News story

Watersports participation on the rise

As a nation we’re increasingly enjoying more water sports according to the annual watersports participation survey released this week.

Survey doc

The survey showed that approximately 3.9m UK adults took part in one or more boating activities in 2018. The number of people who own boats has increased by around 800,000, since the beginning of the survey.

Julie Anne Wood, Head of Maritime Operations for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “It’s great to hear that water sports are on the up. The watersports participation survey shows that nearly 4 million of us took part in a watersport last year with more young adults taking up boating too.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to be safe whilst out on the water – wear the right lifejacket or buoyancy aid, take the correct communications equipment with you, get trained and have fun!”

Guin Batten, Head of Strategy and Development for British Canoeing said: “Last year we saw a small dip in the overall number of canoeists and kayakers, this was offset by an increase in the number of stand up paddleboarders, so the overall number of paddlers getting out onto the water is still growing.”

The watersports participation survey is conducted annually by a consortium of leading marine bodies including British Marine, Royal Yachting Association (RYA), Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), British Canoeing (BC) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas).

Published 18 April 2019