what w a s h a p p e n i n g . F i e l d notes were used to record observations o f the s u r f scene, and the s u r f w e a r industry. D e m o g r a p h i c i n f o r m a t i o n about the participants w a s recorded i n a d d i t i o n to what o c c u r r e d , the m o o d and tone o f the event and the t i m e and l o c a t i o n o f the observation. T h e f i e l d notes often f o l l o w e d visits to retail stores and d e p i c t e d the store lay-out and product d i s p l a y space. S o c i a l relational features w e r e recorded s u c h as p e o p l e ' s interactions, dress codes, speech and m a n n e r i s m s . T h e d e m o g r a p h i c s o f the consumers and the e m p l o y e e s that were present i n the store w e r e i n c l u d e d i n the notes. T h e f i e l d notes w e r e later transcribed into a M i c r o s o f t W o r d ™ c o m p u t e r f i l e for analysis.  Surf Media D u r i n g the p e r i o d o f m y data c o l l e c t i o n I t o o k it u p o n m y s e l f to b e c o m e f a m i l i a r w i t h p u b l i c a t i o n s targeting surfers as w e l l as, a c t i o n sport participants. T h i s enabled m e to d e v e l o p an a p p r e c i a t i o n o f the coverage o f w o m e n surfers and the placement o f  60  women surfers in advertisements and the manner in which they were displayed. Furthermore, my continued review o f surfing media also enabled me to stay up to date on trends in the surf wear industry and better prepare myself for my conversations and interviews with surfers and surf industry representatives. Early on, it was evident that Surf Snow Skate G i r l (SG) was the voice for North American women involved in board sports. Aside from reviewing publications, I viewed surf movies and documentaries in order to visualize the trends that were occurring in surfing globally and to gain an understanding o f the increased representation o f women in surf media. Through the analysis o f surfing websites, I was also able to document some o f the changes that were occurring in Canadian surfing and gain a means o f contacting potential participants for my study.  Organization of the Chapter The chapter is organized in nine sections that reflect the nine key conditions that were found during the analysis: (1) the surf scene in British Columbia; (2) factors fueling the growth o f Canadian women's surfing; (3) the appeal o f the surf culture; (4) evidence of consumption; (5) evidence o f subcultural features and conditions; (6) surfing is a 'commodity-orientated subculture'; (7) link between identity, lifestyles, and consumption; (8) diffusion o f surf lifestyles and products into the mainstream; and (9) role o f media in the diffusion o f surf lifestyles.  61  4.1 The Surf Scene in British Columbia D u r i n g data c o l l e c t i o n , I used photographs and f i e l d notes to d o c u m e n t the C a n a d i a n s u r f scene as I p e r s o n a l l y encountered it. T h e f o l l o w i n g excerpt f r o m m y f i e l d notes at the T o f i n o S u m m e r S u r f J a m (2003), h e l p to illustrate the subject o f the study, and p r o v i d e a u s e f u l point o f departure f o r s u m m a r i z i n g m y f i n d i n g s . E v e n i n the presence o f c o m p e t i t i o n and s t o r m y c o n d i t i o n s the scene at the 2003 R o x y / Q u i k s i l v e r S u r f J a m is m e l l o w and relaxed. T h e w a r m s u m m e r temperatures that the C o a s t experi enced all w e e k p r i o r to the contest dissipated q u i c k l y e n o u g h to p r o d u c e a w i n t e r s i z e s w e l l the first d a y o f c o m p e t i t i o n . E q u a l l y i m p r e s s i v e is the n u m b e r o f spectators w h o b r a v e d w i n d squalls and r a i n to w a t c h l o c a l surfers battle it out i n the water. N o t to m e n t i o n the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the w o m e n surfers w h o carried their l o n g boards over their heads for n e a r l y a m i l e d o w n the g r a v e l , tree-lined path that was the m a i n access p o i n t to C o x B a y . A q u i c k glance d o w n the b e a c h at C o x B a y showcases the uniqueness o f our l o c a l s u r f culture. A l t h o u g h there are several h u n d r e d spectators present the vast b e a c h remains sparsely p o p u l a t e d . T h e spectators are p r e d o m i n a n t l y pre-teen to late 30s and the ratio o f g u y s : girls are r o u g h l y 3: 2. T h e spectators adorn their w i n t e r fleeces and toques w i t h f l i p flops. S u r r o u n d e d b y spectacular W e s t C o a s t w i l d e r n e s s p e o p l e find c o m f o r t against stumps, i n c a m p chairs, seated o n blankets, or o n the d a m p e n e d sand. S o m e spectators arrive i n groups, others c o m e as c o u p l e s , a f e w arrive alone o n b i k e s , or w i t h their c h i l d r e n and/or their dogs. N u m e r o u s sponsorship tents l i n e d the beach and w e r e one o f the o n l y v i s i b l e signs that a c o m m e r c i a l i z e d event was to be t a k i n g place. T h e final d a y  62 brought about clear skies, light o f f s h o r e w i n d s and consistent 4-5 foot w a v e s and e x c i t i n g c o m p e t i t i o n . T h e sunshine brought out sunglasses and capris and the attention o f reporters. C o m p e t i t o r s h a d to listen c a r e f u l l y as the j u d g e s ' h o r n and v o i c e s w e r e w e a k e n e d b y the w i n d and the m u s i c . It was apparent that there w e r e s o m e l o c a l favorites and an o n g o i n g r i v a l r y between the B r u h w i l e r b o y s (Sepp and R a p h ) and Peter D e v r i e s f o r the m e n ' s Pro title and $ 2 0 0 0 i n p r i z e m o n e y , m o r e i m p o r t a n t l y r e - a f f i r m i n g o n e ' s p o s i t i o n i n C a n a d i a n s u r f i n g . T h i s event d r e w o v e r 120 contestants f r o m as far as A u s t r a l i a , M e x i c o and B r a z i l , C a l i f o r n i a , and around B C and a l l o w e d C a n a d i a n surfers to showcase their s k i l l s against an international field. T h e m e n ' s pro title was w o n b y T o f i n o l o c a l Sepp B r u h w i l e r and the w o m e n ' s pro title was g i v e n to R o x y pro rider T o r i A l e x a n d e r o f C a l i f o r n i a o v e r l o c a l favorite C a t h e r i n e B r u h w i l e r - T e m p l e . T h e uniqueness o f these c o n d i t i o n s d u r i n g s u r f i n g c o m p e t i t i o n enabled m e as a researcher to f u l l y appreciate the sentiments that were expressed i n the i n t e r v i e w s . Several characteristics w i l l be e x p a n d e d u p o n i n order to e f f e c t i v e l y illustrate the s u r f scene i n C a n a d a . A l t h o u g h the s u r f w e a r industry draws a f o l l o w i n g o f pre-teens and teens, the actual s u r f scene i n C a n a d a is a bit older w i t h most o f the w o m e n i n their 20s and 30s. There are factors that contribute to this as i d e n t i f i e d b y the f o l l o w i n g s u r f retailer's c o m m e n t s , " Y o u have to have a j o b . Y o u h a v e to w o r k to p a y f o r the s t u f f and go o v e r there [ T o f i n o ] . . . . S o the d e m o g r a p h i c is still pretty m u c h r e a l l y 18 to early 20s to early 30s and o l d e r " ( R - l , D a n ) . M y o w n observations supported this although the p o p u l a t i o n  63  o f those a c t u a l l y s u r f i n g ranged c o n s i d e r a b l y and v a r i e d d e p e n d i n g o n s u c h factors as t o u r i s m and i n the n u m b e r o f f a m i l i e s v i s i t i n g the area, and thereby, l e a r n i n g to surf. T h r o u g h o u t the i n t e r v i e w s it was w i d e l y suggested that w o m e n are m o r e accepted i n C a n a d a ' s waters. F o r e x a m p l e , a l o c a l retailer suggested, "I t h i n k its p r o b a b l y f r i e n d l i e r . . . W e ' r e just m o r e a c c e p t i n g as C a n a d i a n s " (R-2,  Phil). A l t h o u g h women  surfers w e r e thought to be m a k i n g advances g l o b a l l y , a s u r f retailer's c o m m e n t s d o c u m e n t e d p e r c e i v e d pressures at other s u r f i n g l o c a t i o n s : In C a l i f o r n i a there is definite barriers g i v e n the p o p u l a t i o n pressure o n the s u r f breaks. A g i r l is g o i n g to feel m o r e i n t i m i d a t e d , there is a lot o f j o s t l i n g and a lot o f m a c h i s m o f l y i n g around out i n the l i n e up j u s t to catch w a v e s .  It is a l i m i t e d  resource [for] the n u m b e r o f w a v e s that c o m e i n . Y o u k n o w y o u [have] to k i n d o f fight f o r t h e m sort o f speak. (R-4,  Scott)  In contrast, the s u r f scene i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a is m o r e r e l a x e d and is m o r e accessible for w o m e n as suggested b y the f o l l o w i n g : T o f i n o i n particular is v e r y user f r i e n d l y . . ..The w h o l e l o c a l i s m t h i n g . . .1 t h i n k i t ' s o v e r b l o w n actually. T h e t h i n g about T o f i n o that's great [is that] i t ' s j u s t so w i d e o p e n . . .The n e w guys have no business b e i n g o n the g o o d peak. T h e y can go take the c r u m m y w a v e s . . ..as l o n g as they [have] their w i t s about them.  (R-2,  Phil) T h e s e c o m m e n t s do suggest that there is a p e c k i n g order i n the water that w i l l be further e x p a n d e d u p o n . S i m i l a r l y , it supports a h i e r a r c h y based o n a b i l i t y i n the water, " o n the b i g g e r d a y s . . .not just girls but [having] n e w people i n the water does get  dangerous, and it does sort o f c l o g things up and waste w a v e s w h e n they are sort o f a finite r e s o u r c e " (R-2,  Phil).  If any t e r r i t o r i a l i s m o c c u r r e d o n V a n c o u v e r Island, it w o u l d be m o r e evident i n the s u r f areas o f S o m b r i o and J o r d a n R i v e r . A l t h o u g h there is a vast coastline o n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ' s west coast, a lot o f it is not accessible. O n e surfer attests that, " S o m b r i o is m o s t l y m a l e d o m i n a t e d and S o m b r i o w o u l d be closer to the k i n d o f C a l i f o r n i a scenes that y o u w o u l d read about where p e o p l e get into fights and they are v e r y protective o v e r w a v e s , [and are] v e r y t e r r i t o r i a l " (S-3, B r o o k e ) . B r o o k e r e m e m b e r e d b a c k to her first experience s u r f i n g S o m b r i o and r e c a l l e d the sentiments expressed b y one o f the c l u b b i e s (regular m a l e surfers) out i n the water: H e said s o m e t h i n g to the effect o f 'just so y o u k n o w the rules h e r e ' . It was an i n t i m i d a t i o n factor. I u n d e r s t o o d it as 'stay out o f m y w a y . w h a t y o u do out here but stay out o f m y w a y . h a p p y ' . (S-3,  I d o n ' t r e a l l y care  If y o u get o n m y w a v e I w i l l not be  Brooke)  T h e scene i n C a n a d a is u n i q u e o n m a n y levels as the f o l l o w i n g surfer e x p l a i n e d : C a n a d a is v e r y different because o f temperature. T h e wetsuit r e a l l y separates people w h o r e a l l y want to s u r f to p e o p l e w h o are just h a n g i n g out i n the water.. .The s u r f culture i n C a n a d a I t h i n k is different i n that its m o r e hard core, m o r e dirty, m o r e grungy. P e o p l e w i t h not a lot o f m o n e y that are l i v i n g i n trailers or r i d i n g their b i k e s to the b e a c h w i t h their surfboard attached to their b i k e s but d o i n g it i n r e a l l y c o l d , dark, wet weather. (S-2,  Marley)  A n o t h e r surfer c o m m e n t e d o n the d i v e r s i t y o f C a n a d a ' s s u r f culture:  65  I f y o u p u l l up i n the p a r k i n g lot [at L o n g B e a c h ] and see the people w h o are out there a c t u a l l y s u r f i n g . Y o u w i l l see a lot o f people w i t h b i k e s , p e o p l e w i t h o l d V o l k s w a g e n vans w i t h the p o o l n o o d l e s w i t h the n y l o n straps h o l d i n g the surfboards d o w n ; but then y o u w i l l see people w h o h a v e n e w V o l k s w a g e n s and their T h u l e r o o f rack or their Y a k i m a s u r f racks. I t h i n k the sport has s o m e t h i n g to o f f e r a l l types and y o u do see all types. (S-5, Stephanie) A n o t h e r surfer c o m m e n t e d that: " c o n d i t i o n s are pretty g r u e l i n g i n winter.  The  weather and water c o n d i t i o n s add to the experience. T h i s scene is so n e w to Canada...The s u r f scene i n C a n a d a is m o r e m e l l o w and a c c e p t i n g than other parts o f the world" (S-l,Kendra). W i t h regards to w o m e n ' s representation i n the water, a s u r f b r a n d representative had several conversations w i t h k e y shops i n T o f i n o to determine the n u m b e r o f w o m e n actually surfing. T h e f o l l o w i n g highlights his findings: T h e percentage o f w o m e n surfers is h i g h e r than before c o m p a r e d to m e n . T h e r e [are] a h i g h e r percentage o f w o m e n s u r f i n g i n T o f i n o relative to other parts o f the w o r l d . M o r e C a n a d i a n w o m e n w h o w a n t to get active. Last f e w years g r o w t h o f s u r f i n g i n the w o r l d has increased. T h e r e [are] m o r e w o m e n s u r f i n g . ( B - l , L i a m ) A n o t h e r b r a n d representative a c k n o w l e d g e d that there are m o r e m e n s u r f i n g as w e l l , " T h e r e is d e f i n i t e l y a g r o w t h i n e v e r y o n e ' s interest i n s u r f i n g not just f r o m w o m e n but d e f i n i t e l y a g r o w t h i n general. S u r f i n g has b e c o m e a v e r y p o p u l a r s p o r t " (B-2, Jason). H o w e v e r , there is increased representation o f w o m e n i n the water and a l o c a l surfer said that she felt that " t h e m o r e e v e n m i x between males and females w i l l stick a r o u n d " (S-3, B r o o k e ) .  66  4.2 Factors Fueling the Growth of Canadian Women's Surfing T h e n u m b e r o f w o m e n s u r f i n g is reported to be i n c r e a s i n g i n C a n a d a and there has been a noticeable increase g l o b a l l y . A l l the interviewees i n this study c o m m e n t e d o n this g r o w t h . F o r e x a m p l e , one i n t ervi ew ee w h o started s u r f i n g i n 1987, w e l l before T o f i n o was k n o w n as a s u r f i n g destination, r e m a r k e d : W h e n I started s u r f i n g there w e r e l i k e m a y b e t w o w o m e n that surfed i n T o f i n o . N o w there are a group o f g i r l s w h o l i v e and w o r k here f o r the last 5 to 10 years and stay to surf. O n a n y g i v e n d a y there c o u l d be m o r e w o m e n than m e n i n the water at T o f i n o . (S-1, K e n d r a ) T o f i n o is not o n l y a s u r f i n g d e s t i n a t i o n but it is also h o m e to a g r o w i n g n u m b e r o f w o m e n surfers, and w i t h the rise i n p o p u l a r i t y o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g , T o f i n o has seen c o n t i n u e d g r o w t h i n the n u m b e r o f w o m e n w h o surf. A l s o , m o r e w o m e n appear to be attracted to T o f i n o c o m p a r e d to other w o r l d w i d e s u r f i n g destinations and there is a perception the area c o u l d still see m o r e g r o w t h because, as one put it, there is " a lot m o r e r o o m f o r g r o w t h h e r e " (S-4, A n n ) . S e v e r a l factors c a n be credited f o r the g r o w t h o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g i n C a n a d a as reported i n the i n t e r v i e w s . In no particular order, they were: (i) changes i n wetsuit t e c h n o l o g y ; (ii) crossover appeal f r o m s k a t e b o a r d i n g and s n o w b o a r d i n g ; ( i i i ) cultural and style influences f r o m C a l i f o r n i a ; (iv) increased d e m a n d f o r w o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r and s u r f f a s h i o n s ; (v) the g r o w t h o f c o m p e t i t i v e s u r f i n g i n B C ; (vi) increased m e d i a exposure o f C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g ; ( v i i ) d e v e l o p m e n t o f C a n a d i a n s u r f businesses; and ( v i i i ) w o m e n ' s increased c o m f o r t w i t h the identity o f ' b e i n g a s u r f e r ' . I e x p l o r e each o f these i n turn.  67  /. Changes in wetsuit technology  In w a r m water e n v i r o n m e n t s , it has been suggested that, " o n e i t e m o f c l o t h i n g , m o r e than a n y other... [had a] p o s i t i v e i n f l u e n c e o n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g - the f e m a l e b o a r d s h o r t " ( B o o t h , 2 0 0 1 , p. 13). A s m i g h t be expected, h o w e v e r , a r e c u r r i n g theme i n the i n t e r v i e w s I c o n d u c t e d w a s that advancements i n wetsuit t e c h n o l o g y and d e s i g n w e r e m o r e c r i t i c a l i n o p e n i n g up the sport to c o l d water surfers and to C a n a d i a n w o m e n .  It  was the wetsuit that t r u l y " a l l o w e d s u r f i n g to spread N o r t h " ( S - l , K e n d r a ) . T h i s is c o n f i r m e d b y S h i l l i n g (2003) w h o states, " T h e i m p r o v e m e n t o v e r the years i n wetsuit t e c h n o l o g y has been a real b o o n to s u r f i n g i n B C ' s c o l d w a t e r s " (p. 53). P r i o r to the i n v e n t i o n o f the neoprene wetsuit a variety o f different products w e r e used to keep surfers w a r m s u c h as: grease, w o o l sweaters, fires o n the b e a c h , and p l a s t i c l a m i n a t e d c l o t h i n g . T h e s e attempts p r o v e d u n s u c c e s s f u l at k e e p i n g the core b o d y temperature w a r m l o n g e n o u g h to a l l o w surfers to r e m a i n i n the water f o r extended periods o f t i m e ( B - l , L i a m ) . L i a m suggested it was the b r a n d manufacturers themselves that h a v e f u e l e d a g r o w t h i n s u r f i n g : T h e wetsuit created the market. [The wetsuit] a l l o w e d p e o p l e to get into the water and r e m a i n w a r m . B e f o r e o n l y the hardiest o f souls w o u l d go out there and brave the c h i l l y w a t e r s . . . [The] neoprene wetsuit a l l o w s p e o p l e i n c o o l e r water to surf. ( B - l , L i a m ) T h e p i o n e e r surfers i n T o f i n o w e r e w i l l i n g to s u r f w i t h o u t this t e c h n o l o g y , h o w e v e r , the interviewees u n a n i m o u s l y agreed that these advancements h e l p e d to o p e n u p the sport to m o r e C a n a d i a n m e n and w o m e n , and contributed to the g r o w t h i n the n u m b e r o f p e o p l e s u r f i n g i n C a n a d i a n waters. A s u r f retailer a f f i r m e d ,  68  In C a n a d a , one o f the things that [is] r e a l l y h a p p e n i n g f o r us is better wetsuits. T h e y get better every year and that just makes it that m u c h m o r e accessible and pleasant because the wetsuits are fantastic. Y o u can go i n and spend three hours in the water. (R-2, P h i l ) W i t h the recent g r o w t h i n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g and an increased d e m a n d f o r w o m e n s p e c i f i c products, c o m p a n i e s that are p r o g r e s s i v e and i n n o v a t i v e i n their product offerings to w o m e n are g a i n i n g r e c o g n i t i o n i n the w o m e n ' s s u r f market. A s one s u r f retailer e x p l a i n e d , " F o r a l o n g t i m e there w e r e n ' t great q u a l i t y w o m e n ' s w e t s u i t s " (R-4, Scott). I m p r o v e d t e c h n o l o g i e s i n wetsuit d e s i g n and a w o m e n - s p e c i f i c fit have h e l p e d m a k e s u r f i n g m o r e accessible to C a n a d i a n w o m e n . J e n n y Stewart, one o f the f e w C a n a d i a n f e m a l e surfers w h o surfed t h r o u g h the changed t e c h n o l o g y states that: W h e n I learned to surf, I w o r e a huge b u l k y wetsuit that d i d n ' t fit right i n the parts w h e r e I needed it to fit right and that made m y l e a r n i n g curve pretty steep.. . N o w a d a y s , it fits r i g h t . . .There are booties that fit s m a l l w o m e n ' s feet, s m a l l s u r f i n g g l o v e s , boards w i t h f o a m o n the deck that's softer and m o r e c o m f o r t a b l e to lie o n . (quoted i n L e e , 2003) W o m e n surfers i d e n t i f i e d wetsuit fit as a k e y v a r i a b l e i n whether a b e g i n n e r surfer w i l l c o m m i t to s u r f i n g . It was suggested that a g o o d first experience f o r learners i n regards to b e i n g c o m f o r t a b l e i n the water is central to their l e v e l o f c o n f i d e n c e .  In  regards to these market changes, a f e m a l e surfer stated, " t h e y are c l u e i n g into the needs o f w o m e n . [ T h e y are] r e a l i z i n g that w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g is s e r i o u s " (S-2, M a r l e y ) . A s b r a n d manufacturers d e v e l o p products e x c l u s i v e l y for the female c o n s u m e r , f e m a l e surfers are  69  f e e l i n g m o r e c o m f o r t a b l e i n the water and w i t h their identities as surfers. A s a retailer e x c l a i m s o f his contentment for the recent d e v e l o p m e n t i n the w o m e n ' s sport market: N o t o n l y is the fit l i k e ten times better.. .they actually put [some] thought into this n o w that there is a b i g w o m e n ' s market out there.. . O ' N e i l l n o w w i l l have the O ' N e i l l w a v e f o r all the g u y suits and they w i l l have a n O ' N e i l l w a v e w i t h a little f l o w e r o n it f o r all w o m e n ' s suits. T h a t ' s b i g , r e a l l y b i g . Peopl e r e a l l y t h i n k that is the thought, w o m e n - s p e c i f i c . (R-3, C o l i n ) A c c o r d i n g to the interviewees and the other evidence I r e v i e w e d the advancements m a d e i n wetsuit t e c h n o l o g y and d e s i g n h e l p e d to stimulate s u r f i n g a c t i v i t y and the s u r f products market. A s d e m a n d increased so d i d style options f o r f e m a l e surfers, thus e n a b l i n g t h e m to find the best fit and d e s i g n to suit their needs b o t h as consumers and as surfers. T h i s e x p a n s i o n i n the wetsuit market i s i n parallel w i t h the gains w o m e n are m a k i n g i n the sport product m a r k e t p l a c e generally, and has contributed to a n i d e n t i f i a b l e g r o w t h i n the n u m b e r o f C a n a d i a n w o m e n s u r f i n g .  //. Crossover appeal from skateboarding and snowboarding A c o m m o n theme i n the i n t e r v i e w s w a s that the w i d e s p r e a d appeal o f skateboarding and s n o w b o a r d i n g has also contributed to the g r o w t h o f C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g . T h i s trend w a s seen as c o n t r i b u t i n g to the n u m b e r o f people w a n t i n g to get i n v o l v e d i n b o a r d sports m o r e generally. F o r e x a m p l e , a s u r f lesson participant e x p l a i n e d , "I tried w a k e b o a r d i n g , s n o w b o a r d i n g , and wanted to g i v e s u r f i n g a t r y " ! B o a r d sports h a v e b e c o m e part o f o u r culture. A f e w interviewees termed this 'board  70 culture'' and i n d i c a t e d that there is increased crossover f r o m C a n a d a ' s m a s s i v e s n o w b o a r d i n g culture. A s u r f b r a n d representative suggested that s u r f i n g is a p p e a l i n g to snowboarders w h e n the s n o w b o a r d season ends. A s he put it, "[It is] s o m e t h i n g to do i n the s u m m e r t i m e ! " ( B - l , L i a m ) . S i m i l a r l y , a surf, skate, and s n o w retailer suggested that there is a c o r r e l a t i o n between the n u m b e r o f female surfers and the n u m b e r o f female snowboarders i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , " I n B C . . .we have far m o r e surfers i n o u r waters that are f e m a l e because w e have so m a n y g i r l s that are s n o w b o a r d i n g c r o s s i n g o v e r "  (R-4,  Scott). T h e s e sports have s i m i l a r appeal a c c o r d i n g to a retailer o f surf, skate, and s n o w sports equipment, "It's the same type o f person that wants to do these things. T h e y l i k e the sense o f adventure and e v e r y t h i n g else and those sports d e f i n i t e l y crossover e v e r y t h i n g f r o m w a k e b o a r d i n g , s k a t e b o a r d i n g , all o f it, a l l crosses o v e r " (R-2,  Phil).  A s u r f b r a n d representative a c k n o w l e d g e d the deeper c o n n e c t i o n that participants have w i t h b o a r d sports: It is the same e m o t i o n a l c o n n e c t i o n . . . [ B o a r d sports are] quite artistic and y o u p u s h y o u r s e l f as far as y o u want to g o . E s p e c i a l l y w i t h s n o w b o a r d i n g and s u r f i n g : there is a l w a y s a b i g g e r m o u n t a i n , there is a l w a y s deeper s n o w , [and] there is a l w a y s a b i g g e r wave. W i t h skateboarding there is a l w a y s a harder t r i c k and it is o n l y y o u w h o chooses h o w far y o u want to go and k i d s are a l w a y s p u s h i n g themselves. T h e r e is no adult there s a y i n g to t h e m 'this is the w a y it needs to be d o n e ' . That is a b i g t h i n g w h e n y o u are a teenager. That element o f  71  danger can be quite a p p e a l i n g , and girls [are attracted to s u r f i n g because] it is an i n d i v i d u a l a c c o m p l i s h m e n t . (B-3,  Jacky)  A n o t h e r board sport retailer e m p h a s i z e d the c o m m o n o r i g i n o f these sports f r o m s u r f i n g , " T h a t is a l w a y s engrained i n the subculture o f w i n d s u r f i n g and k i t e b o a r d i n g and s n o w b o a r d i n g and s k a t e b o a r d i n g . . .they are fathered o f s u r f i n g . . . f r o m the l i n e a g e "  (R-4,  Scott). O f the retailers i n t e r v i e w e d , 3 stores out o f the 5 created their business based o n the crossover appeal o f surf, skate, and s n o w sports. A s Scott suggested, " T h e crossover appeal d e f i n i t e l y m a k e s a store l i k e this possible. W e c o u l d n ' t s u r v i v e o n s u m m e r d o l l a r s [alone].. . A n d a lot o f p e o p l e do t h e m a l l . . . It is the t r i l o g y o f sports.. .and they a l l c o m p l e m e n t each o t h e r " (R-4,  Scott).  T h e c r o s s o v e r between the b o a r d sports appears to be s o m e t h i n g the brand marketers themselves have h e l p e d strengthen. T h e p i o n e e r s u r f brands offer s n o w b o a r d c l o t h i n g i n their lines and sponsor s n o w b o a r d e r s , skateboarders, and surfers i n an effort to penetrate this broader market. A s one b r a n d representative stated, " [ W e ]  o n l y sponsor  s n o w b o a r d i n g , skateboarding, w a k e b o a r d i n g , and s u r f i n g . [We] h a v e n o t h i n g to do w i t h a n y t h i n g else so that is [our] target m a r k e t " (B-2,  Jason). T h i s crossover between  skateboarding and s n o w b o a r d i n g and other b o a r d sports has contributed to the g r o w t h i n the n u m b e r o f C a n a d i a n w o m e n s u r f i n g .  iii. Cultural and style influences from California A c o m m o n theme i n the i n t e r v i e w s was that s u r f i n g i n C a l i f o r n i a has been a major i n f l u e n c e o n C a n a d a ' s s u r f i n d u s t r y and culture. A s one i n t e r v i e w e e put it:  72  [Surfing] originate[d] from C a l i f o r n i a a n d . . . i t ' s H u n t i n g t o n B e a c h and r e a l l y O r a n g e C o u n t y , [that] is the 'hot bed o f s u r f i n g ' i n the U n i t e d States. T h a t ' s the epicenter o f c o o l as far as trends and w h e r e e v e r y t h i n g c o m e s f r o m . (B-2, Jason) H e further suggested that s u r f i n g is d e e p l y e m b e d d e d i n C a l i f o r n i a ' s culture and traditions: W o m e n ' s s u r f i n g is g o i n g to be a s p o r t that w i l l be around f o r a l o n g t i m e . It is a sport that has been around for a l o n g t i m e just m a y b e not to our culture. [ W h e n ] y o u go d o w n to C a l i f o r n i a , it is l i k e s o m e b o d y a s k i n g us about p l a y i n g h o c k e y up here. (B-2, Jason) A recent C B C d o c u m e n t a r y , M a k i n g W a v e s , attributes the rise i n the n u m b e r o f C a n a d i a n f e m a l e surfers partly to the i n f l u e n c e o f I z z y T i h a n y i ' s s u r f s c h o o l i n L a J o l l a , C a l i f o r n i a c a l l e d S u r f D i v a . T h i s is g e n e r a l l y r e c o g n i z e d as the first w o m e n ' s s u r f s c h o o l i n the w o r l d , and its graduates b e c a m e k n o w n as ' S u r f D i v a s ' . T h e i n f l u e n c e o f these C a l i f o r n i a n w o m e n surfers was a c k n o w l e d g e d i n several int er vie w s . A l o c a l retailer suggested that m o r e w o m e n are s u r f i n g and the S u r f D i v a s generated a lot o f h y p e here l o c a l l y , "I k n o w a lot o f these girls l i k e S u r f D i v a are c o m i n g up from C a l i f o r n i a and c o m i n g up the coast and spreading the g o o d w o r d about s u r f i n g and people are starting to see i t " (R-3, C o l i n ) . S u p p o r t e d b y a l o c a l retailer, the S u r f D i v a S c h o o l o r g a n i z e d a h i g h l y successful s u r f c a m p o n L o n g B e a c h , B C i n 1998. " T h e i r c l i n i c s w e r e s o l d out. T h e idea caught o n w i t h J e n n y H u d n a l l " ( S h i l l i n g , 2 0 0 3 , p. 69) w h o g r e w up i n C a l i f o r n i a and thought this same all-girls theme c o u l d w o r k i n C a n a d a and s h o r t l y thereafter i n 1999, she started S u r f Sister S u r f S c h o o l representing C a n a d a ' s first and f o r m a n y years o n l y all-girls s u r f  73  s c h o o l . S u r f Sister has opened the sport to m o r e C a n a d i a n g i r l s and w o m e n b u i l d i n g o n the C a l i f o r n i a idea and g i v i n g it a C a n a d i a n twist. A c o m m o n theme i n the i n t e r v i e w s w a s that T o f i n o i t s e l f has exerted a unique i n f l u e n c e o n C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g . W h i l e , it is undeniable that C a l i f o r n i a s u r f culture has i n f l u e n c e d s u r f i n g i n B C , the V a n c o u v e r Island s u r f i n g experience was seen as o f f e r i n g a contrast. F o r e x a m p l e , a s u r f retailer pointed out that " i t is a different experience [than in] C a l i f o r n i a . . . [ T o f i n o is] far m o r e rustic, y o u ' r e not p o u n d i n g through a gross c i t y to get out to a s u r f b r e a k " ( R - 4 ,  Scott).  Nevertheless, the s u r f b r a n d representatives i n t e r v i e w e d i n this study a l l a c k n o w l e d g e d C a l i f o r n i a ' s i n f l u e n c e . C a l i f o r n i a is h o m e to several N o r t h A m e r i c a n headquarters o f s u r f brands. In a d d i t i o n , representatives a c k n o w l e d g e d that s u r f f a s h i o n and equipment trends a l l originate i n C a l i f o r n i a and t r i c k l e their w a y north. T r i s h , a s u r f b r a n d representative stated this as f o l l o w s : In terms o f what part o f the w o r l d it c o m e s f r o m . I think C a l i f o r n i a for us. O u r l i n e is a l l about the b e a c h g i r l . . .She is f r o m C a l i f o r n i a and that is w h e r e it r e a l l y o r i g i n a t e s . . . E v e n w o r l d w i d e people l o o k up to what is out there i n the m e d i a and it is r e a l l y C a l i f o r n i a . A l l the teen i d o l s , all the p o p stars r e a l l y originate f r o m California. (B-4,  Trish)  A s seen i n the i n t e r v i e w s , the f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h beach culture is repeatedly l i n k e d to C a l i f o r n i a and can be attributed i n part to exposure to m e d i a as w e l l a s to direct experience and to the p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f s u r f fashions and styles. W h a t separates B C is that s u r f i n g l o c a l l y has its o w n rustic context and i r o n i c a l l y this experience is what seems to be d r a w i n g v a c a t i o n i n g C a l i f o r n i a n s up N o r t h .  74  iv. Increased demand for women's surf wear and surffashions O n e major theme i n the i n t e r v i e w s was that the increased coverage o f s u r f culture i n the l o c a l m e d i a , i n particular f o l l o w i n g the release o f B l u e C r u s h , had an e x p l o s i v e effect o n the appeal o f s u r f w e a r and beach wear. V a n c o u v e r newspapers and l o c a l t e l e v i s i o n b e c a m e i n c r e a s i n g l y interested i n L o w e r M a i n l a n d retailers and i n d o c u m e n t i n g what was l i o t ' i n s u r f wear. T h e interviewees noted that s u r f fashions began t u r n i n g up everywhere, a p p e a r i n g o n designer r u n w a y s , b i l l b o a r d s , c o m m e r c i a l s , department stores, and at large c h a i n retail outlets. O n e surfer a c k n o w l e d g e d the p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f s u r f fashions r e c o g n i z i n g that " e v e n A m e r i c a n E a g l e has beach-themed c l o t h e s " (S-5, Stephanie). Businesses that h a d n o t h i n g to do w i t h s u r f i n g i t s e l f began c a p i t a l i z i n g o n this g r o w i n g trend. A s u r f b r a n d representative noted that, " a lot o f c l o t h i n g c o m p a n i e s aren't s u r f brands but say they sell s u r f w e a r because p e o p l e l i k e that; they can relate to the ocean. W h e n p e o p l e t h i n k o f the ocean, they t h i n k o f s u r f i n g " ( B - l , Liam). S u r f w e a r has m a i n s t r e a m appeal f o r t w o reasons: the s u r f craze is an international p h e n o m e n o n and w o m e n b e c a m e an i n c r e a s i n g l y important target i n the s u r f industry g l o b a l l y . O n e female surfer felt that the g r o w t h o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g g l o b a l l y c o u l d b e attributed to the b r a n d manufacturers themselves, " M y theory is that w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g has been p r o p e l l e d b y the s u r f c l o t h i n g b y Q u i k s i l v e r w h o d e c i d e d to put their logos together and f o r m the R o x y b r a n d . . . S u r f i n g i n t r o d u c e d to the w o r l d t h r o u g h s u r f c l o t h i n g " ( S - l , K e n d r a ) . T h i s statement posits a process o f identity t h r o u g h w h i c h the act o f w e a r i n g s u r f fashions l i n k s the wearer to the m e a n i n g s o f s u r f culture, and raises the p o s s i b i l i t y that s u r f b r a n d m o n i k e r s are p a r t l y responsible f o r the i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f s u r f  75 culture into p e o p l e ' s lifestyles as w e l l as into the s u r f w e a r c o n s u m e r market.  The  f o l l o w i n g r e m a r k s b y a retailer support this c o n c l u s i o n and demonstrate the s y m b o l i c p o w e r that a p i o n e e r s u r f b r a n d , l i k e R o x y has i n the market: W e r e a l l y c o u l d sell a n y t h i n g i f w e just took o f f whatever b r a n d n a m e was o n there and stamp R o x y o n it. It w o u l d sell and it w o u l d sell before it w o u l d w i t h o u t R o x y ' s n a m e o n it. That is another real cult f o l l o w i n g , that w e ' r e f i n d i n g that p e o p l e w i l l b u y it. (R-3,  Colin)  H o w e v e r , a s u r f b r a n d representative c o n c e d e d that trends seen i n w o m e n ' s s u r f culture have f u e l e d the brands g r o w t h , " W i t h the rise o f not o n l y w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g , but the w h o l e w o m e n ' s s u r f culture, the w o m e n ' s s i d e . . . h a s a b s o l u t e l y s k y r o c k e t e d the b r a n d " (B-5,  Leanne).  S o m e o f the market trends that are h a p p e n i n g are also b e n e f i c i a l to the sport o f s u r f i n g i t s e l f as a surfer indicates: S u r f w e a r [is] l o o k i n g better. C o m p a n i e s are c l u e i n g i n to w h a t girls want. B i k i n i s are m o r e f u n c t i o n a l that y o u c a n a c t u a l l y s u r f i n . S u r f c o m p a n i e s are t a k i n g o n a m o r e r e a l i s t i c angle. [ L e a d i n g to the] d e v e l o p m e n t o f c o o l f u n c t i o n a l c l o t h i n g [and] w o m e n - s p e c i f i c wetsuits. (S-2,  Marley)  T h e interviewees a c k n o w l e d g e d q u a l i t y , c o m f o r t , and fit as b e i n g three fundamental variables that i n f l u e n c e c l o t h i n g purchase d e c i s i o n s . It was w i d e l y suggested that s u r f fashions, i n a d d i t i o n to l o o k i n g c o o l and fitting w e l l , are e x t r e m e l y c o m f o r t a b l e , and have l o n g e v i t y . A l t h o u g h a d i f f e r e n c e was noted w i t h t w o l o c a l T o f i n o surfers versus the f a s h i o n i n f l u e n c e s o f their L o w e r M a i n l a n d counterparts is that s u r f c l o t h i n g does not i m p a c t t h e m so m u c h . O n e o f the surfers suggested the f o l l o w i n g as  76  rationale, " i f y o u l i v e i n T o f i n o there are not a lot o f shops so it is not so important to wear s u r f c l o t h i n g outside o f the s u r f (S-4, A n n ) . T h e purchase d e c i s i o n s o f these surfers m i g h t be m o r e l i n k e d to e n v i r o n m e n t a l barriers (e.g., a v a i l a b i l i t y ) than their personal c o n s u m p t i o n b e h av i o rs . It w a s w i d e l y a c k n o w l e d g e d b y the interviewees that retailers, and s u r f b r a n d creators have responded to the increased d e m a n d for s u r f w e a r and s u r f fashions. T h e question that remains is h o w does this trend result i n m o r e w o m e n actually surfing? Interviewees b e l i e v e d that the penetration o f the s u r f industry has l e d m o r e w o m e n to first experience the sport v i a s u r f brands and fashions thru p r o m o t i o n . T h i s increased appeal c o n s e q u e n t l y has l e d to an increase i n the n u m b e r o f w o m e n t a k i n g s u r f lessons and r e n t i n g equipment. A s u r f b r a n d representative suggested that " m o r e dealers are p u r c h a s i n g suits for r e n t a l s . . . [The] rental market getting b i g g e r is a g o o d s i g n that the market is g r o w i n g " ( B - l , L i a m ) . S u r f b r a n d manufacturers have created a p l a t f o r m f o r the s u r f i n d u s t r y to g r o w and its w i d e s p r e a d appeal has been m o n u m e n t a l i n the increased d e m a n d f o r s u r f w e a r and has contributed to an increase i n the n u m b e r o f C a n a d i a n w o m e n surfing.  v. The growth of competitive surfing in BC D u r i n g data c o l l e c t i o n , the R o x y / Q u i k s i l v e r S u r f Jam i n T o f i n o was regarded as C a n a d a ' s largest s u r f i n g c o m p e t i t i o n . D u r i n g m y i n i t i a l conversations w i t h s u r f w e a r retailers, t w o retailers a d v i s e d m e o f the event and one o f t h e m acted as a j u d g e d u r i n g the c o m p e t i t i o n . It w a s a c k n o w l e d g e d b y the interviewees that this event g i v e s . B C surfers an o p p o r t u n i t y to compete against international competitors w h i l s t r e m a i n i n g i n  77  the c o m f o r t o f their h o m e break. T h e m e d i a further generated l o c a l interest i n the 2003 S u m m e r S u r f J a m . D o m D o m i c , president o f the B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a S u r f A s s o c i a t i o n ( B C S A ) and Peter D e v r i e s , a h i g h l y respected T o f i n o surfer, appeared o n C i t y T V ' s m o r n i n g segment, Breakfast T e l e v i s i o n ( B T ) o n June 9 , 2003 to p r o m o t e the B C S A and t h  the 2003 S u m m e r S u r f J a m .  D u r i n g this B T talk, it was revealed that w o m e n w e r e  i n v o l v e d i n the c o m p e t i t i o n as w e l l . T h e B C S A wanted to encourage l o c a l support o f "the p r e m i e r e event i n C a n a d i a n s u r f i n g " ( B C S A , 2 0 0 3 ) . T h e increased p r o m i n e n c e o f the S u m m e r S u r f J a m has also p o s i t i v e l y contributed to the g r o w t h o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g i n BC. T h e event was w i d e l y advertised at p a r t i c i p a t i n g s u r f shops. N e v e r t h e l e s s , m y analysis o f the entry f o r m for 2003 revealed differences i n f u n d i n g f o r the m e n ' s and w o m e n ' s d i v i s i o n s . There w e r e seven d i v i s i o n s o v e r a l l and the m e n ' s and w o m e n ' s professional d i v i s i o n s c o m p e t e d for p r i z e m o n e y . T h e m e n ' s p r o f e s s i o n a l d i v i s i o n was o p e n to 48 surfers c o m p e t i n g for $ 3 , 2 5 0 i n p r i z e m o n e y d i v i d e d amongst the 1 to 7 st  t h  place f i n i s h e r ; w h i l e , the w o m e n ' s p r o f e s s i o n a l d i v i s i o n had 24 competitors c o m p e t i n g for $ 1 , 0 0 0 i n p r i z e m o n e y d i v i d e d amongst the 1 to 4 st  t h  place ( B C S A , 2 0 0 3 ) . T h i s  demonstrates an apparent i n e q u i t y i n the disbursement o f p r i z e m o n e y f o r the m a l e and female surfers. A C a n a d i a n b r a n d representative a c k n o w l e d g e d that w o m e n are not treated e q u a l l y at s u r f i n g c o m p e t i t i o n s : I t h i n k there is d i s c r i m i n a t i o n i n every asset o f l i f e . Y o u can f i n d fault w i t h any sport.. .and I t h i n k it is true w i t h s u r f i n g too. If y o u go to a contest there is never as m u c h p r i z e m o n e y f o r the w o m e n but there is never as m a n y w o m e n c o m p e t i n g at the event t o o . . . T h e y p r o b a b l y d o n ' t get as m u c h support as the m e n do but I  78 think it is all relative to how many people are doing it.... [There are currently no] Canadian girls that get sponsorship.. .We don't have a lot o f women surfers competing worldwide so that is a problem. We don't have any like Canadian surfers on the pro tour. So I mean i f there was a girl out there we would be the first ones to sign something up but the problem is there isn't anyone there. (B-4, Trish) This statement provides insight into the level o f women's professional surfing i n British Columbia. It remains a poor mismatch to the men's which has resulted in few sponsorship deals and opportunities to compete worldwide. The suggestion that there are no women in B C who are proficient enough to compete on a world stage may be true but this overlooks the conditions which are at least partly responsible for this shortfall. A female surfer acknowledged that there are virtually no opportunities for women in Canada and felt that this affects the number o f women entering Canadian surfing competitions and the level o f competition: I have been competing for eleven years. I won the Roxy/Quiksilver Surf J a m two years in a row and [I have] never placed below second and [I] have had no opportunities.. .Sponsors need to change their attitudes! Sponsor someone in Canada. It would be beneficial. Young girls identify with sponsored athletes. [It would] help the industry and add some authenticity to the sport. ( S - l , Kendra) Similarly, another surfer felt that Canadian women should be recognized by brand manufacturers, "Companies should jump on to Canadian surfers. [They need to] get on the program [and] start sponsoring Canadians. W e need better Canadian representation" (S-4, Ann). There definitely is some animosity amongst female surfers who aspire to  79 pursue surfing professionally yet discover that opportunities for aspiring Canadian male surfers remain greater than for promising women. These conditions are not dissimilar from the early period of female Canadian surfing. Perhaps aspiring junior girls will be the ones to draw attention to Canadian women worldwide. These attitudes reflect the views of two local Tofino surfers. Interestingly, an avid Vancouver surfer did not uphold the same opinion of sponsorship: Most people surf for recreational purposes. Unless you are born and raised in Tofino and were really around that kind of circuit when you are young and sort of [grew] up with it. It is not an industry that is well known around here. (S-3, Brooke) One surf brand representative suggested that sponsorship is not a priority for its marketing strategy: In Canada at this time we have made a conscious decision not to sponsor athletes. We are trying to get as much growth to catch up to the other licensees because we are one of the newest licensees in the world. The potential for us to grow really quickly is there so we have tried to spend our marketing dollars more on the people that are selling the product than on our athletes at this time. (B-5, Leanne) The future of competitive surfing in B C is uncertain and as yet it is not clear what opportunities may become available to promising female athletes in the future. However, the rise in competitive surfing in BC and the marketing effort behind it are generating more interest in surfing and increasing spectatorship at surfing competitions. More and more women are entering these competitions and the increased attention is contributing to a growth in the number of Canadian women surfing.  80  vi. Increased media exposure of Canadian women's surfing A s s u r f shops and s u r f s c h o o l s began o p e n i n g i n the m i d 1990s and w o r d spread that w o m e n w e r e encouraged i n B C ' s waters, t o u r i s m i n the T o f i n o area increased. A t the same t i m e l o c a l and national m e d i a became i n c r e a s i n g l y interested i n C a n a d i a n surfing. A l o c a l surfer suggested that the reason f o r the coverage was that the sport has w i d e s p r e a d appeal, " S u r f i n g is the n e w s that y o u want to hear about; g i r l s out i n T o f i n o and t h e y ' r e s u r f i n g , the m e d i a comes o v e r and wants to i n t e r v i e w u s " ( S - l , K e n d r a ) . A retailer reported that, "there is a percentage g r o w t h i n actual number. It is p r o b a b l y misrepresented i n the m e d i a because it is a m o r e interesting s t o r y " (R-4, Scott). H o w e v e r , a surfer c o n f i r m s that there are " a b s o l u t e l y " m o r e w o m e n i n the water stating, " W h e n I first started [surfing the mentality] was ' o h c o o l there is a g i r l ' .  [Girls]  d e f i n i t e l y stood out [in the water] and n o w y o u l o o k around i n the water and there [are] just so m a n y w o m e n [surfers]" (S-3, B r o o k e ) . A l o c a l retailer attributed some o f the g r o w t h seen i n C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g to "the w h o l e p o p u l a r i t y o f L o n g B e a c h [ B C ] area a n d . . . a l l the exposure it's getting i n the P r o v i n c e , the S u n , [and on] the r a d i o " (R-3, C o l i n ) . T h e l o c a l m e d i a generated a lot o f h y p e w h e n the S u r f D i v a s o f C a l i f o r n i a c a m e up to T o f i n o . T h e o p e n i n g o f S u r f Sister reached newspapers n a t i o n w i d e and f e m a l e j o u r n a l i s t s traveled to T o f i n o and e n r o l l e d i n s u r f lessons and d o c u m e n t e d their w o m e n ' s o n l y s u r f experience. A T o f i n o s u r f instructor c o m m e n t e d o n the increased m e d i a interest i n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g as f o l l o w s , " W e receive calls from t e l e v i s i o n s a y i n g ' w e are g o i n g to do a story o n this and want to talk to y o u . [ W e are] getting calls constantly f r o m the news and m e d i a p r o d u c t i o n  81  c o m p a n i e s [who are] interested i n S u r f S i s t e r " (S-4, A n n ) .  T h e release o f B l u e C r u s h  further stimulated l o c a l m e d i a interest i n the B C s u r f scene. O n e c o n d i t i o n that I f o u n d p a r t i c u l a r l y interesting d u r i n g m y data c o l l e c t i o n and trips to T o f i n o was the manner i n w h i c h the l o c a l m e d i a portrayed the scene. A s a spectator at the 2003 S u m m e r S u r f J a m , I observed both days o f c o m p e t i t i o n and recorded m y observations. T h e second d a y o f c o m p e t i t i o n garnered m o r e m e d i a interest and several reporters, i n c l u d i n g an M T V reporter, w e r e present f o r the f i n a l , d e c i d i n g d a y o f c o m p e t i t i o n . T h e m e d i a seemed to be p a r t i c u l a r l y interested i n a n y t h i n g eccentric, o r that appeared to be h i p and c o o l . Reporters seemed to be targeting a n y t h i n g that appeared to be different s u c h as a group o f guys w e a r i n g w i g s and d r i v i n g around o n scooters, a spectator w i t h a fluorescent c o w b o y hat, or a take o f a g i r l w e a r i n g b o a r d shorts w i t h E m u suede w i n t e r boots. I overheard a y o u n g group o f m a l e s repeatedly u s i n g generic and stereotypical s u r f l i n g o f o r reporters. U p o n c o m p l e t i o n o f the i n t e r v i e w , the group l a u g h e d and m a d e f u n o f the s u r f l i n g o . It seemed they gave the m e d i a what they wanted to hear; w h i c h was i n essence a stereotypic representation o f surfing. W h i l e the m e d i a are generating a lot o f p u b l i c i t y f o r C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g , the a c c u r a c y o f their coverage therefore r e m a i n s questionable. Invariably, m e d i a exposure was w i d e s p r e a d d u r i n g m y data c o l l e c t i o n p e r i o d and it has p o t e n t i a l l y contributed to an increased g r o w t h i n the n u m b e r o f C a n a d i a n w o m e n s u r f i n g .  vii. Development of Canadian surf businesses A s t o u r i s m steadily b u i l d s a r o u n d T o f i n o , the e c o n o m y is capable o f sustaining numerous s u r f businesses. A s one i n t e r v i e w e e , a l o n g t e r m resident o f T o f i n o and a v i d  82  female surfer, a c k n o w l e d g e d , " S i n c e 1 9 9 5 , T o f i n o started to b e c o m e a p o p u l a r s u r f destination and s u r f shops started o p e n i n g . B e f o r e 1995 shops w o u l d o p e n and then s o o n c l o s e " ( S - l , K e n d r a ) . L i v e to S u r f was established i n 1984 and is s o m e w h a t o f an i c o n i n the h i s t o r y o f s u r f retailers because o f its l o n g e v i t y . T h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f s u r f businesses also has l e d to the o p e n i n g o f several s u r f schools around T o f i n o . J e n n y Stewart, T o f i n o native and the top f e m a l e surfer o n the C a n a d i a n s u r f scene can be credited w i t h f u e l i n g awareness and appeal o f C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g . A s the f o u n d e r o f the first female s u r f s c h o o l i n C a n a d a and the epitome o f e v e r y surfer g i r l J e n n y has stimulated w o m e n ' s i n v o l v e m e n t i n s u r f i n g .  A  T o f i n o s u r f instructor recently was quoted s a y i n g that, " S i n c e S u r f Sisters operation, s u r f i n g i n T o f i n o has gone nuts.. . L e s s o n s are filling up due to h i g h d e m a n d . W e are not able to meet the d e m a n d " (S-1, K e n d r a ) . K e n d r a d o c u m e n t e d the g r o w t h e x p e r i e n c e d at S u r f Sister as f o l l o w s : T h i s year there are three times as m a n y surfers as last year and last year there w e r e five times as m a n y surfers as the years before. Last year S u r f Sister e m p l o y e d s i x instructors. T h i s year S u r f Sister has t w e l v e instructors and still is short-staffed. ( S - l , K e n d r a ) It w a s revealed that w o m e n - s p e c i f i c l e a r n i n g e n v i r o n m e n t s h a v e gained m o m e n t u m and have been e s p e c i a l l y p r e d o m i n a n t i n the b o a r d sport industry. A retailer suggested that w o m e n are often interested i n these sports but have felt i n t i m i d a t e d to go out and try t h e m : [ W o m e n - s p e c i f i c is] a g o o d t h i n g . . . [ W o m e n ] have trouble integrating. T h e y ' r e shy. T h e y ' r e embarrassed. T h e y d o n ' t want to l o o k g o o f y but w h e n they are w i t h  83 other g i r l s they can go i n and be at the same l e v e l and they d o n ' t h a v e to feel that the g u y s are w a t c h i n g t h e m . It is h a v i n g guys w a t c h that is the m a i n t h i n g . . .The g i r l wants to go o f f and do it [independently]. (R-5, S u z y ) T h i s c l a i m was w i d e l y d o c u m e n t e d b y female surfers w h o d i s c o v e r e d that w o m e n ' s supportive e n v i r o n m e n t s can alleviate s o m e o f the pressure to p e r f o r m and enables w o m e n to progress at their o w n rate. T h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f s u r f businesses is a trend n a t i o n w i d e as retailers c a p i t a l i z e o n the f a s c i n a t i o n p e o p l e seem to have w i t h beach culture i n general, and w i t h the increased m e d i a exposure o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g . A s one retailer postulates, "I t h i n k it is a craze right across the c o u n t r y because there [are] stores l i k e i n C a l g a r y p o p p i n g u p . . .and they are a l l s p e c i f i c g i r l - o n l y stores that just do surf-oriented stuff.. .It r e a l l y is g r o w i n g right across N o r t h A m e r i c a " (R-3, C o l i n ) . H a v i n g a f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h s u r f culture and s u r f fashions appears to p o s i t i v e l y i n f l u e n c e o n e ' s l i k e l i n e s s to s u r f i n the future, as seen i n the f o l l o w i n g c o m m e n t s b y t w o sisters f r o m C a l g a r y at a T o f i n o s u r f c a m p : " W e a l w a y s wanted to try it [surfing]. It was o u r C h r i s t m a s present". T h i s further substantiates the appeal o f s u r f i n g , even i n g e o g r a p h i c a l regions w h e r e there is no surf. T h e e x p a n s i o n o f s u r f b r a n d lines has contributed to an increased d e m a n d for w o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r and s u r f fashions, and the strength o f the s u r f industry has lead to the d e v e l o p m e n t o f numerous C a n a d i a n s u r f businesses. T h e s e businesses have garnered m e d i a and c o n s u m e r interest, and h a v e h a d an i m p a c t o n the n u m b e r o f w o m e n s u r f i n g i n BC.  84  viii. Women's increased comfort with the identity of 'being a surfer' A common assertion in the interviews was that women are becoming more comfortable with their identity of 'being a surfer'. The feeling was that women are responding positively to girls-only learning environments, acceptance in Canadian waters, increased recognition in the sport products marketplace and equipment, apparel, and a girls-specificfitwhich means they are more comfortable and relaxed in the water. As a retailer postulated: Women thought they couldn't do it [surf] before.. .but now they are slowly integrating into it.. .They definitely have integrated into the surf way faster than they ever will in skateboarding because skateboarding is more hard core.. .You do have to be more of a tomboy to be a skateboarder whereas it's not like that in surfing. You can be as girly as you want and still get out there and be a good surfer. (R-5, Suzy) This narrative highlights how women are integrating into surfing and finding that they can still be themselves, in comparison to skateboarding that is often viewed as more hard core and intimidating for women. One brand representative credited the younger generation of girls as contributing to the growth seen in typically male-dominated sporting practices: I think that girls are no longer being intimidated by what is perceived as men'sonly sports. The younger generation has decided that they can do anything that the boys can do. Surfing is quite an individual sport so I think that appeals to girls who don't want to participate in traditional girls' sports or girly activities. (B-3, Jacky)  85  W o m e n have credited g i r l s - o n l y l e a r n i n g environments as b e i n g superior.  An  interviewee for e x a m p l e stated that, " w o m e n tend to be m o r e n u r t u r i n g . [ A w o m e n ' s s p e c i f i c learning] e n v i r o n m e n t is m o r e supportive and understanding. T h e instructors are right there e n c o u r a g i n g [the p a r t i c i p a n t s ] " (S-4, A n n ) . A p o s i t i v e first experience increases the l i k e l i n e s s that she w i l l s u r f a g a i n , thus, creating an avenue to d e v e l o p as a surfer. A s m o r e w o m e n have ventured into C a n a d a ' s c o o l waters, s u r f i n g has gathered a substantial female f o l l o w i n g . O n e f e m a l e surfer's statements i l l u m i n a t e the attraction o f s u r f i n g , "It gives g i r l s a sense o f p o w e r , g i r l s can actually do it and be g o o d at it t o o " (S5, Stephanie).  A n o t h e r surfer s i m i l a r l y states that " w o m e n are r e a l i z i n g that y o u d o n ' t  have to be m u s c u l a r and p o w e r f u l to surf; that w i t h the right technique they c a n do it t o o " ( S - l , K e n d r a ) . A s w o m e n b e c o m e m o r e p r o f i c i e n t i n the water, they are b e c o m i n g m o r e confident w i t h their identity o f ' b e i n g a surfer'. T h e s e w o m e n are e n c o u r a g i n g other w o m e n to participate as one surfer put it, " g i r l s a l w a y s seem to be r e c r u i t i n g other g i r l s " (S-3, B r o o k e ) and this is l e a d i n g to an increase i n the n u m b e r o f C a n a d i a n w o m e n surfing.  4.3 The Appeal of the Surf Culture A c o m m o n f i n d i n g i n the i n t e r v i e w s was the i n f o r m a n t s ' i m p r e s s i o n o f an e m e r g i n g g l o b a l fascination w i t h s u r f i n g and s u r f culture. A surfer illustrated the strength o f her relationship w i t h the o c e a n , "I have a l w a y s been c o m p l e t e l y m e s m e r i z e d b y the ocean. T h e first t i m e I ever caught a w a v e [surfing] I was instantly addicted f o r  86  l i f e " (S-2, M a r l e y ) . S i m i l a r l y , another surfer stated, "I l o v e that f e e l i n g . I c a n ' t e x p l a i n it, but c a t c h i n g a w a v e is e u p h o r i a " (S-3, B r o o k e ) . T h e s u r f l i f e s t y l e is different f r o m a n y other sport, the appeal is almost spiritual. T h i s is e p i t o m i z e d b y a surfer's narrative, " S u r f i n g relieves stress. It is a s p i r i t u a l , m e l l o w e x p e r i e n c e " ( S - l , K e n d r a ) . T h e s u r f l i f e s t y l e unites different groups o f p e o p l e around one c o m m o n m e d i u m , the ocean. A surfer illustrated the d i v e r s i t y o f surfers and a c k n o w l e d g e d that perceptions o f s u r f i n g are c h a n g i n g , " T h e rest o f the w o r l d used to l o o k at surfers as b u m s . T h a t m e n t a l i t y is c h a n g i n g . Surfers are getting representation w o r l d - w i d e . Y o u can't r e a l l y tell w h o is a surfer; it can be the l a w y e r in a s u i t " (S-5, Stephanie). T h e perfect w a v e is s o m e t h i n g different to each p e r s o n ; h o w e v e r , the experience gained is quite s i m i l a r . T h e interviewees tended to change their tone w h e n s p e a k i n g about the appeal o f the sport. T h e responses b e c a m e m o r e fragmented and the interviewees appeared to tap into an e m o t i o n a l b o n d w i t h the sport. T h i s is e x e m p l i f i e d b y a s u r f b r a n d representatives' narrative: T h e e x h i l a r a t i o n o f c a t c h i n g a w a v e , the f e e l i n g is i n c r e d i b l e and hard to describe but y o u j u s t k n o w it w h e n y o u get it. [It is an] e n l i v e n i n g f e e l i n g , b e i n g i n t o u c h w i t h the ocean. [ S u r f i n g is a] hard sport to learn to d o . [It is a] natural f o r c e ; p a d d l i n g out there, getting tossed around b y w a v e s and a m a z i n g f e e l i n g w h e n y o u a c t u a l l y catch a w a v e and are s u r f i n g it. [ Y o u ] go through a lot to get that f e e l i n g . [ S u r f i n g is] g o o d for y o u r health, keep[s you] i n shape, [and is] m o t i v a t i o n to get into shape. [Surfing] gets y o u i n t o u c h w i t h nature. ( B - l , L i a m ) S i m i l a r l y , S h i l l i n g (2003) n o t i c e d this changed reaction i n his i ntervi ew s .  87 When I ask her what is it about surfing that causes her to brave freezing cold waters, she pauses for some time. Her answer is almost Zen-like and reflects the crazy calm that surfing induces: ' Y o u get fresh air, some wind on your face, it forces you to take deep breaths and it makes you look at the elements different', (p. 23) Similarly, a local Tofino surfer outlines the lifestyle aspect o f being a surfer is part o f its appeal, "I love the beach. Living on the beach is so healthy and so amazing and just so peaceful... Everything surrounds yoga and surfing and healthy food" (S-4, Ann). The thrill seeking aspect o f surfing is part o f its appeal as illustrated by a retailers' narrative: There is a sense where you are totally out o f control in the surf.. .In a beginner setting you can go to a very safe environment but at the higher end it is definitely (pause) you can push yourself well beyond and so finding your new boundaries, exploring new limits.. .would definitely be an appeal for men and women and.. .people who are risk takers. It just fuels that. (R-4, Scott) Our own unique scene in Canada is part o f the appeal according to one surfer: The weather and water conditions add to the experience... [You] can still surf everyday in T o f i n o by yourself by traveling to a beach that has a longer hike in or sometimes you can have these days at the most populated spots. (S-5, Stephanie) The interviews identified several key aspects o f the appeal o f surfing including: thrill seeking, love o f ocean, freedom - no rules, no regulations, lifestyle, and vertigo (rush), self-expression, and hedonism. One commonality irregardless o f what surfing affords them, was that the passion carried over into their daily lives.  88  4.4 Evidence of Consumption Female Surfers are Committed to Consuming SurfThemed Products In order to participate i n the sport o f s u r f i n g one must c o n s u m e s u r f products. S c h o u t e n & M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) r e c o g n i z e "that c o n s u m p t i o n activities, product categories, o r even brands m a y serve as the basis f o r s o c i a l c o h e s i o n " (p. 43). In the narratives o f the female surfers it w a s c o m m o n l y stated that they w e r e c o m m i t t e d to c o n s u m i n g surf-themed products. A female surfer c o n v e y s h e r p a s s i o n f o r c o n s u m i n g s u r f brands i n the f o l l o w i n g quote: I l o v e s u r f clothes/surf brands. I ' m a l l about the brands. G i r l s t o t a l l y l o v e b r a n d s . . .1 l o v e R o x y clothes; pretty m u c h e v e r y t h i n g I w e a r has the R o x y theme g o i n g o n . It's e v e r yw h e r e . . . T h e clothes l o o k n i c e , are s t y l i s h , c o m f o r t a b l e and are c o o l . . . W h e t h e r I get t h e m f o r free t h r o u g h R o x y or I h a v e to p a y $ 100 f o r t h e m I l o v e s u r f brands. ( S - l , K e n d r a ) T h e s e statements indicate that this surfer is c o m m i t t e d to c o n s u m i n g s u r f brands and also s h o w that she is w i l l i n g to invest i n these fashions. In c o m b i n a t i o n they suggest an i m p r e s s i o n o f camaraderie i n that she says " g i r l s totally l o v e b r a n d s " . T h i s statement was not s p e c i f i c to surfers. I f she w e r e to s a y 'Surfers totally l o v e b r a n d s ' she w o u l d be demonstrating that as a group, surfers h a v e s i m i l a r c o n s u m p t i o n habits. Instead, the focus is o n the penetration o f brands to the masses and she supports its m a i n s t r e a m appeal.  89  A n o t h e r surfer also admitted that she c o n s u m e d s u r f fashions. H o w e v e r , u n l i k e the p r e v i o u s e x a m p l e , she wanted it to be clear that she was f u l l y c o m m i t t e d to c o n s u m i n g s u r f fashions irregardless o f their s t a y i n g power. It's c o o l . I l i k e the l o o k o f it. I do surf.. .1 d o n ' t l i k e the l o o k o f it j u s t because I do surf. I h o n e s t l y l i k e s u r f f a s h i o n s . . .1 h a v e been attracted to that sort o f c l o t h i n g style before it was e x t r e m e l y p o p u l a r and p r o b a b l y w i l l continue to w e a r it after its popular. I guess I a m i n f l u e n c e d b y t r y i n g to stay s o m e w h a t m o d e r n . (S-3, B r o o k e ) E s s e n t i a l l y , this surfer w a s e x h i b i t i n g tendencies o f ' s t y l e d e n i a l ' i n w h i c h she wears and purchases branded m e r c h a n d i s e but d i d not want to be seen as " b u y i n g into an i m a g e " ( W h e a t o n , 2 0 0 0 , p. 266). S i m i l a r l y , another surfer suggested that her purchase d e c i s i o n s w e r e a l l practical and e x h i b i t e d further tendencies o f 'style d e n i a l ' : Pretty m u c h a n y b r a n d s u r f attire or paraphernalia that I h a v e has been g i v e n to m e as gifts. I d o n ' t b u y name brands l i k e R o x y or s u r f fashions. T h e clothes that I w e a r for s u r f i n g l i k e m y wetsuit and m y rash guard and a l l that; that is a l l f u n c t i o n a l . I d o n ' t n o r m a l l y b u y the n a m e brands but h a v i n g said that I do l i k e the s u r f style. So I w o u l d say that I w o u l d dress l i k e a surfer but I refuse to spend the amount o f m o n e y o n the clothes that I w o u l d l o v e to wear. (S-4, A n n ) T h i s surfer w o r e s u r f attire but d i d not purchase s u r f fashions. She wanted to e m p h a s i z e her c o m m i t m e n t to c o n s u m i n g surf-themed products that w e r e practical but d i d not want to be seen as s u p p o r t i n g the s u r f w e a r industry. E v e n so, her last statement suggests that the f i n a n c i a l c o m m i t m e n t essentially is what prevents her f r o m a c q u i r i n g s u r f b r a n d e d merchandise.  90 C o r e female surfers base other c o n s u m p t i o n d e c i s i o n s o n their c o m m i t m e n t to the s u r f i n g culture.  A s o n e surfer c o m m e n t e d :  It affects e v e r y t h i n g . I got m a r r i e d i n F i j i o n a s u r f i s l a n d . T h e clothes I b u y h a v e to be easy to put o n after I get out o f the water.. . W h e r e I travel [is] based o n h o w g o o d the s u r f is. I have o n l y been to A r i z o n a once. ( S - l , K e n d r a ) T h i s supports the c l a i m that as o n e ' s c o m m i t m e n t extends into s u r f i n g , s i g n i f i c a n t purchase d e c i s i o n s are i n f l u e n c e d b y o n e ' s d e v o t i o n to the sport.  4.5 Evidence of Subcultural Features and Conditions I have d i v i d e d m y s u m m a r y i n this section into f o u r subsections based o n themes that were i d e n t i f i e d i n m y a n a l y s i s : (i) h i e r a r c h i c a l s o c i a l structuring; (ii) core values a n d l o c a l i z e d differences; ( i i i ) s e l f t r a n s f o r m a t i o n ; and (iv) rituals.  /. Hierarchical social structuring: From hard core surfers to posers M y analysis o f the s u r f i n g subculture f o u n d e v i d e n c e o f stratification and markers o f s o c i a l status and w i t h i n group p o s i t i o n i n g . T h e " c o n s p i c u o u s d i s p l a y o f equipment or subcultural s t y l e " ( W h e a t o n , 2 0 0 0 , p. 254) d i d not impact/affect a person's status i n the subculture. Rather the p e r s o n ' s c o m m i t m e n t to the sport and s u r f i n g a b i l i t y w e r e evaluated a n d seen as k e y indicators o f p o s i t i o n i n g . T h e f o l l o w i n g surfer's c o m m e n t supports this c o n d i t i o n . T h e r e are outsiders a n d i n s i d e r s . . . y o u prove y o u r s e l f i n the water. See p e o p l e d i f f e r e n t l y b y seeing h o w they surf.. . L o s e respect i f p e o p l e drop i n o n p e o p l e . . .If y o u ' r e r e a l l y g o o d y o u b e c o m e respected. S t y l e and equipment has n o t h i n g to d o  91  w i t h it except m a y b e f o r p o s e r s ! ! N o t w h a t k i n d o f boards do y o u r i d e . . .that is kooky! (S-l, Kendra) S i m i l a r l y , another surfer c o n f i r m e d that p e o p l e ' s a b i l i t y is revealed i n the water. T h e o n l y w a y I w o u l d c o n s i d e r m y s e l f an i n s i d e r is w h e n I see other people pretending to be s o m e t h i n g they are not. Y o u can tell i n the water. O n c e y o u start b e i n g able to understand what is g o i n g o n . Y o u can tell w h e n y o u w a t c h p e o p l e ; w h o can do what and w h o can't. So it is very clear that w a y w h o can s u r f or not. (S-3,  Brooke)  A s u r f b r a n d representative a c k n o w l e d g e d that hard core surfers serve as c o n v e y o r s o f product i n f o r m a t i o n i n the s u r f i n g c o m m u n i t y . W o r d o f m o u t h i n the c o m m u n i t y spreads fast, almost overnight. T h e latest products b e c o m e v e r y w e l l r e c e i v e d b y the c o m m u n i t y i f y o u get a p e r s o n that surfs a lot and has purchased that product [ t a l k i n g about it then] it spreads. ( B - l , Liam) O n e surfer a f f i r m e d that the d i s p l a y o f equipment does not g i v e a surfer any c r e d i b i l i t y whatsoever. It's c a l l e d b e i n g a poser. B u t it doesn't r e a l l y w o r k because as s o o n as they get i n the water their identity is revealed. ' K o o k ! ! ! ' Y o u can o n l y pose w h i l e y o u are o n l a n d right. W e a r i n g y o u r rash guard out to the bar is pretty easy to f i g u r e out that y o u d o n ' t s u r f . . . I w o u l d encourage them to get out and try it. ( S - l , K e n d r a ) L i a m , a s u r f b r a n d representative said that i n order to b e c o m e accepted and respected i n the s u r f culture, y o u h a v e to " p a y y o u r dues, be patient, be respectful o f people that are g o o d , be respectful o f their territory, and w o r k o n y o u r s k i l l s " .  He  92 suggested that there is a f a m i l i a r i t y amongst the surfers w h o are h i g h e r up the h i e r a r c h y . " T h e h a r d core surfers k n o w o n e another i n the water, they k n o w the g o o d spots, a n d there seems to be a p e c k i n g order i f y o u are r e s p e c t e d " ( B - l , L i a m ) . A s u r f b r a n d representative declared that, " T h e r e is a l w a y s a p e c k i n g order [ i n surfing] d e p e n d i n g o n the p o l i t i c s o f the w a v e y o u s u r f or the beach y o u are a t " (B-5, Leanne). O n e surfer thought that T o f i n o w a s m o r e a c c e p t i n g whereas other V a n c o u v e r Island s u r f i n g c o m m u n i t i e s h a v e m o r e o f a h i e r a r c h y : S o m b r i o and J o r d a n R i v e r is a little bit m o r e l o c a l . It is a little bit harder to get accepted there. Y o u have to m a k e sure that i f y o u are l e a r n i n g that y o u d o n ' t get i n their w a y . Y o u h a v e to k n o w what y o u are d o i n g out there. (S-4, A n n ) In order to be accepted i n the T o f i n o s u r f scene one must demonstrate his/her l e v e l o f c o m m i t m e n t i n the water. S u r f i n g . a b i l i t y and k n o w l e d g e are indicators o f o n e ' s status i n the subculture.  ii. Core values and localized differences O n e c o m m o n a l i t y expressed throughout the i n t e r v i e w s w a s that, " T h e s u r f scene i n C a n a d a [ T o f i n o ] is m e l l o w e r and m o r e a c c e p t i n g than other parts o f the w o r l d " (S-5, Stephanie). A T o f i n o surfer w h o has traveled to n u m e r o u s g l o b a l s u r f breaks noted that, " Y o u d o n ' t see this n u m b e r o f g i r l s s u r f i n g at other b r e a k s " ( S - l , K e n d r a ) . S h e further revealed that, " E v e n some o f the P r o g i r l s from C a l i f o r n i a n o w c o m e u p to s u r f i n T o f i n o as w e l l " ( S - l , K e n d r a ) . T h e s e statements suggest that the s u r f scene i n T o f i n o appears to be attracting a n i n c r e a s i n g n u m b e r o f f e m a l e surfers.  93 A s u r f b r a n d representative a f f i r m e d that the s u r f scene generally is m o r e w e l c o m i n g o f women. I t h i n k there is a lot o f acceptance out there i n s u r f i n g . If y o u go out as a g i r l to any break I d o n ' t t h i n k y o u are treated as b a d l y as y o u w o u l d be i f y o u w e r e a g u y . . . G u y s l o v e to see girls out there l e a r n i n g to s u r f and they encourage it.  (B-4,  Trish) A n o t h e r representative illustrated the u n a n i m i t y o f surfers: [Surfers] embrace s u r f i n g as a l i f e s t y l e . . . Y o u meet l i k e - m i n d e d p e o p l e that are s u r f i n g as w e l l . It is s o m e t h i n g that y o u can strive to do and that y o u can do o n y o u r o w n . E a c h w a v e is about y o u as a p e r s o n . . . Y o u d o n ' t have to be a part o f s o m e t h i n g to be a part o f the s u r f culture as l o n g as y o u want to s u r f y o u can go out there and do it and b e c o m e a part o f it. (B-5, L e a n n e ) T h e interviewees u n a n i m o u s l y agreed that the r e l a x e d nature o f the sport and its participants is part o f the allure o f s u r f i n g . S i m i l a r l y , a surfer c o m m e n t e d that there are v i r t u a l l y no entry barriers into the s u r f culture, as she s i m p l y put it, "I think i f y o u feel l i k e y o u are a surfer, y o u are a s u r f e r " (S-3, B r o o k e ) . T h e interviewees often situated their experiences o f s u r f i n g i n T o f i n o w i t h i n the g l o b a l s u r f i n g culture. T h e responses suggest that the s u r f scene i n T o f i n o is u n i q u e i n that m o r e w o m e n are d r a w n to its waters and are w e l c o m e d once they are there.  T h i s is supported b y the f o l l o w i n g surfer's  c o m m e n t s , " I n T o f i n o , w o m e n are accepted. [ T o f i n o is the] e x c e p t i o n to the rule.  Guys  are c h e e r i n g t h e m o n and are v e r y supportive and h e l p f u l , g i v i n g equipment a d v i c e o r other t i p s " ( S - l , K e n d r a ) .  94  iii. Self transformation (deepening of commitment) In order to be an a v i d surfer i n C a n a d a it requires a great degree o f c o m m i t m e n t . T h r o u g h o u t m y o w n personal experiences c o l l e c t i n g data for this study and m y d i s c u s s i o n w i t h the interviewees it was evident that the l e v e l o f c o m m i t m e n t was representative o f a 'culture of commitment' ( W h e a t o n & T o m l i n s o n , 1998) i n w h i c h several variables such as leisure t i m e , w o r k t i m e , career c h o i c e , and place o f residence i n f l u e n c e o n e ' s w i l l i n g n e s s o r a b i l i t y to participate r e g u l a r l y i n the a c t i v i t y o f s u r f i n g . A l o c a l retailer w h o was an enthusiastic surfer stated his c o m m i t m e n t as f o l l o w s : " T h e s u r f l i f e s t y l e is s i m p l e . Y o u w o r k to s u r f and w o r k i s second, s u r f i n g is f i r s t ! " ( R - l , D a n ) . Perhaps h i s c o m m i t m e n t was fundamental to his d e c i s i o n to go into s m a l l business. T h e c o m m i t m e n t to the s u r f l i f e s t y l e took precedence o v e r e v e r y t h i n g else. A n o t h e r retailer e x p l a i n e d that " A lot o f p e o p l e try [surfing and even] do it for a little w h i l e . [ B u t ] unless the c o m m i t m e n t l e v e l is r e a l l y there they w o n ' t stay, but they r e a l l y have a great t i m e w h e n they are d o i n g i t " (R-4, Scott). T h i s suggests that there is a baseline c o m m i t m e n t that is required. F i n a n c i a l l y , it is i n e v i t a b l e , that even t h o u g h the ocean is a free resource there are other i n i t i a t i o n fees once one decides s u r f i n g is s o m e t h i n g w o r t h p u r s u i n g . T h e s e i n c l u d e start-up costs s u c h as the p r i c e o f renting and u l t i m a t e l y p u r c h a s i n g equipment i n c l u d i n g a wetsuit, g l o v e s , booties, and, d e p e n d i n g o n the l e v e l o f c o m m i t m e n t , a thi ck er suit for w i n t e r , and a h o o d . Furthermore, a surfboard is r e q u i r e d and there are costs associated w i t h travel i n c l u d i n g transportation, f o o d and l o d g i n g . B e y o n d the f i n a n c i a l c o m m i t m e n t there is also the issue o f t i m e , both f o r t r a v e l i n g and t i m e needed to master the sport. A s o n e ' s l e v e l o f c o m m i t m e n t deepens, his/her l i f e s t y l e becomes shaped b y the requirements o f s u r f i n g . A  95  s u r f brand representative e f f e c t i v e l y s u m m a r i z e d the amount o f c o m m i t m e n t i n v o l v e d as follows: It is also a v e r y d i f f i c u l t sport and y o u have to be pretty c o m m i t t e d to d o i n g it e v e n l i v i n g o n the west coast y o u still have to d r i v e 4-6 hours to get there. T h e r e m a y or m a y not be w a v e s to ride w h e n y o u get there and i f there are y o u h a v e to k n o w h o w to get th e m. Y o u have to rent a wetsuit and a surfboard and k n o w h o w to paddle out there. (B-2,  Jason)  A passage f r o m the s u r f f i l m Step into L i q u i d reinforces the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n process that occurs i n s u r f i n g as a participants l e v e l o f c o m m i t m e n t deepens, " T h e r e c o m es a t i m e i n e v e r y surfer's l i f e w h e n he realizes he is a l w a y s g o i n g to be a surfer, forever. It's no l o n g e r what he does, i t ' s w h o he is. It's part o f h i s inner c o m p a s s " . T h e l e v e l o f c o m m i t m e n t varies i n each surfer; h o w e v e r , one surfer's c o m m e n t s illustrate n i c e l y the attractive f o r c e o f the sport once an i n d i v i d u a l identifies w i t h it. " S u r f i n g is a d d i c t i v e . . . S u r f i n g is a change o f l i f e [or] ' l i f e s t y l e ' . [It's] y o u r w h o l e j o b ; where y o u l i v e , and where y o u travel [revolves] around the fact that y o u s u r f ( S - l , K e n d r a ) . A n o t h e r s u r f retailer m a d e a s i m i l a r c o m m e n t . M o r e w o m e n [are] m o v i n g out to places l i k e to T o f i n o , m o v i n g to places l i k e S o o k e to be closer to the surf. T h e fact that there is a w h o l e tourist infrastructure b u i l d i n g u p quite s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n T o f i n o so it can support y o u v o c a t i o n a l l y . . .a lot o f the w o m e n . . .are entrenching themselves i n the s o c i e t y out there as o p p o s e d to just t r i p p i n g out o n the w e e k e n d . (R-4,  Scott)  T h i s was n i c e l y s u m m a r i z e d b y a surfer as f o l l o w s , " T o f i n o residents have m a d e a c o m m i t m e n t to c o m m i t their l i v e s to s u r f i n g " (S-3, B r o o k e ) . T h e l e v e l o f c o m m i t m e n t  96  required is u n i q u e to each surfer and is dependent o n h o w e m b e d d e d s u r f i n g is i n their self-identity. T h e scene i n T o f i n o resembles a ' c u l t u r e o f c o m m i t m e n t ' ( W h e a t o n & T o m l i n s o n , 1998) and due to its relative i s o l a t i o n requires m o r e o f an invested c o m m i t m e n t than m a n y other g l o b a l s u r f locations.  iv. Rituals T h e subculture o f s u r f i n g presents a u n i q u e set o f rituals that are l i n k e d to the sport. S h i l l i n g (2003), identifies a c o m m o n practice seen i n s u r f i n g : D e s c r i b i n g w a v e s is an essential aspect o f s u r f i n g . It's part Z e n and part p h y s i c s . T h e s e surfers are l o o k i n g f o r ' m a c k e r s , ' a k a ' g r o u n d s w e l l s ' - w e l l f o r m e d o v e r great distances, perhaps f r o m as far a w a y as the B e r i n g Sea. F o r surfers and f i s h e r m a n a l i k e , the d a y starts w i t h the m a r i n e broadcast. S o m e gale up i n the Q u e e n C h a r l o t t e Islands m a y b e c o m e a m y s t e r i o u s force that w o r k s its w a y d o w n the coast. A l l day, surfer k i d s d r i v e up and d o w n the coast to c h e c k the surf, and t i m e becomes a giant w a v e o f b u i l d i n g energy. It's a c r a z y m u l t i p l y i n g energy the bigger the w a v e the greater the ' s t o k e ' . . .and the need to get to the b e a c h , to c l i m b into the surf, to leave the l a n d b e h i n d , (p. 16) A retailer i n the study d e s c r i b e d a ritual for surfers w h o do not have direct access to the sea, w h e r e they c h e c k w e b sites for w e b c a m s . " T h e internet is v e r y important f o r surfers because a l l o f the forecasts.. . I ' m o n l i n e c h e c k i n g s u r f a l l over the w o r l d e v e r y day. A l l the l i v e c a m s . . .If y o u l i k e s u r f i n g y o u l o v e w a v e s . Y o u l i k e l o o k i n g at w a v e s " ( R - l , D a n ) . T h e repeated practice o f a n a l y z i n g the f o r m a t i o n o f storms and the pattern o f  97 w a v e s enables a L o w e r M a i n l a n d surfer to p l a n his trips to T o f i n o based o n the presence o f waves. A n observed practice amongst surfers is a n a l y z i n g w a v e s and s h a r i n g this i n f o r m a t i o n w i t h i n the c o m m u n i t y . Surfers congregate around p a r k i n g lots to beaches and l o o k at the w a v e s to see what w a v e s are present, and w h a t w a v e s are f o r m i n g i n the distance. If no sizeable w a v e s are present surfers w i l l c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h other surfers to f i n d out what l o c a t i o n is generating the best waves. S i m i l a r l y , u p o n a r r i v i n g i n T o f i n o , surfers c h e c k the tide b o a r d at the entrance to P a c i f i c R i m N a t i o n a l P a r k and do the c u s t o m a r y c h e c k at L o n g B e a c h f o r w a v e s . W h e t h e r or not there are consistent sizeable w a v e s w i l l i n f l u e n c e the d e c i s i o n to c h e c k elsewhere or to stay and go s u r f i n g at L o n g Beach. O n e ' s l e v e l o f c o m m i t m e n t w i l l also i n f l u e n c e what rituals they e x h i b i t . S o m e surfers add a stop at one o f the b o a r d rental shops to their routine. T h e e m p l o y e e s o f these s u r f shops often have already been out s u r f i n g and k n o w w h e r e the best s u r f is or have heard what break is generating the best w a v e s . E a c h surfer has set routines i n order to be able to s u r f and these m a y or m a y not be i n d i v i d u a l l y e m b e l l i s h e d . T h e s e i n c l u d e p a y i n g the p a r k i n g fee at P a c i f i c R i m N a t i o n a l Park, g o i n g t h r o u g h various procedures o f dressing and u n d r e s s i n g , w a x i n g boards, r i n s i n g o f f equipment, and s u r f i n g at sunrise or sunset. T h e s e rituals w e r e repeatedly o b s e r v e d throughout the participant o b s e r v a t i o n c o m p o n e n t o f m y study and suggested that p e o p l e tend to ascribe to a certain routine. N o t a l l rituals are u n i v e r s a l amongst surfers but the surfers I observed e x h i b i t e d c o m m o n a l i t i e s i n their routines based o n l o c a l requirements and customs.  98  4.6 Surfing is a 'Commodity-Orientated Subculture'  (wheaton, 2000, p. 26i)  W h e a t o n (2000) argued that s u r f i n g is a ' c o m m o d i t y - o r i e n t a t e d s u b c u l t u r e ' , i n that surfers need to c o n s u m e products s u c h as equipment and c l o t h i n g to participate i n the sport. S u b c u l t u r a l identity is often s i g n i f i e d b y the presence o f s u r f i n g equipment but the k e y is that the equipment is necessary. A retailer suggested that, " I t ' s a pretty l o w tech sport. H a v e b o a r d w i l l s u r f (R-2, P h i l ) . T h i s c o n f i r m s that the purchase or rental o f s u r f equipment is a requirement o f s u r f participants. O u t s i d e the i n i t i a l investment it is a r e l a t i v e l y affordable sport, i f the s u r f is nearby, h o w e v e r , these i n i t i a l costs are considerable as supported b y the subsequent figures, " T o b u y a l o n g b o a r d is $ 1 0 0 0 plus tax, $ 1 1 0 0 plus tax, wetsuit $ 5 0 0 , and that's an average c o s t " ( R - l , D a n ) . T h e shared need f o r e q u i p m e n t and apparel is a point o f c o m m o n a l i t y f o r w o m e n surfers and they often congregate around s u r f stores. In certain times a year w e a l w a y s h a v e surfers c o m i n g t h r o u g h . . . A n d they are not just b u y i n g s t u f f but s a y i n g 'hey, h o w ' s it g o i n g ? ' or ' s u r f this s u r f that'. T h e p a s s i o n carries o v e r . . ..they a l l k i n d o f relate to each other. L o o k at it f r o m a s o c i o l o g i c a l point o f v i e w they just have a m e d i u m they are i n c o m m o n w i t h . (R1, D a n ) A s a l o c a l surfer states, " S u r f e r s have s o m e t h i n g i n c o m m o n . G e t t w o surfers together w h o never spoke b e f o r e and they are a l w a y s t a l k i n g " . T h e purchase o f s u r f c o m m o d i t i e s is a facet o f s u r f culture, h o w e v e r , o n e c o m m o n issue that influences their p u r c h a s i n g d e c i s i o n s is p u r c h a s i n g from core shops that are f a m i l i a r w i t h the sport o f s u r f i n g and its c o m m o d i t i e s . T h i s is represented b y a l o c a l s u r f retailer w h o revealed that independent s u r f stores g a i n c r e d i b i l i t y amongst s u r f participants:  99 T h e s m a l l e r stores get a little bit m o r e o f a hard core f o l l o w i n g . F o r the amount w e sell I w o u l d say that 3 0 % w o u l d a c t u a l l y be s u r f i n g and currently d o i n g it and getting o n boards and g o i n g to the beach. (R-3, C o l i n ) A c o m m o n a l i t y expressed i n the i n t e r v i e w s was the issue o f authenticity. A c o n c e r n f o r authenticity was expressed b y a l l interviewees irregardless o f their p e r s o n a l a f f i l i a t i o n w i t h s u r f i n g or their status i n the s u r f products industry. T h i s is supported b y the f o l l o w i n g c o m m e n t s m a d e said b y a surfer, " E v e r y o n e has their reason for it. I d o n ' t want to w e a r that c o m p a n y because it is m a d e t h e r e " ( S - l , K e n d r a ) . S i m i l a r l y , another surfer revealed that she is c o m m i t t e d to s u p p o r t i n g l o c a l retailers, "I w i l l go to anyone l o c a l a n y d a y and g i v e t h e m m o n e y . I w o u l d prefer to spend m o n e y l o c a l l y i n s m a l l e r stores or go to l o c a l b o a r d m a k e r s than b u y s t u f f at b i g g e r s h o p s " (S-3, B r o o k e ) . A related aspect o f authenticity was the c o n d i t i o n o f b e i n g ' s o u l f u l ' . T h i s meant that s u r f i n g was part o f o n e ' s m o r a l fiber and i n order to e f f e c t i v e l y represent the culture one h a d to e x h i b i t a degree o f k n o w l e d g e and p a s s i o n f o r the sport. T h i s idea o f 'authenticity'' i s shared amongst retail store o w n e r s , retail e m p l o y e e s , s u r f b r a n d representatives, and is important to surfers w h o c o n s u m e s u r f products. T h i s is illustrated b y the f o l l o w i n g s u r f retailers' c o m m e n t s : W e ' v e never been a store to h i r e eye c a n d y or y o u k n o w the person w h o d o e s n ' t do. It is a l w a y s about the p a s s i o n f o r r i d i n g and that w e find m a k e s better sales p e o p l e , a m o r e f u n staff, [and a] better place to w o r k . (R-4, Scott) T h i s i d e a o f authenticity is further e x p a n d e d u p o n i n relation to the h o s t i l i t y s h o w n to those c o m p a n i e s w h o l a c k ' s o u l ' and h a r d core representation.  T h e independent retailers  s h o w e d little regard for c o m p a n i e s that try to b u y authenticity and are m o r e c o n c e r n e d  100  w i t h the b o t t o m line. T h i s is reflected b y the f o l l o w i n g s u r f retailer's c o m m e n t s , "I t h i n k i n terms o f V a n c o u v e r stores w e are the o n l y legitimate s u r f s h o p " ( R - l , D a n ) . A c o m m o n theme i n the i n t e r v i e w s was that surfers want to purchase s u r f products f r o m s o m e o n e w h o is passionate about the sport and a c t i v e l y practices it, as illustrated b y the f o l l o w i n g retailers' statement: I t h i n k it is a k e y element too that people have to be able to c o m e i n and see the b o a r d up o n the c e i l i n g . . . P e o p l e d o n ' t want to go into a department store to b u y their s u r f wear. T h e y want it to be k n o w n that p e o p l e s e l l i n g it to t h e m are k i n d o f a c t i v e l y i n v o l v e d as w e l l . (R-3, C o l i n ) S i m i l a r l y , a s u r f brand representative a c k n o w l e d g e d the i m p o r t a n c e o f d i s t r i b u t i n g to core shops, "It is g o o d to h a v e y o u r product in.the right stores. That is the m o s t successful m a r k e t i n g that y o u can h a v e w h e n y o u have y o u r target market w e a r i n g y o u r p r o d u c t " (B-5, Leanne). In order to e f f e c t i v e l y appeal to the authentic group o f surfers, i n a d d i t i o n to targeting the masses, it is important for a retailer to s u p p l y s u r f h a r d goods. S u r f h a r d goods are surf-themed p ro d u c ts that are c o n s i d e r e d essential requirements to practice the sport o f s u r f i n g i n c l u d i n g : s u r f b o a r d s , wetsuits, rash guards, s u r f booties, g l o v e s , h o o d s , and s u r f w a x . T h e f o l l o w i n g quote illustrates the p r o f o u n d strength o f the core surfer to the retailer, " Y o u have to sell the S e x W a x b e h i n d the counter w i t h the c o m b s to c o m b the w a x o n , even t h o u g h 1 0 % o f o u r customers m i g h t b u y i t " (R-3, C o l i n ) . A retailer defines a core surfer b y his/her c o m m i t m e n t to the sport as f o l l o w s , " A real core surfer is someone w h o is s u r f i n g at least e v e r y w e e k e n d i f not m o r e , and p r o b a b l y l i v i n g o n the Island, or m o v i n g s o m e w h e r e to do i t " (R-2, P h i l ) . C o l i n relayed the i m p o r t a n c e o f  101 s e c u r i n g c o n s u m e r l o y a l t y o f core surfers as f o l l o w s : "It is d e f i n i t e l y about a p p e a l i n g to the authentic s u r f group. It is a s p i n o f f f r o m there. It seems that i f it gets accepted there, it seems to go to the m a s s e s " ( R - 3 , C o l i n ) . F o u r out o f f i v e o w n e r s o f s u r f businesses i n t e r v i e w e d carried s u r f hard g o o d s or a selection o f s u r f rentals. T h i s illustrates the i m p o r t a n c e o f targeting those w h o a c t u a l l y surf, i n a d d i t i o n to, those w h o w o u l d l i k e to surf, and those w h o are c o m m i t t e d to c o n s u m i n g surf-themed p ro d u c ts and thereby, p r o v i d i n g the c o n s u m e r w i t h an authentic retail e n v i r o n m e n t . T h e r e is a risk o f l o s i n g o n e ' s authenticity w h i l e e x p a n d i n g s u r f c l o t h i n g to the mass market. A retailer c o m m e n t e d o n the a l i e n a t i o n m a l e c o n s u m e r s felt f o l l o w i n g a store's t r a n s f o r m a t i o n : W e ' r e actually s c a r i n g o u r m a l e clientele n o w . T h e y are c o m i n g i n g o i n g 'I thought y o u guys used to be a s u r f store and n o w y o u ' r e a l l c l o t h i n g ' and w e ' r e g o i n g ' N o ! N o ! D o w n s t a i r s is a l l hard g o o d s ! ' . . .1 t h i n k that side o f the business p e o p l e are a c t u a l l y t h i n k i n g n o w that w e ' r e not s u c h an authentic s u r f store anymore. ( R - 3 , C o l i n ) T h e r e is a fine l i n e b e t w e e n m a r k e t i n g authenticity and s e l l i n g out to the masses. It seems e q u a l l y important to represent the g r o w i n g w o m e n ' s market i n s u r f i n g w e a r w h i l s t p r o v i d i n g the surfers w i t h an authentic retail e n v i r o n m e n t . T h i s was a c k n o w l e d g e d b y a s u r f b r a n d that wanted to change its market p o s i t i o n w i t h o u t c o m p r o m i s i n g its i m a g e : [The brands owners] w a n t to see it e x p a n d m o r e g l o b a l l y . [ T h e y want to] encompass the g l o b e m o r e [and] they d o n ' t w a n t to be k n o w n just as a s u r f b r a n d , and yet they d o n ' t want to lose their roots as a core s u r f b r a n d . ( B - 5 , L e a n n e )  102  4.7 Link between Identity, Lifestyles, and Consumption O n e o f the recurrent themes I f o u n d i n the i n t e r v i e w responses to questions about s u r f i n g lifestyles was f o c u s e d a r o u n d the concept o f youthfulness. S u r f i n g and the c o n s u m p t i o n o f s u r f i n g products are not age s p e c i f i c , instead they are l i n k e d to an i m a g e o f youthfulness w h i c h is m o r e about o n e ' s m e n t a l i t y and attitude, b e i n g a participant and l e a d i n g an active lifestyle. T h e concept o f youthfulness w a s u n d e r s t o o d to a l l o w w o m e n o f a l l ages to i d e n t i f y w i t h the s u r f lifestyle. L i a m , a s u r f b r a n d representative stated this b y s a y i n g , " [ Y o u ] d o n ' t h a v e to be y o u n g to be y o u t h f u l " ( B - l , L i a m ) . S o m e t i m e s the category " j u n i o r " is m i s c o n s t r u e d as s y n o n y m o u s w i t h y o u t h . T h e i d e a is to market to a " y o u t h f u l a u d i e n c e " (R-2, P h i l ) and the i m a g e o f r e t a i n i n g a carefree l i f e s t y l e . T h e s u r f i n g culture creates a n e w site for identity f o r m a t i o n for female participants. A s one surfer a f f i r m e d , "I t h i n k about s u r f i n g a l l the time. It's not the o n l y t h i n g that is important i n m y l i f e but it is v e r y important and I guess it w o u l d h e l p define w h o I a m and w h a t I d o " (S-5,  Stephanie).  H e r c o m m i t m e n t to the s u r f l i f e s t y l e w a s an  o r g a n i z i n g p r i n c i p l e i n the maintenance and e x p r e s s i o n o f her self-identity. A s a surfer c o n c e d e d , " s u r f i n g is not s o m e t h i n g y o u do one day and then stop d o i n g . . .it is m o r e o f a l i f e s t y l e t h i n g than a n y t h i n g e l s e " ( S - l , K e n d r a ) . In the quest f o r a sense o f identity, a s u r f retailer a c k n o w l e d g e d the sensibilities e m p l o y e d i n c o n s u m p t i o n patterns and l i f e s t y l e practices: T o a certain extent y o u w i l l have p e o p l e w h o h o o k into a n y t r e n d . . .people w h o l i k e to perceive themselves that w a y and sometimes the cart can c o m e before the horse. S o m e t i m e s the search for identity w i l l d r i v e t h e m into b e i n g a r i s k taker and sometimes it is the other w a y around. T h e k i d is n a t u r a l l y the r i s k taker and  103  they tend to be the style and i n f l u e n c e leaders. P e o p l e w h o naturally gravitate towards the style just because i t ' s w h o they are [and] what they l i k e . A n d the other k i d s w h o see that team rider and want to l o o k l i k e h i m , act l i k e h i m , be l i k e h i m and t h e y ' l l b u y the products that sponsor h i m . ( R - 4 ,  Scott)  Scott illustrated the d i f f e r e n c e between m e n and w o m e n w h e n u s i n g s u r f style as a means o f a d o p t i n g s u r f i n g identity. T h e p r e c e d i n g q u o t a t i o n g i v e s attention to those w h o emulate team riders through their c o n s u m p t i o n activities. T h e search f o r an i d e n t i t y i n v o l v e s the c o n s u m p t i o n o f products that are l i n k e d to a s u r f i c o n and b y a d o p t i n g these elements one d e v e l o p s an increased sense o f self-identity. W h i l e role m o d e l s are a part o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g , w o m e n are m o r e connected to the l i f e s t y l e than the current i c o n representing it as Scott i n d i c a t e d : T h e w o m e n h a v e n ' t necessarily had those same super strong role m o d e l s . . . R o x y wanted the generic R o x y g i r l to be that p e r s o n . . . . W o m e n are a little m o r e interested w i t h the experience than w i t h I want to be e x a c t l y l i k e her.. . . T h e y w o u l d market a l i f e s t y l e and a q u a l i t y o f l i f e . ( R - 4 ,  Scott)  A c c o r d i n g to the interviewees, the i m a g e b e h i n d s u r f i n g advocates a p a r t i c u l a r l i f e s t y l e : healthy, l i v i n g o n the ocean, b e i n g o n the water. T h i s i m a g e is what keeps the i n d u s t r y so strong. T h e m a r k e t i n g o f this l i f e s t y l e captures the i m a g i n a t i o n o f females and enables them to d r a w o n selective elements o f s u r f style i n their e x p r e s s i o n o f selfidentity. A s u r f b r a n d representative a c k n o w l e d g e d the a d o p t i o n o f s u r f i n g i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h consumption:  104  I w o u l d say that is v e r y prevalent.. . e s p e c i a l l y i n a place l i k e C a n a d a . T h e best w a y to e x p l a i n it is that w e ' r e a s n o w b o a r d nation or a s k i nation that does a little bit o f s u r f that wants to act l i k e w e ' r e surfers.. .1 w o u l d say 9 0 % o f the p e o p l e i n C a n a d a that w e a r a n y s u r f b r a n d are non-surfers.. .[We are] a b r a n d name that identifies w i t h s u r f i n g and that is w h y p e o p l e w a n t to b u y it to be a part o f it so they can pretend l i k e they are a part o f it... .It is for sure 1 0 0 % based o n p e o p l e . W h a t they w e a r is their u n i f o r m or their i d e n t i t y to w h o they want to be or w h a t they w a n t to be a part o f and right n o w I t h i n k that u n i f o r m , the l i f e s t y l e u n i f o r m is a v e r y p o p u l a r one. (B-2, Jason) In this quote J a s o n a c k n o w l e d g e s the appeal o f the l i f e s t y l e ensemble or ' u n i f o r m ' i n the creation o f o n e ' s self-identity. T h i s supports a process o f d i f f u s i o n as s u r f w e a r is c o m m e r c i a l i z e d f o r mass c o n s u m p t i o n and enables c o n s u m e r s to i d e n t i f y w i t h the act o f s u r f i n g w i t h o u t actually b e i n g surfers themselves. O n e o f the brands i n the study is often i d e n t i f i e d as a s u r f b r a n d ; h o w e v e r , its m i s s i o n as d e f i n e d b y the m a n u f a c t u r e r is to be a g l o b a l teenage l i f e s t y l e b r a n d . J a c k y a c k n o w l e d g e d the i m p o r t a n c e o f b r a n d identities i n the e x p r e s s i o n o f p e o p l e ' s self-identities. O n e o f the b r a n d ' s mottos is f r e e d o m o f c h o i c e w h i c h means that y o u d o n ' t h a v e to be a part o f a n y one group. Y o u can choose w h o y o u w a n t to be. Y o u can choose what y o u w a n t to wear. W e w o u l d l i k e y o u to choose [our brand] but w e d o n ' t b e l i e v e i n the u n i f o r m , [being a] top to b o t t o m b r a n d . (B-3, J a c k y ) U n l i k e the other s u r f brands i n the study that p r i d e d themselves o n d r e s s i n g the c o n s u m e r head to toe i n branded gear, this b r a n d w a s p o s i t i o n e d to c a p i t a l i z e o n p e o p l e a s s e m b l i n g their o w n ensembles f r o m a v a r i e t y o f brands. J a c k y also a c k n o w l e d g e d that  105  y o u n g g i r l s create a sense o f personal and group identity through.their purchases and lifestyle choices. W h e n y o u are a y o u n g person y o u first start to r e a l i z e that y o u are an independent i n d i v i d u a l i n the universe. In order to f o r m w h o y o u are y o u connect w i t h a group. S u r f i n g n o w has b e c o m e a group. It is a v e r y l o o s e l y affiliated group but b y virtue o f these brands creating c l o t h i n g , they b a s i c a l l y say ' c o m e j o i n us, b u y o u r c l o t h i n g , be part o f w h a t w e stand f o r ' . E s p e c i a l l y for y o u n g w o m e n w h o are searching v e r y early for w h a t group they w a n t to identity w i t h . (B-3, J a c k y )  4.8 Diffusion of Surf Lifestyles and Products into the Mainstream W i t h the g r o w i n g n u m b e r o f w o m e n s u r f i n g , the s u r f industry appears to be u n d e r g o i n g a r e v i t a l i z a t i o n as a result o f the increased c o n s u m p t i o n o f s u r f products b y surfers and m a i n s t r e a m c o n s u m e r s . T h e appeal o f the s u r f industry to m a i n s t r e a m consumers was m e n t i o n e d b y J a c k y , w h o noted that " [ T h e s u r f l i f e s t y l e appeals to] the m a j o r i t y o f y o u t h w h o never get near a b e a c h . It has captured the i m a g i n a t i o n o f y o u t h " (B-3, J a c k y ) . L e a n n e , another s u r f brand representative, suggested that w o m e n are c h a n g i n g the appearance o f the s u r f products market, " T h e r e is huge g r o w t h i n the retail market o f girls w h o want to surf.. . G i r l s n o w m a k e m o r e m o n e y . T h e y are not as restricted so they d e f i n i t e l y w a n t to spend m o r e o f their i n c o m e as w e l l " (B-5, Leanne). In the m i d s t o f these market changes, y o u n g w o m e n h a v e emerged as an i n c r e a s i n g l y important sub segment. L e a n n e suggested that it was the teenage p o p u l a t i o n that d r o v e the s u r f trend f o r w a r d s :  T h e w h o l e m a i n s t r e a m aspect o f it is teen-generated i n retail, i n m a r k e t i n g , [and] i n f a s h i o n . It was t i m e f o r [teens] to m a k e [a] statement that was new and f r e s h . . . [The s u r f trend] was there and ready and h a d not been e x p l o i t e d yet. T h e teens o w n that l o o k and that is what has b e c o m e m o r e m a i n s t r e a m about it. (B-5, Leanne) C e r t a i n trends emerged throughout this study that appear to be c o n t r i b u t i n g to the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f lifestyles and products into the m a i n s t r e a m . It was w i d e l y suggested that s u r f w e a r is p o p u l a r n a t i o n w i d e and that a n y o n e can w e a r it. Jason, a s u r f b r a n d representative a c k n o w l e d g e d that the C a n a d i a n s u r f w e a r industry is r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l scale but has created quite a f o l l o w i n g here i n C a n a d a : C a n a d a ' s s u r f industry i n c o m p a r i s o n to the U n i t e d States [pause] i t ' s hard because y o u c a n ' t go o n n u m b e r s because o u r per capita basis. W e are the size o f C a l i f o r n i a right, 30 m i l l i o n p e o p l e r o u g h l y . . . C o n s i d e r i n g our c l i m a t e and c o n s i d e r i n g o u r a c c e s s i b i l i t y to s u r f i n g and our p o p u l a t i o n I w o u l d say that the penetration o f s u r f i n g and l i f e s t y l e is h u g e ! (B-2, Jason) L e a n n e a c k n o w l e d g e d the uniqueness o f C a n a d a ' s s u r f industry: T h e r e is m o r e o f a m a l l presence i n C a n a d a i n particular. Y o u are not g o i n g to see that so m u c h i n C a l i f o r n i a [where] p e o p l e tend to still shop i n s u r f stores. T h e idea o f s u r f culture i n C a n a d a is m o r e about f a s h i o n and is m o r e m a i n s t r e a m because w e d o n ' t ' r e a l l y h a v e a h u g e s u r f area aside f r o m H a l i f a x and T o f i n o . T h e r e is a huge s u r f l i f e s t y l e fashion-generated m o v e m e n t i n betw een those t w o shores that has n o t h i n g to do w i t h whether y o u s u r f or not. (B-5, L e a n n e )  107 S e v e r a l factors w e r e m e n t i o n e d b y the s u r f b r a n d representatives as c o n t r i b u t i n g to the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f i n g identities a n d I b r i e f l y discuss f o u r o f t h e m : (i) the coolness factor; (ii) the industry; ( i i i ) w o m e n - s p e c i f i c m a r k e t i n g and sales; and (iv) m a r k e t i n g to j u n i o r consumers.  /. The 'Coolness'Factor T h e interviewees g e n e r a l l y felt that the s u r f l i f e s t y l e e x h i b i t s an element o f 'coolness', a n d a surfer p r o c l a i m e d that this i m a g e o f c o o l is w h a t attracts g i r l s to the surfing lifestyles: R i g h t n o w i n this k i n d o f s u r f craze it w o u l d d e f i n i t e l y b e the c l o t h i n g o r the i m a g e o f the idea o f c o o l , a n d s u r f i n g is d e f i n i t e l y m a r k e t e d as v e r y a p p e a l i n g right n o w . I w o u l d say that w o u l d i n i t i a l l y attract w o m e n o r y o u n g w o m e n . (S-4, Ann) A s u r f brand representative a c k n o w l e d g e d that the s u r f l i f e s t y l e is a p p e a l i n g to non-surfers as w e l l , " P e o p l e get a g o o d f e e l i n g about it whether they s u r f or not.  Surf  w e a r is a l l part o f that f e e l i n g o f e s c a p i n g e v e r y d a y stress and b e i n g i n t o u c h w i t h the ocean, the b e a c h , [and] n a t u r e " ( B - l , L i a m ) . A retailer suggested that the f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h the s u r f culture is u n i q u e i n that p e o p l e still i d e n t i f y w i t h the l i f e s t y l e , " E v e n i f they never surfed [before] they k n o w that they w o u l d l i k e i t . . .There is s o m e t h i n g about it, i t ' s r e a l l y a different deal a n d f o r s o m e reason or another it just a l w a y s has a c o o l feel to i t " ( R - 2 , P h i l ) . A s illustrated, this enthrallment w i t h s u r f culture has triggered the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f lifestyles and products into the m a i n s t r e a m .  108  A s u r f retailer e x p l a i n e d that the c o n s u m p t i o n o f s u r f products enables the c o n s u m e r to i d e n t i f y w i t h the s u r f l i f e s t y l e . I t h i n k because it m a k e s t h e m feel l i k e they can be a part o f that [lifestyle] e v e n t h o u g h they are not, they a c t u a l l y can feel l i k e they c o u l d be. E v e n w e a r i n g the clothes and seeing the advertisements m a k e s t h e m feel a little closer to it even though they d o n ' t actually get to do it. (R-5,  Suzy)  A c o m m o n a l i t y expressed i n the i n t e r v i e w s was that the c o n s u m p t i o n o f s u r f products e v e n t u a l l y draws c o n s u m e r s to the water. T h i s f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h the s u r f culture has b e c o m e a part o f their identity and it is o n l y a matter o f t i m e before they c r o s s o v e r f r o m consumers to actual surfers.  A l o c a l surfer a c k n o w l e d g e d the ' c o o l n e s s ' factor as a  reason w h y teens and pre-teens s u r f It's c o o l , that is w h y teens and pre-teens s u r f . . . [They] got to have the nicest, coolest hard-core s u r f c l o t h i n g . . . T h i s d e m o g r a p h i c is e x t r e m e l y important. [They] m a y v e r y w e l l be t o m o r r o w ' s surfers. T h e s e w o m e n m a y keep s u r f i n g . It's a c y c l e - [ i f they] start y o u n g m a y b e c o m e a lifestyle. (S-1,  Kendra)  A c c o r d i n g to one surfer, "the f e m a l e professional surfer has increased the awareness f o r w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g " and has been important i n m a i n t a i n i n g "the c o o l i m a g e " (S-3, B r o o k e ) . T h e f e m a l e p r o f e s s i o n a l surfer gives girls s o m e t h i n g to aspire to and has h e l p e d d i f f u s e the s u r f l i f e s t y l e to the m a i n s t r e a m .  ii. The industry A n e m e r g i n g theme i n the i n t e r v i e w s was that s u r f f a s h i o n is entering into the f a s h i o n industry, and the interviewees a c k n o w l e d g e d the interactive and cross-  109  p r o m o t i o n a l effects o f m u s i c , m o v i e s , art, and f a s h i o n . A retailer suggested that this trend is apparent i n m a r k e t i n g p r o m o t i o n a l c a m p a i g n s c o m b i n i n g the m o v e m e n t o f brands w i t h that o f m u s i c and art. It is b e c o m i n g , w e c a l l it the industry. It is all starting to get r o l l e d into o n e . . . m u s i c , m o v i e , f i l m , t e l e v i s i o n . . . T h e y are a l l starting to p u l l into there t o o . . .high f a s h i o n . T h e r e are c o m p a n i e s that k n o w i f y o u get s o m e t h i n g o n m o v i e . . . y o u h a v e created a trend. (R-4, Scott) T h e i n t e r v i e w s revealed that this c o m b i n e d approach to art, m u s i c , l i f e s t y l e , a n d culture has demonstrated the c r o s s o v e r effect o f 'board culture'.  T h e i n d u s t r y is a  p l a t f o r m for the s u r f skate s n o w lifestyle and w h e r e f a s h i o n , art, and m u s i c intersect; consequently, the s u r f l i f e s t y l e has d i f f u s e d to the masses at an accelerated rate. O n e brand representative attributed their success to this relationship. " T h e success o f [our brand] b l o w i n g u p so q u i c k l y is because [we] w e n t thru the m u s i c channels and that appeals to e v e r y k i d ' . ( B - 3 , J a c k y ) T h e coolness factor and the industry w e r e i n t e r l i n k e d i n the sense that the s u r f l i f e s t y l e and a l l things C a l i f o r n i a are m a r k e t e d as c o o l . It was suggested that one can b e 'cooler' b y c o n s u m i n g s u r f t h e m e d products and s u r f m e d i a . T h i s i m a g e has increased the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f lifestyles and products into the m a i n s t r e a m as demonstrated i n the f o l l o w i n g b r a n d representative's c o m m e n t s . T h e r e is a large i n f l u e n c e f r o m the m u s i c industry because that is i n i t s e l f c o o l and k i d s w a t c h M T V , and they listen to the m u s i c and l o o k at what they are d o i n g , and w h a t they are w e a r i n g so that w o u l d be a v e r y g o o d e x a m p l e o f crossm a r k e t i n g . (B-2,  Jason)  110  iii. Women-Specific Marketing and Sales a. The development of women's surf stores and/or expansion of women's lines at existing retail stores. T h e retail interviewees c o n c e d e d that increased c o n s u m e r interest i n w o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r and i n the s u r f brands market has lead to the d e v e l o p m e n t o f w o m e n ' s s p e c i f i c s u r f stores and/or e x p a n s i o n o f w o m e n ' s lines at e x i s t i n g stores. M a n y o f these expansions w e r e o c c u r r i n g d u r i n g m y data c o l l e c t i o n p e r i o d . It seemed that w o m e n w e r e d r i v i n g these changes, and that w o m e n w e r e the ' m u s t h a v e ' consumer. A s a retail store o w n e r suggested: " W e r e a l i z e d w e are t o t a l l y f o c u s i n g o n the w r o n g m a r k e t " (R-3, C o l i n ) . T h i s retailer w a s i n the process o f o p e n i n g a w o m e n ' s s p e c i f i c store. S i m i l a r l y , G r i f f i n (2003) has noted that the strength o f w o m e n as c o n s u m e r s a n d as decision-makers i n their f a m i l y ' s p u r c h a s i n g d e c i s i o n s has i n f l u e n c e d retailers to change their store e n v i r o n m e n t s to better suit their b u y i n g needs. T h e trend towards w o m e n w i l l continue because w o m e n b u y s i g n i f i c a n t l y m o r e c l o t h i n g and other items than m e n . . . G i r l s are n o w c o m i n g into core s u r f shops and s p e n d i n g m o n e y . S o from a space standpoint, e x p a n d i n g the w o m e n ' s o f f e r i n g s is just smart business. L o o k i n g at retail, y o u see that stores n o w h a v e a better understanding o f h o w to m e r c h a n d i s e products and better c a p i t a l i z e o n this d y n a m i c . . ..Retailers are p a y i n g attention to h o w g i r l s shop and are n o w creating an e n v i r o n m e n t f o r t h e m that is h e l p i n g the j u n i o r s business to f l o u r i s h , (p. 28) T h e i n t e r v i e w s and the observations I made o f retail spaces support the c o n c l u s i o n that retailers are re-orienting their retail spaces to support the increased d e m a n d f o r w o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r and s u r f fashions. T h e retail spaces demonstrated n u m e r o u s changes  Ill  i n c l u d i n g o p e n i n g separate stores or sections that s p e c i f i c a l l y cater to the f e m a l e c o n s u m e r , the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f w o m e n ' s - s p e c i f i c product l i n e s , and increased representation o f m a i n w o m e n ' s brands. A s u r f retailer a c k n o w l e d g e d these market changes: A previous b u y e r . . .helped to g r o w the female side o f the market to the point where i n soft goods it was equal to the m e n ' s i n our store.. .It is a l w a y s thought [ o f as] a guys s p o r t i n g g o o d s store that g i r l s can c o m e to. W e l l w e reached a p o i n t . . .where w e w e r e c a r r y i n g e a s i l y as m u c h w o m e n ' s [product] as m e n ' s i n the s u m m e r lines. (R-4, Scott) S i m i l a r l y , the f o l l o w i n g s u r f retailer's c o m m e n t s h i g h l i g h t some o f the related changes geared to the f e m a l e c o n s u m e r : W e split o u r store i n h a l f this s u m m e r [2003] to m a k e it a m o r e c o m f o r t a b l e s h o p p i n g e n v i r o n m e n t for w o m e n . . . W e h a v e female buyers instead o f m a l e buyers b u y i n g female products. (R-4, Scott) T h e s e s u r f stores w e r e p r e d o m i n a n t l y o w n e d b y m e n and they a c k n o w l e d g e d one c o m m o n variable i n e x p a n d i n g their business, " G u y ' s can't start up a g i r l ' s store.  You  need g i r l s to m a k e the d e c i s i o n s " ( R - l , D a n ) . T h e s e retail changes have been f u e l e d b y the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f n e w labels or expansions o f e x i s t i n g lines at the brand l e v e l .  A  c o m m o n a l i t y amongst interviewees is the i m p o r t a n c e o f h a v i n g y o u n g w o m e n m a k i n g b u y i n g d e c i s i o n s . Interviewees stated that w o m e n tend to have superior trend k n o w l e d g e as revealed b y a s u r f retailer, " W e do put it a l l i n the hands o f the g i r l s that are w o r k i n g here too. T h e y tend to have their fingers o n the pulse t o o " (R-3, C o l i n ) . H e also suggested that e m p l o y i n g w o m e n i n retail creates a c o m f o r t a b l e s h o p p i n g experience.  112 " W e are r e a l i z i n g that w h e n w o m e n c o m e i n to l o o k at w o m e n ' s fashions they are m u c h m o r e c o m f o r t a b l e t a l k i n g to other w o m e n " (R-3, C o l i n ) . T h e s e retail changes have encouraged the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f i n g lifestyles and products into the m a i n s t r e a m .  b. Increased growth in women and girls surf wear businesses. T h e interviewees felt that trends i n c o n s u m p t i o n patterns a m o n g w o m e n and y o u n g girls i n the sport marketplace have triggered b r a n d e x p a n s i o n s i n the l i f e s t y l e sport marketplace. A s u r f b r a n d representative suggested that w o m e n have contributed to the b o t t o m l i n e o f s u r f w e a r businesses, "just as far as c o n t r i b u t i n g to extra d o l l a r s that w e r e n ' t otherwise there". H e c o m m e n t e d o n the g r o w t h o f this market and its effect o n the p o p u l a r i t y o f w o m e n ' s s u r f wear: T h e w o m e n ' s sport m a r k e t . . . i n general i n sport whether it be g o l f , h o c k e y , s k i i n g , ' its general appeal, tennis, r u n n i n g , y o g a , its d e f i n i t e l y a h u g e g r o w t h market.  I  t h i n k c o m p a n i e s are starting to u n d e r s t a n d . . . e v e r y t h i n g w o m e n ' s s p e c i f i c . . .that type o f c o n s u m e r wants to be i d e n t i f i e d w i t h and they want to have s o m e t h i n g that is t e c h n i c a l l y better f o r t h e m . . .So w o m e n fit into it i n the sense that it is a huge g r o w t h market right n o w and they are d e m a n d i n g to be m a r k e t e d towards and they are p r o v i n g that they s h o u l d be m a r k e t e d towards because they are s p e n d i n g the m o n e y . (B-2, Jason) S o m e o f the pioneer s u r f brands are n o w d e v e l o p i n g j u n i o r (female) lines to satisfy a g r o w i n g d e m a n d i n this market. It seems to be a natural p r o g r e s s i o n for these brands to o f f e r a q u a l i t y product to the female c o n s u m e r as T r i s h r e l a y e d :  113  I just t h i n k there was n o t h i n g out there. [ W e were] r e a l l y the first c o m p a n y to focus o n w o m e n ' s b o a r d sport c l o t h i n g l i k e w o m e n ' s b o a r d shorts. U p u n t i l then there was n o t h i n g out there and I t h i n k they just felt it was just a natural p r o g r e s s i o n f o r t h e m to o f f e r the same k i n d o f q u a l i t y p r o d u c t to the w o m e n . (B4, T r i s h ) T h e interviewees suggested that s u r f w e a r manufacturers are s e e i n g increased e c o n o m i c prosperity w i t h their female lines as s u r f lifestyles and products are d i f f u s e d into the m a i n s t r e a m . S u r f w e a r has m a i n s t r e a m appeal f o r several reasons as h i g h l i g h t e d b y a s u r f b r a n d representative, " [ Y o u ] d o n ' t have to be a surfer to w e a r the c l o t h i n g . [ Y o u ] d o n ' t have to be a p h y s i c a l surfer to feel y o u want to be part o f the s u r f s c e n e " (B1, L i a m ) . T h i s increased g r o w t h i n w o m e n and girls s u r f w e a r businesses appeared to be c o n t r i b u t i n g to the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f i n g lifestyles into the m a i n s t r e a m . O n e retailer contradicted the i n f l u e n c e o f s u r f businesses and suggested that the increased n u m b e r o f w o m e n s u r f i n g is what p r o p e l l e d the m a r k e t i n g o f s u r f products. I w o u l d say one w a s r e a l l y d r i v e n b y the other a n d . . .that the m a r k e t i n g c a m e afterwards. T h e m a r k e t i n g k i n d o f w e n t ' h e y w a i t a m i n u t e , there is this c o o l trend g o i n g o n . L e t ' s j u m p o n i t ' . . . T h e y just h o p p e d o n the b a n d w a g o n . . .more than they h a v e d r i v e n it. In the R o x y case w h i c h is an a n o m a l y because they.. .built it w i t h just the R o x y g i r l , the generic i m a g e o f this y o u n g , vibrant a l i v e person w h o is out d o i n g things. I w o u l d say that they are not p u s h i n g it bigger. So i f y o u w e r e to l o o k at the market l i f e c y c l e y o u w o u l d say that the market n a t u r a l l y d r o v e i t s e l f to a certain p o i n t or the p o p u l a r i t y o f the sport and the market was b e h i n d it i f y o u w e r e to o v e r l a y the t w o l i f e c y c l e s the market  114 was b e h i n d it. B u t n o w i t ' s not plateau but it is i n c r e a s i n g at a d e c r e a s i n g rate. So n o w I t h i n k the R o x y ' s and the B i l l a b o n g ' s and a l l these are g o i n g to d r i v e it into another g r o w t h sport. S o n o w they w o u l d be responsible for a lot m o r e o f the g r o w t h and the saturation, not just g r o w t h . (R-4, Scott) These c o m m e n t s c h a l l e n g e the v i e w that marketers w e r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the changes and support the preeminent role o f surfers themselves i n the e x p l o s i o n o f s u r f lifestyles and products to the m a i n s t r e a m . Y e t , the i n f l u e n c e o f the s u r f w e a r businesses was w e l l supported throughout m y analysis and constitutes a l i k e l y contributor to the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f lifestyles.  c. Development of women's specific products (surfboards, wet suits, rash guards) and/or changed technologies. T h e pattern o f d i f f u s i o n o f w o m e n ' s s u r f products appears to be c y c l i c a l . Increases i n the n u m b e r o f w o m e n ' s and g i r l ' s s u r f w e a r manufacturers and marketers appear to h a v e contributed to the d e v e l o p m e n t o f w o m e n ' s s p e c i f i c s u r f products w h i c h i n turn, has encouraged m o r e w o m e n to s u r f r e s u l t i n g i n a larger market w h i c h attracts m o r e manufacturers. A surfer suggested that " s u r f i n g was r e a l l y marketed to f e m a l e s " ( S 5, Stephanie), and another surfer i d e n t i f i e d these changes as o p e n i n g up the sport to m o r e women: I w o u l d just say it m a k e s s u r f i n g m o r e accessible to w o m e n . In the b o a r d size alone, it is v e r y hard to carry i f y o u c a n ' t fit the b o a r d under y o u r arm. A n d it is v e r y a w k w a r d . . . i f y o u have to carry it o n y o u r head o r i n some p e o p l e s ' cases i f y o u have to get y o u r g u y f r i e n d to carry it f o r y o u . It is v e r y frustrating to learn  115  w h e n y o u d o n ' t h a v e equipment that is not fitted to y o u r b o d y . I guess it w o u l d help create an i d e n t i t y because y o u w o u l d keep s u r f i n g . (S-3,  Brooke)  O n e surfer revealed that s o m e w o m e n m a y not appreciate the t e c h n o l o g i c a l advancements i n w o m e n ' s s u r f hard goods i f they d i d not s u r f t h r o u g h the change, "I think i f y o u are already a surfer, y o u w i l l be m o r e c o m f o r t a b l e i n the water because w e used to w e a r guys wetsuits. P e o p l e w h o d o n ' t s u r f they w o u l d n ' t r e a l l y k n o w the difference" (S-l, Kendra). T h i s quote p r o v i d e s e v i d e n c e o f some changes f o c u s i n g o n e n h a n c i n g the experience f o r the actual surfers w h i l e other d e v e l o p m e n t s concentrate o n the m a i n s t r e a m consumer. A s u r f b r a n d representative b e l i e v e d that i m p r o v e m e n t s i n t e c h n o l o g y h a v e m a d e s u r f i n g m o r e accessible to w o m e n . T e c h n o l o g y changes have i m p a c t e d the n u m b e r o f w o m e n s u r f i n g b y d o i n g R e s e a r c h and D e v e l o p m e n t and b y h a v i n g products that are w o m e n ' s - s p e c i f i c it w o u l d certainly encourage m o r e w o m e n to get i n v o l v e d and u t i l i z e e q u i p m e n t that w o u l d h e l p them do the sport better. (B-2,  Jason)  A s u r f b r a n d representative demonstrated the i m p o r t a n c e o f female p r o f e s s i o n a l surfers i n product d e v e l o p m e n t : L i s a A n d e r s o n is a w o r l d c h a m p i o n . [She is a] v e r y a c c o m p l i s h e d surfer and has been integral i n h e l p i n g to d e s i g n a lot o f the pieces i n o u r l i n e so that the result is products that are b o t h f u n c t i o n a l and also fashionable. (B-4,  Trish)  T r i s h a c k n o w l e d g e d the strength and penetration o f a pioneer s u r f brand. [ W e focus on] b e i n g as proactive as p o s s i b l e i n g r o w i n g the l i n e b y p r a c t i c i n g a progressive style o f d r e s s i n g active girls for a l l facets o f l i f e . . .1 t h i n k they r e a l l y  116 pride themselves o n the c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the J u n i o r c u s t o m e r . . .they are progressive but they try to embrace a l l the elements o f l i f e w i t h their c l o t h i n g . . .So there i s a lot o f p r o d u c t . . .It i s almost l i k e y o u can't t h i n k o f a l m o s t a n y t h i n g that a y o u n g g i r l w o u l d want that w e d o n ' t produce. (B-4, T r i s h ) She reveals that p i o n e e r s u r f brands h a v e targeted b o t h the masses and the actual surfers i n their product d e v e l o p m e n t s . T h e s e changed technologies h a v e m a d e s u r f i n g m o r e accessible to w o m e n , i n a d d i t i o n to m a k i n g the s u r f l i f e s t y l e m o r e a v a i l a b l e to the masses. T h e result o f this d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f lifestyles and products is that m o r e g i r l s a n d w o m e n are e m b r a c i n g the w h o l e s u r f experience.  d. Marketing to junior consumers L a s t l y , the interviewees also d o c u m e n t e d the i m p o r t a n c e o f s e c u r i n g the interest o f the j u n i o r consumer. A retailer revealed that the j u n i o r c o n s u m e r is a p p e a l i n g to marketers for the purposes o f s e c u r i n g b r a n d l o y a l t y . " T h e y d e f i n i t e l y market early to try and get b r a n d l o y a l t y . . .and they market d i r e c t l y to the y o u n g e r c o n s u m e r h o p i n g that the b r a n d l o y a l t y w i l l carry o v e r " ( R - 4 , Scott). F u r t h e r m o r e , J a s o n a c k n o w l e d g e d the importance o f g a i n i n g the support o f the j u n i o r c o n s u m e r i n order to secure its brands m i s s i o n , " t o be the #1 s u r f b r a n d ; as far as its penetration i n the market as far as p e o p l e ' s b r a n d a w a r e n e s s " (B-2, Jason) A retailer also c o m m e n t e d o n the b r a n d l o y a l t y that s o m e brands generate: There is s o m e serious b r a n d l o y a l t y out there and y o u can c a l l it l o y a l t y , b r a i n w a s h i n g , w h a t e v e r y o u l i k e . [ T h e marketers] have done their j o b w e l l a n d h o o k e d it i n h a r d and most o f the t i m e they h a v e to d o it through a l o o k . T h e y  117 can't t o t a l l y cheat. T h e r e are some c o m p a n i e s that just p i c k out a team e v e n before they h a v e any products because they go 'these f o u r guys are super c o o l , i f they w e a r it, w e can s e l l i t ' . . .So y o u are g o i n g to see p o s s i b l y the g r o w t h o f that i n the ladies industry w h e r e it hasn't been that before. Y o u w i l l see s o m e n e w c o m p a n i e s that w i l l p r o b a b l y try and do e x a c t l y what the guys have d o n e . . .and attach m o r e i c o n s to see i f that w o r k s . (R-4,  Scott)  T h e brand-related i n t e r v i e w s s h o w e d that the tactics used to secure the attention o f the y o u n g g i r l c o n s u m e r are dependent o n the b r a n d and often reflect the s u r f l i f e s t y l e . A retailer noted that the appeal o f the s u r f l i f e s t y l e is often the f o c a l point o f a b r a n d ' s m a r k e t i n g c a m p a i g n . " T h e w h o l e f u n b e a c h k i n d o f attitude that they are m a r k e t i n g so w e l l i n all their literature [and] even all the h a n g tags that c o m e o n their c l o t h i n g [are] a l l about y o u n g k i d s h a v i n g f u n at the b e a c h " (R-3,  Colin).  It was c o m m o n l y cited that the y o u n g e r generation w i l l w e a r a certain b r a n d based o n their identity. A s a s u r f b r a n d representative suggested: I t h i n k that i n C a n a d a and again it w o u l d c o m e f r o m the y o u n g e r k i d s because they are m u c h m o r e educated consumers. T h e y are m o r e s p e c i f i c . I m e a n i f y o u are a hard-core skateboard guy, y o u w o u l d p r o b a b l y w e a r V o l c o m c l o t h i n g . V o l c o m is a pretty e d g y core b r a n d . Q u i k s i l v e r and B i l l a b o n g I w o u l d n ' t say are core brands. I m e a n they are and they aren't. In the general perspective o f that educated c o n s u m e r they aren't c o o l e n o u g h . (B-2,  Jason)  S i m i l a r l y , another retailer illustrated the same theme but f o c u s e d o n the female consumer:  118  T h e y w i l l c o m e i n and want a l l R o x y . I l o v e R o x y . I hear t h e m all w a l k i n g around the store 'I l o v e R o x y ' and T just l o v e R o x y ' and they are w e a r i n g R o x y a n d . . .then y o u w i l l have other p e o p l e that c o m e i n and say ' w e l l I d o n ' t w e a r R o x y . I o n l y w e a r B i l l a b o n g because R o x y is v e r y g i r l y ' .  So then y o u get the  one step b a c k from that the ones w h o refuse to go quite that g i r l y and they l i k e the B i l l a b o n g and the O ' N e i l l and that is m o r e the sport g i r l , [they] are a c t u a l l y m o r e the real surfer girls. (R-5,  Suzy)  A s u r f b r a n d representative b e l i e v e d that a b r a n d s ' p o p u l a r i t y is also t y p i c a l l y affected b y its b a s i c d e s i g n . A lot has to do w i t h c o l o r , tit, and d e s i g n . If s o m e o n e sees a d e s i g n they l i k e and a b r a n d they r e c o g n i z e , they w i l l b u y it. [In] certain times w h e n certain brands are m o r e p o p u l a r than others, [it] has to do w i t h the designs the c o m p a n y has, the value the c o m p a n y offers, [and] m a r k e t i n g that they are d o i n g . ( B - l , L i a m ) A retailer suggested that as s u r f lifestyles and products are d i f f u s e d into the m a i n s t r e a m and y o u n g w o m e n and g i r l s are i n c r e a s i n g l y targeted b y b r a n d marketers, one must be e x c e e d i n g l y cautious w h e n a p p r o a c h i n g this y o u n g e r d e m o g r a p h i c . M a r k e t i n g towards the y o u n g customer y o u can m a k e huge mistakes. Y o u can shoot y o u r s e l f i n the foot just l i k e that. I w o u l d rather do n o t h i n g and h a v e t h e m s l o w l y start to b u i l d [up and] have them c o m e i n , have a g o o d experience and then next t i m e they c o m e i n do a little better. (R-2,  Phil)  T h e i n t e r v i e w s revealed that s u r f brands are m o r e proactive i n their m a r k e t i n g c a m p a i g n s ; h o w e v e r , they often change their tone to capture the female pre-teen and teen c o n s u m e r . T h i s is e x e m p l i f i e d b y the f o l l o w i n g s u r f b r a n d representative's c o m m e n t s :  119 [Pre-teens and teens] are v e r y educated i n h o w they want to b u y and w h a t they want so w e are certainly adapting and t r y i n g to a l w a y s be one step a h e a d . . .1 w o u l d say that the m a r k e t i n g strategy is a l w a y s c h a n g i n g . . .In order to be successful y o u a l w a y s have to be adaptable i n f i g u r i n g out w a y s to reach t h e m better. (B-2, Jason) A n o t h e r brand representative revealed that s o c i a l groups often i n f l u e n c e youths purchase d e c i s i o n s and that these groups are constantly e v o l v i n g . In elementary s c h o o l the group y o u h o o k up w i t h r e a l l y dictates w h a t y o u are g o i n g to b u y . S u d d e n l y y o u r group decides, it is l i k e a c o l l e c t i v e u n c o n s c i o u s n e s s , that this is c o o l and this is what w e are g o i n g to b u y and it j u s t filters d o w n . . . [Style] changes just l i k e that and w i t h g i r l s it changes m o r e q u i c k l y than it does w i t h b o y s . (B-3, J a c k y )  4.9 Role of Media in the Diffusion of Surf Lifestyles A s a f i n a l c o n d i t i o n , the m e d i a w e r e p e r c e i v e d b y the interviewees as c o n t r i b u t i n g to the g r o w t h i n interest about s u r f i n g and to the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f i n g lifestyles. D e p i c t i o n s o f s u r f i n g w e r e w i d e s p r e a d i n the m e d i a d u r i n g m y data c o l l e c t i o n p e r i o d . A s G r f f i n (2003b) wrote at the t i m e : It is u n l i k e l y c o n s u m e r s c o u l d have m i s s e d a l l o f the s u r f i n g i n the m a i n s t r e a m m e d i a this s u m m e r [2003]. In a d d i t i o n to ' B o a r d i n g H o u s e : N o r t h S h o r e ' and M T V ' s ' S u r f G i r l s ' , there was F o x t e l e v i s i o n garnering a hit w i t h ' T h e O . C ' . . . w h i c h is h e a v i l y i n f l u e n c e d b y the current f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h the s u r f lifestyle, (p. 24)  120  Other e x a m p l e s o f the g r o w i n g presence o f s u r f i n g was the release o f w o m e n ' s o n l y s u r f v i d e o s , the a d d i t i o n o f s u r f i n g to the S u m m e r X G a m e s [in 2 0 0 3 ] , the presence o f s u r f i n g i n p o p culture (in m u s i c v i d e o s and H o l l y w o o d m o v i e s ) , and the emergence o f s u r f trends o n r u n w a y s and w i t h non-surf c o m p a n i e s ( G r i f f i n , 2 0 0 3 b ) . It was i n c r e a s i n g l y evident that s u r f i n g intersected w i t h f a s h i o n and m u s i c at an augmented rate throughout this t i m e period. Further evidence o f this c o n n e c t i o n was evident at the M T V T e e n C h o i c e A w a r d s i n w h i c h a w a r d recipients r e c e i v e d a s u r f b o a r d as their t r o p h y f o r w i n n i n g their respective a w a r d category. T r i s h , a b r a n d representative o f a g l o b a l l y a c c l a i m e d s u r f b r a n d credited the m e d i a w i t h a lot o f the g r o w t h i n the s u r f products industry. I t h i n k it has to do w i t h a lot o f the m e d i a and the w a y that the s u r f brands have b e c o m e so p o p u l a r and girls are w e a r i n g the stuff, and then they w a n t to a c t u a l l y be part o f the l i f e s t y l e , and then B l u e C r u s h that c a m e out last year, and there is m o r e surfer v i d e o s and T V shows and it is sort o f i n f i l t r a t i n g into the m a i n s t r e a m n o w . (B-4, T r i s h ) A n o t h e r b r a n d representative credited the m e d i a w i t h c h a n g i n g the lifestyles o f women: It is r e a l l y a market generated w o r l d . . . T h e ad c a m p a i g n s that y o u see are all targeted [and] these c a m p a i g n s h a v e been so s u c c e s s f u l . W o m e n are b e c o m i n g m u c h m o r e o u t g o i n g and adventurous, confident and independent because that is the i m a g e that is b e i n g portrayed [by the m e d i a that it is] what w o m e n i n this era are l i k e . (B-5, L e a n n e )  121  /. Print media W i t h the rise i n p o p u l a r m e d i a portrayals o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g as an e m p o w e r i n g a c t i v i t y (e.g., the f i l m " B l u e C r u s h ) , it is not s u r p r i s i n g that print m e d i a are f o l l o w i n g this same trend. A n e x a m i n a t i o n o f s u r f i n g p u b l i c a t i o n s demonstrated that w o m e n are b e i n g targeted b y n e w s u r f i n g m a g a z i n e s that send e m p o w e r i n g messages to w o m e n .  This  m a k e s sense, because, as B o o t h (2001) indicates " S i l e n c e is a f o r m o f d i s c o u r a g e m e n t , and the l i m i t e d coverage o f w o m e n i n t r a d i t i o n a l m a l e - d o m i n a t e d s u r f i n g m a g a z i n e s e f f e c t i v e l y d e n i e d t h e m access to 'the s y m b o l i c resources needed to i d e n t i f y as s u r f e r s ' " (p. 13). In order to m a i n t a i n c i r c u l a t i o n these m a g a z i n e s need to g a i n readership and reach the female c o n s u m e r i n a m e a n i n g f u l w a y .  S u r f S n o w Skate G i r l m a g a z i n e ( S G )  p r e v i o u s l y k n o w n as S u r f i n g G i r l m a g a z i n e is a successful e x a m p l e o f this a p p r o a c h and is q u i c k l y b e c o m i n g the g i r l s ' source f o r the surf/snow/skate/lifestyle industry. A regular r e a d i n g o f S G d u r i n g this t i m e p e r i o d reflected s o m e o f the themes that w e r e prevalent i n m y study. I r o u t i n e l y r e v i e w e d S G m a g a z i n e f r o m its i n i t i a t i o n i n O c t o b e r o f 2 0 0 2 and throughout m y data analysis. T h e p l a c e m e n t o f advertisements revealed a consistent order o v e r t i m e . T h e esteemed brands w o u l d place their advertisements near the covers and i n the first f e w pages o f the p u b l i c a t i o n . T h e s e brands g e n e r a l l y appeared i n the same order f r o m m o n t h to m o n t h and they w o u l d be i n one o f three f o r m s : an action shot, a product placement ad, or a l i f e s t y l e i m a g e . B y s w i t c h i n g f r o m an a c t i o n shot to a l i f e s t y l e i m a g e , it was apparent that these brands w e r e e q u a l l y targeting b o t h the surfers and non-surfers i n their advertisements. T h i s c o u l d be a part o f the b r a n d ' s m a r k e t i n g strategy as a s u r f b r a n d representative suggested that, " L i f e s t y l e shots as o p p o s e d to core g i r l s s u r f i n g are g o i n g to sell m o r e p r o d u c t s " (B-5, L e a n n e ) .  122 Furthermore, these advertisements almost a l w a y s i n c l u d e d w e b l i n k s that enabled the reader to gain i m m e d i a t e access to the b r a n d ' s w e b site. A s L e a n n e revealed, "I d o n ' t think any c o m p a n y that wants to get their product out there g l o b a l l y can do w i t h o u t the internet" (B-5,  Leanne).  A n o t h e r noticeable trend was the r e l a t i o n s h i p between s u r f i n g , s u r f fashions and m u s i c . F u r t h e r m o r e , the c r o s s o v e r between b o a r d sports was supported i n that the crossover lifestyle was illustrated throughout the pages. T h i s p u b l i c a t i o n p a r t i c u l a r l y appealed to y o u n g g i r l s and demonstrated editorial strategies u t i l i z e d i n other girloriented m a g a z i n e s (e.g. C o s m o G I R L , Seventeen, and T e e n V o g u e ) i n c l u d i n g f a s h i o n trends, beauty tips, b o y s , and horoscopes. T h i s m a g a z i n e targets consumers w h o are fascinated w i t h the casual, beach l i f e s t y l e w h o m a y not subscribe to a n y core print p u b l i c a t i o n . A s a retailer suggested, " A l l these c o m p a n i e s l i k e R o x y , Q u i k s i l v e r e v e n through the s u r f m a g a z i n e s and a l l that, they are r e a l l y targeting that y o u n g e r c r o w d " (R3, C o l i n ) . A s u r f b r a n d representative suggested that m a r k e t i n g strategies are s p e c i f i c to the d e m o g r a p h i c b e i n g targeted: O u r ad strategy [is to] appeal to Y o u t h . Create some reaction, a r e s p o n s e . . .Three elements [in our print ad c a m p a i g n s ] : r e c o g n i z a b l e team rider, c l a s s i c s u r f shot, and s o m e t h i n g t o t a l l y out there.. . W i t h ads y o u have to take y o u r step apart f r o m other c o m p a n i e s . . .the k i d s are the ones b u y i n g the s u r f m a g a z i n e s . ( B - l , L i a m ) H e suggested the f o l l o w i n g as characteristics o f print ads that are m o r e geared to w o m e n , " T h e ads for w o m e n are m o r e for the c l o t h i n g [and] advertised i n S u r f i n g G i r l [name o f S G until September 2002]. [There are] no s p e c i f i c wetsuit a d s " ( B - l , L i a m ) .  A  123  c o m p e t i n g brand revealed, "I t h i n k the tone is m o r e f e m i n i n e . It is still the same lifestyle. Y o u k n o w still sort o f the same i m a g e just m o r e f e m i n i n e " (B-4, T r i s h ) . J a c k y a c k n o w l e d g e d product p l a c e m e n t as b e i n g m o r e effective i n g i r l s ' magazines: W e are d o i n g a lot o f product placement w i t h the m a g a z i n e s . I f y o u read the articles they talk about w h a t ' s hot, w h a t ' s not, w h a t ' s c o o l i n c l o t h i n g and so [our brand] is getting p l a c e m e n t i n a d d i t i o n to p u t t i n g ads i n the m a g a z i n e s . P r o d u c t placement seems to be m o r e effective as g i r l s c a n search i n stores f o r that particular product. T h e readership o f T e e n P e o p l e is 1.6 m i l l i o n so w e have great exposure. M o r e exposure means m o r e g i r l s b u y i n g o u r product. (B-3, J a c k y ) Several V a n c o u v e r S u n articles p u b l i s h e d after the release o f B l u e C r u s h indicated that L o w e r M a i n l a n d retailers w e r e b e n e f i t i n g f r o m the increased appeal o f the s u r f culture a n d suggested that the film's release had an e x p l o s i v e effect o n the p o p u l a r i t y o f beach w e a r i n general ( K l a f f e , 2 0 0 2 ; L e e m i n g , 2 0 0 2 ) . F u r t h e r m o r e , these articles gave attention to w o m e n surfers and the l o c a l B C s u r f scene. A s u r f retailer noted the h i g h v i s i b i l i t y o f s u r f i n g i n the l o c a l print m e d i a at the time. E v e r y t i m e y o u p i c k u p either a G e o r g i a Straight or a B C I T ad it has a surfer o n it. L o o k at an ad f o r the P l e n t y store, it has a g i r l d u c k - d i v i n g , that has n o t h i n g to d o w i t h Plenty. E v e r y i m a g e out there is c o p y i n g the s u r f lifestyle. (R-2, P h i l )  //. Electronic Media I m p r o v e d technologies have helped photographers capture v i v i d in-water shots o f s u r f i n g that enable the audience to share the experience o f the surfer. T h i s r e a l i s m  124  c o u p l e d w i t h the rise i n p o p u l a r m e d i a portrayals o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g as an e m p o w e r i n g a c t i v i t y have h a d an i n c r e d i b l y p o s i t i v e effect o n the i m a g e o f the sport and as a result, have further increased its p o p u l a r i t y . U n i v e r s a l ' s B l u e C r u s h was p o s i t i v e l y r e c e i v e d b y the m a i n s t r e a m press i n their r e v i e w s and made respectable returns at the b o x o f f i c e s . Surfer m a g a z i n e suggested that B l u e C r u s h h a d e f f e c t i v e l y captured w o m e n ' s surfing. B l u e C r u s h - the story o f a y o u n g g i r l surfer s t r u g g l i n g to p r o v e h e r s e l f o n the N o r t h Shore w h i l e f i n d i n g l o v e i n the process - i s , i n actuality, m e r e l y a series o f scenes l i f t e d almost d i r e c t l y f r o m other H o l l y w o o d s u r f m o v i e s . . .But despite its c o m p l e t e l a c k o f o r i g i n a l i t y , B l u e C r u s h does capture s o m e t h i n g that a l l these p r e v i o u s s u r f pictures f a i l e d to: an i n s p i r a t i o n a l v i t a l i t y , e m b o d i e d b y t o d a y ' s liberated f e m a l e surfers. H o w appropriate that after 4 0 years o f t h i n l y - v e i l e d m i s o g y n y and male-dominated portrayals o f the sport, it took a f i l m about g i r l surfers to p r o v i d e this ( G e o r g e , 2 0 0 2 ) . M a n y o f the surfers I i n t e r v i e w e d a c k n o w l e d g e d the m o v i e as b e i n g representative o f w h a t it feels l i k e to surf. " V e r y r e a l i s t i c . . .girls h e l d b a c k b y fear.  [I]  l i k e d the fact that the girls w e r e d o i n g the t e a c h i n g " (S-4, A n n ) . A n o t h e r surfer l i k e d the s u r f i n g but d i s l i k e d the plot.  r  I want to hate it but I l o v e it. I l i k e d the s u r f footage. T h e y d i d an excellent j o b o f c ap tu ri n g w h a t it felt l i k e to be o n a w a v e to capturi ng what it felt l i k e to be under a w a v e and j u s t the water.. .the s o u n d o f the water. Y o u c o u l d feel it. I hated the H o l l y w o o d s t o r y . . .poor portrayal o f s u r f i n g culture b y a d d i n g the r o m a n c e aspect. (S-3, B r o o k e )  A c o m m o n theme expressed i n the i n t e r v i e w s was that B l u e C r u s h had increased the p o p u l a r i t y o f s u r f fashions and had d r a w n m o r e y o u n g g i r l s to surf. A surfer stated that, " B l u e C r u s h has o p e n e d up girls s u r f i n g , increased the l i k e l i n e s s for female preteens to try s u r f i n g and has increased attendance at s u r f c a m p s " ( S - l , K e n d r a ) . T h e release o f B l u e C r u s h strengthened the m e d i a h y p e s u r r o u n d i n g w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g and i t s e l f p o t e n t i a l l y contributed to the g r o w t h o f the industry. T o f i n o , o n c e a quiet f i s h i n g t o w n b e c a m e a p o p u l a r destination for reporters and j o u r n a l i s t s w h o w e r e fascinated b y C a n a d i a n s u r f culture and the increase i n n u m b e r o f females t a k i n g to the sport and its attendant l i f e s t y l e . A n interesting p o i n t that questions the i n f l u e n c e o f s u r f i n g m e d i a and promotes further d i s c u s s i o n i n regards to the role o f m e d i a i n the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f lifestyles w a s m a d e b y Scott, a retailer. T o see.. . B l u e C r u s h b e i n g a great m e d i a m a r k e t i n g t o o l that was u s e d to d r i v e f o r w a r d so m a n y y o u n g g i r l s into the s u r f and that w a s k i n d o f an after event l i k e the g i r l s w e r e already g o i n g into i t . . . S e l d o m is a m o v i e so g r o u n d b r e a k i n g or m e d i a so g r o u n d b r e a k i n g that it drives a trend f o r w a r d . It u s u a l l y f o l l o w s the trend. (R-4, Scott) T h e i n f l u e n c e o f the m e d i a i n the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f lifestyles was a c o m m o n theme i n the interviews. P r o d u c t placements i n m o v i e s can generate a great deal o f attention f o r brands and B l u e C r u s h was no e x c e p t i o n . A s one retailer e x p l a i n e d , " B l u e C r u s h was huge. W e s o l d those B i l l a b o n g rash guards from the p r o d u c t i o n . E v e r y o n e h a d to have o n e " (R-3, C o l i n ) . A l l the retailers c o n c e d e d that B l u e C r u s h contributed to increased sales for the B i l l a b o n g rash guards that w e r e s h o w n i n the m o v i e .  126  T h e internet was also repeatedly a c k n o w l e d g e d for its i m p o r t a n c e i n a brands m a r k e t i n g strategy. T h e interviewees cited the internet as a k e y t o o l i n p r o v i d i n g consumers w i t h product k n o w l e d g e and b r a n d awareness. A s u r f b r a n d representative s u m m a r i z e d the i m p o r t a n c e o f the internet as f o l l o w s : I t h i n k international w e b sites s h o u l d be frequently u p d a t e d . . .it lets p e o p l e k n o w about the different c o m p e t i t i o n s around the w o r l d and h o w p e o p l e do at t h e m , and w h a t [the brands] n e w t e c h n o l o g y is and y o u can v i e w products o n l i n e w h i c h is r e a l l y important. (B-5,  Leanne)  127  CHAPTER V - DISCUSSION B y a n a l y z i n g a series o f conservations w i t h three diverse groups that represent the C a n a d i a n s u r f scene and s u r f w e a r industry, this study has attempted to g a i n greater insight into the w o m e n ' s s u r f culture i n W e s t e r n C a n a d a , and the m a r k e t i n g activities o f the C a n a d i a n s u r f wear industry. F r o m this e x p l o r a t i o n , there w e r e n i n e k e y areas that emerged. S e v e r a l theories and trends i n the sport m a r k e t i n g , sport s o c i o l o g y , and c o n s u m e r research d i s c i p l i n e s shaped this thesis. T h i s chapter w i l l reflect o n those areas e x h i b i t e d throughout this study and evaluate t h e m i n accordance w i t h trends that are occurring worldwide. T h i s thesis has p r o v i d e d e v i d e n c e o f the extent to w h i c h surfers, c o n s u m e r s , retailers, and s u r f brands intersect. Several inter-penetrating themes e m e r g e d i n the analysis o f the results that have created several opportunities f o r r e f l e c t i o n and d i s c u s s i o n . T h i s chapter w i l l e x a m i n e these factors w h i l s t returning to the m a i n objectives o f this study: (i) to c r i t i c a l l y e x a m i n e h o w the m a r k e t i n g o f s u r f products affects s u r f i n g lifestyles and product c o n s u m p t i o n ; and (ii) to describe h o w s u r f l i f e s t y l e s and products, i n turn, b e c o m e d i f f u s e d to a larger p o p u l a t i o n o f y o u n g w o m e n and g i r l s . T h e four m a i n hypotheses o f this research w i l l be a n a l y z e d and the v i a b i l i t y o f s u r f i n g as a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n w i l l be determined. T h i s chapter h i g h l i g h t s : (a) r e f l e c t i n g o n trends i n the w o m e n ' s sport m a r k e t p l a c e ; (b) r e f l e c t i n g o n trends i n C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g ; (c) r e f l e c t i n g o n s u r f b r a n d m a r k e t i n g ; and (d) r e f l e c t i n g o n subcultural theory. M e a n w h i l e , f o l l o w i n g the d i s c u s s i o n p o r t i o n o f this thesis an e p i l o g u e is i n c l u d e d to s u m m a r i z e what I learned as an active participant i n this industry. T h i s e p i l o g u e  128  a l o n g s i d e the d i s c u s s i o n p o r t i o n o f this thesis shall p r o v i d e insights into the r o l e o f r e t a i l i n g and b r a n d m a r k e t i n g i n the e x p a n s i o n o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g and d o c u m e n t trends that are o c c u r r i n g i n the w o m e n ' s sports product marketplace. B y p r o v i d i n g a w i n d o w o f k n o w l e d g e as a n i n s i d e r i n the s u r f industry, I w i l l reflect o n m y interactions w i t h surfers, s u r f b r a n d representatives, and c o n s u m e r s ; i n a d d i t i o n to, p r o v i d i n g other i n f o r m a t i o n that c a n further support this research.  5.1 Reflecting on Trends in the Women's Sport Marketplace A l t h o u g h there is evidence o f w o m e n s u r f i n g since the 1700s ( G a b b a r d , 2 0 0 0 ) , " o n l y recently has the sport gained m u c h v i s i b i l i t y " ( H a m i l t o n et a l . , 2 0 0 2 , p. 53). W o m e n p l a y e d a m i n o r role i n the early d e v e l o p m e n t o f B C s u r f i n g . T h e late 1990s m a r k e d a s i g n i f i c a n t change w i t h m o r e and m o r e w o m e n t r y i n g the sport ( S h i l l i n g , 2 0 0 3 ) . In recent years, s u r f i n g has permeated v i r t u a l l y e v e r y aspect o f y o u t h sport and culture, f r o m the clothes to the m u s i c . T h e s u r f industry has e x p l o d e d g l o b a l l y and a l o n g w i t h it so has the m e d i a w i t h a l l g i r l s s u r f v i d e o s and m a g a z i n e s . M o r e w o m e n are attending girls-only s u r f i n g c a m p s and p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n c o m p e t i t i o n s . T h e changes i n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g are e n c o u r a g i n g and several can be attributed to m a r k e t i n g . " A s a c o n s u m e r group, w o m e n n o w possess the m a r k e t i n g potential to m a k e a s i g n i f i c a n t i m p a c t u p o n the b o t t o m l i n e o f c o n s u m e r and spectator sport o r g a n i z a t i o n s that are w i l l i n g to c o n s i d e r these o b v i o u s trends i n the sport m a r k e t p l a c e " ( B r a n c h , 1995, p. 10). W o m e n are n o l o n g e r an afterthought i n the sports product m a r k e t p l a c e . T h e y are i n c r e a s i n g l y b e c o m i n g a focus o f brands and are b e i n g targeted i n their m a r k e t i n g c a m p a i g n s . W o m e n are p r o v i n g that they s h o u l d r e c e i v e r e c o g n i t i o n as a distinct a n d  129  p o w e r f u l segment i n the sport m a r k e t p l a c e ( B r a d i s h , L a t h r o p , & S e d g w i c k , 2 0 0 1 ; B r a n c h , 1995; L o u g h , 1996; S h o h a m , R o s e , K r o p p , & K a h l e , 1997; Sparks & Westgate, 2 0 0 2 ; Sutton & W a t l i n g t o n , 1994). E s s e n t i a l l y , w o m e n are d e m a n d i n g to be m a r k e t e d towards and b r a n d marketers are r e s p o n d i n g . T h e w o m e n ' s market i n general has tremendous g r o w t h opportunities and w o m e n prove to be l o y a l c o n s u m e r s i f they are i d e n t i f i e d w i t h b y w o m e n ' s s p e c i f i c products. W i t h the recent g r o w t h o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g a n d d e m a n d f o r w o m e n ' s s u r f wear, s u r f w e a r manufacturers are e x p a n d i n g their product o f f e r i n g s to w o m e n . P i o n e e r s u r f brands h a v e responded to this g r o w i n g d e m a n d b y d e v e l o p i n g j u n i o r lines as y o u n g w o m e n h a v e emerged as an important sub segment for sport, sport-related products, a n d sport marketers ( S h o h a m et a l . , 1997).  5.2 Reflecting on Trends in Canadian Women's Surfing T h e s i g n i f i c a n t trends that w e r e o c c u r r i n g i n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g and the sports products market h e l p e d f o r m the basis f o r this study. A g o a l o f this research w a s to contribute to an increased understanding o f the factors a f f e c t i n g the d e v e l o p m e n t o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g i n W e s t e r n C a n a d a . It w a s apparent i n m y data analysis that several variables have contributed to this g r o w t h seen i n C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g .  These  factors s h o u l d contribute to an increased awareness o f the appeal o f s u r f i n g , a n d to the uniqueness o f the C a n a d i a n scene i n c o m p a r i s o n to other g l o b a l s u r f i n g destinations. There w e r e n u m e r o u s other intricacies that e m e r g e d i n this analysis, and further r e v i e w o f t h e m shall p r o v i d e an increased understanding o f the i n t e r p l a y o f subcultures a n d m a r k e t i n g i n C a n a d i a n c o n s u m e r culture, b y e x a m i n i n g the l i n k betw een l i f e s t y l e s , identity, a n d c o n s u m p t i o n .  130  P r i o r to the m i d - 1 9 9 0 s , the sport o f s u r f i n g i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a attracted r e l a t i v e l y f e w participants and o n l y a s m a l l percentage o f females w e r e a c t i v e l y i n v o l v e d i n the sport. S h i l l i n g (2003) i d e n t i f i e d the f o l l o w i n g factors as m a i n contributors to the rebirth o f s u r f i n g i n T o f i n o : the i m p r o v e m e n t s i n wetsuit t e c h n o l o g y , the presence o f parents i n the water, a s n o w b o a r d i n g and s k a t e b o a r d i n g crossover, and the presence o f s u r f c l o t h i n g and accessories and the a d v e r t i s i n g that went w i t h them. S o m e o f the i d e n t i f i a b l e changes o v e r t i m e i n the sport o f s u r f i n g i n B C are clear as i d e n t i f i e d b y S h i l l i n g (2003): the disappearance o f s u r f squat c o m m u n i t i e s ; the emergence o f elders i n the sport; increased p a r t i c i p a t i o n b y w o m e n ; the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f T o f i n o f r o m a remote resource-based t o w n to one that is v i s i t e d b y a m i l l i o n p e o p l e each year and w i t h an e c o n o m y capable o f s u p p o r t i n g several s u r f shops, s u r f s c h o o l s and the annual s u r f c o m p e t i t i o n s ; and the g r o w t h o f c o m p e t i t i v e s u r f i n g i n B C . (p. 54) S h i l l i n g (2003) d o c u m e n t e d the increased p a r t i c i p a t i o n b y w o m e n as an i d e n t i f i a b l e change i n the sport o f s u r f i n g i n B C . T h i s study i d e n t i f i e d eight factors as contributors to the g r o w t h o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g , s p e c i f i c a l l y i n B C . T h e s e factors i n c l u d e : changes i n wetsuit t e c h n o l o g y , crossover appeal f r o m s k a t e b o a r d i n g and s n o w b o a r d i n g , C a l i f o r n i a ' s i n f l u e n c e , increased d e m a n d f o r w o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r and s u r f fashions, the g r o w t h o f c o m p e t i t i v e s u r f i n g i n B C , increased m e d i a exposure o f C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g , d e v e l o p m e n t o f C a n a d i a n s u r f businesses, and w o m e n ' s increased c o m f o r t w i t h the identity o f ' b e i n g a surfer'. B o o t h (2001) i d e n t i f i e d the f o l l o w i n g as c o n d i t i o n s that have contributed to a n e w s u r f i n g culture that is m o r e a c c e p t i n g o f w o m e n : the r e v i v a l o f l o n g boards, the emergence o f n e w role m o d e l s , r e s o l u t i o n o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g style, a  131  shift i n attitude r e g a r d i n g the m a r k e t i n g o f female s e x u a l i t y , a r e v i t a l i z e d w o m e n ' s tour, and n e w products dedicated to female surfers. T h i s study i d e n t i f i e d variables that e x h i b i t c o m m o n a l i t i e s w i t h other s u r f i n g literatures, but also demonstrates that these c o n d i t i o n s are not u n i v e r s a l and that the C a n a d i a n scene has its o w n u n i q u e i n f l u e n c e s and tendencies.  5.3 Reflecting on Surf Brand Marketing P r e v i o u s research has r e c o g n i z e d s o m e o f the k e y trends that have been o c c u r r i n g i n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g s u c h as: increased g l o b a l r e c o g n i t i o n and acceptance o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g ( H a m i l t o n et a l . , 2 0 0 2 ) , increased i m p o r t a n c e o f B C and C a n a d a i n g l o b a l w o m e n ' s s u r f scene ( N i c k s o n , 2 0 0 0 ) , and an increased m e d i a p o r t r a y a l o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g as an e m p o w e r i n g a c t i v i t y ( G o n z a l e z , 2 0 0 2 ; H a m i l t o n et a l . , 2 0 0 2 ) . T h i s appears to m a k e the rise o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g an o r g a n i c , surfer-led p h e n o m e n o n ; a l t h o u g h , the research also suggests that: there is increased g r o w t h i n w o m e n and g i r l s s u r f w e a r businesses ( G a b b a r d , 2 0 0 0 ; H a m i l t o n et a l . , 2 0 0 2 ; K l a f f k e , 2 0 0 2 ; O s t r o w s k i , 1999) and increased e c o n o m i c p r o s p e r i t y a m o n g s u r f w e a r manufacturers i n c o r p o r a t i n g f e m a l e lines ( B o o t h , 2 0 0 1 , H a m i l t o n et a l . , 2 0 0 2 , O s t r o w s k i , 1999). O n e o f the prevalent message systems around w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g is s u r f b r a n d m a r k e t i n g . It is here that e m p o w e r i n g messages are e s p e c i a l l y v i s i b l e . T h e s e p r e d o m i n a n t trends i n v i t e the q u e s t i o n - what is the role o f s u r f b r a n d m a r k e t i n g i t s e l f i n the d e v e l o p m e n t o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g culture? Is this a case o f cooptation as seen i n skateboard culture, are the brands and surfers s h a r i n g m e a n i n g s , values and identities?  132  T h i s lead to the d e v e l o p m e n t o f t w o p r i m a r y research objectives; 1) to e x a m i n e h o w the m a r k e t i n g o f s u r f products affects s u r f lifestyles and product c o n s u m p t i o n , a n d 2) to describe h o w s u r f lifestyles and products i n turn b e c o m e d i f f u s e d to a larger p o p u l a t i o n o f y o u n g w o m e n and girls.  The Role of Consumption in Relation to One's Identity It has been d o c u m e n t e d that sport and leisure lifestyles are sites o f identity f o r m a t i o n ( W h e a t o n , 2000) and that sport c o n s u m p t i o n enables one to express that identity ( S c h o u t e n & M c A l e x a n d e r , 1995). T h i s research supports the a s s u m p t i o n that, '•The p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f different sources o f i d e n t i f i c a t i o n h a v e expanded, i n particular the increased s i g n i f i c a n c e o f c o n s u m p t i o n practices s u c h as sport and leisure lifestyles i n the c o m m u n i c a t i o n and maintenance o f self-identity f o r g r o w i n g segments o f the p o p u l a t i o n " ( W h e a t o n , 2 0 0 0 . p. 255). T h e s e theories i n v i t e the question - h o w is s u r f w e a r c o n s u m p t i o n l i n k e d to identity f o r m a t i o n i n female consumers? T h r o u g h o u t m y research, it w a s evident that s u r f w e a r c o n s u m p t i o n is l i n k e d to identity f o r m a t i o n i n different w a y s f o r surfers, and non-surfers w h o are active s u r f w e a r consumers. In the past, w o m e n surfers f o u n d it i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t to f i n d w o m e n s p e c i f i c s u r f gear. S u r f b o a r d s , wetsuits, and other s u r f hard goods w e r e not b e i n g designed w i t h the f e m a l e surfer i n m i n d . T h e s e w o m e n faced n u m e r o u s obstacles i n the water, and b e i n g c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h their gear was one o f them. T h i s study demonstrated that i n n o v a t i o n s i n wetsuit d e s i g n have contributed to the g r o w t h i n the n u m b e r o f people s u r f i n g i n C a n a d i a n waters. T h e advancements m a d e i n wetsuit design are e n a b l i n g w o m e n to get a proper f i t t i n g suit and feel m o r e c o m f o r t a b l e i n the water. T h i s c o m f o r t  133 has been l i n k e d to o n e ' s eventual c o m m i t m e n t and identity as a surfer. C o n s e q u e n t l y , s u r f gear c o n s u m p t i o n is e n a b l i n g w o m e n to g a i n access to better products to suit their needs as surfers. A p r e d o m i n a n t theme amongst s u r f b r a n d representatives that emerged i n this study was the i m p o r t a n c e o f b e i n g i n n o v a t i v e . In an i n c r e a s i n g l y c o m p e t i t i v e marketplace, authentic s u r f w e a r c o m p a n i e s that r e m a i n c o m m i t t e d to the s u r f l i f e s t y l e are k e e n o n creating t e c h n o l o g i c a l i m p r o v e m e n t i n their product o f f e r i n g s to w o m e n . W h e a t o n and B e a l (2003) suggested that "part o f the rationale for participants to accept products as legitimate w a s the b r a n d ' s attitude o f c o m m i t m e n t to the a c t i v i t y and c o m m u n i t y " (p. 169). T h e y reveal that, ' B e i n g r e a l ' c a m e f r o m understanding the s u r f i n g aesthetic, w h i c h c o u l d o n l y e v o l v e f r o m h a v i n g been involved w i t h the sport - ' d o i n g i t ' . T h u s , a l t h o u g h a l l s u r f brands h a d b e c o m e b i g corporati ons , their f a v o u r e d s u r f i n g brands h a d a 'hard c o r e ' i m a g e that c a m e f r o m ' b e i n g r e a l ' , (p. 170) T h i s p r o v i d e s e v i d e n c e that although surfers r e c o g n i z e i n n o v a t i o n s i n the s u r f products m a r k e t ; they also want to c o n s u m e l e g i t i m a t e brands. B r a n d s that stay true to their core roots w h i l e d e v e l o p i n g n e w product o f f e r i n g s w i l l enhance b r a n d awareness b y k e e p i n g their b r a n d at the forefront o f the industry. H o w e v e r , there is an apparent d i f f e r e n c e betw een s u r f wear c o n s u m p t i o n and identity f o r m a t i o n amongst surfers and non-surfers. In m y research, surfers h i g h l i g h t e d c o n f l i c t i n g v i e w p o i n t s r e g a r d i n g c o n s u m p t i o n o f s u r f products. It was suggested that w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g was p r o p e l l e d b y the b r a n d manufacturers themselves. W o m e n surfers tended to appreciate the f u n c t i o n a l d e v e l o p m e n t s t a k i n g place i n the s u r f products  134 market. T h e y also expressed interest i n c o n s u m i n g s u r f c l o t h i n g ; h o w e v e r , they d i d not l i n k their c l o t h i n g c o n s u m p t i o n to their subcultural identity. A n o t h e r c o m m o n theme is that surfers want to purchase their s u r f gear and c l o t h i n g f r o m authentic s u r f retailers.  By  restricting their c o n s u m p t i o n habits to core shops, w o m e n surfers are strengthening their identity as surfers. S i m i l a r l y , W h e a t o n (2000) a c k n o w l e d g e s , " O n l y the ' n e o p h y t e ' w i n d s u r f e r s w o u l d m a k e the faux pas o f w e a r i n g ' i m i t a t i o n ' s u r f c l o t h i n g . . . s o l d i n h i g h street stores or pseudo s u r f b r a n d s " (p. 266). M e a n w h i l e , b r a n d marketers and retailers a c k n o w l e d g e d that y o u n g g i r l s and w o m e n , w h o are non-surfers, u t i l i z e s u r f themed products as a means o f a d o p t i n g s u r f style. T h e i m a g e that is marketed a l o n g w i t h these products is what an i n c r e a s i n g n u m b e r o f consumers aspire to. T h e r e were several i d e n t i f i a b l e themes that appeal w o m e n to the s u r f l i f e s t y l e , s u c h as, the f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h C a l i f o r n i a s u r f culture, the concept o f youthfulness, the element o f c o o l n e s s , and an escape f r o m the everyday.  T h i s supports  the n o t i o n that i n post-modernity w o r k roles are o f less s i g n i f i c a n c e i n p r o v i d i n g i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h a sense o f identity than their a c t i v i t y as consumers ( B o c o c k , 1993). These relayed images enable the s u r f l i f e s t y l e to be d i f f u s e d to a larger p o p u l a t i o n o f y o u n g w o m e n and girls. T h e c o n s u m p t i o n o f s u r f products enables the c o n s u m e r to i d e n t i f y w i t h the s u r f lifestyle. T h e o v e r a l l penetration o f the s u r f l i f e s t y l e i n C a n a d a is s i g n i f i c a n t c o n s i d e r i n g o u r c l i m a t e , a c c e s s i b i l i t y to s u r f i n g , and p o p u l a t i o n as i d e n t i f i e d i n this study.  135  The Diffusion of Surf Lifestyles in the Mainstream A n interesting point that c a m e f o r w a r d i n this study u p o n d i s c u s s i n g the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f lifestyles w a s that a retailer credited w o m e n surfers as p r o p e l l i n g the m a r k e t i n g o f s u r f products. In m a n y different realms o f sport, w o m e n are g a i n i n g r e c o g n i t i o n a s . valuable c o n s u m e r s i n the sports product marketplace. S u r f i n g seems to be another avenue for m a r k e t i n g to w o m e n . W o m e n surfers c o m p r i s e a n i c h e market i n the sports product marketplace. T h e eventual p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f s u r f l i f e s t y l e is fueled b y the m e d i a and s u r f b r a n d marketers. O n c e these trends catch o n to the masses, s u r f style is d i f f u s e d at an a s t o n i s h i n g rate and, consequently; s u r f brands r e s p o n d to these market changes. T h i s w o u l d support evidence o f the p o p u l a r i t y o f the sport f u e l i n g the market.  However,  w o m e n have b e c o m i n g i n c r e a s i n g l y c o m f o r t a b l e as surfers w i t h the d e v e l o p m e n t o f w o m e n - s p e c i f i c products b y b r a n d marketers. T h e s e w o m e n are e n c o u r a g i n g other w o m e n to get into the water, as m o r e w o m e n want to learn to s u r f m o r e s u r f s c h o o l s are o p e n i n g to f u l f i l l this d e m a n d . S o it seems that there is an apparent rise out o f the subculture itself; h o w e v e r , the o v e r a l l p e r m e a t i o n i s b e i n g fueled b y the b r a n d creators. T h e presence o f m e d i a i n the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f i n g lifestyles w a s w i d e s p r e a d d u r i n g m y data c o l l e c t i o n p e r i o d . M e d i a was w i d e s p r e a d i n p o p culture, r e a l i t y t e l e v i s i o n i n t r o d u c e d ' B o a r d i n g H o u s e : N o r t h S h o r e ' and M T V ' s ' S u r f G i r l s ' . ' T h e O . C ' o n F o x t e l e v i s i o n gained a l o y a l fan base amongst pre-teen and teens w h o are fascinated w i t h the s u r f l i f e s t y l e ( G r i f f i n , 2 0 0 3 b ) . M e a n w h i l e , s u r f m e d i a continues to infiltrate us w i t h M T V ' s ' L a g u n a B e a c h ' and the ' T e e n C h o i c e A w a r d s ' ; that u t i l i z e s u r f b o a r d s as trophies f o r its a w a r d recipients. W h e a t o n (2000) suggests that the images portrayed b y the m e d i a o f lifestyles sports:  136 A f f i r m that i f y o u want to transform y o u r i d e n t i t y . . . y o u need to focus o n i m a g e , style, and f a s h i o n : ' M e d i a culture thus p r o v i d e s resources f o r i d e n t i t y and n e w roles for identity i n w h i c h l o o k , style, and i m a g e replaces s u c h things as action and c o m m i t m e n t as constitutive o f identity, o f w h o one i s ' , (p. 269) W h e a t o n and B e a l (2003) i n the c o m p a r i s o n o f w i n d s u r f i n g and s k a t e b o a r d i n g cultures suggest that " s p e c i a l i s t niche m e d i a p l a y a central role i n the creation and e v o l u t i o n o f these c u l t u r e s " (p. 157). F u r t h e r m o r e , they reveal that " a c a d e m i c s have tended to c r i t i c a l l y ' p o s i t i o n m e d i a as incorporating or co-opting rather than a i d i n g i n the f o r m a t i o n o f s u b c u l t u r e s ' " (p. 157). T h e y d i s c e r n that " s u b c u l t u r a l i s t s are not s i m p l y ' v i c t i m s ' o f c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n , but shape and 're-shape' the i m a g e and m e a n i n g s circulated b the m e d i a " (p. 158). T h e r e f o r e , it can be reasoned that w o m e n surfers are part o f the c o m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n process. T h i s research d o c u m e n t e d that w o m e n surfers garnered the attention o f l o c a l m e d i a , the messages they transmit to the m e d i a ; i n essence, p r o v i d e k n o w l e d g e o f the subcultural m e a n i n g . H o w e v e r , it can be reasoned that s u b c u l t u r a l m e a n i n g s undergo co-optation into the larger f a s h i o n system ( H e b d i g e , 1979), so that the r e s u l t i n g products are acceptable to larger segments o f m a i n s t r e a m c o n s u m e r s ( K a t e s , 1998). S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) caution that, T h e m a r k e t i n g consequence o f this danger is that b r a n d management is faced w i t h a veritable tightrope w a l k betw een the c o n f l i c t i n g needs o f t w o disparate but e q u a l l y important groups o f c o n s u m e r s : those w h o g i v e the p r o d u c t its m y s t i q u e and those w h o g i v e the c o m p a n y its p r o f i t a b i l i t y , (p. 59)  137  It w a s suggested w i d e l y i n this study that the h a r d g o o d s business is a lost leader. There is no real profit g a i n i n s u r f h a r d g o o d s ; h o w e v e r , the g a i n is i n representation and a p p e a l i n g to that authentic group o f c o n s u m e r s . Retailers and b r a n d marketers are r e s p o n d i n g to the recent market changes and the p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f the s u r f l i f e s t y l e . H o w e v e r , those that w i l l retain a diverse c u s t o m e r base are those that stay true to the core o f the s u r f l i f e s t y l e ; w h i l s t , c a p i t a l i z i n g o n the masses. T h r o u g h c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f m y m a i n research questions and the objectives o f this study, four hypotheses were f o r m e d for this research. E a c h hypothesis w i l l be i d e n t i f i e d and its v i a b i l i t y i n accordance w i t h the v i e w points o f m y study w i l l be d i s c u s s e d : (a) S u r f w e a r c o n s u m p t i o n is an integral part o f a surfer's l i f e s t y l e and i d e n t i t y ; (b) S u r f brands have expanded their lines to reach surfers, but also to reach f e m a l e teens and preteens; (c) F e m a l e teens and pre-teens use s u r f w e a r to h e l p construct their identities; and (d) T h e net effect o f these t w o trends is an increase i n c o n s u m e r interest i n s u r f w e a r and i n the s u r f brands market. T h e detailed analysis o f m y results demonstrated that w o m e n surfers w e r e g a i n i n g r e c o g n i t i o n i n the s u r f products market and this i n turn has h a d a p o s i t i v e i n f l u e n c e o n their identity as surfers. A p o s i t i v e first experience i n the water was d i r e c t l y l i n k e d to o n e ' s l i k e l i n e s s to continue s u r f i n g . F u r t h e r m o r e , i n order to participate i n the sport o f s u r f i n g one must c o n s u m e products. T h e s e f i n d i n g s and numerous other variables d o c u m e n t e d i n this study prove that s u r f w e a r c o n s u m p t i o n is an integral part o f a surfer's l i f e s t y l e and identity. W i t h the increased representation o f w o m e n i n the water, b r a n d marketers are e x p a n d i n g their lines to w o m e n surfers. A s w o m e n b e c o m e r e c o g n i z e d as an important  138  market segment and evidence supports their i n f l u e n c e as consumers i n the sports-product marketplace, brands are reacting to these demands b y creating o r e x p a n d i n g w o m e n ' s lines. M e a n w h i l e , a g r o w i n g trend is the e m e r g i n g i n f l u e n c e o f y o u n g w o m e n a n d girls i n the sports product marketplace. Y o u n g w o m e n have b e c o m e i n c r e a s i n g l y attracted to the s u r f l i f e s t y l e and s u r f w e a r industry. A s a result, s u r f brands have e x p a n d e d their lines to reach surfers, but also to reach f e m a l e teens a n d pre-teens. T h e l i n k between c o n s u m p t i o n , lifestyles, a n d identity has been a n a l y z e d a n d it is supported that people c o n s u m e products i n order to create a sense o f self-identity.  Young  girls create a n d express their identities t h r o u g h c o n s u m p t i o n and l i f e s t y l e c h o i c e s . T h i s supports the n o t i o n that female teens and pre-teens use s u r f w e a r to help construct their identities. N u m e r o u s e x p a n s i o n s are o c c u r r i n g i n the s u r f products market s u c h as the d e v e l o p m e n t o f w o m e n ' s s u r f stores, the e x p a n s i o n o f s u r f lines to increase their product offerings to w o m e n , and the creation o f n e w lines. M e a n w h i l e , g l o b a l l y teens are b e c o m i n g fascinated w i t h the s u r f lifestyle a n d are c o n s u m i n g s u r f fashions to b e c o m e a part o f it. T h e net result o f these t w o trends is a n increase i n c o n s u m e r interest i n the s u r f brands market. A l l f o u r hypotheses f o r m y research are accepted and h a v e been substantiated b y the evidence s h o w n i n this study.  5.4 Reflecting on Subcultural Theory H o w to theorize this? U s u a l w a y to understand rise o f a non-traditional sport is i n term o f sporting subculture, (e.g.) w o r k done o n skateboarding and s n o w b o a r d i n g . H o w e v e r , i n the s o c i o l o g i c a l research the term subculture has been used i n i n c r e a s i n g l y  139  contradictory w a y s r e s u l t i n g i n conceptual a m b i g u i t y ( L e o n a r d II, 1991). Sport ethnographies o n subcultures h a v e exaggerated cultural resistance and h a v e p l a c e d sport subcultures as o p p o s i t i o n a l to parent culture. Furthermore the term subculture is often construed as s y n o n y m o u s w i t h deviance (Crosset & B e a l , 1997). A g o a l o f this research was to theorize this since it was unclear as to h o w w e l l the term subculture i t s e l f describes the s u r f scene w h e r e product c o n s u m p t i o n is a major part o f the a c t i v i t y and l i f e s t y l e identity. A s a result, I chose S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r ' s (1995) ethnographic w o r k o n H a r l e y - D a v i d s o n m o t o r c y c l e o w n e r s as a potential concept to see i f it c o u l d be a p p l i e d or c o u l d h e l p e x p l a i n the cultural p r o d u c t i o n and c o n s u m p t i o n tensions I was seeing i n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g . A c c o r d i n g to S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) a ' s u b c u l t u r e o f c o n s u m p t i o n ' is, " A d i s t i n c t i v e subgroup o f society that self-selects o n the basis o f a shared c o m m i t m e n t to a particular product class, b r a n d , o r c o n s u m p t i o n a c t i v i t y " (p. 43).  Other  characteristics i n c l u d e an i d e n t i f i a b l e , h i e r a r c h i c a l s o c i a l structure; a u n i q u e ethos, or set o f shared b e l i e f s and v a l u e s ; and u n i q u e j a r g o n s , rituals, and m o d e s o f s y m b o l i c e x p r e s s i o n (p. 43). U n d e r a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n ; " p e o p l e i d e n t i f y w i t h certain objects or c o n s u m p t i o n activities and, t h r o u g h those objects or activities, i d e n t i f y w i t h other p e o p l e " (p. 48). T h r o u g h conversations w i t h f e m a l e surfers it was suggested that they i d e n t i f y w i t h other surfers t h r o u g h their c o m m i t m e n t to the sport o f s u r f i n g . Surfers are active c o n s u m e r s ; h o w e v e r , their c o n s u m p t i o n activities do not contribute to group c o h e s i o n . S i m i l a r l y , W h e a t o n (2000) i n her analysis o f the w i n d s u r f i n g subculture d o c u m e n t e d that, " D e s p i t e the centrality o f w i n d s u r f i n g equipment to the activity, and the  140  expenditure required to get i n v o l v e d i n the sport, m e m b e r s c o u l d n ' t b u y their w a y into the core o f the s u b c u l t u r e " (p. 263). Furthermore, surfers c o n s u m e brands but appear to be less l o y a l to s p e c i f i c brand names than to the product category alone. T h e s u r f i n g l i f e s t y l e does i n f l u e n c e ones c o n s u m p t i o n habits i n other product categories f o r core female surfers as d o c u m e n t e d i n this study. A n i d e n t i f i a b l e , h i e r a r c h i c a l s o c i a l structure is apparent to s o m e degree i n the sport o f s u r f i n g . H o w e v e r , o n e ' s status is based o n their c o m m i t m e n t to the sport and their s u r f i n g a b i l i t y as o p p o s e d to o n e ' s surfboard or wetsuit. S i m i l a r l y , W h e a t o n (2000) suggests that, " W i n d s u r f i n g prowess was an essential element o f subcultural status. Status i n the w i n d s u r f i n g culture was a c h i e v e d p r i m a r i l y b y b e i n g a g o o d w i n d s u r f e r the better the w i n d s u r f e r , the h i g h e r the s u b c u l t u r a l status" (p. 2 5 9 ) . She further states that, " I n a d d i t i o n to s k i l l and attitude, c o m m i t m e n t to the a c t i v i t y was central to attaining subcultural status" (p. 260). E v e r y b o a r d has s u c h a unique feel to it, d e p e n d i n g o n the style a surfer has, his/her p h y s i c a l d i m e n s i o n s , and d e p e n d i n g o n the s u r f c o n d i t i o n s ; w i l l i n f l u e n c e w h i c h b o a r d he/she m a y ride. O n e s p e c i f i c b o a r d or b r a n d is not suited for a l l surfers. T h e water is the best i n d i c a t o r o f o n e ' s s u r f i n g a b i l i t y and that is essentially where o n e ' s i d e n t i t y can be revealed as h i g h l i g h t e d i n the i n t e r v i e w s . C e r t a i n tendencies or rituals are c o m m o n i n the s u r f culture; h o w e v e r , they are not u n i f o r m across groups. S e v e r a l factors w o u l d i n f l u e n c e w h i c h rituals one m a y subscribe to such as: preferred s u r f break, t i m e , e q u i p m e n t , and whether one was s u r f i n g alone or i n a group setting. O n e can have several consistencies i n their personal routine but that routine can be o f f set b y the presence o f other surfers. T h e r e f o r e , rituals are a part o f the s u r f culture but are not important i n d e s i g n a t i n g a w o m e n ' s place i n that culture. A n  141  ethos that is shared b y the s u r f culture i n T o f i n o is that it is m o r e w e l c o m i n g o f w o m e n and surfers i n general. B e a c h break enables m a n y surfers to get w a v e s ; d e p e n d i n g o n their l e v e l o f a b i l i t y w i l l determine w h e r e they go to get those w a v e s . A b l e n d o f s u r f i n g levels is c o m m o n i n the waters s u r r o u n d i n g T o f i n o . It is not u n c o m m o n to see groups o f beginners i n lessons and then to l o o k further out and see distant figures i n the l i n e up. These m o r e a c c o m p l i s h e d surfers rarely cross .with i n e x p e r i e n c e d surfers as ones a b i l i t y separates th e m. H o w e v e r , e x p e r i e n c e d surfers often encourage n e w c o m e r s i n the water p r o v i d i n g the rules are k n o w n to a l l . T h e r e l a x e d nature o f C a n a d i a n s and n o n c o m p e t i t i v e attitude w i t h s u r f i n g is all part o f our u n i q u e experience. T h e s u r f culture appeals to i n d i v i d u a l s i n h i g h l y unique w a y s ; consequently, a d o m i n a n t v a l u e system w a s not evident throughout this study. S u r f i n g p r o v i d e s its participants w i t h a u n i q u e sense o f gratification, t h r i l l , or experience. T h e r e m a y be c o m m o n a l i t i e s between surfers but there is not one c o m m o n v a l u e that is supported o v e r another. T h e y are united i n that their passion for s u r f i n g is the same. A s i m i l a r characteristic that e v o l v e d i n this study is the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f s e l f (deepening o f c o m m i t m e n t ) . S c h o u t e n and M c A l e x a n d e r (1995) e m p h a s i z e that surfers " u n d e r g o an e v o l u t i o n o f m o t i v e s and a d e e p e n i n g o f c o m m i t m e n t as they b e c o m e m o r e i n v o l v e d i n the s u b c u l t u r e " (p. 55). T h i s study supported this d e e p e n i n g o f c o m m i t m e n t that extends as s u r f i n g b e c o m e s part o f ones l i f e s t y l e . H o w e v e r , the l e v e l o f c o m m i t m e n t is v a r i e d across surfers and is dependent o n other l i f e s t y l e influences. A standard l e v e l o f c o m m i t m e n t cannot be d e t e r m i n e d as each surfer has c o n f l i c t i n g l i f e roles and levels o f attachment for the sport. H o w e v e r , to s o m e degree a certain l e v e l o f c o m m i t m e n t is r e q u i r e d i n order to be a c t i v e l y i n v o l v e d i n the sport. T h i s can i n v o l v e s u r f i n g d a i l y ,  142  w e e k l y , b i - m o n t h l y , m o n t h l y , or semi-annually d e p e n d i n g o n the i m p o r t a n c e o f the s u r f i n g l i f e s t y l e i n accordance w i t h e v e r y t h i n g else. T h o s e w h o integrate s u r f i n g into their w h o l e l i f e s t y l e , b y m o v i n g out to places l i k e T o f i n o are at the highest end o f the c o m m i t m e n t spectrum. R e c o g n i z i n g the d i f f u s i o n process, this study p r o v i d e d further e v i d e n c e o f " s u b c u l t u r a l l y created styles m a y be shared or imitated b y a m u c h larger audience or market peripheral to the core subculture and m a y even b e c o m e imitated and c o m m e r c i a l i z e d for mass c o n s u m p t i o n " ( S c h o u t e n & M c A l e x a n d e r , 1995, p. 43). H o w e v e r , their research also suggests that "hard-core or high-status m e m b e r s o f a c h i e v e d subcultures f u n c t i o n as o p i n i o n l e a d e r s " (p. 43) as subcultural styles are d i f f u s e d to a broader group o f consumers. O u r s u r f culture is u n i q u e i n C a n a d a i n that o u r s u r f u n i f o r m is a wetsuit. T h i s item is s o m e t h i n g f u n c t i o n a l and w i l l not be c o m m e r c i a l i z e d for m a i n s t r e a m c o n s u m e r s . So i n C a n a d a , it appears that these subcultural styles arise out o f the m e d i a , and b y marketers, and not so m u c h b y this r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l isolated group o f surfers. T h e d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f styles is p r o f o u n d l y l i n k e d to C a l i f o r n i a as supported b y this thesis. H o w e v e r , B o o t h (2001) does illustrate a point that is w o r t h y o f m e n t i o n i n g , "Just as m a n y n o n - r u n n i n g w o m e n w e a r sport bras, so boardshorts are p o p u l a r items o f fashionable street-wear a m o n g girls and y o u n g w o m e n w h o d o n ' t i d e n t i f y w i t h s u r f i n g culture or aspire to s u r f (p. 15). T h i s study supports this n o t i o n ; h o w e v e r , there is also i n c r e a s i n g e v i d e n c e o f the d i f f u s i o n o f s u r f l i f e s t y l e into the m a i n s t r e a m . T h e net result, presently w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g c o m b i n e s features o f a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n and subcultural d e v e l o p m e n t and m a y best be thought o f as a ' c o m m o d i t y orientated s u b c u l t u r e ' ( W h e a t o n , 2 0 0 0 , p. 261) that is d r i v e n both b y a d e v e l o p i n g  143  o r g a n i c w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g subculture (the hard-cores) and b y the market activities (product d e v e l o p m e n t , w o m e n ' s w e a r b r a n d i n g , w o m e n ' s - s p e c i f i c retailing) o f the m a j o r s u r f brands. S u r f i n g is a ' c o m m o d i t y - o r i e n t a t e d s u b c u l t u r e ' ( W h e a t o n , 2000) i n that surfers need to c o n s u m e products to participate i n the sport. T h e s e c o n s u m p t i o n patterns are a means for w o m e n surfers to i d e n t i f y w i t h other surfers. > It is not u n c o m m o n for surfers to congregate together and discuss equipment and s u r f wear. S o m e t i m e s it is f o r i n f o r m a t i o n a l purposes, other times f o r c o n v e r s a t i o n a l purposes betw een t w o surfers w h o have s o m e t h i n g i n c o m m o n , the fact that they surf. In wetsuit d e s i g n alone, certain brands have better fits and designs i n their o f f e r i n g s to w o m e n . W o m e n surfers are aware o f the products that are superior to their needs as they have tried these various technologies. T h e y are also aware o f w h i c h brands are advanced i n their p r o d u c t offerings o f w o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r t h r o u g h their c o n s u m p t i o n habits. T h e s e products m a y contribute to a better experience i n the water but are no w a y i n d i c a t i v e o f o n e ' s l e v e l o f prowess i n the s u r f culture. T h e issue o f authenticity is often d o c u m e n t e d i n subcultural research o f l i f e s t y l e sport participants. W h e a t o n and B e a l (2003) reveal that " A u t h e n t i c i t y , then is an a c c u m u l a t e d s o c i a l a c h i e v e m e n t ' , seen as w h a t constitutes ' r e a l ' or genuine m e m b e r s h i p " (p. 159). In this study authenticity was i d e n t i f i e d b y ones inner c o n n e c t i o n to s u r f i n g and ones l e v e l o f k n o w l e d g e and p a s s i o n f o r the sport. A u t h e n t i c i t y was important irregardless o f ones personal a f f i l i a t i o n w i t h s u r f i n g or p o s i t i o n i n the s u r f products industry. T h i s concept d e f i e d p o s i t i o n i n g and seemed to be an understood v a r i a b l e i n the s u r f products/retail industry. F u r t h e r m o r e , the c o n s u m p t i o n o f the right products b y core participants is not a means o f g a i n i n g r e c o g n i t i o n as an authentic participant.  144 The consumption o f surf products does contribute to their inner sense o f identity but does not influence ones status in the subculture. The expansion o f product offerings to women and proper wetsuit fit is contributing to more positive experiences in the water. These consumption practices enable one to surf; however, one's commitment to the sport is what differentiates ones placement in the subculture. This commitment to the surf lifestyle extends to be an organizing principle in the maintenance and expression o f selfidentity. Surfing i n Canada is unique in the sense that crossing over into the subculture involves getting into the water. If you feel like a surfer you are a surfer. The hierarchy isn't so defined. A s one progresses as a surfer, one w i l l demonstrate more skill and more ocean knowledge and perhaps w i l l maintain some level o f status in her own group o f surfers. Outside o f that central group that you associate with, there are no pre-defined barriers or boundaries. A s one becomes more o f a proficient surfer, he or she may become respected across groups o f surfers. She may become known and be acknowledged as an amazing surfer. However, while she progresses she still is an authentic participant as long as she surfs. The consumption o f surf products is not going to move her any quicker through the subculture itself.  A New Gender Order in Surfing and the Surf Products Marketplace New lifestyle practices that are outside the norm o f traditional educational sporting activities have gained the attention o f women who seek involvement in high-risk individualized activity. Rinehart (2005) acknowledges that lifestyle or extreme sports are more appealing to women in that:  145  O p p o r t u n i t i e s and access for w o m e n m a y be greater i n extreme sports because the sports are m o s t l y i n d i v i d u a l , because they are r e l a t i v e l y n e w and thus m o r e l i a b l e to s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n , and because the fundamental source o f c o m p a r i s o n betw een participants is w i l l i n g n e s s to r i s k . (p. 240) W o m e n have b e c o m e i n c r e a s i n g l y i n v o l v e d i n l i f e s t y l e sports and have e s p e c i a l l y been a d o m i n a n t force i n s n o w b o a r d i n g . M o r e recently, w o m e n are i n c r e a s i n g l y b e i n g d r a w n to s u r f i n g . B o o t h (2001) states " s e l e c t e d evidence suggests the p o s s i b i l i t y o f a n e w gender order i n s u r f i n g " (p. 17). It is suggested that i n C a n a d a females are m o r e accepted i n the water and there is less o f a fraternal structure. Further d e v e l o p m e n t s that p r o v i d e further e v i d e n c e that s u r f i n g is b e c o m i n g m o r e general neutral are changes i n m e d i a representation o f female surfers, w o m e n ' s s p e c i f i c m e d i a (print and electronic), and w o m e n ' s - o r i e n t e d brands and products. T h i s study i d e n t i f i e d that the changes m a d e i n wetsuit t e c h n o l o g y have contributed to the g r o w t h seen i n C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g . C a n a d i a n w o m e n w e r e depicted d i f f e r e n t l y and not i n a s e x u a l m a n n e r throughout this study. T h e wetsuit m a y also be c o n t r i b u t i n g to a n e w gender order i n that the focus remains o n s u r f i n g a b i l i t y . M e d i a d e p i c t i o n s o f o u r l o c a l culture often h i g h l i g h t the uniqueness o f o u r s u r f scene i n C a n a d a , a c k n o w l e d g i n g h o w c o l d the water is and the heartiness o f o u r l o c a l surfers. T h e s e d e p i c t i o n s are p r e d o m i n a n t l y free o f gender bias and introduce a n e w era i n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g i n w h i c h w o m e n w i l l g a i n c r e d i b i l i t y i n the water and are w e l c o m e d i n the water. A s females are i n c r e a s i n g l y r e c o g n i z e d i n the sport m a r k e t p l a c e , m o r e opportunities are a v a i l a b l e to w o m e n as b u y e r s , marketers, retailers, b r a n d representatives, and team managers. W o m e n are b r e a k i n g the m o l d i n the sport  146  marketplace,challenging stereotypical roles, and are changing the face of this traditionally male-dominated field. Women are persevering in the pro scene and many have made in roads and gained respect in the big wave scene, which have been deemed 'a testosterone pit' by many professional women surfers. Meanwhile, female surfers are turning into savvy entrepreneurs worldwide with the development of surf schools and surf businesses. The sacrifices of female surfers who first experienced the sport when it wasn't as accepting to women are paving the way for the next generation. It is apparent that not only in surfing is there a changed gender order, but other developments indicate increased acceptance of women as professionals and entrepreneurs.  147  CHAPTER VI - INSIDER ROLE The methodology for this study included interviewing women surfers, surf brand retailers, and Canadian surf brand representatives. By interacting with these three groups I was able to gain an understanding of the women's surf scene and the surf wear industry from three interrelated yet unique perspectives. Upon completion of my interviews, two personal experiences enabled me to gain a further understanding of women's surfing and the surf brand industry through my experiences in retail and as an active participant. Serendipitously, a retailer that I had interviewed for my study approached me regarding potential employment at the retail level in a core skate snow surf store that catered to both male and female customers. Following myfirstexposure to Canadian surfing at a women's specific surf camp I began my employment in retail. These combined experiences gave me increased exposure to the culture, the participants, and the mainstream consumers. Since I had already completed my interviews these developments helped enhance my study without hindering its original design. Throughout the course of my employment I gained insider knowledge in the surf industry and eventually this led to buying product for the women's section of the store. As a women's soft goods buyer, I oversaw the purchases for the women's store. This gave me another window into the surf products market and this experience further highlighted the cyclic nature of the industry where consumer feedback and consumer brand awareness are at the forefront of the design process. This industry is highly interdependent and there is an apparent cycle of communication between consumers, retailers, surf brand representatives, and surfers themselves. The surf brand representatives, in effect, utilize the buyers for consumer feedback. The buyers are not  148  only responsible for the purchase and display o f the product, but they essentially are the ones selling the product in the store and keeping track o f demographics, demand, and profitability o f brands. A relationship between the surf brand representatives and buyers is mutually beneficial to the brand and to the store. The Canadian surf brand representatives, in turn, report their findings to the surf brand manufacturers and these considerations are often reflected in the design process. A s identified in my research, the idea o f authenticity seems to be a growing concern in the surf industry. H o w can one capitalize on the explosion o f surf culture and target the masses without alienating those that are core to the sport? A few predominant trends were visible in my experiences that support the desire o f companies to maintain an authentic image. Brands often utilize real surfers in their ad campaigns, and stay true to their surf roots and the brands image. Although, each brand is influenced by current fashion trends, their image remains intact. Meanwhile, retailers carry authentic surf brands and hire employees that are avid lifestyle sport enthusiasts. It seems that in order to maintain authenticity, it has to be developed at each level. Surfers seemed more critical o f brands that are not core surf brands. The mainstream consumer who isn't as educated is content wearing any surf brand. However, there is also evidence o f brand loyalty amongst the more educated consumers, and this extends to those who are not active participants in the sport but who support the brand's image. This loyalty is increasingly common amongst pre-teens and teens and often fluctuates seasonally for female consumers based on the current designs and trends. The mature surf participant is more interested in supporting local brands or brands that have a deep connection to surfing. Core women surfers repeatedly purchased their surf products and surf fashions  149 f r o m m y place o f e m p l o y m e n t . It was important to them that w e h a d a large selection o f w o m e n ' s wetsuits, s u r f accessories, and s u r f b o a r d s . Furthermore, core stores u s u a l l y have a fleet o f wetsuit rentals that enable the retailer to promote the sport o f s u r f i n g to c o n s u m e r s i n an i n e x p e n s i v e manner. B y d e v e l o p i n g a relationship w i t h a potential surfer, a retailer is s e c u r i n g a sale w i t h that c o n s u m e r , once he/she gets the s u r f stoke and e v e n t u a l l y invests i n s u r f products. In an i n c r e a s i n g l y saturated m a r k e t p l a c e it has b e c o m e m o r e important for retailers to answer the q u e s t i o n , ' W h a t is g o i n g to m a k e us stand o u t ' ? Y o u have to c o n s c i o u s l y m a k e an effort to h a v e an i m a g e f o r y o u r store and whether it is t h r o u g h variety, product, or customer service y o u have to be able to answer what is g o i n g to m a k e y o u different f r o m s o m e b o d y else. T h e store's identity and i m a g e m u s t relate to the c o n s u m e r base they desire to attract. M y experience as an active participant i n the industry has lead to an increased understanding o f the f e m a l e c o n s u m e r and k n o w l e d g e o f market trends. T h e s e experiences support the increased representation o f w o m e n i n s u r f i n g and i n the s u r f industry. T h e s u r f brands representatives that I c a m e i n contact w i t h i n m y p o s i t i o n w e r e all p r e d o m i n a n t l y female. Interestingly, the t w o m a l e s u r f brand representatives i n t e r v i e w e d f o r m y study h a v e since been r e p l a c e d b y females. T h i s supports the i m p o r t a n c e o f h a v i n g females interact w i t h females i n regards to b u y i n g d e c i s i o n s . F u r t h e r m o r e , a g r o w t h i n the n u m b e r o f female e m p l o y e e s was evident as was their i m p o r t a n c e i n d e a l i n g w i t h f e m a l e customers. T h e importance o f e m p l o y i n g active participants was further supported b y m y o w n experiences as a s u r f participant. I can attest that w o m e n - s p e c i f i c wetsuits are h i g h l y l i n k e d to one's experience i n the water.  150 B e i n g w a r m and c o m f o r t a b l e i n the water has enabled m e to focus o n m y s u r f i n g and to stay i n the water f o r extended periods o f time. C o r e retailers educate their e m p l o y e e s o n proper wetsuit fit and available products so that the c o n s u m e r w i l l be s u p p l i e d w i t h available i n f o r m a t i o n i n order to m a k e a w e l l - i n f o r m e d purchase d e c i s i o n . T h e crossover o f the b o a r d sport i n d u s t r y was important to m y place o f e m p l o y m e n t . O n e p o o r w i n t e r season meant the sale o f m o r e s u r f b o a r d s and w i n t e r wetsuits than s n o w b o a r d s . H o w e v e r , the appearance o f s n o w caused s o m e surfers to gravitate towards the m o u n t a i n s . M e a n w h i l e , m a n y changes are o c c u r r i n g i n regards to product o f f e r i n g s i n the s u r f skate s n o w industry. W o m e n are d e m a n d i n g m o r e technical outerwear i n the s n o w industry. C o n s u m e r s are b e c o m i n g m o r e educated and are d e m a n d i n g m o r e w a t e r p r o o f i n g , lighter fabrics, and m o r e features. T h e s u r f skate s n o w market is b e c o m i n g m o r e fashion-oriented w i t h less v i s i b l e l o g o s , and m o r e c o l o r , e m b e l l i s h m e n t s , and patterns. Fits are b e c o m i n g m o r e tailored. T h e b o a r d sport i n d u s t r y is b o r r o w i n g f r o m h i g h f a s h i o n trends and a d d i n g their o w n u n i q u e twist to t h e m .  The  board sports market is no longer e x c l u s i v e to b o a r d sport enthusiasts, and m a n y snowboarders are m o v i n g a w a y f r o m l o o s e fits and the gangster i m a g e to m o r e o f an o v e r a l l stream-lined l o o k . T h e s e l o o k s are just as p o p u l a r i n urban areas as they are o n the m o u n t a i n s . M e a n w h i l e , s u r f brands are staying connected to the b e a c h lifestyle w h i l e staying o n top o f market changes. Skate brands are e x p l o d i n g their product offerings to w o m e n . T h e y are r e a l l y c h a n g i n g the l o o k and image o f skateboarding. Skate brands are b e c o m i n g m o r e p o p u l a r amongst females and skateboarding is i n c r e a s i n g its v i s i b i l i t y amongst females.  151  In order to m a i n t a i n market share i n an i n c r e a s i n g l y cluttered m a r k e t p l a c e , s u r f brands are creating a clear and d e f i n e d i m a g e u n i q u e a m o n g their competitors. T h e brands marketers i n t e r v i e w e d i n this study w e r e all aware o f their o w n and their competitors strengths and weaknesses and their standing i n the sport marketplace. T h r o u g h the creation o f a b r a n d i m a g e , brands g a i n c r e d i b i l i t y i n a product category and this i m a g e is further strengthened b y m a r k e t i n g , the retail e n v i r o n m e n t , the c o n s u m e r , and t h r o u g h m e d i a . A c o m m o n theme i n the interviews was the i m p o r t a n c e o f creating an i m a g e consistent w i t h the i d e n t i t y o f the brand. T h e i m p o r t a n c e o f b e i n g y o u t h d r i v e n , a leader i n product research and d e v e l o p m e n t , and h a v i n g a w o r l d class team to support and p r o m o t e the b r a n d w e r e i d e n t i f i e d as k e y factors i n m a i n t a i n i n g a consistent b r a n d image. B r a n d awareness is further a c h i e v e d b y s u r f brands that sponsor s u r f c a m p s , o r g a n i z e s u r f i n g c o m p e t i t i o n s , and b e c o m e i n v o l v e d i n grass roots l e v e l p r o g r a m s thereby strengthening the i m a g e o f the b r a n d . Q u i k s i l v e r b e c a m e a c t i v e l y i n v o l v e d i n o u r l o c a l s u r f scene b y s p o n s o r i n g the s u m m e r s u r f j a m i n T o f i n o . M o r e recently, other brands have started to o r g a n i z e surf, skate, and s n o w c o m p e t i t i o n s l o c a l l y . Q u i k s i l v e r is no l o n g e r the sole supporter o f l o c a l s u r f c o m p e t i t i o n s . A s one c a n expect, other brands have o r g a n i z e d events here l o c a l l y i n the past f e w years. A l t h o u g h this thesis illustrated that there are f e w opportunities for C a n a d i a n w o m e n surfers, g l o b a l l y w o m e n are m a k i n g s o m e advances. A t the b r a n d l e v e l , s u r f brands have p o s i t i v e l y i n f l u e n c e d the g r o w t h o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g b y p r o v i d i n g sponsorships and increased opportunities for female surfers. B r a n d marketers are c o m m i t t e d to fostering f e m a l e i n v o l v e m e n t i n action sports as e x e m p l i f i e d i n their  152  m a r k e t i n g techniques and product o f f e r i n g s . B y p r o v i d i n g f e m a l e athletes w i t h free product, contest entrance m o n e y , s u p p o r t i n g travel costs, and/or o r g a n i z i n g w o m e n ' s contests the needs o f female surfers are i n c r e a s i n g l y b e i n g met and a l l o w i n g w o m e n to progress i n the sport. T h e interaction b e tw e e n team riders and b r a n d marketers has been integral to the design o f c l o t h i n g and accessories. Innovations i n product d e v e l o p m e n t have enabled w o m e n surfers to be m o r e c o m f o r t a b l e i n the water b y h a v i n g f u n c t i o n a l , f a s h i o n a b l e , q u a l i t y apparel to w e a r w h i l e p r a c t i c i n g the sport. Other brands have u t i l i z e d an athletes' name as the m o d e l name for increased b r a n d strength i n the product category.  This  practice is c o m m o n i n skate shoe lines and w i t h i n the s n o w b o a r d industry. Pro m o d e l s are p a r t i c u l a r l y p o p u l a r amongst m a l e y o u t h w h o i d e n t i f y the product as b e i n g superior, to others based o n the athlete's representation. A n o t h e r c o m m o n occurrence i n the s u r f i n d u s t r y is u t i l i z i n g sponsored athletes as m o d e l s i n a d v e r t i s i n g c a m p a i g n s , e.g. print ads. T h e s u r f i n d u s t r y demands authenticity and an athlete can generate m o r e h y p e i n a product category i n c o m p a r i s o n to a f a s h i o n m o d e l . F e m a l e surfers are i n c r e a s i n g l y portrayed i n print ads i n m a g a z i n e s and o n h a n g tags attached to s u r f c l o t h i n g . M o r e f e m a l e surfers are b e i n g portrayed i n a c t i o n shots. M a n y brands are also u t i l i z i n g s u r f i n g m e d i a to expose their sponsored athletes and p r o m o t e the b r a n d . M o r e w o m e n ' s - o n l y s u r f m o v i e s are b e i n g released and w o m e n are g a i n i n g m o r e exposure i n skate and s n o w v i d e o s that p r e d o m i n a n t l y feature m a l e athletes.  153  CHAPTER VII - CONCLUSIONS T h i s n e w era o f s u r f i n g has changed the perception o f w o m e n surfers w o r l d w i d e . W o m e n are m a k i n g advances g l o b a l l y and m o r e recently, w o m e n have persevered o n the pro scene and h a v e made in-roads o n the b i g w a v e scene c h a l l e n g i n g the gender order i n surfing. C a n a d i a n w o m e n have emerged onto the scene and T o f i n o , B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a shows evidence o f b e i n g a t h r i v i n g s u r f c o m m u n i t y . E v e n t h o u g h C a n a d i a n surfers endure harsh c o n d i t i o n s , females are i n c r e a s i n g l y d r a w n to o u r l o c a l waters and are g a i n i n g acceptance as surfers. B y u t i l i z i n g ethnographic methods this study has p r o v i d e d an i m p r o v e d understanding o f the w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g subculture i n W e s t e r n C a n a d a , and the factors that f u e l e d the g r o w t h o f the industry. T h i s study i d e n t i f i e d eight factors as contributors to the g r o w t h o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g , s p e c i f i c a l l y i n B C . T h e s e factors i n c l u d e : changes i n wetsuit t e c h n o l o g y , crossover appeal f r o m s k a t e b o a r d i n g and s n o w b o a r d i n g , C a l i f o r n i a ' s influence, increased d e m a n d f o r w o m e n ' s s u r f w e a r and s u r f f a s h i o n s , the g r o w t h o f c o m p e t i t i v e s u r f i n g i n B C , increased m e d i a exposure o f C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g , d e v e l o p m e n t o f C a n a d i a n s u r f businesses, and w o m e n ' s increased c o m f o r t w i t h the identity o f ' b e i n g a surfer'. F e w studies h a v e a n a l y z e d w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g lifestyles generally, and there is no evidence o f any investigations that have l o o k e d at s u r f i n g as an a c t i v i t y o f c o n s u m p t i o n i n a c o n s u m e r society w h i c h is i n f l u e n c e d b y brand m a r k e t i n g . A s s u c h , this thesis has e x p a n d e d the w a y s that w e can study sport subcultures. C a n a d i a n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g c o m b i n e s features o f a subculture o f c o n s u m p t i o n and m a y best be thought o f as a ' c o m m o d i t y - o r i e n t a t e d s u b c u l t u r e ' ( W h e a t o n , 2 0 0 0 , p. 2 6 1 ) that is d r i v e n b o t h b y a  154  developing organic women's surfing subculture (the hard-cores) and by the market activities (product development, women's wear branding, women's-specific retailing) of the major surf brands. In addition to providing a new research perspective, this study provides a Canadian perspective on what is a growing global phenomenon, women's surfing. The method of interviewing three populations proved to be a useful way to gain insights into how each contributes to the overall development of surfing as a popular cultural form and set of practices.  7.1 Opportunities for Future Research The future of the sport of surfing in Canada and globally is relatively unknown. This opens the question, what is the next step in surfing evolution? Improved technologies in board and watercraft design and in weather forecasting have pushed surfing to new levels, where tow-ins are commonplace and the search is for the biggest wave. Will Canada gain credibility worldwide as a surfing destination? Will the town of Tofino suffer the same loss when fishing industries were on the wane or will surfing continue to be the main economic contributor for this coastal community? There is evidence that surfing is becoming more gender neutral, however, future research with both Canadian male and female surfers at different surfing locations on the West Coast of Canada, could help to create a better understanding of our own social structure of gender relationships. The focus of this study was to analyze the relationship between women's surf culture in Western Canada and the marketing activities of the Canadian surf wear  155 industry. T h e research d e s i g n d i d not focus o n integration into the s u r f culture. T h e interviews h e l p e d i d e n t i f y factors that have contributed to a g r o w t h o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g . T h r o u g h m y o w n personal experiences and those conversations, our s u r f culture does e x h i b i t a l e v e l o f acceptance that seems to be u n i q u e to o u r o w n culture. A l l the interviewees w e r e c o m m i t t e d participants, h o w e v e r , t w o participants l i v e d i n T o f i n o , and the other three l i v e d i n the V a n c o u v e r area. Perhaps conversations w i t h m o r e w o m e n w h o reside i n T o f i n o w o u l d p r o v i d e an increased understanding o f o u r l o c a l s u r f c o m m u n i t y . H o w e v e r , this research w o u l d focus o n the lifestyles o f a s m a l l p o r t i o n o f w o m e n surfers i n total. It w o u l d be s p e c i f i c to T o f i n o w o m e n surfers, and w o u l d not represent the w o m e n ' s s u r f p o p u l a t i o n i n W e s t e r n C a n a d a . T h e r e f o r e , I w o u l d r e c o m m e n d a c o m p a r a t i v e study w i t h other s u r f p o p u l a t i o n s to g a i n a better understanding o f the range o f experiences and groups. F u r t h e r m o r e , the age o f f e m a l e surfers o n C a n a d a ' s west coast seems to be o l d e r than other s u r f i n g destinations. H o w e v e r , recent C a n a d i a n s u r f i n g c o m p e t i t i o n s had m o r e y o u n g g i r l s participate. A n in-depth e x a m i n a t i o n o f B C s u r f culture w o u l d p r o v i d e an increased u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f these trends. Interviews w i t h y o u n g e r surfers i n particular c o u l d y i e l d interesting results, i n regards to their c o n s u m p t i o n habits and their use o f s u r f style as a means o f d e m o n s t r a t i n g their s u r f i n g identity. T h i s past s u m m e r (2006) the East C o a s t o f C a n a d a opened its first w o m e n - o w n e d and operated s u r f s c h o o l c a l l e d " O n e L i f e S u r f i l l u s t r a t i n g that the increased presence o f w o m e n i n the water has infiltrated b o t h coastlines. A c o m p a r a t i v e study betw een these t w o s u r f locales w o u l d p r o v i d e an increased understanding o f C a n a d i a n s u r f culture, and the penetration o f the s u r f products industry n a t i o n w i d e .  156  A l t h o u g h , the interviewees h a d an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the female teen and pre-teen c o n s u m e r and several themes w e r e i d e n t i f i e d i n the analysis, a further e x a m i n a t i o n o f this target group w o u l d p r o v e b e n e f i c i a l to s u r f b r a n d marketers and retailers. T h e C a n a d i a n s u r f b r a n d representatives i n t e r v i e w e d i n this study demonstrated a h i g h l e v e l o f k n o w l e d g e i n regards to their b r a n d m a r k e t i n g strategies. H o w e v e r , each core b r a n d e m p l o y s a m a r k e t i n g team that w o r k s o n the b r a n d ' s i m a g e and strategy, and interviews w i t h these representatives at the brands headquarters w o u l d p r o v i d e a m o r e t h o r o u g h understanding o f their strategies i n g a i n i n g and r e t a i n i n g the y o u n g e r female c o n s u m e r . A d d i t i o n a l l y , further research i n the f o r m o f focus groups w i t h f e m a l e c o n s u m e r s o f s u r f w e a r c o u l d p o t e n t i a l l y p r o v i d e a better understanding o f their c o n s u m p t i o n habits and purchase m o t i v a t i o n s . It c o u l d also h e l p i d e n t i f y the s u r f m e d i a they are d r a w n to, what m a r k e t i n g techniques they can relate to, and what brands they are i n c r e a s i n g l y l o y a l to. W h e a t o n and B e a l (2003) u t i l i z e d audience research i n their analysis o f U K w i n d s u r f e r s and U S skateboarders, and f o c u s e d o n " e x a m i n i n g the m e a n i n g s that the n i c h e m a g a z i n e s have for the participants o f those alternative sports i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f their i d e n t i t i e s " (p. 155). T h e i r research suggests that " m a g a z i n e s p l a y e d an important role i n p r o v i d i n g and c i r c u l a t i n g cultural k n o w l e d g e s [sic], but also were an avenue for the participants to d i s p l a y their subcultural c a p i t a l " (p. 155). T h e r e are n u m e r o u s opportunities f o r future research w i t h f e m a l e participants and/or f e m a l e consumers o f surf m e d i a . T h i s research w o u l d be b e n e f i c i a l to advertisers w h o craft their pitches s p e c i f i c a l l y to reach this d e m o g r a p h i c , and to see the effectiveness o f the current messages and images.  157  A s s u r f i n g b e c o m e s m o r e o p e n to w o m e n a n d females b e c o m e m o r e i n v o l v e d i n the p r o f e s s i o n a l c i r c u i t the future o f w o m e n ' s p r o f e s s i o n a l s u r f i n g still remains uncertain. W i l l w o m e n ' s p r o f e s s i o n a l s u r f i n g b e c o m e an equal m a t c h to m e n ' s ? W i l l the sport o f s u r f i n g a n d its i d e n t i t y be c o n t i n u a l l y strengthened a n d w i l l w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g continue to g r o w outside o f the b o x that it is c o n d i t i o n a l l y kept i n ? T h e answers to these questions as yet r e m a i n unclear. T h e s u r f i n d u s t r y seems to be entering a n o s t a l g i c phase i n w h i c h s u r f i n g pioneers are b e i n g a c k n o w l e d g e d f o r d e v e l o p i n g the sport. T h e s u r f v i d e o s b e i n g released are also addressing this trend t h r o u g h the release o f b i o g r a p h i c features and m e m o i r s o f s u r f i n g greats. A further trend is that surfers are a c t i v e l y s u p p o r t i n g l o c a l S u r f r i d e r F o u n d a t i o n chapters. M o s t recently, west coast chapters i n C a n a d a have o r g a n i z e d events to c l e a n u p l o c a l s u r f i n g e n v i r o n m e n t s . P e o p l e are starting to a c k n o w l e d g e the e n v i r o n m e n t a l i m p a c t and are t r y i n g to b e proactive i n their efforts to keep the waters clean a n d safe. M e a n w h i l e , s u r f b r a n d marketers are r e l e a s i n g products that donate a percentage o f the sale o f the product to Surfrider F o u n d a t i o n . W h a t has fueled this nostalgic phase i n s u r f i n g , a n d is this a result o f trends seen i n the c o n s u m e r market generally w h e r e products are i n c r e a s i n g l y b e i n g d e v e l o p e d that raise awareness a n d o f f e r support to s o c i a l causes?  7.2 Study Limitations A t the t i m e o f recruitment I h a d n o i n s i d e k n o w l e d g e o f the i n d u s t r y and its participants. I w a s not an active m e m b e r o f the T o f i n o s u r f scene. I w a s aware o f a w o m e n ' s - s p e c i f i c s u r f s c h o o l but h a d no other contact i n f o r m a t i o n . T h e group that  158 p r o v e d to be most d i f f i c u l t to reach was the surfers as I w a s not one m y s e l f and had to gain access to this group. I i n c o r p o r a t e d participant o b s e r v a t i o n and several trips to V a n c o u v e r Island i n order to m a k e connections w i t h this g r o u p . A s an outsider, these interactions p r o v e d m o r e t r y i n g to f o r m . T h e recruitment o f retailers p r o v e d to be the easiest group to coordinate interviews w i t h as they had a fixed address and they w e r e easier to locate. A l l i n a l l , the response rate was e x t r e m e l y p o s i t i v e and the desired s a m p l e was i n t e r v i e w e d f o r m y study. A f e w interviewees w e r e quite h e l p f u l i n p o i n t i n g out other areas that m a y be interesting. W i t h persistence I was able to d e v e l o p relations w i t h three u n i q u e groups that gave v o i c e to the s u r f scene and s u r f w e a r i n d u s t r y i n C a n a d a . A g o a l o f this research was to g a i n an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g subculture i n W e s t e r n C a n a d a i n a d d i t i o n to the m a r k e t i n g activities o f the C a n a d i a n s u r f wear industry. T h e r e f o r e , this study represents a p r o f i l e o f W e s t e r n C a n a d i a n w o m e n surfers but does not reflect the o p i n i o n s o f a l l core m e m b e r s . A s suggested, further research w i t h this p o p u l a t i o n w o u l d p r o v i d e an in-depth u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the structure o f the C a n a d i a n s u r f i n g subculture. F u r t h e r m o r e , a l l the surfers i n t e r v i e w e d i n the study were i n their m i d 20s to late 20s, perhaps conversations w i t h other generations w o u l d have y i e l d e d different responses. Y o u n g e r girls w e r e seen i n the water h o w e v e r , this s a m p l e was not represented i n this research. Interestingly, f e m a l e surfers expressed h o w important it is f o r m e to try s u r f i n g . T h e y insisted that " y o u d o n ' t want to be a k o o k or a p o s e r " . P r i o r to a c q u i r i n g an i n t e r v i e w w i t h a core surfer she enlisted m e i n s u r f lessons at her s u r f s c h o o l . T h i s demonstrated the i m p o r t a n c e o f b e i n g a surfer and not just a researcher. O n c e she k n e w I  159  was interested i n l e a r n i n g to surf, she i n t r o d u c e d m e to other s u r f instructors and accepted m y role as a researcher. T h i s demonstrated s o m e o f the unique tendencies i n the s u r f i n g subculture. A l a c k o f a d e f i n e d participant role was an early l i m i t a t i o n i n the recruitment o f surfers. A c c e p t a n c e into the s u r f culture r e q u i r e d just getting into the water. 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The case of windsurfing subcultures. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 22(3), 252-274. Wheaton, B. (2000). Just do it: Consumption, commitment, and identity in the windsurfing subculture. Sociology of Sport Journal, 17, 254-274.  165  Appendix I  167  Appendix II  169  Appendix III  172  Appendix IV  173  Interview Questions: Surf School Owner 1) History/Background Information: a)  H o w l o n g h a v e y o u been i n v o l v e d i n the sport o f surfing?  b) H o w l o n g has (surf s c h o o l name) been i n operation? c)  W h e r e d i d the i d e a to o p e n an a l l w o m e n ' s s u r f s c h o o l originate?  d)  W h y an all w o m e n s u r f s c h o o l ? W a s there a d e m a n d for a w o m e n ' s s p e c i f i c s u r f s c h o o l at the t i m e o f (surf s c h o o l name)'s i n c e p t i o n ?  e)  W h a t is (surf s c h o o l n a m e ) ' s m i s s i o n ? H o w successful has (surf s c h o o l  name) been at m a i n t a i n i n g o r r e a c h i n g this goal?  2) Target Market: a)  W h a t is y o u r p r i m a r y target market?  b) W h o attends (surf s c h o o l n a m e ) ' s lessons? W h e r e do y o u r clients c o m e from?  c)  D o y o u t h i n k that s u r f i n g is a p p e a l i n g to teens and pre-teens? H o w  important is the so-called G e n e r a t i o n Y to the success o f y o u r business?  3) Marketing: a)  W h a t m a r k e t i n g techniques does (surf s c h o o l name) u t i l i z e to promote its  b)  Is the Internet an important t o o l used i n the p r o m o t i o n o f (surf s c h o o l  school? ( w o r d o f m o u t h , a d v e r t i s i n g , p r o m o t i o n s , events)  name)? E x p l a i n .  4)  Participation: a)  There is a p e r c e p t i o n that m o r e w o m e n are s u r f i n g these days. S i n c e the  i n c e p t i o n o f (surf s c h o o l name) have y o u n o t i c e d a g r o w t h i n the support  and n u m b e r o f w o m e n surfing?  b) W h a t do y o u t h i n k p r o p e l l e d the s u r f industry to where it is today? is c a u s i n g this increased attraction to the sport?  c)  What  H o w has the increased p o p u l a r i t y o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g affected the n u m b e r  o f participants e n r o l l e d i n lessons w i t h (surf s c h o o l name)? d)  D o y o u t h i n k w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g is here to stay? H o w do w e k n o w ? W h a t  e)  D o y o u t h i n k the recent p o p u l a r i t y o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g is due to m a r k e t i n g  are the signs?  and/or m e d i a c o v e r a g e o r a result o f an increased n u m b e r o f females  t r y i n g out the sport and getting i n the water?  5) Appeal: a)  D o y o u t h i n k a g i r l s - o n l y e n v i r o n m e n t is important to y o u r clientele? D o  participants feel m o r e c o m f o r t a b l e b e i n g taught b y females and l e a r n i n g to s u r f w i t h w o m e n i n the group o n l y ? W h y ? E x p l a i n .  b) W h a t i n i t i a l l y attracted y o u to the s u r f l i f e s t y l e ? (E.g. e n v i r o n m e n t , f r e e d o m , r i s k , l i f e s t y l e , intensity)  c)  W h a t do y o u t h i n k attracts y o u n g girls and w o m e n to surfing? W h y ? Explain.  174  d) D o y o u think the s u r f scene i n C a n a d a is different f r o m other g e o g r a p h i c a l locations? W h a t attracts females to s u r f i n g i n C a n a d a ? e)  D o y o u b e l i e v e there is crossover between s u r f i n g and the other b o a r d sports (E.g. s n o w b o a r d i n g , skateboarding and w a k e b o a r d i n g ) ?  H a v e these  sports h e l p e d stimulate the s u r f industry?  6 ) Identity: a}  D o y o u think b e i n g a surfer is part o f y o u r identity? H o w ? D o e s it  i n f l u e n c e y o u r purchase d e c i s i o n s ? (E.g. m u s i c , clothes, cars) D o e s it affect what activities y o u d o ? D o e s b e i n g a surfer p l a y a r o l e i n the f o r m a t i o n o f y o u r attitude?  b) D o y o u w e a r s u r f b r a n d e d clothes to identify y o u r s e l f as a surfer? c)  D o y o u think non-surfers use s u r f style as a means o f a d o p t i n g s u r f i n g  identity? H o w ? E x p l a i n .  d) D o y o u think particular p e o p l e use/wear different brands based o n their identity? T o what effect? E x p l a i n .  7) Surf Culture: a)  D o y o u t h i n k that surfers are a distinct group? A r e surfers different i n some w a y ? H o w are surfers different?  b) W h e r e do w o m e n fit into this picture? c)  D o y o u c o n s i d e r y o u r s e l f to b e an insider i n the l o c a l s u r f scene?  d) H o w d o y o u b e c o m e accepted as a m e m b e r o f this culture? o  E.g. c o m m i t m e n t , b e a c h c r e d i b i l i t y , equipment, style  8) Surfing in Canada: a]  A r e there m a n y opportunities f o r female surfers to advance o r get recognized i n Canada? O  E.g. c o m p e t i t i o n s , sponsorships, p r o m o t i o n s  9) Blue Crush: a)  D o y o u t h i n k B l u e C r u s h accurately portrayed the sport o f w o m e n ' s  surfing?  b) W h a t do y o u t h i n k the release o f B l u e C r u s h last A u g u s t d i d to w o m e n ' s surfing? Increased participation? Increased appeal? W h o benefited? c)  Increased support?  D o y o u think the release o f B l u e C r u s h increased the d e m a n d for s u r f w e a r  and surf-themed products a m o n g y o u n g g i r l s and w o m e n i n general?  10) Surf Wear Industry: a)  T h e s u r f w e a r i n d u s t r y has g r o w n i n the past f e w years. W h a t do y o u b e l i e v e contributed to the increased p o p u l a r i t y o f w o m e n ' s s u r f wear?  b) D o y o u think this g r o w t h w i l l continue i n the years to come? Is this a short-term trend o r a long-term change i n the s u r f w e a r industry? c)  T h e s u r f w e a r i n d u s t r y has expanded their d e v e l o p m e n t o f w o m e n oriented products. D o y o u think these products m a k e w o m e n m o r e  175 c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h the identity o f " b e i n g a surfer"? H o w ? W h a t has been the i m p a c t o f these products o n w o m e n ' s surfing? d)  W h a t do ' r e a l ' surfers t h i n k about the emergence o f s u r f brands and s u r f wear into the m a i n s t r e a m ?  11) Surf Brands: a)  A r e y o u l o y a l to a n y s p e c i f i c s u r f w e a r brands? W h i c h ones? W h y ? W h a t do these brands m e a n to y o u ?  b}  D o y o u t h i n k certain s u r f brands h a v e a particular personality?  c)  W h a t s u r f brands have gained p o p u l a r i t y as a w h o l e ?  d)  D o y o u t h i n k the s u r f w e a r market is b e c o m i n g too saturated?  12) Brand Marketing: a)  H o w are these s u r f brands b e i n g marketed? P r o m o t e d ? W h a t k i n d o f  m a r k e t i n g techniques do y o u support i n order to raise s u r f b r a n d awareness?  b)  W h o do y o u t h i n k s u r f brand marketers are m a i n l y t r y i n g to target?  c)  H a s y o u r perception o f a s u r f b r a n d changed due to its m a r k e t i n g efforts? A n y examples?  Interview Questions: Surfers 1) History/Background Information: a] b]  H o w l o n g have y o u been i n v o l v e d i n the sport o f surfing?  W h e r e d i d y o u first experience the sport? H a v e y o u been an a v i d surfer since that first experience o n the board?  c] D o y o u s u r f year round? H o w important is b e i n g able to s u r f to  y o u r lifestyle? D o e s b e i n g able to s u r f i m p a c t the d e c i s i o n s y o u  m a k e w i t h regard to w o r k , travel, l i v i n g and activities y o u partake in socially?  2)  Participation: a)  T h e r e is a p e r c e p t i o n that m o r e w o m e n are s u r f i n g these days. S i n c e y o u b e g a n s u r f i n g have y o u n o t i c e d a g r o w t h i n the support  and n u m b e r o f w o m e n surfing?  b}  W h a t do y o u t h i n k p r o p e l l e d the s u r f industry to where it is today? W h a t is c a u s i n g this increased attraction to the sport?  c]  D o y o u t h i n k w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g is here to stay? H o w do w e k n o w ?  W h a t are the signs? d)  D o y o u t h i n k the recent p o p u l a r i t y o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g is due to m a r k e t i n g and/or m e d i a coverage o r a result o f an increased  n u m b e r o f females t r y i n g out the sport and getting i n the water?  176  3) Appeal: a)  W h a t i n i t i a l l y attracted y o u to the s u r f l i f e s t y l e ? (E.g. e n v i r o n m e n t , f r e e d o m , r i s k , l i f e s t y l e , intensity)  b j W h a t d o y o u t h i n k attracts y o u n g girls and w o m e n to surfing? c)  D o y o u t h i n k the s u r f scene i n C a n a d a i s different f r o m other  g e o g r a p h i c a l locations? W h a t attracts females to s u r f i n g i n Canada?  d)  D o y o u b e l i e v e there is crossover between s u r f i n g and the other  b o a r d sports (E.g. s n o w b o a r d i n g , s k a t e b o a r d i n g a n d wakeboarding)? industry?  H a v e these sports h e l p e d stimulate the s u r f  4) Identity: a)  D o y o u t h i n k b e i n g a surfer is part o f y o u r identity? H o w ? D o e s it  i n f l u e n c e y o u r purchase d e c i s i o n s ? (E.g. m u s i c , clothes, cars) D o e s it affect what activities y o u d o ? D o e s b e i n g a surfer p l a y a role i n  the f o r m a t i o n o f y o u r attitude? b] c) d]  D o y o u w e a r s u r f branded clothes to i d e n t i f y y o u r s e l f as a surfer? D o y o u t h i n k non-surfers use s u r f style as a means o f a d o p t i n g  s u r f i n g identity? H o w ? E x p l a i n .  D o y o u t h i n k particular people use/wear different brands based o n  their identity? T o what effect? E x p l a i n .  5) Surf Culture:  a)  D o y o u t h i n k that surfers are a distinct group? A r e surfers different i n s o m e w a y ? H o w are surfers different?  W h e r e do w o m e n fit into this picture?  D o y o u c o n s i d e r y o u r s e l f to be an i n s i d e r i n the l o c a l s u r f scene?  H o w d o y o u b e c o m e accepted as a m e m b e r o f this culture? o  6)  E.g. c o m m i t m e n t , beach c r e d i b i l i t y , equipment, style  Surfing in Canada: a)  A r e there m a n y opportunities for female surfers to advance o r get recognized i n Canada? o  E.g. c o m p e t i t i o n s , s p o n s o r s h i p s , p r o m o t i o n s  7) Blue Crush: a)  D o y o u t h i n k B l u e C r u s h accurately portrayed the sport o f w o m e n ' s surfing?  b) W h a t d o y o u t h i n k the release o f B l u e C r u s h last A u g u s t d i d to w o m e n ' s surfing? Increased participation? Increased appeal? Increased support? W h o benefited? c)  D o y o u t h i n k the release o f B l u e C r u s h increased the d e m a n d f o r s u r f w e a r and surf-themed products a m o n g y o u n g g i r l s and w o m e n i n general?  177  8) Surf Wear Industry: a)  T h e s u r f w e a r industry has g r o w n i n the past f e w years. W h a t d o  y o u t h i n k contributed to the increased p o p u l a r i t y o f w o m e n ' s s u r f wear?  b)  D o y o u t h i n k this g r o w t h w i l l continue i n the years to c o m e ? Is this  a short-term trend o r a long-term change i n the s u r f w e a r industry?  c) T h e s u r f w e a r industry has e x p a n d e d their d e v e l o p m e n t o f w o m e n -  oriented products. D o y o u t h i n k these products m a k e w o m e n m o r e c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h the identity o f " b e i n g a s u r f e r " ? H o w ? W h a t has  been the i m p a c t o f these products o n w o m e n ' s surfing? d)  W h a t do ' r e a l ' surfers t h i n k about the emergence o f s u r f brands and s u r f w e a r into the mainstream?  9)  Surf Brands: a]  A r e y o u l o y a l to any s p e c i f i c s u r f w e a r brands? W h i c h ones?  W h y ? W h a t do these brands m e a n to y o u ? b]  D o y o u t h i n k certain s u r f brands h a v e a particular personality?  c]  W h a t s u r f brands h a v e gained p o p u l a r i t y as a w h o l e ?  d]  D o y o u t h i n k the s u r f w e a r market i s b e c o m i n g too saturated?  10) Brand Marketing a)  H o w are these s u r f brands b e i n g marketed? P r o m o t e d ? W h a t k i n d  o f m a r k e t i n g techniques do y o u support i n order to raise b r a n d awareness?  b)  W h o d o y o u t h i n k s u r f b r a n d marketers are m a i n l y t r y i n g to target?  c) H a s y o u r perception o f a s u r f b r a n d changed due to its m a r k e t i n g efforts? A n y e x a m p l e s ?  Interview Questions: Retailers 1) History/Background Information: a)  H o w l o n g has (store name) been i n operation?  b)  H a v e y o u a l w a y s carried s u r f m e r c h a n d i s e at y o u r store? I f not, w h e n d i d y o u d e c i d e to start c a r r y i n g s u r f merchandise? W h a t m o t i v a t e d y o u to e x p l o r e the s u r f products market?  c)  H a v e y o u e x p a n d e d the lines y o u r store carries over the years to reach the female c o n s u m e r ? W h a t m o t i v a t e d y o u to further e x p l o r e this m a r k e t ?  d)  H o w do y o u decide what to order and w h a t brands y o u r store w i l l carry?  2) Target Market: a)  W h o i s y o u r p r i m a r y c o n s u m e r o f surf-related m e r c h a n d i s e ?  b)  D o y o u t h i n k the s u r f w e a r industry targets teens and pre-teens? H o w important is the so-called G e n e r a t i o n Y to (store name) i n particular?  c)  H o w important is the female c o n s u m e r to the o v e r a l l success o f (store name)?  178  d)  S i n c e (store name) has been i n operation have y o u n o t i c e d a change i n the d e m o g r a p h i c s (age, gender) o f y o u r m a i n c o n s u m e r s ? W h a t can b e attributed to this v a r i e d clientele?  3)  Participation: a)  There is a p e r c e p t i o n that m o r e w o m e n are s u r f i n g these days. S i n c e y o u  have been i n the retail i n d u s t r y have y o u n o t i c e d a g r o w t h i n the support and n u m b e r o f w o m e n surfing?  b)  W h a t do y o u t h i n k p r o p e l l e d the s u r f industry to w h e r e it is today? W h a t is  c a u s i n g this increased attraction to the sport? c)  D o y o u t h i n k w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g is here to stay? H o w do w e k n o w ? W h a t  are the signs? d)  H o w m u c h o f an i n f l u e n c e has m a r k e t i n g h a d o n the increased p o p u l a r i t y  o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g and the d e m a n d for surf-related products? e)  In general terms, h o w has the increased p o p u l a r i t y o f w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g affected y o u r sales at (store name)?  4) Appeal: a) b) c) d)  W h a t d o y o u b e l i e v e attracts y o u n g girls and w o m e n to surfing?  W h a t appeals non-surfers to the s u r f l i f e s t y l e and hence s u r f style?  W h e r e does this f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h the s u r f l i f e s t y l e originate?  D o y o u b e l i e v e that the s u r f l i f e s t y l e has crossed o v e r to the mainstream?  W h y does s u r f i n g h a v e s u c h a strong m a i n s t r e a m presence? e)  D o y o u b e l i e v e there is crossover between s u r f i n g and the other b o a r d  sports (E.g. s n o w b o a r d i n g , skateboarding and w a k e b o a r d i n g ) ? sports helped stimulate the s u r f industry?  H a v e these  5) Identity a)  D o y o u think non-surfers use s u r f style as a means o f a d o p t i n g s u r f i n g identity? H o w ? E x p l a i n .  b)  D o y o u t h i n k particular p e o p l e use/wear different brands based o n their identity? T o what effect? E x p l a i n .  6) Surf Wear Industry: a)  D o y o u b e l i e v e the s u r f l i f e s t y l e has s p a w n e d a f a s h i o n trend?  b)  T h e s u r f w e a r i n d u s t r y has seen dramatic g r o w t h i n the past f e w years.  W h a t d o y o u t h i n k contributed to the increased p o p u l a r i t y o f w o m e n ' s s u r f wear?  c)  D o s u r f fashions have s t a y i n g p o w e r i n the l o n g run? D o y o u see the s u r f wear industry g a i n i n g m o m e n t u m i n the years to c o m e ?  Is this a short-  term trend o r a long-term change i n the s u r f w e a r industry? d)  T h e s u r f w e a r industry has expanded their d e v e l o p m e n t o f w o m e n oriented products. D o y o u t h i n k these products m a k e w o m e n m o r e  c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h the identity o f " b e i n g a s u r f e r " ? H o w ? W h a t has been  the i m p a c t o f these products o n w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g and the s u r f wear industry?  179  e)  W h a t percentage o f y o u r customer base w o u l d y o u c l a s s i f y as actual surfers? H o w important are the core surfers to the success o f (store name)?  7)  Surfing in Canada: a) D o y o u t h i n k the s u r f scene i n C a n a d a is different f r o m other g e o g r a p h i c a l locations? W h a t attracts females to s u r f i n g i n C a n a d a ?  b)  H o w does the s u r f w e a r i n d u s t r y d i f f e r i n C a n a d a c o m p a r e d to other parts  o f the w o r l d ? c)  W h a t is the biggest i n f l u e n c e o n the C a n a d i a n s u r f w e a r industry?  d) D o y o u k n o w o f a n y w o m e n ' s o n l y s u r f schools i n C a n a d a ? H o w d i d y o u hear about this s u r f s c h o o l ?  8) Surf Brand: a) D o y o u b e l i e v e that b r a n d i n g has d r i v e n the fashions? b) c)  W h i c h s u r f brands are the most p o p u l a r a m o n g y o u n g girls and w o m e n ?  W h y do y o u t h i n k (brand name) has captured the f e m a l e teen and pre-teen  market so w e l l ?  9) Marketing: a) D o e s y o u r c o m p a n y do market research? H o w do y o u d e c i d e w h i c h items y o u r store w i l l carry each season?  b) c)  W h e r e do s u r f trends originate? W h o are the trend setters?  W h a t m a r k e t i n g techniques do y o u c o n s i d e r to b e m o s t effective by  marketers i n r a i s i n g b r a n d awareness i n the s u r f industry?  10) Blue Crush: a) Several articles p u b l i s h e d i n the V a n c o u v e r S u n f o l l o w i n g the release o f  B l u e C r u s h i n d i c a t e d that retailers i n the L o w e r M a i n l a n d w e r e c a s h i n g i n o n the m a g n e t i s m o f the s u r f culture and its e x p l o s i v e effect o n b e a c h w e a r i n general? Is this accurate?  this f i l m ' s release? b)  D i d y o u notice increased sales as a result o f  In the f i l m B l u e C r u s h , the s u r f b r a n d B i l l a b o n g w a s the f i l m ' s s u r f w e a r  p r o m o t i o n a l partner? D i d y o u notice an increased d e m a n d for this b r a n d f o l l o w i n g the f i l m ' s release?  Canadian Brand Manufacturing Representatives: Interview Questions 1) History/Background Information: a) H o w l o n g has (brand name) been around? W h e n w a s it founded? W h a t is the brands history? b)  Is (brand name) a g l o b a l brand? H o w m a n y countries h a v e dealers s e l l i n g y o u r brand?  c)  H a s y o u r b r a n d e x p a n d e d as a result o f the increased support and p o p u l a r i t y o f w o m e n ' s surfing?  d) W h a t is (brand n a m e ) ' s m i s s i o n as a b r a n d i n the s u r f w e a r industry?  180 2) Target Market: a)  W h o is the m a i n target f o r y o u r brand?  b)  D o y o u t h i n k the s u r f w e a r i n d u s t r y targets teens and pre-teens? H o w  c)  H o w important is the female c o n s u m e r to the o v e r a l l success o f y o u r  important i s the so-called G e n e r a t i o n Y to (brand name) i n particular?  brand?  3) Participation: a)  There is a p e r c e p t i o n that m o r e w o m e n are s u r f i n g these days. S i n c e y o u  have been i n the s u r f w e a r i n d u s t r y h a v e y o u n o t i c e d a g r o w t h i n the support and n u m b e r o f w o m e n surfing?  b) W h a t do y o u t h i n k p r o p e l l e d the s u r f industry to w h e r e it is today? W h a t is c a u s i n g this increased attraction to the sport?  c)  D o y o u t h i n k w o m e n ' s s u r f i n g i s here to stay? H o w do w e k n o w ? W h a t  are the signs? d)  H o w m u c h o f an i n f l u e n c e has m a r k e t i n g been o n the increased p o p u l a r i t y  o f s u r f i n g and the d e m a n d for surf-related products?  4) Appeal: a)  W h a t do y o u b e l i e v e attracts y o u n g girls and w o m e n to surfing?  b) W h a t appeals c o n s u m e r s to the s u r f w e a r industry? c)  W h e r e does this f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h the s u r f l i f e s t y l e originate?  d) D o y o u b e l i e v e that the s u r f l i f e s t y l e has crossed o v e r to the mainstream? W h y does s u r f i n g h a v e such a strong m a i n s t r e a m presence?  e)  D o y o u b e l i e v e there i s crossover betw een s u r f i n g and the other b o a r d  sports (E.g. s n o w b o a r d i n g , skateboarding and w a k e b o a r d i n g ) ? sports h e l p e d stimulate the s u r f industry?  H a v e these  5) Identity: a)  D o y o u t h i n k non-surfers use s u r f style as a means o f a d o p t i n g s u r f i n g identity? H o w ? E x p l a i n .  b) D o y o u t h i n k particular p e o p l e use/wear different brands based o n their identity? T o w h a t effect? E x p l a i n .  6) Surf Culture: a)  D o y o u t h i n k that surfers are a distinct group? A r e surfers different i n some w a y ? H o w are they different?  b) W h e r e do w o m e n fit into this picture? c)  H o w do y o u b e c o m e accepted as a m e m b e r o f this culture? o  E.g. c o m m i t m e n t , beach c r e d i b i l i t y , equipment, style  7) Surf Wear Industry: a)  D o y o u b e l i e v e the s u r f l i f e s t y l e has s p a w n e d a f a s h i o n trend?  b) T h e s u r f w e a r i n d u s t r y has seen dramatic g r o w t h i n the past f e w years.  W h a t do y o u t h i n k contributed to the increased p o p u l a r i t y o f w o m e n ' s s u r f wear?  181  c)  D o y o u see the s u r f w e a r industry g a i n i n g m o m e n t u m i n the years to come?  Is this a short-term trend or a long-term change i n the s u r f w e a r  industry? d)  T h e s u r f w e a r i n d u s t r y has e x p a n d e d their d e v e l o p m e n t o f w o m e n oriented products. D o y o u t h i n k these products m a k e w o m e n m o r e c o m f o r t a b l e w i t h the identity o f " b e i n g a s u r f e r " ? H o w ? W h a t has been the i m p a c t o f these products o n w o m e n ' s surfing?  e)  H o w strong is the s u r f w e a r industry i n C a n a d a ? Is it o n the u p s w i n g ?  f)  H o w important are the core surfers to the success o f y o u r brand?  Surf Brand: a) H o w do y o u d i s t i n g u i s h y o u r s e l f f r o m the c o m p e t i t i o n ? b)  D o y o u have a s p e c i f i c p e r s o n a l i t y f o r y o u r brand? W h a t k i n d o f i m a g e  c)  H o w have y o u p o s i t i o n e d y o u r b r a n d i n the market?  are y o u t r y i n g to e m b o d y ?  Marketing: a) W h a t m a r k e t i n g techniques do y o u u t i l i z e to p r o m o t e y o u r brand? b)  There is a p e r c e p t i o n that i n order to reach the w o r l d l y w i s e so-called  G e n e r a t i o n Y , marketers need to craft products and pitches that are m o r e  realistic. H a v e y o u changed y o u r m a r k e t i n g strategy to capture this  generation's attention? H o w does (brand name) c o m m u n i c a t e to y o u t h culture?  c)  There is a p e r c e p t i o n that the Internet is the m e d i u m o f c h o i c e amongst  G e n e r a t i o n Y for entertainment, c o m m u n i c a t i o n , and product research? H o w important is the Internet i n y o u r m a r k e t i n g strategy?  d)  Furthermore, there is a p e r c e p t i o n that w o m e n are b e c o m i n g i n c r e a s i n g l y  important i n the sport marketplace. It is suggested that c o m p a n i e s s e e k i n g  to target and reach the f e m a l e c o n s u m e r must change the w a y they c o m m u n i c a t e to th e m. H o w do y o u c o m m u n i c a t e to w o m e n ? o e)  E.g. change the tone i n w h i c h y o u speak to w o m e n  H o w important are c e l e b r i t y athletes to y o u r m a r k e t i n g strategy? D o y o u sponsor athletes? H o w m a n y o f t h e m are female?  f)  D o y o u do m a r k e t research? W h a t are the m a i n considerations y o u put into  g)  W h e r e do the s u r f w e a r trends originate? W h o are the trend setters?  product d e v e l o p m e n t ?  Blue Crush: a) D o y o u t h i n k B l u e C r u s h accurately portrayed the sport o f w o m e n ' s surfing? b)  W h a t d i d the release o f B l u e C r u s h last A u g u s t do to w o m e n ' s surfing? Increased p a r t i c i p a t i o n ? Increased appeal? Increased support? W h o benefited?  c)  D o y o u t h i n k the release o f B l u e C r u s h increased the d e m a n d f o r s u r f w e a r and s u r f t h e m e d products a m o n g y o u n g girls and w o m e n i n general?  

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