Proxy: Windsurfing

There are reasons to believe the kite surfing market will grow in the way of the wind surfing industry. The two sports attract a similar type of consumer and then equipment used between the two sports has a lot of overlap. This chart from The Outdoor Foundation shows the growth of wind surfing participants between 2006 and 2010. The data shows participation rate growth of around 30-50% per year–which is exactly the range of participation growth that industry leaders have made about kite surfing in 2008 (SBC Kite board study).

Brief History of Windsurfing:

According to a Forbes article, windsurfing was invented in 1964 by Newman Darby, and was popularized by surfers looking for a new thrill. It was noted that windsurfing could be done on a smooth surface with mild breeze, an example of a market opportunity where  weather conditions will not work for existing types of sport (in this case, it was windsurfing that was born out of surfing). The sport hit its peak in 1984 when windsurfing was named an Olympic sport. Now, several sub-sports including kite surfing have been born from windsurfing.


So this last point is a bit of a stretch, but we could hypothesize that more people will be become interested in kite surfing because research shows that wind speeds are slowing down globally….

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