Strava Publishes 2021 ‘Year in Sport’ Annual Stats Extravaganza

StravaYearInSport

Strava just published their annual year in review presentation, which outlines what all of us 95 million Strava users suffer through each week. Both athletically suffering through hard workouts and long adventures. But also occasionally suffering through what others post on their timelines. Perhaps most notably, we get our annual reminder that Strava as a company still struggles to grasp how years and calendars work.

After all (as usual), the 2021 annual report is actually from Oct 1st, 2020 till September 30th, 2021. So anything you did since September doesn’t count here. Nonetheless, if you like charts and graphs on people’s sports adventures, this is the place to be. It outlines the 37 *MILLION* activities that Strava users upload per week (though, presumably only 1.6 million if we exclude people’s Peloton Cooldowns). And the company itself continues to grow, at 2 million athletes per month.

I think in some ways what’s probably notable more than all these concrete numbers is likely something less tangible (and definitely not on this report): Strava users are reasonably happy these days. If we rewound to about two years ago, the angst against Strava was high. The company hadn’t added meaningful features in years, they ignored user requests, and mostly just took people for granted. However, after a leadership change in Dec 2019, we’ve seen a continuous stream of new features. Sure, not every feature appeals to every person – and that’s fine. Of course, they upset free users way back in exchange for giving more features to paid users. But even in the last few months, we’ve seen free users get new features too. So while I’m about to go stat-heavy here, the main thing I look back at Strava’s 2021 is the addition of new features and the continued decline of angry users.

The company has seen a 38% increase in activity uploads, year over year. Of course, this time last year (Dec 2020) they had 73 million users according to last year’s report, so that’s a 30% increase in users there, thus things are roughly in the same ballpark in terms of overall activities per user.

AnnualIncrease

The company continues to see more diversification in its sport types, but in some cases at the expense of others. They noted that alpine skiing and snowboarding were down 37%, logical due to so many closures/restrictions there. Whereas instead, Nordic skiing increased since there were usually less (if any) restrictions there.

SportProfiles

Unsurprisingly, walking activities recorded to Strava continues to increase year over year. I’ve certainly seen this in my own feed. I suspect this is not just a case of people walking more during COVID, but also Strava’s user base becoming more broad in terms of being less ‘hardcore’ athlete-heavy than it was 5 years ago (or even 3 years ago).

WalkTheWalk

Both challenges and club memberships continue to grow. This is somewhat logical in that during the height of lockdowns people gravitated to clubs as a means of keeping engaged. However, I’d really hope that Strava looks at this graph, then looks at their clubs product, and then realizes how far they need to go. The company has so much potential around clubs (things like route planning/scheduling/sharing directly into team members’ devices automatically, structured workouts within a team, beacon integration within a team event, etc…), almost all of it untapped. And it’s been untapped for years.

ClubMemberships

Next, there are Kudos worldwide. This chart will take a moment or twelve to mentally decode, but in essence, look for your country, and then look for the biggest colored line to see which other country you give the most love to. For example, Americans give lots of kudos to Canadians and Brazilians. But Americans largely don’t appear to care about the French. Which is too bad, the baguettes and cheese are quite good.

KudosWorldwide

In any case, if you’d like to dig through the full report, I’ve taken the 14 page PDF and put it here in this nifty gallery. First, is the version in miles:

And then the metric version

With that, go forth and continue uploading. Once I hit publish on this, I’ll be cracking open the Strava app and joining everyone else, in toggling my most recent run from private to public.

Thanks for reading!

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21 Comments

  1. Bruce Burkhalter

    This report is always interesting. Anything you can share with how well they are doing as a company? Are they profitable? Looking for new rounds of funding? Any idea how many of their new users pay? If they are mostly less serious athletes (“walkers”), then the new usage might be costing them money. Of course, I’m sure they hope they can convert them to paid.

    I agree with your assessment. I am happy that they are adding lots of new features. I can’t say that I use a ton of them but that is ok. I appreciate the commitment to the product, which definitely seemed to be missing before the founders took over again.

  2. Remcov

    Strava used to be a nice platform. Now I hear you thinking, wait but it still is. Yes for many it still is. But since many things have been moved behind the pay wall I left. For detailed sports analysis there are far better options (runalyze.com e.g.). The route maker was good, very good, but the garmin one also works, yet not as good. I really liked the fly-by feature, that I haven’t elsewhere. I don’t mind paying for something, but 8 a month it is again one of those hidden subscriptions.

    • Pavel Vishnyakov

      Same here. I started using Strava way back and switched to their paid tier when I got a bike power meter. I wasn’t using any Garmin devices back then, so I didn’t really have other options. Now I’m in Garmin ecosystem and I consider switching back to free account – paid membership doesn’t add anything I don’t already have in Garmin Connect in terms of features

  3. Dave West

    I think the things I miss most in Strava are any ability to track injuries or illness and the inability to edit when, for example, Mr Garmin decides I’ve flown off somewhere mid run. In the latter case, I use the route planner in Strava to give me a distance and elevation then edit Garmin Connect and SportTracks (the other programs I use), but I just have to put a note on Strava. I know that they don’t want people to corrupt segments but it can’t be that difficult to simply exclude manual entries and my profile is still claiming that my fastest mile is 3:20!

    I also like SportTracks ability to break your run into different splits. I have everything set in miles normally but kilometres work better for short distances like Parkrun – no probs with SportTracks, it’s on a drop down. I can also highlight, say, just the hills to dive into how I’m coping with ups and downs. Also great to compare laps that way.

  4. dan

    I’m withholding all money until utopia exists. It is just about 2022 and I don’t know why I cannot just go to one dashboard to view my rides, my walks, plan my workouts, record my weightlifting stats and see what my weight is from my scale, what my nutrition is from mynetdiary, what my health metrics are, etc. Why can there just not be one place. Tp or sport tracks or garmin or somewhere just collect ALL my data that I want to collect and let me see it one ONE website.

    I am APP poor. I am mentally APP exhausted.

  5. Kevin LaCour

    I cannot agree with you more concerning club activities. I don’t understand why Strava (and for goodness sake, Zwift!) can’t see the untapped potential hidden in club activities. A route I created and ride weekly with my club is a Strava segment, but I can’t build interest or activities around it. Same with Zwift – a weekly virtual club ride that can’t climb out of “meetup” status.

    Thanks for deep diving and sharing!

    • Jonathan

      I am member of two local real world clubs that also have a Strava club presence. Oddly, both Strava clubs are loaded with people from distant countries that are not real-world members. They seem to join the Strava clubs merely to dominate the club leader boards. Very strange mentality, in my view.

    • Christopher

      The admins of those clubs can remove people who are not in the real world club.

  6. Niall

    How do I download my individual report? This article suggests that I can but I can’t find a link or a download option under share?

    link to support.strava.com

  7. Fabiano A

    Are you aware of other more detailed reports on endurance athletes, including information about countries and sports types distribution and growth over the last few years?