We all love surfing and it is no doubt becoming a favorite sport amongst the youth for the unique experience, sheer thrill, and close encounter with nature. There are popular professional surfers around the world, but truth be told, we have no pro surfer who made it to Forbes top 100 list of Highest Paid Athletes.
You will see athletes from worldwide popular sports, football, boxing, basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, racing, dominating the boards in the recently released rankings from Forbes. Most of the guys from these sports earn a hefty basic salary and their earnings get bumped up even more by endorsements.
Take Tiger Woods for example who only sits at #12 earned a total of $45.3 M in a year,
$45 M of which came from endorsements. So even if he just earned a minimal $275K from his winnings, he has a huge take home pay.
John John Florence is arguably the highest paid surfer in the world, and recent information reveals he earns approximately $3.2 million per year, mostly from endorsements for Monster, Hurley, Stance, Spy, Pyzel, Futures and other brands,. But he does not come close to the last on the Forbes list, Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants who earned $20.8M.
Since 2011, Florence averaged about $260K per year in prize money from the WSL. But that was nowhere near Buster Posey and a real far cry from the fútbol star Cristiano Ronaldo who earned $88 M in a year to top this year’s list.
Some professional surfers are able to supplement their income with other business endeavors. Kelly Slater is one example, but he’s not even close to the earnings of a mega sport’s star.
The number of surfers are smaller when compared to other major sports. There are a little over 3 million surfers in the United States. In comparison, there are about 25 million golfers in the same country. This means companies can sell a lot more golfing gear, from shirts to clubs and other essentials as compared to the number of surfboard leashes, and all other surfing gear being sold.
In the recently concluded Red Bull Cape Fear, the pros who joined the league included a fireman and a life guard amongst many of the participants who had to work when they don’t surf to help their finances. This shows that it is pure love for the waves, the thrill and the adrenaline rush in the surfing experience that pushes our world famous surfing pros to do what they do best, and they sacrifice their lives literally, just to put on a great show for the world.