The Outdoor Foundation has released its 2017 Outdoor Recreation Report, and the findings are encouraging for the market as a whole, and especially among youth.
US participation grew from 48.4% to 48.8% of the population year over year, accounting for 144.4 million Americans who say they take part in outdoor sports.
The study took a look at everything from skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing and hiking, to trail running, fly fishing, mountain biking, and BMX.
The study, which polled 24,134 Americans, concluded the top sport overall was fly fishing at 51.8 million, but others ranking high included bicycling (road/paved, mountain/non paved, and BMX) at 42.1 million, Running/jogging/trail running at 41.9 million, camping (car/backpack/RV/backyard) at 41.6 million, and road biking at 38.9 million.
For young adults ages 18-24, running/jogging/trail running ranked the highest for participation at 8.5 million, followed by camping (car/backyard, backpacking or RV) at 5 million, and fishing (fly/freshwater or other/saltwater) at 4.8 million.
Youth ages 6-17 ranked bicycling the highest at 15.5 million.
For all Americans ages 6 and older, traditional action sports such as surfing (2.2 million), skateboarding (8.4 million), and snowboarding (6.8 million) saw lower percentages in comparison to other activities when it came to overall participation.
The silver lining: action sports ranked higher among younger audiences — for example, skateboarding represented 5.7 million and snowboarding 2.3 million participants for ages 6-17, out numbering other sports like fishing, climbing, and trail running for that demographic.
The report is released annually. Data for the 2017 report was collected during the 2016 calendar year and included household and individual interviews. For more information, visit the Outdoor Industry Association.
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