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Raised Water Research: Meeting the Demand for Waves

From Raised Water Research:

Economic indicators are unclear. The U.S. Economy continues to send mixed signalswhile the projected global economy growth is expected to shrink from 6 to 4.9%. But US and China, the world’s two largest economies, exceed growth expectations in Q3.

But, surfing’s little corner, and the small backyard of “outdoor rec” in which it sits, are both growing vigorously. 

According to a study published by the Outdoor Foundation, the number of participants in outdoor recreation has increased 26% since the pandemic started.

Outdoor recreation has grown 20% to $173B since 2020, which is an increase of almost 20%. 

Surfing, specifically, has also seen a strong increase in participation over the last two years. The SFIA surveyed 18k people in the US age 6 and older about their sport participation.  The results found a 35% increase in the number of “core” surfers from 2019 to 2021. To the SFIA, core means “surfs more than 8x a year”.

What does that mean to wave pool developers and tech providers? The future is brighter than you may think. There are numbers showing that the increasingly packed lineups of Covid are not a figment of imagination and the demand for surfing opportunities is growing nearly everwhere.

Presenters and participants at the Surf Park Summit in October 2022 we’re quick to point out this positive trend. 

Damon Tudor of URBN SURF spoke with Jess Ponting of Surf Park Central about the broader demographics they are seeing in their customer base in Melbourne. 

Aquatic Development Group took home the award for “Democratizing Access” and shared a video that highlights some very happy people that are excited about the future of wave pools.

What will the surf industry numbers look like at the end of 2022?  Hard to say, but if you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll share the annual reports on 2022 at the end of the year.


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