Surfing Australia

About Surfing Australia

Surfing Australia is a National Sporting Organization formed in 1963 to establish, guide, and promote the development of surfing in Australia. It is the representative body on the International Surfing Association (ISA), of which there are 86 member countries, and is recognized by the Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Olympic Committee, and is a member of the Water Safety Council of Australia. The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) leads and enables a united and collaborative high performance sport system that supports Australian athletes to achieve international podium success.

"The biggest challenge has been how spread out our surfers are. But once they’re set up, therein lies the power of Smartabase – when they are remote, our athletes have access to this tool they can use from anywhere.”
Eric Haakonssen
Performance Support and Podium Manager, Surfing Australia

Key Takeaways


The Opportunity

Boasting a rich heritage and hundreds of miles of pristine beaches, Australia is recognized as one of the true pioneers in world surfing. With the sport being added to the Olympics for the first time at the Tokyo Games, the country’s national governing body saw a chance to work with the Australian Institute of Sport to improve the preparation of its competitors for international competition through better athlete data management.

The challenge

The Challenge

The main obstacle to Surfing Australia successfully implementing an athlete management system (AMS) was that its elite surfers are distributed across a vast country when they’re at home and spread across the globe when they’re competing and training abroad. As surfing is more subjective than objective data-driven sports like cycling and its preparation involves a greater number of variables, it was also difficult to decide which athlete information would help surfers and their coaches best prepare for world tour and Olympic competitions.

Solution 1

The Solution

As part of the AIS network, Surfing Australia’s coaches already had access to their athletes’ medical profiles and injury status updates uploaded by physiotherapists, team doctors, and other service providers. The Smartabase platform also enables the coaching staff to work hand-in-hand with their athletes to create detailed individual performance plans (IPPs) that include a skill matrix, videos, details on pre-competition preparation, physical and mental attributes, competition strategy, and more. For dry land training, strength and conditioning coaches have begun integrating Smartabase with performance testing products from VALD, TeamBuildr, and GymAware.


The Impact

Maintaining detailed IPPs in Smartabase helps coaches deliver more personalized and precise direction and increases athlete accountability. The ability to analyze data alongside videos and monitor each surfer’s progress elevates the effectiveness of case management meetings. A communication feed provides real-time updates on injuries, medical issues, and other information, which keeps the entire staff on the same page. Targeting surfers’ specific weaknesses allows the allocation of funding to intensive strike missions that turn them into strengths.

Next Up

Australia Institute of Sport

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