Momentum continued in the snow sports market in January as the snow kept falling in critical regions and skiers and riders headed back to resorts and shops, according to SnowSports Industries America.

Consumers spent $550M at snow sports retail shops in January alone, 7 percent more dollars than average in January. Since the beginning of this season, consumers have spent $2.6B on snow sports apparel accessories and equipment, about 1 percent more than they had spent by January 31 last season.

Season-to-date (August 2012-January 2013), all snow sports equipment sales are down 2 percent in units and 4 percent in dollars sold to $640M. Apparel sales have brought $1.1B into the snow sports market and are just about even with last seasons sales through January. Accessories sales are up 5 percent in dollars sold to $913M are about flat in units.

Sales during the late season (February and March) typically bring in approximately 20–25 percent more dollars into the snow sports market for equipment, apparel and accessories. Increased snowfall and lower temperatures in February and March this season are helping retailers clear out swollen inventories and should allow for a full recovery from last seasons disappointing sales and participation.

As the market picks up, several trends in the market are emerging:


  •  Twin tip ski sales (flat and systems combined) are up 2 percent in dollars sold to $55M and up 5 percent in units sold to 122,900 pairs of skis sold through January 31. 
  • Sales of alpine/AT boots, alpine boots with a walk mode and rubber/Vibram sole designed for use with alpine touring bindings, have more than doubled compared to last season. More than 55,000 alpine/AT boots were purchased between August 1 and January 31. 
  • Sales of lighter, more technical AT/Randonee boots are up 41 percent in units and 60 percent in dollars sold. 
  • Sales of skins, used on the bottoms of skis to prevent backwards sliding when traversing or sliding uphill, are up 10 percent in units sold and 10 percent in dollars sold. 
  • Splitboard sales, although still a small category with 2,550 units sold through January, are up 14 perecnt in units sold and up 6 percent in dollars sold. 
  • Action camera sales are soaring, up 16 percent in units to 82,500, and up 40 percent in dollars sold to $25M

Snow conditions will determine the fate of the snow sports market for the remainder of the season. Good snow conditions have a positive impact on participation and sales overall and expectations are for increased participation and increased sales. In fact, better snow conditions should bring more than 20M U.S. residents out for snow sports this season and result in an increase over last seasons $3.3B in total sales.

SIAs market data is based on the Point of Sale systems of more than 1,200 snow sports retailers.