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Global Boardsports Participation Tops 100 Million - With Contribution From Stand Up Paddle Boarding

With legions of people taking up stand up paddle boarding, it seems on its way to becoming one of the world’s most popular boardsports.  

So just how many people participate in boardsports worldwide and how does stand up paddle boarding contribute to the total?

Hard statistics are hard to come by, making it impossible to know for sure, but here’s our best shot at some rough figures:

  • According to Channel Signal, 1.2 Million people tried Stand Up Paddle Boarding in 2011.  With year-to-year growth topping 20%, current participation could be upwards of 2.5 Million in 2016.
  • An  ISAF report commissioned in 2012 for consideration of including kitesurfing as an Olympic sport put the total number of kitesurfers worldwide at 1.5 million
  • According to a survey conducted by Surfline in 2002, the total number of surfers worldwide was estimated to be between 5 Million and 23 Million
  • According to Capetown World Cup Survey, there were 8 million active windsurfers worldwide in 2009.
  • Adding  18-50 Million skateboarders and 10-20 million snowboarders to the total gets us over the magic number of 100 million boardsport participants.

All of which makes it clear that stand up paddle boarding has a LOT of room for growth as it takes its place among more established boardsports


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