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End Insight: Going Up


Casual Outdoor Participation Is Rising

of Americans ages 6 and over participated in outdoor recreation at least once in 2020, the highest participation rate ever recorded, according to a Participation Report released by the Outdoor Foundation.

more Americans participated in outdoor recreation in 2020 than in the year prior.

However, the Outdoor Foundation reports that there were fewer of the most devoted outdoor participants and more casual ones. A decade ago, 24 percent reported participating more than twice a week, while in 2020 just 20 percent did. The same pattern occurred among children, young adults and adults.

Q2 Footwear Sales Are Strong

Outdoor and Performance footwear showed strong sales growth at retail in Q2 2021 vs. Q2 2019, per The NPD Group Retail Tracking. (The comparison is 2021 vs. 2019 instead of 2020 as 2019 was a more stable year for business.)

*NPD categories: Leisure footwear includes outdoor items such as gaiters, insoles, mountaineering boots, work/hiking/trekking, outdoor/water sandal, cold/all-weather boots, and more. Performance footwear includes running, walking, training, team sports and athletic.  

Hooked on Fishing

Recreational fishing and boating is capturing a new and diverse audience according to a 2021 study from the  Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation  (RBFF).

19.7 million females went fishing in 2020, a 10% participation increase in comparison with 2019.

Youth and adolescent fishing skyrocketed last year, with 13.5 million youth ages 6 to 17 hitting the water.

5 million Hispanic Americans went fishing in 2020, the highest recorded volume in 14 years.

Overall participation continues to increase, with nearly 55 million Americans fishing at least once last year.

African Americans have had the highest participation growth in the last three years, with a 7.4% increase in participation and 14.6% growth since 2019.

More than 55% of people who have tried fishing intend to continue the activity in 2021.

81% of fishing participants reported enjoying many other outdoor activities outside fishing.

Spending time with family is top of mind for fishing participation (51.3%) and more than 55% of people intend to continue fishing this year.

“Last year was definitely unique, but this increased interest in fishing is a trend we’ve seen in the making for a while. First time fishing participants climbed to 4.4 million in 2020. This 42% increase is phenomenal, and as the data shows these new participants are more diverse than ever, helping to confirm that the water is open to everyone.” – Stephanie Vatalaro, SVP marketing and communications, RBBF