Snowsports Industries America Announces Key Data Around Participation & Enthusiast Insights For ‘23-’24 Ski Season

Snowsports Industries America (SIA), the premier trade association representing the winter outdoor industry, is excited to share an early look at key data from the organization’s Winter Sports Annual Participation Preview and End of Season ’23- ’24 Winter Enthusiast Insights Report. Both reports shed light on the health, vitality and nuances of the industry, and will be available only to SIA members in early June in time for sales meetings and season re-caps.

Of particular note, the Participation Preview showed that Snowboarding had significant growth over the previous year with over 800,000 new participants. Meanwhile, the Insights Report shows that while consumers spent less this year on hardgoods - as per the end of season report last year– the majority have indicated intent to make purchases for the upcoming ‘24-’25 season.

Both reports offer a unique perspective into winter sports participation and engagement. The Participation Overview takes a look at the 2023-2024 season and shows the total number of winter sports participants in skiing, snowboarding, Nordic, snowshoeing, fat tire biking, and alpine and snowboard touring, as well as seven-year participation trends for each sport. The End of Season Winter Enthusiast Insights Report provides detailed insights into travel, visitation and reasons for participating, purchasing habits, perspectives on gear, sustainable products and much more.

Other key highlights from the reports include:

Increased Resort Frequency: Over a third of winter sports enthusiasts reported skiing and snowboarding at resorts more frequently this season. Among these, more than one third attributed their increased participation to having more time and opportunities to engage in these activities. However, just over half of those who participated less cited worse snowfall in their area as the primary reason for reduced activity, and a key reason for SIA’s increased climate advocacy.

Sustainable Gear Preferences: Sustainability continues to be a significant concern among winter outdoor enthusiasts. A striking 79% of participants stated that it’s important for gear to be made sustainably, with 28% actively purchasing sustainably made products this season. This trend highlights the industry's shift towards eco-friendly practices and the growing consumer demand for sustainable options.

Gear Purchasing Trends: While nearly one third of enthusiasts purchased less gear compared to last year, 37% of a particular age group reported buying more snowsports gear and apparel

this season. This indicates varying purchasing behaviors across different demographics and suggests targeted opportunities for retailers and brands.

Insights Awaiting in the full reports:

  • Detailed analysis of participation rates in various winter sports, including skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, fat tire biking, and touring.
  • Insights into how many enthusiasts shopped based on sustainability and which demographics prioritize sustainable products.
  • Data on the percentage of enthusiasts who opted for less sustainable products due to limited sustainable options from their preferred brands.
  • Reasons behind decreased participation among enthusiasts, including weather-related challenges and shifting participation trends among different age groups.
  • Age-specific purchasing behaviors, highlighting which demographics increased their gear purchases and the underlying motivations.
  • Projections on future purchasing intentions for gear, lift tickets, and gear services for the upcoming season.

As the 2024 ski season comes to a close, SIA remains committed to supporting the industry’s growth and sustainability. By focusing on the industry’s most pressing challenges, including compliance and consumer engagement; and creating opportunities for industry gatherings, networking and sharing of best practices, SIA is arming its members with the tools, resources and knowledge necessary to address these issues and meet the ever changing demands of the market.

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