Skateboarding 10-Year Winner in U.S. Sports Participation Growth

Among sports and recreation activities that grew more than 15% the past 10 years, skateboarding led the way with a 74.1% growth, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.

MOUNT PROSPECT, IL – Among sports and recreation activities that grew more than 15% the past 10 years, skateboarding led the way with a 74.1% growth, according to the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA). Data contained in NSGA's annual “Sports Participation – Series I and II” reports, which are now available, shows skateboarding grew from 5.8 million to 10.1 million participants between 1998 and 2007. Target shooting had the second highest 10-year growth, 63.3% to 20.9 million participants.

Other sports and recreation activities showing more than 15% growth over the 10-year period included snowboarding (41.7% to 5.1 million participants); running/jogging (40.1% to 30.4 million participants); archery target shooting (37.5% to 6.6 million participants); workout at club (27.5% to 33.8 million participants); motor/power boating (24.1% to 31.9 million participants); muzzleloading (16.1% to 3.6 million participants); and exercise walking (15.6% to 89.8 million participants).

“Skateboarding saw a remarkable increase in the last 10 years, due in part, to the television exposure provided by ESPN's X-Games,” said NSGA Vice President of Information & Research Thomas B. Doyle. “Much of that increase came at the expense of inline skating, which saw a decline of 60.4% (to 10.7 million) during the same period. In the 1990s, during inline skating's peak growth period, skateboarding suffered similarly.” In 1998, there were 27.0 million inline skaters.

Activities newly surveyed for the 2007 report include yoga, lacrosse, kayaking, mountain/rock climbing and scuba. Participation rates for all 47 sports surveyed may be viewed on the NSGA website (

These reports have been published by NSGA for more than 25 years. They provide data on total 2007 participation, frequency of participation, and average number of participation days. Single-time participation, which is not counted in the total, is included separately.

Demographic data on participants includes gender, age, mean age by gender, gender by age, household income, and education of male and female head of household. Geographic analysis includes nine census regions and metro area size. Presence of children is also noted, and Internet usage is reported by gender and age of participants.

In addition to Series I and II, state-by-state data will be available in “Sports Participation in 2007: State-By-State.” This report covers 33 sports and activities, and provides data on total participation, frequency of participation and total participation days.

For more information on pricing for these and other NSGA research reports, please contact the NSGA Research Department, (847) 296-6742, ext. 108, or e-mail: Information is also available on the NSGA web site,

About NSGA:
NSGA, which has served the sporting goods industry since 1929, organizes and hosts the annual NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit, the sporting goods industry's premier educational and networking event (Next: May 3-6, 2009, at the Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio, Texas).

For more information on NSGA member services, visit the Association home page (; call Rhonda Onuszko at NSGA, (847) 296-6742, Ext. 131; e-mail:; or fax (847) 391-9827.