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Catching the surf tourism wave -

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ELEANOR HALL: In summer, Australia's coastal communities swell with visitors from at home and
abroad and this year many of the tourism dollars in New South Wales are likely to be spent on
surfing.

The State Government is promoting surf tourism at some of the State's best known beaches.

But, as Simon Santow discovered, not everyone is happy with the way these taxpayer dollars are
being spent.

CHEYNE HORAN: Left hand up, right hand back and turn into the left. Nice one. Okay we are going to
turn right.

SIMON SANTOW: Across the road from the glitz of Surfers Paradise, a former world champion is busy
making a living.

CHEYNE HORAN: On your left hand. Nice. Alright guys with that one you are going to really feel like
you are flying with that one. It is sort of like you are on top of the water and you want to turn.
You are just going to lean over. You are going to turn in the direction that you roll your body
over.

SIMON SANTOW: Cheyne Horan might originally be from Sydney's Bondi Beach but these days he's
running surf schools on the Gold Coast and just over the border in New South Wales at Lennox Head.

CHEYNE HORAN: There is no books written before us. There's nothing, you know, there's no surf
coaching before us. We are actually the first footsteps through it.

SIMON SANTOW: Beautiful scenery, exercise, there are plenty of obvious attractions in learning to
surf.

Then there's something as basic as picking up survival skills.

CHEYNE HORAN: People come because they want that safety aspect. You know, they have never been, you
go out in the ocean and you don't know the ocean, it is very, very dangerous.

SIMON SANTOW: How is all going?

SURF STUDENT: It is pretty good.

SIMON SANTOW: Yeah, what have you learnt?

SURF STUDENT: Um, how to catch the wave lying down.

SIMON SANTOW: And first time for you?

SURF STUDENT: No, I have done it a couple of times before.

SIMON SANTOW: And do you feel like you have built on what you learnt before?

SURF STUDENT: Yeah, learnt some new stuff. It's good.

SIMON SANTOW: What is the big challenge then?

SURF STUDENT: Not falling off or nosediving.

SIMON SANTOW: Cheyne Horan sees plenty of potential to be tapped across every demographic.

CHEYNE HORAN: Most of the age would probably be from 13 to say 40. It is a good family thing. Like
we get a lot of families come in. Usually with a family you will have a mother that has got to mind
the baby so the other kids will do it but a lot of times, like one of my most famous lessons was,
there was three, granddaughter, the mother and the grandmother and teaching them all at the same
time. Everything step by step and by the end of the lesson, the grandmother was the one that stood
up the best and first and had it all sorted out.

SURF STUDENT 2: Just saw the advert and thought yeah, we'll take it up.

SIMON SANTOW: It is not something you will be able to do back in England, is it?

SURF STUDENT 2: Oh, we will but the water is a lot colder.

SIMON SANTOW: And what is the attraction of a bit of surf, learning to surf?

SURF STUDENT 2: Oh, just great. Give you the confidence in the water.

SIMON SANTOW: An hour down the coast at Byron Bay, there's no high rise. But the surfing tourists
come in their droves.

One of the teachers is a legend of the sport, Rusty Miller, a Californian by birth, and a local
resident for almost 40 years.

RUSTY MILLER: Surfing is not just about riding the waves. It is also about living a lifestyle.

SIMON SANTOW: He says surfers can benefit from taking lessons on everything from technique to
etiquette, knowing when it's someone else's wave.

RUSTY MILLER: And that is why I also endorse the instruction, the organised instruction of surfing
because it teaches safety and it teaches people how to surf in traffic. I guess it is like going to
driving school, you know.

SIMON SANTOW: Surfing schools are either accredited by the Academy of Surfing Instructors, known as
ASI, or Surfing New South Wales, an offshoot of Surfing Australia.

ASI instructors like Cheyne Horan are upset that the push to promote beaches and surf tourism has
been confined to a partnership between Surfing New South Wales and the State Government.

That means ASI schools are left off the map on a new website partially funded by taxpayers.

CHEYNE HORAN: We compete with each other as schools. Whenever I go and I am competing with another
school in a place, I don't tell them, hey get rid of those guys. I always say look, just show both
schools. At least give the person the opportunity to choose.

SIMON SANTOW: Rusty Miller is accredited by ASI but that hasn't stopped him adding his voice to the
protest.

RUSTY MILLER: Both those bodies of accreditation are valid, right, and I do not think particularly
if it is from taxpayers dollars that one is exclusive of the other. Surfing is inclusive and the
money from the state of New South Wales should be inclusive not exclusive.

SIMON SANTOW: The New South Wales Government told The World Today that it entered a partnership
with Surfing New South Wales because it was asked to and it would consider any proposal made to it
by surfing schools accredited by the Academy of Surfing Instructors.

ELEANOR HALL: Our lucky surfing correspondent Simon Santow there, reporting from the beaches of
northern New South Wales and the Gold Coast.