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Indoorization of the Outdoors

Over the last few decades, a remarkable new type of service has been developed in the world of sports, which can be described as the indoorization of outdoor sports. Typical outdoor sports like climbing, skiing, surfing, rowing and skydiving, which used to be practised exclusively in a natural environment, are now being offered for consumption in safe and predictable indoor centers.

The article by Maarten van Bottenburg and Lotte Salomé emphasizes 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 centers 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 indoorization of outdoor lifestyle sports can be achieved by recognizing how these structures and cultures pervaded the rise of this new market.

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Maarten van Bottenburg, Lotte Salome (2010)

The indoorisation of outdoor sports: an exploration of the rise of lifestyle sports in artificial settings, Leisure Studies, 29:2, 143-160, DOI: 10.1080/02614360903261479

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