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B$Z: More than 31 Million Americans Consider Themselves Snow Sports Participants

June 28, 2011

More than 31 Million Americans Consider Themselves Snow Sports Participants

Today SnowSports Industries America (SIA) released the comprehensive 2011 SIA Snow Sports Participation Report today detailing snow sports participation trends, participant demographic profiles and differences between core participants and casual participants. The Report covers alpine skiers, telemark skiers, park and pipe (freestyle) skiers, snowboarders, cross country skiers and snowshoers. SIA works with its Physical Activity Council partners to survey more than 38,500 American households on their sports and leisure activities. 

This year, the participation data collected uncovered a number of burgeoning trends among snow sports’  21 million active participants, as well as information about  the 10.5 million Americans, who consider themselves skiers or riders, but did not participate in the past season and why.

“This report is a one stop shop for information about consumers in the snow sports marketplace. It clearly describes core skiers and riders as well as more casual snow sports participants,” said Kelly Davis, Director of Research at SIA. You’ll learn who they are, how often they participate in various snow sports including skiing, riding, and snowshoeing, and what they like to do when they aren’t on the slopes and trails.”

The Report uncovers the other activities snow sports participants like best including running, bicycling, skateboarding, surfing, walking, golf and crossover into more than 100 other activities. It also reveals increasing diversification in snow sports, particularly in the freeski and snowboard disciplines. Finally, the Report indicates where skiers and riders are sliding including at resorts, resort side-country, non-resort backcountry and in urban and suburban settings. 
Key findings in the report include:
• The total number of individual participants in all six disciplines is 21,226,000.
• 7.5% of the total U.S. population (+6 years old) participates in at least one snow sport discipline.
• Alpine skiing grew 5.4% and snowboarding 10.4% from the 2008/09 to 2009/10 seasons.
• Alpine skiers (44%) and snowboarders (31%) make up three-fourths of all participants.
• About 60% of the alpine skiers and 62% snowboarders are concentrated in ten states.
• High income earners account for large segments of participants with 47% of all alpine skiers and 32% of all snowboarders respectively having annual incomes of $100,000 or more. 
• Increased diversity among all segments of snow sports participants is a steady trend with African American, Asian and Hispanic ethnicities growing on-average 5% per year and now collectively making-up about 30% of all snow sports participants.
• Snowboarding is a young man’s game, two-thirds (66%) of the participants are males and 64% fall between 13 and 34 years of age.  Males make-up 60% of alpine skiers and 44% fall between 13 and 34 years of age.
• The number of snowboarders that also ski went from 26% in 2008/09 to 34% in 2009/10.
• Snowboarders participate, on average 58% more days (11.7) than alpine skiers (7.4). 
• Participation rates range from 9.0 days for cross country to 7.3 days for snowshoeing.