Surf industry booms as locals turn to the water
WHILE businesses are doing it tough during the coronavirus pandemic, Darren Dickson says his board shaping business has encountered a “massive increase” in customers.
The Torquay local was expecting lockdown restrictions to bring more time for him to be able to hit the surf, but was taken by surprise when orders started to roll from across the state for Darren Dickson Surf Boards.
“From the first lockdown in March we’ve been massively, massively busy, because surfing is all people are allowed to do,” he said.
“People have more time on their hands, they can’t use their money to buy airline tickets or to go interstate, so we’re getting a lot of new customers.”
Surfing has remained one of the few activities allowed throughout the restrictions, with organised sport including football and netball cancelled. Mr Dickson said locals were hitting the Surf Coast beaches instead.
“A lot of locals are working from home now, they’ve got their lunch break and designated exercise time and are deciding they want to get out and enjoy the waves.”
Mr Dickson said he felt lucky to be able to continue to work shaping boards during restrictions while others in the area have been doing it tough.
“I just feel for the other stores that are struggling and I hope things can get back to normal soon,” he said.
With confirmed coronavirus cases dipping and summer just around the corner, it could prove a particular busy holiday period for businesses along the Surf Coast as travel resumes across the state between regions in the Third Step on the state government’s coronavirus roadmap.
Although Mr Dickson admits he wasn’t expecting to be so busy throughout the pandemic, he said a busy summer won’t surprise him at all.
“It could be nuts – people have been locked up for so long, it’d be just fantastic to feel the sand between your toes and get some waves.”