2020 has been a year like no other, it’s safe to say. We can certainly do without a repeat for most of what’s happened. There have, however, been some silver linings. Outdoor recreation has boomed with stand up paddle boarding being one of the headline activities. SUP‘s growth spurt couldn’t have been predicted: a cocktail of events conspiring to make it so. As such most SUP brands have benefitted massively – McConks being no different. So what of next year? How are things likely to pan out as far as stand up paddle boarding goes? Here are a few predictions for 2021. Let’s see how many we get right…
SUP will continue to grow.
Not everyone purchased a stand up paddle board this year (even though at times it felt like it). As such there have been a few peeps on the fence, looking on having not made the leap. Into 2021 some of those will ultimately convert having seen their mates, neighbours or family members acquire their own gear and enjoy the benefits. So while we may not experience the unprecedented levels of SUP sales of this summer there’ll still probably be a fair amount of new gear flogged.
Existing paddlers will upgrade their kit.
This mightn’t apply to every SUPer from this year but there’ll potentially be a flurry of stand up paddlers upgrading their kit. Be that to specialist platforms that’ll co-exist alongside their every day equipment or a total replacement. As skill levels increases and riders become keen to spread their SUP wings further it stands to reason that additional or complementary tools will be desired.
The second hand/used/ex demo SUP gear market will inflate (pun intended!).
Whilst many paddlers got into SUP to make best use of their enforced time at home in 2020 there’ll be a few who won’t stick with it. Add to the mix those that want to upgrade their gear and it’s possible the second hand market will grow offering a wide range of choice to those not able to buy new stand up paddle boards, paddles and accessories.
SUP travel could take off (again).
If everything pans out well, as far as COVID vaccines go, and restrictions are gradually eased travelling with stand up paddle boards could become wider spread – both at home and abroad. Inflatables especially give the ability to travel in a more compact fashion, taking up less room than hard boards. Although, as far as hard shell SUPs go where there’s a will there’s a way.
Some SUP brands have already sold out!
For anyone procrastinating about making a SUP purchase you could end up disappointed with your chosen sled of choice as some brands are already experiencing sell out sales of equipment ahead of 2021. This is mostly pre-order. McConks also has seen 100% uptake of pre-orders. Combine this with the import/export of overseas goods (including stand up paddle boards) being backed up from manufacturers as well as custom/excise snarl ups and it might be tricky to actually obtain gear. Certainly good quality kit.
Spring 2021 will see busy waterways (if the weather’s good).
With many paddlers currently hibernating all eyes are on spring 2021. If the weather’s good, and we’re able, a whole influx of stand up paddle boarders descending on waterways (inland and coastal) will possibly happen. Sunny, warm conditions always entice fair weather SUPers afloat, as well as the hardier paddling fraternity. We could be on for a busy start to the UK’s high season.
It’ll be interesting to see if the above actually pans out next year. Either way, fingers crossed for a much easier 12 months than the last.