Aging Actives: Big Market Boost for Adaptive Sports
September 06, 2012
As we get old, we're going to lose it.
Yes, before we die and before we give up enjoying activity outdoors we're going to lose various faculties and abilities, or at least they'll fade significantly due to age and accident alike. Time catches up, statistically.
Activity itself catches up to quite a few of us and something gives out or breaks.
But as long as there's a will to get outdoors there will be ways.
This is the most outdoor-action generation yet. Sure, people were more active in the past, pre-TV, but the bike/paddle/ski/hike/run angles weren't there so much. Mellower action like hunt/fish/tent was the way.
Now, we're also hugely more sickly and obese as a generation, which might do in our whole society since there's not enough money on earth to save people from themselves, but... we also have more actives.
Anyway, as people lose mobility and still want to get outside I envision that TRIKES, for one thing, will really take off. Recumbents, too, of all kinds, as backs, necks and nerves give out. (Yes, 'bents are great in their own right, but they're also sportsavers for those who can't enjoy riding upright anymore.)
As our vision and judgment decline and we still want to enjoy motion and fresh air usage of separate bikepaths, railtrails and MUPs -- bikeways and sportways AWAY from motor vehicles -- will jump up even higher.
As we lose our balance and limb strength in one way or another we'll still want to enjoy gliding on snow and ice and so stable KICKSLEDS will come on strong.
Wheelchairs and other mobility devices are already SUBSIDIZED by insurance and even the government. This already injects cash into high-level small-scale builders. Ultralight carbon, specially painted, or lugged steel wheelchairs have been here awhile now -- we'll see more of those. But they won't only be for racers. They're already made for hauling groceries -- that sector will step up even more.
Canoes and kayaks with sponsons have long been mocked. They're already picking up more adherents as Boomers age. This will only increase to improve stability in boats for those with increasing infirmity.
At the same time, we'll see poverty in our elder years unlike in the past couple generations. Likely we'll revert more to living at home with our kids -- although we'll also see much more parent abandonment as well due to the takeover of selfishness. There will be more of everything! So there, as has always been common, most folks won't have enough money to buy the new outdoor tools that will be designed for them. Thankfully the 2nd-hand market will boom as well since the first owners won't be around long. But also more of us will realize that fresh-air needs can be met by, surprise, sitting on a porch or going for a walk. Simple, neighborhood-based outings and picnics will boom, as will supplies for cheap, local activities which are nearly unknown today like picnicking.
Paralympics will take on new popularity.
More of us will participate in Blind Guiding as more of us become vision impaired. Tandeming will increase. Wheelchair/bike tandem combo rigs will increase.
Handicapper facilities and parking spaces will finally start being used to capacity. ...The Boomers are coming!
I hope that nobody thinks of this as gloom'n'doom or morbid. It's just Life and Time, baby!
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