Surfskating surges to a promising future in China
Extending arms, stepping on a surf-skateboard with bended knees, young people slid back and forth across the gaming center at the second China International Consumer Products Expo (CICPE).
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 over 1,200 domestic brands.
Dai Juan was among the visitors who learned how to surfskate at the expo. "I had skateboarding experience, and surfskating is much easier to learn than that. I think it's good for a new hand to try," she said.
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 surfskating, 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 wave or twist their body on the board and move forward crosswise.
To some extent, it can imitate the experience of skiing or surfing, said Lin Jian, a surfskating coach.
According to data from Tmall Global, since 2022, sales of imported skateboards on the platform have increased, with the fastest growth among post-1995 and post-2000 generations.
Shi Ziyi, leader of Hainan's skateboard team, said that surfskating reflects youngsters' attitude toward the trend. The surfskating 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 surfskating to the expo to help overseas brands find more opportunities," said 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. Tmall Global has signed cooperative agreements with 15 overseas skateboard brands like Carver and Santa Cruz this year.
"With creative design, imported brands have great potential in the Chinese market," said Jia Xudong, head of Carver in China.
As skateboarding made its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games, the sport has now been brought into PE classes in schools in China, as well as emerging skate clubs.
Industry insiders believe that these kinds of products will have a more promising future in the Chinese market.