Is the Ocean the New Golf Course?

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal ran a feature piece that detailed that many East Coasters and Manhattanites have opted to hang ten instead of hit 18 holes to make business deals and connections.

“The ocean is the new golf course,” says technology industry recruiter Alan Cutter, 43 years old.

According to the WSJ, a small group from the tech industry is choosing New York’s beaches to build business relationships. About 30 people have joined a LinkedIn group created by Cutter for digital media surfers earlier this year.

New York City is now the fastest-growing tech sector in the nation, altering New York’s more traditional corporate culture with a Silicon Valley-like lifestyle. At the same time, beaches ranging from Rockaway to Montauk are gaining popularity as surfing destinations. New York Surf School in Rockaway Beach reports classes have doubled in size in the past four years.

Plus, Quiksilver’s Pro surfing competition last year put Long Beach, N.Y. on the surf spot radar.

It will be interesting to see if the East Coast mindset continues to embrace more West Coast values. While NYC’s surfing culture is gaining traction, it still isn’t as widespread as the West Coast, which has bigger, more consistent waves.

Still, others note that surfing meet-ups only work in the tech sector since timing waves are crucial, and so it is only a possibility where workers can set their own schedule. “The only two types of people who have time to surf are bums and the tech industry,” said Eli Mechlovitz, founder of online retailer KidsSocks.com and a member of Mr. Cutter’s group.

Plus, as we all know, there are unspoken rules in the water which could make for tricky business negotiating. Don’t’ forget your etiquette – wave hogging and wave stealing could totally ruin business prospects.

We’re curious… anyone strike any good business deals out on the water? If so, we’d love to hear about it!

Image Source: PJ Smith for The Wall Street Journal

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