The Donostia Surf City Cluster Action Plan

 plan de accion 91


A business international mission, partnering the Ocean Living Lab, a European centre for the experimentation of new practices and testing out of new equipment used in aquatic activities, expanding the World Surf Cities Network by attracting new members... these are just a few of the projects included in the raft of measures being developed for 2016. The Action Plan, promoted by the city’s Department of Economic Development, Commerce, Hostelry and Tourism, also includes bringing a WSL championship to the city and running training actions for business internationalisation, commercialisation, and marketing.


Following the presentation of the Donostia Surf City Cluster Action Plan to stakeholders in the sector, the Councillor for Economic Development, Hostelry, Commerce and Tourism, Ernesto Gasco, highlighted that this event "is part of the sector-specific promotion and smart specialisation being rolled out by the Department of Economic Development, through our corporation Fomento SS. In the case of the surf industry, our members include manufacturers, engineering firms, distributors, surf schools, in other words, the whole array of businesses and organisations operating within the city’s surf industry, with membership steadily increasing".


plan de accion surfcity 2016 contenido2The Donostia Surf City Cluster, as a partner of the Ocean Living Lab, will be able to bring together all the actions carried out in the city with regard to the testing of new products with the end user before they are launched on the market. It is what is known as an “innovation ecosystem" encompassing 30 clubs distributed along the 100 km of coastline stretching from Hossegor to Zarautz, in addition to eight marinas, EuroSIMA (European Surf Industry Manufacturers' Association) and three leading global brands: Quicksilver, Pukas and Tribord.


The Donostia Surf City Cluster Action Plan includes a whole raft of initiatives for 2016. Its targets include:


1) Improving the business skills of surf professionals. 

  • Internationalisation and the opening up of new markets. An international business mission will be launched, with two possible destinations currently being discussed, Orlando or Munich, and an international grants programme will be set up.
  • Finance advice and profitability analysis for new businesses. This includes identifying programmes and competitions for external funding.
  • Fostering innovation in business. This includes launching innovative projects and specific programmes to re-attract talent (brain re-gain).


2) Raising the profile of San Sebastián's surfing industry through different events.

  • Winter Series Championship 2016
  • Surfing Convention at the Innovation Week organised by Fomento de San Sebastián
  • Event and final conference for the Surfing Europe project
  • Organisation of activities in collaboration with other organisations, such as a seminar about innovative materials and fabrics in the industry as part of the Surfilmfestibal, as well as workshops, talks, and exhibitions in collaboration with the charity Kind Surf run by Aritz Aranburu.


3) Bringing a WSL championship to the city.

  • Working with the World Surf League (WSL) to hold one of the world championship events in Donostia / San Sebastián.


4) Industry training.

  • Training actions will be developed chiefly in three areas: internationalisation, commercialisation, and marketing.


5) Inter-business collaboration.

  • Individual and group meetings will be held with organisations and businesses in the city in order to identify common interests.


6) Activities with the World Surf Cities Network.

  • Collaboration strategy between businesses from cities in this network.
  • Exchange of good practices
  • Attracting new members: San Diego (USA), Punta del Este (Uruguay) and Ensenada (Mexico). This network is currently made up of: Donostia / San Sebastián, Durban (South Africa), Ericeira (Portugal), Gold Coast (Australia), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), New Plymouth (New Zealand), Newcastle (Australia), Santos (Brazil) and Viana do Castelo (Portugal).


Beyond actions in the areas of communication and raising awareness, and the range of sector-specific and individual services offered to members (training, innovation, internationalisation, etc.), the Councillor for Economic Development in San Sebastián, Ernesto Gasco, has highlighted “the promotion and internationalisation of Donostia/San Sebastián as a surf city, for example, through the creation and coordination of the WSCN-World Surf Cities Network, or the partnership we will launch this year with the Ocean Living Lab, a cross-border public-private partnership project in which Donostia/San Sebastián will be an important component owing to the collaboration agreement we will sign with the Sud Pays Basque Cluster”.


As for the actions carried out by the Donostia Surf City Cluster in 2015, of particular importance was the business mission to ISPO, the Munich Sports and Business Fair, in which seven companies took part. The Groseko Indarra club on Zurriola beach also opened its doors thanks to works promoted by the city council through the Donostia Surf City Cluster, creating an area of close to 250 m2 with facilities dedicated to surfing activities. Another of the major achievements of 2015 was the incorporation of new members into the Cluster: Lombok XXI – Distributor, Open Coast – Data Base, Trinity Technology – Engineering, Hotel Arrizul and Surftiger Surfboards.


The Donostia Surf City Cluster currently encompasses 47 companies - including manufacturers, schools, retailers, and engineering firms – and 14 collectives, such as federations, training centres, and technology centres.