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Baby Boomers: The Water-Sports Industry's New Target Market?

Austerity measures, slumping economies and youth unemployment, have all negatively affected the water-sports industry worldwide, but don’t despair … a new market has been identified:

The Beach Boomers.

Many Beach Boomers after decades of windsurfing, kite surfing and surfing, have discovered a new past-time - stand-up paddling. A sport a bit like canoeing while standing on a surfboard.

Why have Beach Boomers taken to the surf water-sports?

Because the water-sports industry has designed and manufactured many products that takes into account aging joints and aging clients. But those products are not cheap.

So here are some examples of the new Toys for Boys and Girls.

Fancy boards, with a built-in steering system. Then naturally, they will want all the specialized accessories like a € 200  speed tracker. And to get all the gimmicks they could spend up to € 20 000 on a complete kit.

So don’t be surprised if next time you visit a beach, you don’t see the traditional tanned and sun bleached surfer youth bodies, but instead see greying men and women polishing their surf boards.

Not sure today's love handles can squeeze into yesterday's wet suit? Not a problem, the wet suit manufacturers have designed the new beach boomer suits made out of the latest stretch fabrics with welded seams that fit even those without surf-god bodies.

Of course, there's a business rationale behind this go-easy approach. The silver set may not water-ski or surf like they used to, but experts say they do have one advantage over younger beach bunnies: disposable income.

Today's gear is pricier; with the average stand-up paddleboard being nearly twice as much as a standard surfboard. But for the Beach Boomer wave riders, there's more to consider than just surging equipment prices. There are less obvious costs such as padleboarding lessons.

So why is stand-up paddling becoming a favourite?

Because the sport can be done on any calm seawater, lakes and rivers, thus opening up new markets.  But as anyone familiar with surfers versus paddle boarders rivalry can attest, the relationship between two sports that occupy the same turf can be ... prickly.


As stand-up has become more popular, the tension between surfers and paddlers has risen.

Still, for Beach Boomers that are water-sports fans, tolerating surfers' gripes and following a few rules is a small price to pay for a day on the ocean without the fear of coming home with banged-up shoulders and knees.


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