McLean, VA – The trade group SnowSports Industries America (SIA) today released its 2012 SIA Snow Sports Participation Report detailing skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing participation trends, demographic profiles, and major differences between core and casual participants, showing that 6.9% of the total U.S. population over six years old participates in at least one snow sport discipline.
The report covers alpine, telemark, park and pipe (freestyle), snowboarder, cross-country skiing, and snowshoe enthusiasts. SIA worked with their partners at the Physical Activity Council to survey more than 38,500 American households regarding their sports and leisure activities.
This past winter season, a lack of snow inhibited participation in all categories but snowshoeing and telemark skiing. Participation suffered with a reduced number of participants, as well as, the number of days participating. Overall, snow sports participation fell from 21 million to 19.8 million last winter. An additional 8.8 million people said they considered themselves skiers or snowboarders, but have not participated in the last two seasons, most often due to time constraints. Alpine ski participation fell 11% to 10.2 million, snowboarding participation declined 8% to 7.6 million and cross-country skiing participation fell 5% to 4.3 million participants. In all, participants spent about 29,000 hours participating in one or more of the snow sports disciplines last winter.
The report further shows that alpine skiers (44%) and snowboarders (31%) make up three-fourths of all snow sports participants. Fifty-six percent (56%) of the alpine skiers are concentrated in the following ten states: California, Texas, New York, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington and Massachusetts. By contrast, 60% of snowboarders are concentrated in the following ten states: California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington, Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin and Virginia.
High-income earners account for large segments of participants with 50% of alpine skiers and 37% of snowboarders, respectively, having annual incomes of $100,000 or more. Snow sports are becoming more diverse, as minority ethnic groups now make up over twenty-five percent (25%) of all participants.
When you’re out on the slopes, don’t be afraid to grab a greasy burger and wash it down with a beer, for one of several interesting findings the Participation Report revealed that during the 2011-2012 winter season the 19.8 million ski, snowboard and snowshoe participants burned a total of 332,386,750 calories sliding on snow — enough activity to burn off about 475,000 cheeseburgers, 2.2 million beers, 45,211 servings of french fries or 1.1 million slices of pepperoni pizza.