A geographical analysis of beach sports and activities through the lens of ongoing transformations and trends. An overview

By Bertrand Piraudeau

Beach sports and activities shed light on the cultures, coastal areas, and societies they are linked to. By cross-referencing contributions from the geography of sports, coastal geography, and the geography of tourism, this study looks at the evolution of leisure and sporting activities and spaces in coastal areas. The analysis draws upon the entire range of beach sports and activities and stems from a combination of sources: direct observation, publication of works in the humanities and social sciences, information collected on the internet (local or regional authorities, associations, federations, regional newspapers, and so on), and interviews with public and private stakeholders interacting in coastal areas. Studying the diversity of beach sports and activities enables the issues surrounding them, as well as the places in which they take place and their development conditions, to be reinterpreted. While pointing to the dichotomous aspects (federal framework/recreational framework), this article aims to highlight the ongoing transformations and trends whose dominant features amount to practices associated with a hedonistic quest in a recreational and sporting environment.

  • beach sports and activities
  • recreational sports activities
  • sports spaces
  • coastline
  • local policies
  • sports tourism
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