Paddlesports offer Americans unique ways to enjoy the nation’s landscape and connect with its expansive waterways. Paddling activities are remarkably accessible, as they can accommodate a wide range of paddlers’ interests, locations, and skill levels.
In 2018, 22.9 million Americans, or 7.6 percent of the U.S. population, took to rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans to participate in at least one paddling activity. This participation rate is a slight decrease from 7.7 percent in 2017 and 7.8 percent in 2016.
In terms of specific paddlesports, recreational kayaking continues to grow in popularity and seems to be replacing many Americans’ desires to canoe. Stand up paddling, on the other hand, doesn’t have nearly as high a participation rate as either canoeing or recreational kayaking, but its popularity has soared in recent years, gaining 1.5 million participants since 2013.
Download the 2019 Special Report on Paddlesports and Safety to learn more about who is participating in paddlesports and how they are participating.