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Is skiing/snowboarding popularity increasing, decreasing, or holding steady? - Page 2

post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

That whole blog post is a bunch of conjecture and BS designed to push an agenda. If it's so well supported, I reckon you could find something better than that to back it up.


You realize that he's making statements based on studies done by industry groups, right? And that he states his sources for the info? "(these being the National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association Snowboarding and Skiing Participation report, the Kottke National End of Season Survey, the National Ski Areas Association National Demographic Survey, and others)?"

 

And if this is just something one guy is making up, I wonder why the National Ski Areas Association (one of the survey sources from above, and the LAST GROUP IN HISTORY THAT WOULD FIND POSITIVES IN DECLINING NUMBERS OF SKIERS), has a section of their website about GROWING THE SPORT, in which they state:

 

Quote:
As I outlined at the 2009 National Convention, one of the primary missions here at the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) is to help resorts understand the implications of the significant demographic shifts that lie on the horizon. Simply put, as Baby Boomers - a generation that helped build the industry into what it is today - continue to age, they will begin dropping out of the sport at an alarming rate. Without an industry-wide effort focused on attracting newer, younger participants and converting them into loyal skiers and riders, ski areas could face dramatic declines in visitation in the not-so distant future.

 

http://www.nsaa.org/growing-the-sport/model-for-growth/

 

Just because you don't want it to be so does not change the facts. There is no question that the number of skiers is declining.  This is temporarily bouyed by the fact that those in the sport are skiing more days, but that will quickly reverse once they aging population of skiers no longer has knees to do it.

 

Ski areas have what looks to be a huge bubble hanging on the horizon- think of all of the expansion plans currently in the pipeline, all of the millions spent to finance those plans, and try to figure out how it gets paid for with 40% less skiers in as early as 15 years.

post #32 of 61

Actually there is a question about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skierish View Post

According to the below article, snowboard sales are down 21% over the last 4 years, but ski sales are up 3%.

It goes on to state that since 2004, participation (as opposed to sales) in snowboarding is down 22%, while participation in skiing is up 16%.

I guess one would have to know the beginning number of each to know if all that means an overall increase or decrease in the popularity of snow-sports, though.

See:

www.outsideonline.com/news-from-the-field/Snowboard-Sales-Participation-Decline.html

You realize you can make numbers support any pre-determined conclusion you want, right?

 

Just look at the part you quoted: "Overall, total skier/snowboarder numbers have decreased from 12.9 million participants in 1990 to 11.6 million participants in 2006, an overall industry loss of 10.1%. (This decrease is quite noticeable from the preceding 2006/2007 season when there were a reported 12.9 million skier/snowboarder participants. This may be due to participants exiting the sport(s) as a result of the poor winter conditions of that particular season, as reflected in the corresponding drop in total skier visitor numbers to 55.9 million from the 58.9 in the 2004/2005 season).”

 

Read: Errr...derp, I don't really have any idea what I'm talking about, but I'm going to pretend I do to support my idea for industry change.

 

Again, show me some actual evidence that this is such a well known fact. Not speculation from a group that is designed to support the industry (i.e. of course it wants growth) or some blogger playing fast and loose with numbers.

post #33 of 61

Here's my two cents...I think that the overall rider population is holding steady, but there is a decrease in snowboarding popularity and an increase in skiing. The core market of snowboarders when it first came out was that 12-20 year olds in the mid 1990's. They are now 28-36, married with kids. I fall into this category. It is nearly impossible to teach a 2 year old how to carve on a snowboard and be able to ride safely. Skis however, offer a little more control for the parent. So, all these guys and gals that were shredding it up on single planks for 15 years are now finding them impractical to take their young children on the hill. The ex-snowboarder's kids get used to skiing, and have plenty of ski options for park use. They feel no need to switch to snowboarding after skiing for several years.

 

Its just something that I have noticed with my own experience and with some of my buddies who used to snowboard.

post #34 of 61

That looks fun and probably very hard to do haha @ surf skis.

post #35 of 61
We just told our kids that we would pay for skiing and they can pay for snowboarding.
post #36 of 61

One skier's story. The last couple of seasons my slope time has changed from being a day skier nearly every week, to a destination skier just occasionally. I used to have Friday's off so beating the crowds was easy. The reasons are two fold: the sub-par conditions in the central Rockies (fewer quality powder days), and the horrible weekend day skier traffic along I-70 to & from Summit County. So my money has gone from ticket revenue to local businesses; rather than lift tickets the cost has shifted to hotel rooms and restaurant tabs. 

 

I'm probably spending the same money on skiing, but it doesn't show up in terms of skier visits to the resort.

post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

We just told our kids that we would pay for skiing and they can pay for snowboarding.

+ 1
post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

What is a "lurk"??

 

 

TOTAL thread derailment, but a "lurk" is a single long pole used for balance, typically when telemarking.

 

 

This thread will now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

TOTAL thread derailment, but a "lurk" is a single long pole used for balance, typically when telemarking.

 

 

This thread will now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

 

There a "lurker" is someone who uses a "lurk," right?wink.gif

post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

What is a "lurk"??

 

 

TOTAL thread derailment, but a "lurk" is a single long pole used for balance, typically when telemarking.

 

 

This thread will now return to your regularly scheduled programming.


hijack.gif Back in the day, downhill skiers used a single big pole too (way before that it was a spear).  Two poles is a modern invention.

post #41 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post

 

at some point this has to get old. I've always been too old to have to go down on my knees or my ass whenever I stop sliding, never been tempted to even try to ride a board. Saw two riders last Sunday who were using a modern version of a lurk, mainly as a balance point in the lift line and when stopped on the hill.

 

Actually, experienced snowboarders can buckle in while standing up.  Having to sit down every time is a noob thing.

post #42 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

Actually, experienced snowboarders can buckle in while standing up.  Having to sit down every time is a noob thing.

That is fawking awesome. Prob can pull up pants in a single motion, too?
post #43 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post
That is fawking awesome. Prob can pull up pants in a single motion, too?

That's the huge advantage of snowboarding. You can pull up your pants easily while moving since you have no poles.  The skiers have to undo pole straps, move poles, blah blah blah.

Obviously no one takes advantage of this advantage.

post #44 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

The above comments about the versatility of skiing vs. snowboarding are correct.  Not enough to overcome snowboarding's "coolness factor" among the younger generation in the 1990's, but with both being mature sports now snowboarding is likely to plateau at some fraction (1/4 to 1/3?) of skiing...

Skis are athletically simply more functional, and a lot of adults for sure don't like sitting on the snow.  So, ACLs to one side, snowboarding takes a certain kind of commitment at this point, and/or you just have to like the feeling (if you haven't done and felt a sideways stance sport, it is hard to articulate the different vibe, but it can give a different feel.  I really think the diferent coordination stimulates the brain just slightly differently). 

 

One oddity is that the same is true for inline skates versus skateboarding, but while bmx bikes are cool in "skateparks" that allow them, there are very few inline skaters anymore, particularly so for the type of inline that people use in skateparks.  Culturally, whatever happened to make inline uncool clearly did not apply to skiing.  Instead, skis evolved, and the way they were used evolved.  I can't imagine a surfer taking up inline to get the same "surfy" feel, for instance, but there are surfers who prefer to ski for a variety of reasons, rather than snowboard.  I'd say snowboarding maybe ends up at even 1/5 skiing.

post #45 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


That is fawking awesome. Prob can pull up pants in a single motion, too?

 

You're fawking awesome.

post #46 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

You're fawking awesome.

I know. I tied my shoes today without sitting down and blocking a bunch of other people.
post #47 of 61

I can only reflect on the Tahoe ski areas.  The majority of our skier visits have always been from the large California and Reno/Carson Nevada urban areas with weekends way bigger than weekdays.

 

High walk up lift tickets prices.  So yeah all the season passers got a deal but everyone else is being fried.

 

High price of gasoline to drive a long ways.  At 25 mpg driving 200 miles each way up and back from the SF Bay Area is 16 gallons of gas that is 3.5*16= $56 buckos.  And really driving 4 hours plus each way gets old fast unless one really loves the sport.

 

High cost of lodging.  There used to be at least some relatively cheap lodging choices but most of those places at least on weekends were long ago driven out with a vengeance.   If there was a 2000 room old style Motel 6 with $29.95 lodging costs in Vail, it would be the most full lodging property in that town.   Sure a lot of destinations skiers like all the pricy ammenity stuff with their once or twice a winter ski week, but frequent skiers could often care less as long as a room smells clean, has a clean warm bed, has a hot shower, a tv, and is quiet.

 

Lots of other leisure activities to do in this day and age especially in the big urban areas that competes with skiing.

post #48 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


I know. I tied my shoes today without sitting down and blocking a bunch of other people.

 

 

Way to go.

post #49 of 61

Skiiing has grown by ~3% per year for the past 4-5 years, reversing a steady decline with a remarkable comeback surge based mostly on outright innovation (starting with shaped skis, but many more examples), broadening its appeal with an acceptance of a broader definition of what a skier is (groomer, backcountry, tele, moguler, powder only, etc.)  The sport also made great efforts to tailor equipment, economically and ergonomically, to the widest range of possible participants. Pick up most ski magazines, and you'll see content parsed to appeal to most segments of the market.

 

Snowboarding experienced a remarkable decline last year, estimated by some as high as 12% (and I'm not trying to get into a pissing match about numnbers---you don't need to be a rocket scientist to visit 3-4 different mountains and see it live).  I think this is largely due to lack of innovation (equipment is better, but fundamentally no different than it was 15 years ago), a narrow definition of what a rider is (stuck on the skate punk/rebel/park rat image), and a brand stranglehold that focuses purely on the young park/pipe/heli rider at the expense of everyting else. I say this with great disappointment as a passionate lifelong rider/surfer/skateboarder.

 

Snowboarding needs to be fun, accessible, and cool again, and be open to accepting new products, approaches, and branding if it is to grow.

post #50 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by MolokaiMan View Post

 

Snowboarding needs to be fun, accessible, and cool again, and be open to accepting new products, approaches, and branding if it is to grow.

 

Well it is somewhat rare to see a snowboarder make a really nice turn. The scrapers and end swappers are all too common. It shouldn't just be the ones on the carving boards to do it.

As to the products, what about the banana boards, magnetraction and all that?

 

I don't know how cool it can be if geezer parents are doing it...cool.gif

post #51 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by core2 View Post

Leisure activities like skiing and snowboarding are directly tied to many factors in the economy.  We all know how the economy has been the last few years...

Yeah, that is what I thought too, but most resort tickets have risen 25-30% in the past 5 years, compared with a baseline 2-2.5% inflation.  Something is out of whack. 

Full selection of 2014 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

Reply
post #52 of 61
Quote:

 

Ski areas have what looks to be a huge bubble hanging on the horizon- think of all of the expansion plans currently in the pipeline, all of the millions spent to finance those plans, and try to figure out how it gets paid for with 40% less skiers in as early as 15 years.

I know how to fix it.  Keep raising ticket prices, charge ridiculous amounts for lessons (and pay instructors $12/hour so that the qualified instructors can no longer afford to teach), keep people from improving and maintain excitement by offering poor quality lessons,  and keep shrinking the user base from the top 50% of income earners to the top 5%.  Sounds like a great long term plan for profitability! 

Full selection of 2014 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

Reply
post #53 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

and keep shrinking the user base from the top 50% of income earners to the top 5%.  Sounds like a great long term plan for profitability! 

Well, we have an entire political party that believes it will work biggrin.gif
post #54 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

One oddity is that the same is true for inline skates versus skateboarding, but while bmx bikes are cool in "skateparks" that allow them, there are very few inline skaters anymore, particularly so for the type of inline that people use in skateparks.  Culturally, whatever happened to make inline uncool clearly did not apply to skiing.

All it took to suddenly make inline uncool was for kids to start calling them "fruit boots".  Same thing happened to onesies in skiing.  Around here there is quite a bit of animosity between skaters and BMX folks in the parks.  Don't even get started with the scooter kids hahahaha..

post #55 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

I don't know how cool it can be if geezer parents are doing it...cool.gif

This ^^^^. Snowboarding took off in the mid-late 80's. Count forward. Boarders grew up. Kept boarding. Had kids. Who are now closing in on being tweeners. Same thing for inline skating, too many singles on skates doing aerobics after work. And prolly same thing in a while for freestyle skiing. You can buy into what your parents do when you're a kid, or when you've finally had a kid. In between, not so much...

 

Cool just keeps cycling. Buy Burton stock for the peak in 2033.

post #56 of 61

Economy has hit the lower income demographic harder.  Boarders on average have less money than skiers.  More skiers can still afford lift tickets and gasoline.

post #57 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvarley84 View Post

Here's my two cents...I think that the overall rider population is holding steady, but there is a decrease in snowboarding popularity and an increase in skiing. The core market of snowboarders when it first came out was that 12-20 year olds in the mid 1990's. They are now 28-36, married with kids. I fall into this category. It is nearly impossible to teach a 2 year old how to carve on a snowboard and be able to ride safely. Skis however, offer a little more control for the parent. So, all these guys and gals that were shredding it up on single planks for 15 years are now finding them impractical to take their young children on the hill. The ex-snowboarder's kids get used to skiing, and have plenty of ski options for park use. They feel no need to switch to snowboarding after skiing for several years.

 

Its just something that I have noticed with my own experience and with some of my buddies who used to snowboard.

 

var has hit it on head here IMO, or at least put how I feel into words the better than I could!  ;)  

 

How awful is it seeing some 4-5 year old trying to learn to snowboard?   My local hill won't even give starting snowboard lessons to kids under 10 years old.   They do provide programs for kids 8 and up that can board relatively well.  

post #58 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

All it took to suddenly make inline uncool was for kids to start calling them "fruit boots".  Same thing happened to onesies in skiing.  Around here there is quite a bit of animosity between skaters and BMX folks in the parks.  Don't even get started with the scooter kids hahahaha..

The animosity between skaters and bmx'ers is overblown, but in parks that allow both, bikes generally outnumber skaters these days.  Bmx is "cool" particularly if you ride well.  The adult skaters who tend to have the most problems with bmx don't necessarily make fun of it, they just want bikers to have their own parks.  Quad roller skates are not exactly popular, but aren't laughed at...and somehow inline skates do get the weird negative "fruitbooter" label among other things.  Where skiing has actually gotten cooler. 

 

Since athletically inlines and skis share many of the performance advantages over skateboards and snowboards, it's a curious contrast. 

post #59 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Economy has hit the lower income demographic harder.  Boarders on average have less money than skiers.  More skiers can still afford lift tickets and gasoline.

 

This might explain fewer boarders sticking with the sport, but not fewer new participants choosing to take up snowboarding than skiing.

post #60 of 61

save your dough and try Big White, near Kelowna, B.C. Canada.  some runs are like a tilted golfcouse, and some are like a cliff. lots of powder!

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