The Downhill Consumer Intelligence Project includes an in-depth study of young ski and snowboard participants’ preferences and attitudes about downhill skiing and snowboarding. What we learned is that this group is very positive and enthusiastic about skiing and snowboarding, they are savvy about brands in our marketplace, and the main barriers to learning to participate in snow sports are expense and proximity to a ski/snowboard area. We also learned that those that are interested in trying are plentiful and very positive about skiing and snowboarding as an activity.
Source: SIA Participant Study, Data Produced by the Physical Activity Council
Here are some of the valuable nuggets of knowledge about young skiers and snowboarders, and those that don’t yet ski or snowboard:
– Out of the total 13 to 30 year olds we surveyed that did not know how to ski or snowboard, 23% would like to learn ski, and 35% would like to learn how to snowboard.
– In their own words, different regions and genders express their enthusiasm in different ways:
West Males Who Ski vs. Those Who Don’t: Those who ski tend to have very positive responses and use words like Love and Fun and Enjoy often, and within the deeper dive, more descriptive expressions that have to do with nature surface such as Winter, Peaceful, Think, Nature. Feelings such as Unwind and Peaceful also make this demographic unique.
In comparison, males in the West who don’t ski still use words like Love, but tend to utilize words like Try, Learn, Look, and perceptions of Cool, Interesting, Amazing, and Live (as in watching it Live).
West Females Who Ski vs. Those Who Don’t: Similar to males who ski, words like Love, Fun, Ski come up as well as Snowboarding, Like, Enjoy, and Great. With the deeper dive there is more revealed among those who ski such as Positive, Better, Exciting, Super, Competitions, and Season which is unique to this demographic. In comparison to females from the West who don’t ski, words like Like and Love still come up a well a Watch, Interesting, Awesome, Pretty, People, Snow, and Cool.
The Northeast has some of the most descriptive words when it comes to skiing. They also represent a strong demographic of people who have tried the sport of skiing and snowboarding. Here we find the strongest expressions for wanting to learn to ski, so the word skiing and ski come up larger within the word clouds from the Northeast. Many expressed that mountains and resorts were not “near” if they were 1-2 hours away, which those in the Midwest and West would consider “close” in comparison, which is similar to what we found in the snowboarding report.
Northeastern Snowboarders Say:
“I am an avid snowboarder. Its one of the best sports and feels amazing when you can set goals and work towards achieving them.” —Kyle, 22, Caucasian, plays Ice Hockey
“Snowboarding to me is a pretty cool sport that teaches balance but also falling can be fun too its a part of the learning process.”—Kendall, 20, African-American, Connecticut, likes to Run
“I love snowboarding. It relieves some stress. When I have the wind blowing in my face I forget about everything. Skiing isn’t my favorite but I’ll watch it. It’s still interesting.” —Cooper, 16, Caucasian, Massachusetts, rides BMX
“I love snowboarding! Go out as much as possible and love going out on the trails and speeding by the trees. I love going to the terrain park and hitting the big jumps and getting mad air time and trying new tricks.” —Avery, 17, Caucasian, Connecticut, does Martial Arts
The data on 13 to 30 year old consumer includes information about what turns some potential consumers off including issues surrounding climate change and lack of ethnic diversity in the snow sports market. It includes information on brands associated with skiing and riding, and how participants began their snow sports journey – in their words.
For more information about this valuable data and insights into the youth market, click on www.snowports.org/DCIP and/or contact Kelly Davis, SIA’s Director of Research at [email protected] or by phone at 703-506-4224.