Surfing, once a niche sport rooted in coastal communities, is experiencing waves of change. With Surfline's acquisition of Magicseaweed in 2017 and Authentic Brands purchasing Boardriders, some surfers are pondering the impact of big businesses on the industry and the future for small businesses, surf shops, sponsorships, and innovation.
Back in 2017, Surfline made a splash by acquiring Magicseaweed, but the two remained separate, giving users a choice. However, in a recent announcement titled "MSW is Rolling Up into Surfline," Magicseaweed revealed that it will be transitioning its forecasting services exclusively to Surfline's platform, saying goodbye to its own website and app.
While the consolidation of surf forecasting services under Surfline has raised concerns about limited competition, and Authentic Brands' acquisition of Boardriders has left some wondering about the impact of corporate ownership, the real question is, will it matter to surfers? After all, as long as the cams show fair-good conditions and we can watch our two decent waves on the cam-rewind, we can go to sleep happy.
Small businesses in the surf industry, including smaller surf forecasting websites and apps, may face challenges in competing with Surfline's resources and reach. But amidst the changes, some surfers worry about the impact on the sport's authenticity and grassroots culture - and the big question is - does that matter? Should it matter?
As the surf industry continues to evolve, it's important to strike a balance between business interests and preserving the core values and connection with the surfing community. So, what do you think? Is it time to bid farewell to Magicseaweed and embrace the mega Surfline, or should we ride the wave of supporting small businesses and preserving the unique culture of surfing? Share your thoughts and let's keep the stoke alive in the ever-changing surf world.