Truth or rotten misinformation?
I wasn’t ready for a bomb explode in my lap this Sunday morning before America’s proud Independence Day celebration, but here I sit, covered in soot, ears ringing, pants on fire. Kelly Slater, a great ambassador for surfing and its 11-time world champion, has just told the British GQ that there are currently more surfers on earth than golfers.
The explosive statement came amid a interview about reading time, how good Slater is at counting in 15 second increments and watches and was pronounced as follows:
Now, I wouldn’t say (surfing) is getting giant, but the surfing lifestyle is huge all over the world. I heard there were more surfers and golfers in the world and you see how much money there is in golf, so that caught me off guard. Most people who surf don’t compete, but most people love the beach all over the world, so a favorite travel destination will always be to hit the beach somewhere.
More surfers than golfers on land?
Could it be?
Let’s do some research.
The International Surfing Association (ISA) states that there are 35 million surfers on earth, although I have no idea where that figure was derived from. surfer today claims there are around 6 million surfers, most of them in the aforementioned Land of the Free, home of the brave.
Can we agree that the number is somewhere above 6 but well below 35? Something like 12 million seems fair. Nope? Slips off the tongue and doesn’t taste like an outright lie.
Now golf. The National Golf Foundation says, in golf summary, there are 24.8 million golfers in the United States alone, with 2021 showing the largest net increase in participation in the past 17 years. This kind of digital work exudes legitimacy. Real abacus. If the US has 24.8 million, Europe must have a bunch and China has over 1.4 billion people then…
…Kelly Slater is wrong and not peddling false information, fake news, to the fashion-conscious British male audience.
Out of shame.