PEOPLE returning to visit Kingscliff was the 2012 Australian Longboard Surfing Open's main benefit, event director Sean McKeown said.
"We're bringing international attention to Kingscliff," he said of the annual event formerly known as Malfunction.
"There certainly are more people that surf there than five years ago.
"They make it part of their annual holidays."
The festival faced the same challenges other surfing competitions did.
"The weather at the start made it hard," Mr McKeown said.
"But we also had unreal surf at that stage - some of the best I've seen at Kingscliff.
"Then when the weather calmed down, so did the waves, but they were still contestable."
Volunteers, competitors and most of the community were very supportive of the event, he said.
"Some businesses said there was less parking and locals weren't visiting the festival.
"But we also brought in thousands of people who spent money on accommodation and at restaurants.
"Places such as Subway and Pizza Capers got hammered, though obviously businesses 100m either side did not benefit as much.
"We partied at the (Cudgen Headland) surf club each night and the money that came to town stayed here."
An event summary conducted by Southern Cross University students will be released soon.
The aim for next year is to involve more local board riding clubs, and gain a couple more major sponsors, Mr McKeown said.
It was supported by Tweed Shire Council, Destination NSW, Green Aussie Cleaner, Cancer Institute NSW, Australian Longboarding Magazine, Pacific Longboarder, ASP Australasia, Mohawk Wax and My Daily News.
This year's Surftech-sponsored event saw a good mix of winners, Mr McKeown said, including current world champion Taylor Jensen and the Tweed's own Chelsea Williams.
"The stand up paddling was very, very popular," he said.
"The Battle of the Paddle race was exciting.
"And the activities in the park were well supported. It had an unreal vibe."
First-time competitor at the local event Tatsumi Kawai, who has followed similar ones all across the world, gave the director some positive feedback.
"He came up to me and said 'this is my favourite event' and he travels all the time and is a regular at the Noosa festival.
"He said he'd be back."
SUP Magazine's Woman of the Year Candice Appleby told him she "had a great time and thanks for a wonderful event".
Mr McKeown said the "see-sawing" final between 2010 world champion Jen Smith and Ms Williams was especially entertaining for onlookers, as Ms Smith was at the event mainly because her local adversary had defeated her at Noosa.