Watersports growth in general, away from SUP, in 2021 – will we see more?

It’s no secret stand up paddle boarding enjoyed unprecedented growth in 2020. And by the looks of things (based on what brands are saying) post-Lockdown 3.0 looks like going off once again.

But what of other watersports? Was it the same with things like windsurfing or kitesurfing for instance? Or maybe surfing was THE sport with a trend up of participation? In fact, all of the above and pretty much every outdoor recreational activity saw an upwards tick in numbers of involvement and off the back sales of equipment and accessories.

We have it on good authority that during summer 2020 it wasn’t uncommon for a person to enter a windsurfing shop and lay down significant dough for a complete windsurfing set up. Those who windsurf (or have windsurfed in the past) will appreciate cost of gear – over the years it’s been one of windsurfers‘ main bugbears. So to have not one or two, but multiple riders, entering windsurfing emporiums and making snap decision purchases of numerous pieces of equipment is as unprecedented as stand up paddle boarding’s growth.

McConks Go Sail inflatable windsurf sail.

As with SUP, the big question is: will that trend continue into summer 2021?

That’s a tricky question as stand up paddle boarders need much less gear and said equipment is actually cheaper than paying for a (new) high end windsurfing board, quiver of windsurfing sails and associated windsurf accessories such as booms and masts. But then equally, if you hear what government officials are currently saying about lockdown 3.0 and a gradual easing of restrictions (rather than complete lockdown switch off come spring), then a good many (in fact most of us) will still be limited in terms of what we can and can’t do. Should a staycation situation prevail – which looks ever likely again – then everyone will be wanting to make best use of their time at home. As was the same last year. So perhaps the watersports industry as a whole will once again be enjoying more growth.

The biggest problem will be supply vs demand, as many manufacturers can’t produce kit quick enough. But that’s a different story for another time.

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