Back to News

Snowboard Equipment, Apparel and Accessories Contribute to a Successful Season at Chain Stores

May 15, 2006

Snowboard Equipment, Apparel and Accessories Contribute to a Successful Season at Chain Stores

MCLEAN, Va. (May 15, 2006) – Overall sales for the entire winter sport market (including specialty and chain stores), were up 4% in dollars to $2.3 billion for the August 2005 through March 2006 period, compared to $2.2 billion reported last year, according to the SIA Retail Audit. Unit sales were up 6%. Sales at chain stores were up 6% compared to last season. In dollars, that translates to $538.8 million in sales this season as compared to $508.1 million for last season. Unit sales were up from last season 11%.

“Strong snowboard equipment, apparel and accessory sales propelled the increases at chain stores this season,” said Christine Martinez, market research manager for SIA, the not-for-profit industry trade group that represents manufacturers and distributors of snow sports products.

The SIA Retail Audit tracks and reports sales in all snow sports product categories. This is the final report of six that looks at sales through March 31, 2006, the end of the winter season.


While the projection model has yet to be formally calculated, preliminary findings from tracking sales through the Internet distribution channel tell us that approximately $260 million in snowsports products were sold online this season. That is 14% of all specialty store sales. Same store sales point to a remarkable 13% dollar increase this season over last.


Chain store apparel sales ended the season on a high note with a 7% dollar increase and end of season sales reaching $213.5 million. Apparel top sales spiked 11% in dollars this season over last.

Insulated parkas (up 13%), softshell parkas (up 69%), shell parkas (up 10%), fleece - includes vests (up 24%) and vests - no fleece (up 69%) all experienced dollar increases as compared to last season.

Women’s insulated parkas shot up 23% in dollars and finished the season with 12,000 more units sold than men’s insulated parkas -- which also grew a solid 11% in dollars. Women’s shells, 32% of all shell dollars sold this season, jumped 15% in dollars.

Apparel suits and insulated waist pants (22% of all bottom dollars sold this season) also drew increased interest with dollar gains of 7% and 27%, respectively. Shell waist pants, the largest category with 29% of all bottom dollars sold, increased 3% in dollars while softshell waist pants jumped 122% over last season.

As in the specialty stores, junior apparel showed improvement in chain stores this season over last.

Sales of junior softshell parkas, junior shell parkas, junior suits and junior bottoms all experienced dollar
increases as compared to last season.

Snowboard tops climbed 4% in dollars with sales totaling $20.6 million. In dollars, men’s increased 9%, women’s remained even and junior’s slid 1%. Snowboard bottoms showed a slight 6% decline as
compared to last season. Women’s bottoms, with 82,000 units sold (9,000 fewer units than men’s) jumped 9% in dollars.


The entire accessories category grew 12% this season over last. Apparel accessories brought in $116.0 million in sales thus far this season, a 13% increase over last season. Winter boots (up 12%), gloves (up 8%), mitts (up 4%), base layer (up 12%) and headwear (up 4%), specifically, saw category dollar inclines. Equipment accessories brought in $62.9 million in sales this season, an 11% increase over last season. Goggles (up 20%), sunglasses (up 8%), auto racks (up 11%), luggage (up 13%), wax (up 32%) and snowboard accessories (up 13%) managed to have dollar boosts.


Through March, snowboard equipment (including snowboards, boots and bindings) sales totaled $73.7 million, a 7% increase over last season and $6 million more than alpine equipment sales this season.

Snowboard sales gained 4% over last season. All mountain boards were down 8% in dollars while freestyle boards, accounting for 25% of all board dollars sold this season (up from 20%), jumped 25% in dollars. Freeride boards, the largest category accounting for 43% of all board dollars sold this season, managed a 13% gain in dollars this season over last.

Sales of snowboard boots grew 7% with sales reaching $24.3 million through the end of March. Snowboard bindings managed a 14% dollar increase and sales of $18.4 million. Carryover binding sales, up 15% in dollars, accounted for 21% of all binding units sold.

Retailers did not have a lot of snowboard equipment left over to sell this season as carryover snowboard and boot sales each declined 21% and 13%, respectively, in dollars. This season, carryover snowboards accounted for 16% of all snowboard dollars sold, down from 22% in the 2004/05 season.


Overall equipment sales (alpine, snowboard, Nordic, Telemark and Randonee/AT) were down 2% in dollars as compared to last season with end of season sales totaling $146.4 million. Alpine equipment
sales (including skis, systems, boots, bindings and poles) were down 6% in dollars as compared to last season ending March with $67.4 million in sales.

Integrated system sales continued to grow this season in the chain stores totaling $14.1 million through the end of March, an increase of 1% in dollars when comparing this season to last.

Add alpine skis to integrated systems and total ski sales increased 6% in units. Alpine skis, excluding integrated systems, decreased 11% in dollars, with a total of $16.2 million in sales. Fat skis (up 17%) and twintip skis (up 114%) each saw dollar increases as compared to last season.

Through March, all carryover ski sales increased 19% in dollars and accounted for 41% of all ski units sold. Compare that to the 2004/05 season where all carryover skis accounted for 30% of all units sold.

From August – March of this season, alpine boots decreased 9% in dollars with a total of $25.8 million in sales. Junior boots showed sales growth over last season, up 69%. This season, carryover boots accounted for 29% of all boot units sold, up from 18% last season.

Stand-alone binding sales were also down (11%) in dollars over last season, with sales reaching $7.0 million by the end of March. DIN 1-7 (down 76%), DIN 8-11 (down 10%), DIN 12-14 (down 6%) and juniors (down 36%) showed dollar decreases this season over last.

Unlike the other alpine categories, alpine pole sales jumped 24% over last season, reaching $4.4 million in end of season sales. Adult pole (up 33%) sales contributed to the category performance.


Nordic ski equipment sales (including skis, boots, bindings and poles) dropped considerably this season over last, down 46% in dollars and totaling $3.3 million in sales. Nordic skis (down 49%), boots (down 44%) bindings (down 49%) and poles (down 39%) all experienced losses in dollar sales over last season.

Telemark ski equipment (including skis, boots and bindings) dollars were up 18% ending March with $1.6 million in sales. Telemark skis managed a 35% boost in dollar sales this season over last.

To read the entire Executive Market Summary, log onto and visit the Research section
under the Data tab.

Chain Store Percent Change in Dollars
August - March 05/06 vs. August - March 04/05
Alpine Skis -11%
Ski Systems +1%
Alpine Skis + Ski Systems -6%
Alpine Boots -9%
Alpine Bindings -11%
Alpine Bindings + Ski Systems -3%
Alpine Poles +24%
Snowboards +4%
Snowboard Boots +7%
Snowboard Bindings +14%
Insulated Parkas +13%
Shell Parkas +10%
Softshell Parkas +69%
Technical Day Packs -1%
Wax +32%

– SIA –

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is the intelligent partner of the snow sports industry. SIA annually produces the SIA SnowSports
Show, the largest industry trade show and networking environment, and delivers invaluable data, support and marketing products.
SIA serves as the national, not-for-profit, member-owned trade association representing snow and winter sports companies. For more information, check out SnowSports Industries America, 8377-B Greensboro Drive, McLean, VA 22102-3587. Phone: (703) 556-9020, Fax: (703) 821-8276, E-mail: