My wife and I have spent some time over the past year talking about why skiing has lost popularity from our parents' generation. Additionally, we are seeing fewer wakeboards and wakeskates. I have two thoughts on why this is happening. My generation, mid 30s to 40s, isn't buying into boating. I have friends who would love to have a boat and have good jobs but a boat is still out of reach. We have a hypothesis that the popularity of these water sports has declined due to the increased price of boat ownership and the increased cost of living. We spend money on cell phones, internet, and all kinds of electronics that our parents didn't have available. Plus, we spend more for the things they had, like cars, because we "need" all the fun electronics. That takes up all of our disposable income. We can't forget student loans that go on forever. Then, just like cars, boats are more expensive because they need touch screens and bangin' sound systems. Gas is also expensive, impacting getting the boat to the water and your time on the water. It makes sense that the boat would be the first thing to go for most people.
My second point is that people are over weight. Water sports are physically demanding and being fat and out of shape isn't conducive to them. At some point, the average person just can't do it without feeling like crap for days, if they can do it at all.
The TL;DR: Boating is expensive and we have less disposable income for it. Also, people are getting fatter and physically unfit, making water sports harder. That's two huge hurdles to get past. What do you all think?