How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

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BrightonSurf
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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by BrightonSurf »

-rfx- wrote:I live and kite all around Cornwall. Going off what I see at the beaches x the number of beaches that will work on a any given day. I'd say there are about 70 hardcore kiters who ride a lot, all year round. And maybe double that to include the occasional riders and summer riders. Even on a perfect sunny summer day, I doubt we get more than maybe 100 on the water in the whole county. 270 on the Facebook page though.


There are only 140 active kitesurfers in the whole of Cornwall? I would estimate there might be 200 active kitesurfers on the stretch of coast from brighton to worthing, but that might have one of the highest densities in the country. I would be very surprised if the number nationally was over 10,000.

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How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by -rfx- »

I'd say about that yeah, based on active being someone who rides at least 5 - 10 times a year. The most I've ever seen in one spot on a weekend in summer is maybe 30/40. That would be the busiest spot along the coast with another 3/4 spots having (I'd guess) 10-20 out.

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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by likestokite »

Between new and old hunstanton there must be 50+ in on a good day in the summer at any one time.....probably around 100 during the whole day - these are total guesses btw!

How many are there on kiteboader??

highalpha_pass
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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by highalpha_pass »

Don't think I've ever seen more than 30 out in one go and it tends to be the same faces.

tombeaton
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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by tombeaton »

32k may be a little high, but deffo more than 3.2k - that would be sad times for those of us who make a living selling kites. think how many brands there are out there, and think about all the shops - that is quite a few people who make a living selling kites.

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anthonylanglands
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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by anthonylanglands »

I've counted over 150 kites on a summer bank holiday weekend @ Eastbeach Shoeburyness

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rakeem15
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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by rakeem15 »

rakeem15 wrote:Back of a fag maths...

1. This forum has 9853 members. Let's say that 2/3rds are still active UK kitesurfers.
2. Let's say that this forum has coverage of about 1/5th of all UK active kitesurfers.

...that gives 66% * 9853 = 6503 * 500% = roughly 32000 active UK kitesurfers.

How do we feel about these figures/estimates on coverage?


Ok so if it's 10,000 then that means this forum likely has over 50% coverage (nice going Tony).

FWIW I'm definitely in the '5-10' sessions group but consider myself a kiteboarder (but then I live in London so I need to plan in advance).

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kite-uk
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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by kite-uk »

I cant think where you could get the info, bksa would have some idea but alot are members may be landboarders or buggy peeps so their numbers are a mixed group. Cant seeing being high but 32k does seem alot 10k may be 15k :!: but may be your right who knows , all I know is dont tell every one, I want to be able to get to

Poole at least once in my life time. Lol

Legless
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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by Legless »

It's a lot less than you think!

I'd put an accurate figure of between 5-8,000 active kitesurfers in the UK. The first issue is you have to define a kitesurfer, are you counting people who have kites, but haven't kited for a year or so, are you counting people who kite 20 times a year or more? I would use the term "active" kitesurfers, ie people who actively do their best to get on the water when they have the time and conditions allow.

If you look at the beaches, thats the best indicator, then at kite sales in the UK, BKSA Membership and magazine readership to give you a balanced view...

On the South Coast, between Brighton and Littlehampton there is a huge concentration of kiters, spots like Lancing will boast in excess of 100 kiters on a good weekend. My own local spot Camber Sands in the South East can have a similar number of kiters on a good day in the summer. BUT and here is the big but, other beaches just aren't as crowded, as someone has mentioned there are not that many kiters in the whole of Cornwall, head North and the story gets even bleaker, just hardcore groups of riders blessed with quiet beaches and none of the scenes we get on the South Coast.

If you go around all the beaches with kiters in the UK on any given day there would be about 3000-4000 kiters out. Factor in that not everyone can get down the beach everyday and my estimate of 5000-8000 is looking healthy.

Kite sales are smaller than you would think, big brands like North, Slingshot, F-One, Best et al don't count sales in the 1000's on kites, it's in the hundreds. Bear in mind some riders buy 3 kites in one hit, and you cans see the industry is actually very small. Of course not many people buy kites every year, so these numbers equate to the estimate I have given already.

BKSA membership is about 4000-5000, they have members across all kite sports, and of course some naughty folks aren't members and either ride without, tut tut, or with someone else's insurance. But I think their membership level is a solid indicator of the size of the sport.

Mag Sales, despite the "print figures" paper magazines give to make themselves sound big, the numbers are actually very small. Singletrack Magazine which is an MTB magazine, bear in mind MTB is massive in the UK, at least 250,000 MTB riders and their magazine is 20 years old with a solid customer base, recently did a blog post and admitted to having a readership of 6,000 a far cry from the claimed 20,000 they were preaching about. And this is true for all niche magazines, with no ABC figures needed to state readership levels they can claim whatever they want, but the reality is the numbers of kite mag sales in the UK is pretty low. Certainly when I worked at a UK kite magazine the readership was around the 2-3000 mark.

Our own mag, http://www.iksurfmag.com does have accurate readership figures for the UK from Google Analytics, and we have had an average of 4,576 readers in the UK over the last 3 issues of the magazine. You can check the stats if you wish here: http://www.iksurfmag.com/advertise/

So going on the fact that while the mag is good, not every UK kiter reads it every issue, the estimate of 5 - 8,000 active UK kitesurfers I think is pretty accurate and one I always quote in the industry...

Incidentally a while ago Kitesurfing was billed as the fastest growing sport in the world with a total membership base of 250,000, it was in an article in The Kiteboarder and quickly became hard fact. The stat was totally made up by the then editor and was based on no research whatsoever. Most major kite brands and I mean top 5 brands have sales between 10-25,000 kites per year. Again further proof that while growing, this sport is very very small!

Although sometimes it might not seem that way when you are down the beach and it is packed! 32,000 is way off the mark!

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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by anthonylanglands »

In Southend we have a local forum started 2 years ago ish it now has 470 members , also the local branch of the BKSA has around 500 paid members. Given those figures i'd say the 5-8k would be pretty much on the money.
Also if you look at Kitesurfing on Facebook only 100,000 people "Like" it worldwide , not saying that every kiter uses Fb or that all those likes are from active kiters but i reckon that a very high percentage of kiters worldwide would use Fb as we are as a rule pretty social animals with enff cash on hand to have internet access , i know theres alot of peeps out there that dont use Fb but i would think more that 50% do and with possibly upto 50% of those "Likes" coming from non kiters then it would balance things out.
So thinking on those lines would 100-150k active kiters worldwide be a ballpark ?
Althought saying that ,I can think of at least 20 counties around the world with similar populations to us that must have about the same number of active kiters , but some countries ... say the states for example must have many times more.
I would hazard a guess that the 150-200k mark of worldwide active kiters isnt too unbelievable and quite possibly more

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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by Legless »

Was going to mention the FB numbers too, but didn't have them to hand, you'd be surprised about the States, like the UK there are pockets of concentration. The European market is the biggest in the world by a long way, but then we have France, Spain and Germany plus ourselves adding to those figures!

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rakeem15
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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by rakeem15 »

Concensus on 5,000 - 8,000 'active UK kiteboarders' then?

Basing this all on club memberships, FB, magazine stats, BKSA etc would seem the best way to get the most realistic figure.

Kite sales, I can't see yielding an accurate number given the size of the secondhand market, the fact that most kiters won't buy new kites every year - and also presumably the large bulk of overall sales must be to schools who are probably incentivised to use the latest kit year on year anyway..?

I quite like this relatively low number. Feels more like I'm a member of an exclusive club :)

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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by pierre »

rakeem15 wrote:Concensus on 5,000 - 8,000 'active UK kiteboarders' then?

Basing this all on club memberships, FB, magazine stats, BKSA etc would seem the best way to get the most realistic figure.

Kite sales, I can't see yielding an accurate number given the size of the secondhand market, the fact that most kiters won't buy new kites every year - and also presumably the large bulk of overall sales must be to schools who are probably incentivised to use the latest kit year on year anyway..?

I quite like this relatively low number. Feels more like I'm a member of an exclusive club :)



Not sure I agree with all your post above.
Number of kiteborder seems realistic also I would aim for a bit less than 5000.

My wife and I joint income is what I would consider above the average yet I would never consider buying a new kite every year at RRP or even with a 10% discount... May be every 2/3 years.

After if I did not had to pay Nursery fees and an overly expensive season ticket it would probably be different!

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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by thetrash »

Not all of us are in the BKSA. And judging by how crap Kitesurf magazine has become since Dom stopped editing it I'm guessing even less people read it now!

Statistics, dam lies!

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Mike B
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Re: How Many UK Kiteboarders are there?

Post by Mike B »

for my 2p, I would say 5000-8000 is about right. BKSA shows the the active population is steadily growing and knowing the throughput of many schools I would say this is true, thought the amount of kit bought reflects the economy more than the active members of the sport. I know the figures for a few brands mainstream and when you compare 2007 to 2012 you begin to understand the real figures for what is going on in the economy, especially hard hitting for those in non essential industries, (ie not fuel/food etc).
It's not a pretty realisation, though I would say there are many who are starting to get on with their lives if they have the means, no matter what the media says.

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