Participation in alpine skiing dropped off 19 percent last winter according to the 2013 Snow Sports Participant Study released Monday by SnowSports Industries America (SIA).

The report covers alpine skiers, snowboarders, cross country skiers, freeskiers, telemark skiers and snowshoers and provides a detailed account of what they did on and off the mountain during the 2012/2013 season.
The snowfall got a late start this season, really getting underway after the Christmas holiday. The lack of early season snow affected all snow sports except freeski and telemark, which both finished the season with more participants than previous years. Ultimately, overall snow sports participation was down 3 percent to 19.3M participants across all disciplines; alpine ski had a 19 percent drop in participation but still brought the most to the mountain with 8.2M, followed by snowboard with 7.4M, freeski with 5.4M, snowshoe with 4M, cross country with 3.3 million and telemark with 2.8M participants.
The 2013 Snow Sports Participant Study offers unique facts about this season’s participants:
  • Out of the 19.3M participants, 62 percent are male and 38 percent are female.
  • Alpine skiers and snowboarders make up 49 percent of all snow sports participants.
  • 54 percent of snow sports participants make more than $75K a year.
  • Telemark skiers (avg. 13 days) and snowboarders (avg. 11.3 days) participated the most this season.
  • Snowshoeing is the most popular snow sport amongst women, representing 46 percent of snowshoers.
  • Freeskiing is the most diverse snow sport, with minorities representing half of its participants.
  • Walking for fitness is the most common “off the mountain” activity for snow sports participants.
  • Over 39 percent of snowboarders are under age 24.
  • 74 percent of snow sports participants are homeowners.
  • 43 percent of snow sports participants are very interested in the winter Olympics.
  • The majority of skiers (18 percent) and snowboarders (27 percent) live in the Pacific region.

SIA works with its Physical Activity Council partners to conduct more than 42,356 surveys of American households on their sports and leisure activities and to create this study. The 2013 Snow Sports Participation Study is free to SIA Members and $899 for non-members. To get your copy of the report, or for more information about SIA Research please contact SIA’s Director of Research at 703.506.4224 or email at