The stall in snowboarding's growth means:


Stall with Snowboarding

I'm not so sure it's a "stall" so to speak as much as it is that snowboarding has found its optimum mass. If snowboarding is to grow from here we have to promote "crossover" use. I believe every tool has its place. If a user can become proficient in both skiing and snowboarding (which I am) then they can have more arrows in their quiver to enjoy all conditions. I know, it's debatable, but Snowboards still rule powder where they suck in icy conditions.

gender gap, mtn trail systems, retail market

I think the gender gap in snowboarding has a bigger impact than others seem to. The bro-bra culture that surrounds snowboarding right now is a barrier to entry for anyone that doesn't fit that mold, including women. If you don't have women snowboarding, you don't have families snowboarding; if you don't have families snowboarding you're killing the future of your business. Shifting gears, earlier comments also brought in 2 perspectives I hadn't considered before: 1. Most ski areas were designed by skiers/for skiers way before snowboarding existed. So yes, no wonder snowboarders have trouble navigating the mountain and keeping up with their friends. (h/t "industry type") 2. The retail ski market is very mature, but the retail snowboard market hasn't really "grown up" yet. It's a no brainer that lots of snowboarders aren't shredding the park anymore as they age. Or that a professional sales force helps makes sales, especially to a more sophisticated consumer. Or that offering a demo fleet increases up-sells. The ski market has had these features for a long time and they're taken for granted by the industry. (h/t "guest/gear advancement") So, that being said, is this the fault of retailers or of manufacturers?? [Sidenote for "industry type"...a lot of this came out of the snowboarding report that NSAA commissioned, so it's actually the industry itself that's concerned.]

Lack of Gear Advancment

I'm 30 years old and have been snowboarding for 16 years. I now have a good job and can buy any snowboarding equipment I'd like. Unfortunately, it's extremely difficult to find anything that is tailored to an adult rider. I go into a snowboard shop and everything is short and made for the park. It hurts when I fall now, I don't want to go anywhere near a park. I try to buy new gear but no one in my area (Southern VT) demos anything, I try and read up on the gear and can't find anything objective. I recently was buying a splitboard and could not find any review that said anything other then praise the equipment. It feels to me that the snowboard industry simply forgot their clients were going to grow up. I don't know how to ski, but I'm actually thinking about learning. When I bought my wife new AT ski gear, every ski store I went to had good input and thoughts for what would work. I love snowboarding but I really need to see the company's put some effort into developing gear for adults.

The Stall – It was Predictable

I worked in the industry before snowboards came of age. I see the same problems with this method of transportation when it was first introduced as I do now. Snowboarders can obtain intermediate skill levels quickly then this happens. Cue up Warren Miller’s funny clips with voice-overs… -Flat terrain – the gorilla walk or gorilla walk with hop -Flat terrain with deep snow – drag the board and walk -Medium terrain with deep snow – should I drag and walk or should I try to gouge down to a groomer -Medium terrain with ice – skiers make it look easy, I will try it once eeyaaaaaaaa -Steep terrain with ice – ouch learned my lesson on medium terrain; let’s stay home until the conditions improve. Most resort operators miss the realities of “one plank riding” it’s harder and in some cases impossible to undertake with the terrain and conditions mentioned – it’s the reason skis were invented first. Until boarders can utilize and more importantly enjoy the existing terrain in less than ideal conditions (is there such a term) more terrain accommodations such as more grooming (impossible during the day) and flat terrain by-pass routes you will see the high turn-over rate with snowboarders. Some areas have addressed those issues, most can’t because of terrain limitations and some refuse to change. Then you have other hurdles… Demographic changes in the US indicate: We have fewer youngsters, those that do exist have less disposable income, and of those left; have a far greater choice of winter activities. Drugs-for-free-hook: As commenter Gren mentioned - the enticement of lower equipment costs has evaporated. Skis got better snowboards did not: As commenter ET mentioned - the newer skis give you the same qualities of float that early snowboards based their success on. Lifestyle enticement: The then plaid shirt-cigarette smoking-baggy pants person is now the Patagonia wearing-jogging-electric car-stroller mom. The stall in growth is predictable and it amazes me that it’s any surprise…especially with this publication whose motto is the “voice of the mountain resort industry” and who is touting its 50th anniversary this year.

Women & Snowboarding

The widening gender gap in snowboarding is directly proportional to the gap between pant tops and underwear, women don't want to hang out with dudes whose pants are falling off and underwear is hanging out.


Our observations are: (1)snowboarding is harder to lear than skiing, particularly for young kids. The transition from skiing to snowboarding seems to work a lot better for kids than going directly to snowboarding. (2) initialy some of the appeal of snowboarding seemed to be in much lower equipment costs than skiing- this advantage has evaporated and now some of the snowboard pricing is as bad as skiing equipment prices.

Stall with snowboarding

The reason I think is, now that skis float as well as any board and skinning on skis is considerably easier than on a split board, most folks are just seeing skiing as more practical and cooler. Snowboarding has always kind of had a young feel to it. It's sort of always prided itself as not to be taken seriously. Well that mantra has almost worked too well. Skiing has always done better at bridging the gaps between the age groups. Not to mention skiing on man made snow is more fun than chattering along on your heel-side edge of a snowboard. I have used to board 100% of the time.....before fat skis. Now I rarely hop on a board.

Mature products

Like every other product snb has reached its maturity cycle. We already see some snb companies targeting different market segment of our industry. Read 70 year old new article and you will see history repeats itself.

I think competitive Big

I think competitive Big Mountain events for snowboarding will help grow the sport. Right now, it seems to be limited to recreational riding and slope-style and pipe comps.

The Stall in Snowboarding

The Problem with the Stall in snowboarding is the lose of soul of the Sport companys selling out there goods to big box stores Dicks,Sports Authority and not stay commited to smaller retailers with a good Margin and providing good support to those retailers to push there product. Also companies like Burton who have developed the LTR series and the 80/90/100cm decks with riglets need to make it cost effective and provide support to the resorts to push these products on customers for there children. To try and catch cumsumers and get kids hooked on Snowboarding at a younger age. I worked in Rentals and Retail for over 18 years now and in this day in age there are still an over whelming group of the General public who believe that starting kids at skiing younger vs snowboarding is a better option. I am a avid skier, my Girlfriend is an avid snowboarder we have a 4yr old son who has been on a Burton 80cm ltr board with Riglet since he was 13months this past season at roughly 31/2 he is coming from top to bottom on the bunny hill and making turns and Loves It! We also put him on skis this season in lessons his progression was slow and he didn't enjoy it as much as his board.