Here at Vista Bahn Ski Rentals in Vail, Colorado, we love sharing insider knowledge with you, so we’re excited to tell you more about some of the hottest ski retail trends for 2017-2018. At the end of January 2017, we attended the SIA Snow Show & Sourcing Snow at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Plus, we also got some new ski testing time in at the On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest at Copper Mountain Resort.
It makes us happy that part of our job involves going out on the slopes to try out the latest ski gear. And it makes us even happier to share with you what we’ve discovered. But before we tell you about our favorite new skis, we wanted to highlight a few industry-wide ski retail trends:
The Latest and Greatest: Ski Retail Trends
OVERALL MARKET TRENDS: The winter sports industry, overall, is vibrant and is an approximately US$100-million industry. Skiing, estimated as a $16-million portion of the overall winter sports industry, is significant. Interestingly, we found out that if you’re into sledding, you’re not alone. Sledding is considered a gateway sport to skiing, and it’s estimated to be an $8-million portion of the winter sports industry.
SKI GEAR TRENDS: Gone are the days of mega-fat skis. We’re scaling back on size these days, and 91-100 millimeters (mm) underfoot is what’s trending now. Appearance-wise, we’re seeing a return to simplicity when it comes to top sheets. Solid colors and simple graphics create more of a classic visual appeal. We’re also seeing lighter downhill boots and skis being developed, likely as an outcome of surging interest in uphill skiing and skinning for exercise. These trends represent gradual shifts, and we don’t expect to see any gigantic leaps or changes in ski technology in any line for 2017-2018.
SKIER PROFILES: People with all interests and abilities love skiing. We do, too! Skiing can connect us with all types of people, and we’re seeing a trend in the industry with some common skier-types.
Next time you come in to visit us a Vista Bahn Ski Rentals, let us know more about your skier profile so that we can help you find the best rental skis for your preferences.
- Core downhill skiers: Core downhill skiers live to ski. They likely learned to ski earlier in life and have several pairs of skis. Core downhill skiers ski more than 30 days a year.
- Weekend warriors: This group of skiers likes to work hard and play hard. Weekend warriors are more often men than women and are in age range of 23 to 55 years old. Weekend warriors are likely to go on ski trips, and they normally ski 5 to 15 days per year.
- Balanced warrior: These skiers are in the same age range as weekend warriors, but more women are in this category. Balanced warriors are intermediate- to advanced- level skiers, and they also usually ski 5 to 15 days per year.
- Adventure seekers: Adventure seekers get excited by the adventure they find in skiing: the wind wooshing in their faces and the joy of sliding down the slope. This group of skiers may only ski 1 to 4 days a season. They’re 70 percent men and 30 percent women.
The Mountain and Beyond: More Ski Retail Trends
The SIA Snow Show 2017 gave us tons of information to consider. For us, being there let us really geek out over ski gear—in a good way. This annual show also helps us hone our rental fleet so that when you reserve rental skis with us, you can be confident in our offerings.
One rep described the show like this:
“[The SIA Snow Snow] is the latest and greatest of everything that’s going to be coming through the stores in the next six to eight months.” -Susan Woody, Sales Rep, Turtle Fur
So what are a few more of those things we’ll expect to see in the next six to eight months?
In summary, we’ll be on the lookout for:
- Skis trending with an underfoot width of around 91-100 mm
- Light, powerful, and playful skis—with carving skis back in the game
- Skis that have top sheets with streamlined graphics and simple visual appeal
- Lighter downhill boots and skis
- Innovative helmet technology that combines lightweight and high-performance materials
And we can’t wait to tell you more specifically about the skis we tried out—and the ones we loved. Check back for our next blog post highlighting what we think are some of the best skis of the upcoming 2017-2018 season. These will include some of the skis we’re buying for Vista Bahn Ski Rentals so that you can have the best ski rentals in Vail on your next visit.