Our goal is to help give coastal communities the tools they need to be effective in valuing, protecting and managing their own natural resources. Surf breaks are one type of resource that consist of many important ecological features while also being of high economic significance. With over 35 million surfers world-wide, the international surf tourism industry is valued at between US$31.5 – 64.9 billion per year. Using the economic value of surf breaks as an anchor/ driver, this insurance model would financially sustain communities for loss of revenue due to coastal climate disaster that affects the ecosystem and its surf breaks’ ability to produce rideable, income- generating waves, thereby providing economic resilience to vulnerable coastal communities facing climate and anthropogenic threats.


Buying traditional indemnity-based insurance to protect against insurance risks is not always efficient. Parametric insurance solves this problem by utilizing simple trigger and payout mechanisms to speed up the claims payment process. A parametric insurance contract insures a policyholder against the occurrence of a specific event by paying a set amount based on the magnitude of the event rather than the magnitude of the losses in a traditional indemnity policy. This pre-agreed pay-out takes place if the parameter or index threshold is reached or exceeded, regardless of actual physical loss sustained.

What makes this project truly innovative is that the current ecosystem-generated revenues of surfing locations can be leveraged to offset future ocean- related risk. Surfing has traditionally been absent from coastal resilience and blue economy conversations as a stakeholder group and a source of financing. In addition to a tourism activity, surfing is now an Olympic sport with considerable investment in athletes’ training and development, and protecting the sport/ recreational amenity while ensuring the ongoing ecosystem function is revolutionary. Guaranteeing income lost for communities dependent on these ecosystems builds economic resilience in the face of climate emergency.



Our pilot locations for this project will be surf communities based on several criteria aimed at maximizing the project’s potential resilience impact:

  1. Economic Significance of Surf Break(s)

  2. Trigger type

  3. Political Feasibility

  4. Governmental capacity & support

  5. Ease of community “buy-in”

  6. Lack of wave substitute

We will use the local surfing economy to create a surf ecosystem insurance fund to support communities in improving and protecting their coastal resources, as well as to provide economic resilience in the face of climate and anthropogenic threats. There are four key steps in this model:
  1. Conducting of baseline oceanographic and economic assessments of the surf ecosystem

  2. Creation of a resilience trust fund with inputs from the local surf economy (hospitality, restaurants, hard goods, surfboard shapers), and external trustees (NGOs, governments, global surf brands)

  3. Purchasing of parametric insurance for the trust, with climate based triggers (rainfall and wind

    speed) that impact surf ecosystem function and the local economy upon which it is based

  4. Disbursement of funds from the policy for lost revenue ecosystem enhancement in the event of

loss of surfbreak function or quality.

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