The popularity of paddle boarding has grown in recent years, with this low-impact and easy-to-grasp watersport appealing to a wider demographic than more extreme sports such as white water rafting and river kayaking.
With such a rise in demand has come an improvement in the structure of paddle boards as well as the design, so there are some key trends to watch in the coming years.
Overview of the global paddle board market
It’s no secret that the sales of paddle boards have increased in recent years. This is down to a number of factors such as the sport being accessible to everyone, the ease of use of a paddle board, and its low-impact cardiovascular benefits.
On top of these factors, it also allows the consumer to get in touch with nature more, and the inflatable stand up paddle board is ideal for consumers who lack space to store larger pieces of watersport equipment such as kayaks.
The global market value of paddle boards has seen a steady increase in sales over the past few years. In 2021 the paddle board market was valued at US $1.4 billion, and that number is expected to grow to at least US $3.8 billion by 2032.
It is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7% between 2022 and 2032. North America will continue to lead these sales, but Europe and Asia will also see significant growth.
Top 5 paddle board trends
Stand-up paddle boards (SUPs) are no longer just being utilized in the warmer months, they are now considered an all-season piece of equipment, making paddle boarding the perfect water sport regardless of the weather.
The current paddle board trends to watch include the length of the board, paddle boards with accessories, eco-friendly materials, durability, and unique designs.
1. Longer boards
Stand-up paddle boards come in various different lengths, but today’s consumers are increasingly looking to purchase SUPs at their maximum length. These longer paddle boards allow for more than one person to be onboard, and they are also ideal for activities such as yoga or even fishing.
For people who enjoy relaxing, the longer paddle boards enable them to lie down comfortably and enjoy the soothing motion of the water.
But SUPS are no longer just for one or two people. Their popularity has risen to such an extent that they’re now being designed to carry entire groups, from bachelorette parties to whole sports teams. These oversized paddle boards aren’t heavy either, since they are inflatable, so everyone can jump on with ease while the board is in the water.
2. Boards with accessories
The main purpose of a stand-up paddle board is to either sit or stand on it, but today’s modern consumer wants more. The latest paddle board trends are seeing an increase in demand for paddle board accessories that go beyond regular accessories such as the paddle and an attachable seat.
One of the most popular water sport activities today is night-time paddle boarding, and the new demand for underwater lights for the paddle board is a result of this.
With new technologies coming out all of the time, paddle boards are set to see new features such as retractable fins upon impact come into play. But for now, consumers are content with helpful accessories such as paddle board shoulder straps and electronic pumps that will help make their lives a little easier.
The world is becoming more eco-friendly by the day, and that’s partly due to consumer lifestyle changes that are leading consumers to purchase products that are more sustainable and made from recycled and repurposed materials.
Paddle boards are now entering the eco-friendly category too, as manufacturers look to incorporate materials that are less harmful to the environment into their boards.
The paddle board market is seeing more unique materials such as coconut mulch and plant-based resins being used in place of harmful chemicals, and some brands are going a step further and cutting down on their waste production as well as creating wooden paddle boards.
Like all sports equipment, consumers want a product that they can invest in and that will last for a long time without needing constant repairs. Stand-up paddle boards can be more cost efficient than other types of water sport equipment, but durability still matters.
Paddle boarding is a calm and relaxing sport, but the terrain can sometimes get rough, which is why they are increasingly being made with more durable materials that can take a beating.
The latest paddle board trends are seeing brands use demonstrations to show how strong their paddle boards are, and some are even resistant to fire as well as bowling balls being dropped on them. No one wants their paddle board to burst while they’re on it, and these durable boards are designed with the consumer’s piece of mind at the forefront.
5. Fun designs
Paddle boards come in different lengths and shapes depending on the needs of the consumer. But it’s also the pattern of the paddle board that’s piquing a lot of people’s interest in the sport.
Standard paddle boards will have a few colors added to them so they don’t look too plain, but more consumers who are investing in these boards are looking to make a real impact on the water and have a unique and fun design on their paddle board.
Oftentimes the pattern will continue from the bottom of the board to the top where the padding and straps, as well as the paddle itself, will match the design seamlessly. This is a big paddle board trend that will only continue to grow as the sport becomes more popular.
The future of the paddle board
Paddle boarding can be a laid back sport or it can be taken to more extreme lengths. Regardless of what type of paddle boarding the consumer is looking to do, there are certain paddle board trends that everyone will be following.
Paddle boards with longer lengths, unique accessories, boards made from eco-friendly materials, increased paddle board durability, and funky patterns are all beginning to be researched more by consumers.
As stand-up paddle boarding becomes more of a universal and all-season water sport, the industry can expect an influx in new designs and innovations flooding the market to keep up with the latest consumer demands.
More personalized paddle boards will be a big trend in the coming years, as will the implementation of modern accessories such as phone holders so consumers can easily record their trip in a secure way.