What’s Hot in American Skiing?
There’s no question that snowboarding has become a popular winter activity at ski resorts across the country. However, that doesn’t mean snow skiing is melting away with the annual spring thaw. There are still millions of skiers hitting the slopes every season all across the country.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
While it’s true that traditional downhill skiing has seen a steep decline recently, there are still plenty of skiers on the mountains. According to data from Snowsports Industries America (SIA) overall alpine skiers dropped from more than 11 million during the 2010/11 season to a little more than 8 million during the 2012/13 season. Snowboarders, on the other hand, reached 7.4 million last ski season.
More to the Story
However, despite what the numbers say on first glance, there is more to them than meets the eye. Traditional alpine skiers aren't necessarily being lost to snowboarding. According to SIA research, the declining number of downhill skiers is just about equal to the number of new freestyle skiers, which includes half pipe and park skiing, or slopestyle. According to reports, freeskiing has jumped 100 percent since 2008. In fact, during last season alone there were 5.4 million people participating in freeskiing.
Probably the biggest reason behind the shift has to do with the youth movement on the slopes. Many new skiers are taking up freeskiing instead of traditional downhill style. In fact, more than 70% of freeskiers are under the age of 34. In comparison 59% of Alpine skiers are younger than 44.
It’s About the Kids
As more and more young people take up freeskiing, it’s likely that even children will begin looking into this sport. Whichever style you’re interested in trying, learning to ski can be difficult. However, with the right ski training tools in place, like a ski harness for example, kids and adults can learn the basics of skiing. In order to learn to ski, you have to start with the basics and with Launch Pad products just about anyone can master the basics.
Source: Quartz, “The descending popularity of downhill skiing in America,” Robert A Ferdman, Feb 11, 2014.