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Skateboarding News

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is skateboarding declining?

IASC, Board-Trac, International Association of Skateboard Companies, ActionWatch, skateboarding, Vans,  2011 Dragon Sk8 Series skateboarding contests, Wabsono International
The number of skateboarders in the US has declined from 13 million in 2003
to 8 millions in 2010. However, it is is a zero sum game:
what is lost in the US shows as a gain in China…
Every year, the Board-Trac arm of the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) and ActionWatch data research companies publish the “State of Skateboarding.” When I say “publish”, the cost to get a copy is several hundred dollars, so most of us just rely on ear say to spread the news… Yesterday, the IASC started its 4th annual Skateboarding Summit in Orange, California, with key industry players to discuss important issues such as “how to innovate and evolve collectively in an ever-changing industry and economic environment”. The theme of the summit is actually “innovate or die” … Good luck… To read the complete report of the 1st day, log on to Transworld. According to Board-Trac Co-Founder Angelo Ponzi, retailers indicated that skate hardgoods was their number one category in 2010 and 52.6% of retail shops said sales were up for them during the last year. Skateboarding participation numbers have dropped tremendously over the past seven years, from 13 million skaters in 2003 to 8 million last year. That’s a 5 million loss! That means that in 2010, there were about 40% less skaters than in 2003. That is the lowest number of skaters since 2000. Between 2009 and 2010, 1 million skaters have decided to park their board and watch TV… Inversely, in China, 1 million potato couch have decided to turn off the TV and skate instead…

A company like Vans has definitely understood the trend: Vans just signed on as the main sponsor of the 2011 Dragon Sk8 Series skateboarding contests in China. The series, which was founded two years ago by Wabsono International, will tour six major cities in 2011: Beijing, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Xi'an, Shanghai and Hangzhou and the Shanghai X-Games is this week-end.

The US trend is definitely going downward and the industry’s main demographic has become older. However, according to Board-Trac, over the next five years, that prime demographic will begin to shift towards a younger consumer again and present more chances for retailers and brands to cater to this youthful group.

Well, given that the trend shows that we are losing one million skaters each year, those guys at the IASC summit must brainstorm strong (or buy a Chinese Rosetta Stone) if they still want to have a job in 10 years, when the total number of skaters in the US will be just you and I…

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Wednesday, April 27, 2011 


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