Korean Millennials: Summer sports change in Korea




Where do they all come from?

Have you heard ‘Korean surfers’? I had not heard much about it until 2017, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced the highway from Seoul to Yangyang beach in East Sea of Gangwon province. It took almost 13 years to complete. Thanks to the highway now it takes around 2 hours from Seoul to Yanyang beach by bus. During the summer season, all big and small beaches are packed with young surfers.


What activities do Millennials do?

Millennials created ‘dumbbell economy’. They would rather choosing work-out than drinking together. The word and concept came from western countries, but it is one of the millennial global similarities in Korea. In the US case, The Physical Activity Council's 2018 Participation Report found Millennials were more active than Baby Boomers in 2017. Millennials were more likely than other generations to participate in water sports such as stand up paddling, board-sailing and surfing. 



What is different for Korean Millennials?

Before the boom of surfing, valley rafting was a very popular activity for all generations though it was driven by college students aged 18 ~ 26 years old. Rafting places in Gangwon province are also around two hours away from Seoul by bus. Surfing and rafting have a common area as it against the nature of water wave while having fundamentally different in the work type such as individual or group. College/university community and company co-workers used to enjoy valley rafting together for pursuing the common fun experience shouting “no one left behind!” before starting. For surfers, they drive and go alone whenever they hear big wave is coming in the East Sea. Winter surfers are even increasing due to the wave quality. I visited some valley rafting areas this week and heard from the owners young men and women left for surfers. Millennials are definitely looking for individual and chic activity.


What is my definition of Millennials?

There are thousands of articles and books trying to describe characteristics of Millennials. It is all correct, and I like to add one more thing. I envy sometimes when I see them categorizing their value priority in a second during group discussions. While, sometimes I totally get lost because I cannot guess at all where their value priority come from when making decisions. However, they are a smart generation understanding how to love themselves and their limited time in their way than other generations.

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