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“ Riding the tourist surfing wave


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Date of submission of abstracts (French or English): September 1, 2022

Date of submission of texts: January 15, 2023

Scheduled publication: 2024

Coordination of the issue: Ludovic Falaix, Maître de conférences, Université Clermont Auvergne, UMR Territoires, en délégation CNRS UMR 5319 Passages

Riding a wave of scientific works, surfing has become in the last few years a fertile subject of research in the field of human and social sciences. At the francophone level, since the founding work of Jean-Pierre Augustin (1994), whose objective was to identify the territorial impacts of this sport on the socio-spatial dynamics of coastal resorts (Falaix and Favory, 2002; Augustin, 2007), many researchers have invested in the subject with the intention of highlighting the fact that surfing can be considered as a revelation of socio-spatial, tourist, cultural, and political dynamics.

Surfing is a worldwide phenomenon, now included in the pantheon of Olympic disciplines, and is practiced on most coasts by an increasingly heterogeneous population of enthusiasts. Beyond the sole sporting dimension, contemporary surfing allows us to unearth a cultural heritage whose original cradle is located in the heart of the Hawaiian archipelago (Coëffé, 2010 ; Lemarié, 2018). Surfing is also grasped in its political dimension (Guibert, 2006), i.e., research emphasizes the strategies developed by public authorities to register this activity in a heritage perspective and thus reinforce the tourist attractiveness of territories. Surfing then acquires the attributes of a real territorial resource (Falaix, 2012), not without redrawing the contours of bodily norms initially based on sea bathing (Corbin, 1988), beach sociability (Urbain, 1994; Coëffé et al. , 2012), as well as seaside tropisms or the socio-cultural dynamics of coastal tourism.

This surfing tourism (Falaix, 2015a), characterized in particular by a commercialization of the framework of the practice, the securing and development of practice sites, and the promotion of an event program around the cultural elements conveyed in the collective imagination of this sporting practice, also raises many issues, tests certain limits (Taglioni and Guiltat, 2015), and questions these prospective dimensions (Guibert, 2021). Indeed, the development of surfing tourism requires an analysis of how the legal and pedagogical framework of the practice is organized. It also calls for an understanding of the sustainable character of tourism development, the limits of which are pointed out by some research, particularly in the English-language academic world, insofar as the promotion of surfing in the tourism segment is not necessarily correlated with a sustainable approach to territories (Ponting and O'Brien, 2013; Borne and Ponting, 2015).

In addition, new dynamics are emerging and contributing to the tourism development of some territories (Lemarié and Domann, 2019). The media coverage of big wave surfing or sport competitions reinforces the fame of some coastal villages. The artificialization of practice sites (Falaix, 2018) authorizes the tourism and sports development of territories located in the hinterland or in urban areas far from the ocean. The development of surfing tourism also refers to the need to preserve the environmental qualities of the oceanic environment that some surfers defend (Wheaton, 2007; Simoncini, 2014; Weisbein, 2016). The promotion of surfing tourism also conjures imaginary realms (Benassi, 2018); myths (Lemarié and Chamois, 2018); aesthetics (Barjolin-Smith, 2020); beliefs (Booth, 2001); and stereotypes (Maillot, 2011); it is sometimes part of a cultural syncretism mixed with a folkloric dimension (Penot, 2021); it often ratifies gendered discrimination (Waitt, 2007; Roy, 2014; Schmitt and Bohuon, 2021); and it exacerbates conflicts between users of maritime space (Falaix, 2014; Guyonnard and Vacher, 2016). Finally, a new form of surfing development is being orchestrated. It is in the vein of slow tourism (Lebreton et al., 2020), acclaiming new forms of body ecology (Andrieu, 2017) based on a sometimes transcendental relationship with nature (Anderson, 2013) in order to reconnect with the existentialist character of this maritime practice (Falaix, 2015b; 2017), or to prevent certain pathologies.

This thematic file therefore aims to decipher the tourism logistics that traverse the plural, if not ambivalent (Lafargue, 2015), worlds of surfing. Three main avenues have been identified, which proposed contributions will be asked to explore.

The first avenue concerns an analysis of the consequences of surfing promotion on the structuring of seaside tourist territories from a socio-spatial, cultural, and/or economic point of view. The expected contributions may also address the potential reconfiguration of coastal tourism governance by identifying the possible forms of political contestation that surfers develop (Weisbein, 2015; Falaix et al. , 2021). Moreover, this first avenue may lead to an understanding of the socio-cultural and political conditions that authorize this process of surfing tourism and to identify the issues related to the securing of the practice, the formation of a socio-professional category of sports actors (Guibert, 2012), the taking into account of sustainability, the safeguarding and sanctification of practice sites to which the constitution of surfing reserves refers,1 or the examination of economic spin-offs induced by surfing development.

The second avenue consists in questioning the imaginary realms of contemporary recreation and the founding myths of surfing culture that are conveyed in the context of the tourist promotion of this sporting practice. For example, contributions may examine whether the imaginary realms of surfing ratify the gendered dominations that traverse the universe of institutional sports (Guibert and Arab, 2016) or the marketing strategies of surfing companies (Terfous et al., 2019), whether they still convey the counter-cultural dimension (Loret, 1995 ; Guibert, 2011), that is to say the postmodern character of the sporting practice. This avenue also intends to be a space for reflections on the analysis of the logistics of commercialization of the practice by including the question of the artificializing of practice sites, as well as by deciphering the repercussions of the inscription of surfing in the Olympic agenda and the promotion of the event dimension which comes to light in a logic of complementarity with the democratization of the sporting practice.

The third avenue focuses on an analysis of the emergence of a sport and tourism offer that has surfing as its object and is oriented toward a new cosmosis (Evers, 2006; Booth, 2013). The contributions expected within this avenue should shed light on how the emergence of a "slow surfing tourism " is orchestrated, which reconfigures the relationship to the body, to time, to space, to the other, and to nature, and allows access to the practice for people who have never before been involved in this type of sports culture.

Proposal conditions

Authors must send a manuscript written in French or in English, presented according to the rules of the journal, available at

The texts submitted, in Word format (no PDF), must be approximately 7,000 to 8,000 words long and must include:

the full names of all authors (maximum of three)

their main title and affiliation (only one affiliation)

their email and postal address

a summary of no more than 150 to 200 words in French and in English

identification of the discipline or disciplines of study

a list of keywords (maximum of five)

Téoros has an international readership. Authors are invited to take this reality into account in the presentation of their case studies in order to make them accessible to readers who are less familiar with the destination studied.


Authors are invited to provide three or four copyright-free, high-resolution (300 dpi) illustrations, indicating clearly the picture caption and the name of the photographer.

Originality of the study

Manuscripts submitted for publication in Téoros must make an original scientific contribution. Authors remain responsible for the content and opinions expressed as well as data correction and bibliographic references.

For more information:

Editorial Policy (french) :

Proposal guideline (french) :

The deadline to submit an abstract (in the language of the paper) is September 1, 2022

The deadline to submit a text is January 15, 2023

Text proposals must be sent to the journal at:

Kindly write “Tourism and Surf” in the subject line.

Téoros, Journal of Tourism Research

The Téoros journal acknowledges the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Aid to Scholarly Journals program), Fonds de recherche du Québec Société et Culture (programme d’aide aux publications scientifiques) (Quebec research fund for society and culture) (scientific publications assistance program), School of Management of Université du Québec à Montréal, the Department of Urban Studies and Tourism.

Director: Dominic Lapointe, Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal

Co-editor in chief: Julia Csergo, Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal

Co-editor in chief: Pascale Marcotte, Professor, Université Laval


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1 See <> (accessed April 2021).

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