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New Economic Numbers Show Strong Growth for Surfing and Other Outdoor Activities

While economic concerns led political talks in 2022, new numbers show the economy is doing great when it comes to outdoor recreation, including surfing.

A recent article from the Outside Business Journal highlights numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ annual outdoor impact report. The report focuses on 2021 and calculates how much of the country’s GDP comes from outdoor recreation like fishing, biking, camping and surfing. 

According to Outside Business Journal:

The good news: last year, outdoor recreation and related businesses contributed a staggering $862 billion to the U.S. economy. To put it in context, that’s more than the dollar amount generated by the entire American mining industry, and more than double the economic contribution of the nation’s agriculture sector. Outdoor recreation also created 4.5 million jobs in the process.

Even more impressive is the industry grew by $173 billion since 2020, an almost 20% increase.

In the report, surfing falls under “Other Conventional Water Activities,” which includes wakeboarding, SUP, snorkeling and SCUBA diving. Combined, these sports account for more than 1.2% of the entire economic impact of outdoor recreation. This number has doubled since 2018.

A similar analysis from the Sport & Fitness Industry Association saw participation in surfing grow by 35% from 2019 to 2021.

These numbers are all good news for those looking to create more surfing opportunities for people worldwide. 

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