Volvo Penta debuts new initiative aimed at attracting diverse audiences to boating


Feb 20, 2024

Volvo Penta is demonstrating that “Forward is the Only Way” through the launch of a new initiative aimed at driving broader awareness for the benefits of its Forward Drive propulsion system and appealing to established leisure boaters and a population of outdoor enthusiasts alike.  
Visitors to the Miami International Boat Show (MIBS) could experience “Forward is the Only Way” through the reveal of captivating video content and displays at the Volvo Penta booth at the Miami Convention Center. Volvo Penta strives to attract new demographics to boating by demonstrating how its Forward Drive propulsion system is setting a new standard for a variety of active lifestyle customers to enjoy surf and serenity.  
Forward Drive’s forward-facing, counter-rotating propellers with Duoprop technology deliver unparalleled thrust, precise tracking and fast acceleration on the water. Having the system strategically tucked under the hull means less noise, more space and fresher air for a stress-free and safer experience. These features combine to offer an advanced level of versatility needed to accommodate any adventure – from watersports and fishing to fun family rides.  
 “Our Forward Drive solution is engineered to deliver next-level boating capabilities that everyone can enjoy, allowing for comfort and relaxation on the water without compromising high-performance wave and wake capabilities,” said Jens Bering, vice president of marine sales for Volvo Penta North America. “We’re excited to invite both seasoned and new boating enthusiasts to visit us at the Miami Boat Show to experience ‘Forward is the Only Way’ and see how carefree adventure can be.”  
Forward is the Only Way   
According to a research study conducted by Discover Boating, there are 91 million potential future boaters in identified growth and emerging segments, more than 1.5 times the traditional segment size.   
In the spirit of bringing this versatility to the forefront, Volvo Penta is cruising ahead with the idea that “Forward is the Only Way,” introducing new projects and partnerships to help drive awareness of Forward Drive to expanded audiences. As part of the focus, the company is working with several professional athletes on collaborations that demonstrate Forward Drive’s capabilities.  
“We wanted to find a way to capture the next generation,” said Christine Carlson McKone, director of marketing for Volvo Penta. “We know it’s important for us and the marine industry as a whole to look beyond current boat owners and appeal to a variety of consumers who have a love of outdoors — surfing, hiking, biking, and more — and a natural connection to the water.”   
Volvo Penta recently spent time with professional wake surfer Parker Payne, along with professional surfers Alyssa Spencer and Tatiana Weston-Webb, to provide an introduction to Forward Drive during a day out on Lake Martin in Alabama. Parker shared wake surfing tips for the group with Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive and Watersports Control system at the helm on three innovative boat models – the Regal LS9 Surf, Cobalt R8 Surf and Paradigm Boats wakesurf deck boat.  
“With the Volvo Penta Forward Drive system, it really allows the boat to have the power to get you out of the water quickly and creates a great wave for surfing,” said Payne. “It allows for a lot of extra room on the boat so that way you have room to chill with your friends. You can have a large sundeck and really enjoy your day on the water and maximize that experience.”   
“It’s just super fun,” said Spencer. “You can be really creative with what you want to do on the wave and the whole atmosphere on the boat – having your friends there with you and having music playing in the background.”  
“Partnering with professional athletes to allow them to test Forward Drive felt like a natural fit, and we were so pleased by their reactions,” added McKone.   
Control and peace of mind  
Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive and Watersports Control system seamlessly integrate with the Glass Cockpit display, giving boaters easy touchscreen setup and control for wakesurfing, including personalizing speed, trim and individual settings for the perfect wake.   
Volvo Penta’s marine solutions are backed by the Volvo Penta Coastal Series corrosion protection package with seven-year coverage of its gasoline sterndrives and Forward Drives incorporates multiple advanced anti-corrosion technologies and countermeasures to maximize protection of the engine and drive components.  
Ride the wave!

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