First, surfing is not a major sport in most european countries. It is reasonable to say that it has a cult status in countries like Portugal or France, but it is far from moving the masses that a game like football involves. Its true that the reputation of surfing has began to grow, specially among younger folks, but it is not enough to generate a passion comparable to the one shown by Australian fans.
Secondly, top surfing athletes in Europe are rare and the competition is weak. Recent years have shown that many good surfers have begun to show some good performance in the worlds waves but the overall level is still far from the one that American, Brazillian and Australian surfers can provide.
The verdict is, in my opinion, that European surf has a great potential and recent results show us that greater achievements can be won. What Europe needs is a great sportsman, a contender for the world title that can bring professional surfing to the masses.
European surfers ranking in the ASP Men’s World Ranking:
Euro ranking World Ranking
Jeremy Flores 1 15
Tiago Pires 2 24
Glenn Hall 3 27
Joan Duru 4 41