World Surf League enters into innovative partnership with Airbnb

The World Surf League (WSL) has moved into the experiential travel and leisure market through an innovative new partnership with home rental and travel company Airbnb.

The partnership seeks to build on an existing relationship between the two parties which has seen Airbnb offer curated home options to travellers in top surf destinations since 2016. Airbnb has highlighted the popularity of surfing-based bookings on its platform, stating that in 2017 there were 170,000 guest arrivals at homes on Airbnb in select surfing communities worldwide.

In addition, surfing bookings through its ‘Experiences’ offering are among the most popular on the platform, with the MySurf School Experience in Bali ranking in the top three most-booked globally. To date, Airbnb claims hosts in surfing communities on the WSL tournament circuit have earned a combined sum of around $23m (€19m) in supplemental income by sharing their homes.

Under the new partnership, travellers can now book one of 75-plus Experiences hosted by surf pros, certified coaches and influencers across dozens of unique destinations, which will also be highlighted on the two companies’ platforms.

Surfing Experiences now available include Edouard & Antoine Delpero Surf School in Biarritz, France, where travellers can learn to surf or fine-tune their technique with the Delpero brothers at the major surfing destination in the heart of Basque country.

Surf Coaching with Leo Neves in Saquarema, Brazil will see WSL veteran Neves offer pro tips and video analysis. Learn to Surf with Luke Stedman & Damien Fahrenfort will see the WSL pair offer California-focused surfing training in Venice, Los Angeles.

“Surfing, as a sport and a culture, is synonymous with breaking new ground and traversing uncharted waters so it's a natural fit to be partnering with Airbnb in this incredible new engagement,” Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL chief executive, said.

“Championing experiences in the surfing and outdoor space is something both the WSL and Airbnb are very excited about moving forward. The potential to spread the stoke of surfing across the world, and give people experiences that will last a lifetime, is enormous. With Airbnb we are confident we can take surfing to a new level.”

Brian Chesky, co-founder, chief executive and head of community for Airbnb, added: “Surfing is one of the top things people want to do when they travel, but many are scared to try at first. No matter your experience level, these Experiences provide a more intimate, personal and welcoming experience than you'd get otherwise, and a chance for local surf communities to earn extra income doing what they love.”