International Women’s day | Ladies who SUP.

McConks published a thought provoking article on gender diversity and SUP a while ago. It was this article, and the lack of data that underpinned it, that demonstrated the need for the Big SUP Survey.

So on International Women’s Day, we’ve taken a look at some of the draft results of the survey to see what they tell us about women and SUP.

International Women's day  Ladies who SUP.
SUP surfing lady.

And it’s very, very positive.

Currently, 43% of people who paddle identify as female, compared to 51% who identify as male. And if we look at the amount of experience each gender group has, we can estimate the total number of paddlers by year and gender.  We can also identify the total number of instructors by year and gender. And the results are really interesting.

Numbers of female SUP paddlersPlease note the ironic use of ‘male’ and ‘female’ identify colours 🙂

You can see that although there are more male than female paddlers right now, and more male than female instructors, the rate of growth for females is faster than that for males, and so at some point in the future the number of female paddlers and instructors will be greater than male (2020 and 2022 respectively).

International Women's day  Ladies who SUP.
Land drills for this female stand up paddle boarder.

And the comments that we’ve received from the female respondents just go to demonstrate what a great activity this is for women.

“Hoping launching will be more accessible than kayaking. Cost of equipment”

“I just love it, meeting new people and seeing new places and having living in the moment..
Everything I’ve done so far has been a journey, it’s only getting better and better!!”

“I feel it’s a very female friendly sport and a very friendly sport in general. I went to Scotland in December and asked around on social media if anyone was around to sup with me and was thrilled when someone agreed to come and meet me. It was such an amazing experience and knowing someone would come and meet a stranger and go for a paddle just added to the experience.”

“I sup for the chill time … on my own… looking back on life and how lucky I am to have what I have and live where I live”

“Most people I have met in the Paddling community have been really welcoming and friendly :)”

“Environments and communities across the scene are the most inclusive and diverse out of all the sports and adventures I’ve had. So far it’s heading in the right direction.”

“Finally an activity I can do that’s easy and inclusive and lots of opportunities for improvement. Also I can take my dogs.”

So it seems that SUP truly is a pastime and sport where your gender is irrelevant.


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