Not fringe because difficult, IMO
> given it's difficulty
> many people are excluded from participating due to ... difficulty.
Can't be that difficult, anyone I've ever taught, who was serious, got to learn. And in the old days, about nobody would "fail" to learn.
> Not only that, it's equipment intensive and terrain specific, so
> many are excluded due to their finances and lack of beach access.
Ditto: it needs not be equipment intensive, plenty of 3-7 year-old cheap gear around that sails just fine.
However you're right: people see expensive gear out and *think* it's expensive. It's like sailing (I also own a sailboat): it's much, much cheaper than people ever think. It just that it looks difficult and expensive from afar.
Cheers for now.