The indoorisation of outdoor sports: an exploration of the rise of lifestyle sports in artificial settings

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Abstract

During the last 20 years, a remarkable new type of service has been developed in the world of sports, which can be described as the indoorisation of outdoor sports. Typical outdoor sports like climbing, skiing, surfing, rowing and skydiving, which used to be exclusively practised in a natural environment of mountains, oceans, rivers and the air, are now being offered for consumption in safe, predictable and controlled indoor centres. The present article emphasises the rise of indoor lifestyle sports, such as rafting, snowboarding, skydiving and surfing. It discusses the conditions under and ways in which commercial entrepreneurs in the Netherlands have created this market, the meanings that they have ascribed to their centres and the dilemmas with which they have been confronted. It is argued that the rise of this economic market cannot be understood if it is solely interpreted as the result of economic, technological or natural developments. These economic activities were also embedded in and influenced by shared understandings and their representations in structured fields of outdoor sports, mainstream sports and leisure experience activities. A better understanding of the indoorisation of outdoor lifestyle sports can be achieved by recognising how these structures and cultures pervaded the rise of this new market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-160
Number of pages18
JournalLeisure Studies
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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