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  • Meg McCall

2019 Report on Paddlesports & Safety

The Outdoor Foundation regularly conducts research about US participation in outdoor recreation. They recently published the 2019 Special Report on Paddlesports & Safety.

Here are some of the highlights of the report:

  • In 2018, just shy of 23 million Americans, or 7.6 percent of the U.S. population, took to rivers, streams, lakes and oceans to participate in at least one paddling activity.

  • Recreational kayak continues to grow in popularity, while canoeing is facing a slight decline. Stand Up Paddling, while a much smaller percentage paddlesports overall, continues to see modest growth.

Paddlesports Participation Graphic
  • Recreational kayaking appeals nearly equally to both males and females. And while White/Caucasians continue to form the bulk of paddlers, participation by Hispanics has increased three percent since 2015, That represents 773,000 new participants in six years.

Kayaking Demographics
Kayakers by Age
  • ​Not surprisingly, the reasons for wanting to paddle differ by age. Older adults (those 55+) cite "exercise" as their top motivation, whereas twenty-somethings tend to do it for "excitement and adventure."

To download a copy of the Outdoor Foundation's full report, go here.

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