LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Technavio’s latest report on the global surfboard market provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2016-2020. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
Abhay Sinha, a lead analyst from Technavio, specializing in research on outdoor gear sector, says, “The number of surfers has increased from around 26 million in 2011 to over 35 million in 2015. Increasing disposable income has encouraged people to explore outdoor activities like surfing, mountaineering, trekking, and snowboarding. Surfing has managed to attract people from all age groups and is becoming a part of youth culture worldwide.”
The top three emerging trends driving the global surfboard market according to Technavio research analysts are:
- Experiment in surfboard designs
- Technologically advanced surfboard-manufacturing machines
- Variety in materials used
Experiment in surfboard designs
Manufacturers as well as surf enthusiasts constantly strive to improve the design and manufacturing of surfboards. For instance, Daniel Thomson, an Australian surfboard shaper has designed a surfboard called the Vanguard. This surfboard has nose-less crafts, straight rails, and angular tails. By removing the nose of the surfboard, the weight of the surfboard is reduced.
Edison Conner, a former rocket scientist in the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), tried to create a durable surfboard from an aerospace material. They replaced the wooden stringer used in traditional surfboards with an ultra-rigid foam that is similar to the type used in helicopter rotor blades and rocket-propulsion systems. This foam is 30% stronger and has seven times the stiffness of conventional foam. This increases the durability of the board and helps the surfer to control the board easily. “Such new technologies will propel surfers to use highly-advanced surfboards that will improve their performance. This, in turn, will increase the sales of surfboards in the market,” says Abhay.
Technologically advanced surfboard-manufacturing machines
Manufacturers have introduced advanced manufacturing techniques to improve and shorten the manufacturing process. Computer-aided design (CAD) has simplified the design process. The designers can create a 3D image of a new board design, change contours and dimensions, and print a finished drawing and contour templates. This saves a considerable amount of time compared to the traditional methods of building boards manually.
Another technology used for manufacturing boards is computer-numerical-controlled (CNC) shaping machine, which can shape and sand a board in lesser time than shaping the board manually. Machines that use an existing surfboard as a mold and produce a duplicate shell filled with foam are also available in the market. The total time taken by the machine is 4.5 hours. However, the machine is expensive and cannot produce a new design without an existing board to use as a pattern.
Variety in materials used
Manufacturers are trying different materials to manufacture surfboards. Styrofoam core is used instead of polyurethane, and an epoxy resin is used instead of polyester to manufacture a surfboard. This makes the surfboard lighter and stronger and offers better impact resistance. Additionally, epoxy resin produces fewer toxic fumes. However, the process to prepare the resin is more complex, expensive, and time-consuming. Another material used is graphite fiber cloth for reinforcement instead of glass fiber. However, it is also more expensive and produces only black surfboards.
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