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Exploring the climatic potential of Somo's Surf Spot for tourist destination management

Abstract: Surfing is one of the most popular activities in coastal tourism resorts. However, the sport depends strongly on the met-ocean weather conditions, particularly on the surface wind-generated waves that reach the coast. This study provides examples of how users? needs and user perspectives are considered by climate data specialists to develop needed, highly useful information addressing human and social needs. In this vein, the climate analysis of such data can provide input on the expected length of a surfing season, according to the surfer?s level of expertise. In addition, other water sports, such as SUP Wave and windsurfing, among others, might be indicated when surfing conditions are not optimal. Finally, the safety of surfers and other tourists who venture into the sea is also dependent on those conditions. We collaborated with the surfing community to define a series of indices for quantifying surfing days (SD), surfing days stratified by surfers? skills (SDS), alternate offers (AOs), and surfers? and swimmers? safety (SuS and SwS). These are of general applications but require wind and wave data at a very fine scale as the input. To illustrate the potential of our indices, we applied them to the Somo beach (Cantabria, Spain). We downscaled a global wave hindcast dataset covering a 30-year period to a spatial resolution of 100 m to obtain wave-surfing information at Somo?s surf spot. The results confirmed Somo?s status as a year-round surf spot, with SD values of 229.5 days/year and monthly values between 22 days/month and 16 days/month. SDS showed different seasonal peaks according to the surfers? skills. Beginners? conditions occurred more often in the summer (18.1 days/month in July), intermediate surfers? conditions appeared in the transitional seasons (14.1 days/month in April), and advanced and big-wave riders in the winter (15.1 days/month in January and 0.7 days/month, respectively). The AO index identified the SUP wave values of 216 days/year. Wind water sports presented values of 141.6 days/year; conversely, SUP sports were possible on only 7.4 days/year. SuS and SwS identified different seasonal hazard values, decreasing from the winter, autumn, and spring to minimum values in the summer.

 Fuente: Sustainability, 2022, 14(14), 8496

 Editorial: MDPI

 Fecha de publicación: 01/07/2022

 Nº de páginas: 21

 Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.3390/su14148496

 ISSN: 2071-1050

 Proyecto europeo: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/H2020/690462/EU/European Research Area for Climate Services/ERA4CS/