China Daily

Surf skating rides the wave of popularity


HAIKOU — With extended arms and bended knees, young people on surf skateboard­s slid back and forth across the gaming center at the second China Internatio­nal Consumer Products Expo.

The expo held in Haikou, capital of South China’s Hainan province, has attracted 1,107 overseas companies and 1,643 brands from 61 countries and regions, as well as more than 1,200 domestic brands.

Dai Juan was among the visitors who learned how to surf skate at the expo. “I had skateboard­ing experience, and surf skating is much easier to learn than that. I think it’s good for a novice to try,” she says.

As China fulfilled its commitment to engage 300 million people in winter sports, and successful­ly held the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, lots of youngsters who ski in winter have now turned to surf skating, making it one of the most popular sports this summer.

A surf skateboard is a type of skateboard which can be used for surf training on land. Compared to a traditiona­l skateboard, a surf skateboard has more flexible stents, so that users can weave and twist their body on the board and move forward as if they were on a surf board.

To some extent, it can imitate the experience of snowboardi­ng or surfing, says Lin Jian, a surf skating coach.

According to data from Tmall Global, this year, sales of imported skateboard­s on the platform have increased, with the fastest growth among consumers from the post1995 and post-2000 generation­s.

Shi Ziyi, leader of Hainan’s skateboard team, says that surf skating groups are mainly in their 20s and 30s, with the sport especially popular among urban females.

“We are bringing the latest products with new trends like surf skating to the expo to help overseas brands find more opportunit­ies,” says Jiang Nanbaihui, brand marketing director of Tmall Global.

At the expo, numerous overseas brands have entered the Chinese market and enhanced their reputation among Chinese consumers. This year, Tmall Global has signed cooperativ­e agreements with 15 overseas skateboard brands like Carver and Santa Cruz.

“With creative design, imported brands have great potential in the Chinese market,” says Jia Xudong, head of Carver in China.

As skateboard­ing made its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games, Chinese schools have introduced the sport to PE classes, while there has also been an emergence of skate clubs.

Industry insiders believe that these kinds of products will have a more promising future in the Chinese market.

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