Study Of Global XC Skiing Market Size Is Out: We Look At It And Question Its Findings

Have you ever thought about how big really is a global market for cross country skiing gear?

Last week Ireland-based market research & business intellegence firm Fact.Mr has attempted to answer just that with their Cross Country Ski Equipment Market Forecast, Trend Analysis & Competition Tracking – Global Review 2017 to 2022

The access to the whole reports costs a cool $ 2595 – which we thought is a tad expensive for the purposes of this discussion, so we rely on the data the report authors made publicly available

To quote:

A new study published by Fact.MR has estimated the global cross country ski equipment market to exhibit a steady expansion through the forecast period 2017 to 2022.

We could only agree with that premise. Despite challenges of snowless winters in continental Europe and North America, cross country skiing as sport ( including rollerskiing) appears to be growing in popularity and spreading. The growth is obvious both in countries that have massive populations in sure-snow areas ( China and Russia) and in those where people train off-snow most of the year ( Spain, Central Europe etc.)

The report continues:

The global market for cross country ski equipment is poised to account for over US$ 50 Mn revenues by 2022-end.

North America is estimated to remain dominant in the global cross country ski equipment market, expanding at 4.6% CAGR through 2022. Sales of cross country ski equipment in North America will reach nearly US$ 16 Mn in revenues by 2022-end.

And that’s where we became baffled.

There is one thing that is the United States is rightly proud of: its statistics. And those show that in the 2015/16 season, almost 570 thousand nordic ski equipment units were sold ( units of Nordic ski equipment = skis, boots, bindings, and poles)

While no revenue estimates are given, it would be safe to say that, with nearly 600 000 unites sold, the market in the United States alone is well over US$ 16 Mn already.

We also dispute the notion of North America being the biggest market. That title, by all indications, should go to Russia.
While numbers differ, even the most conservative estimates put the amount sold in the country per year at well over 1 million ( and optimistic at full 3 million) – and we are talking skis only, boots/poles/bindings are counted separately. For the last few years country was steadily expanding its mass youth skiing program with an aim of making skiing lessons compulsory for all school kids living in snow areas ( of which there are millions). Every year while at school. The cheapest pair of junior skis retails for about RUB1000 ( EUR15) – add poles/boots/bindings & do the math.
There is also a separate mass sport program aimed at the adult population that kicks off this year and of which xc skiing is an integral part.

On reflection, the Russian domestic ski production is going through the period of explosive growth – 47,4% up in the first 3 months of this year, according to RosStat.

But even Russia is not the world’s biggest market in a foreseeable future. In the wake of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, China has plans of turning some 300 million of its citizens into skiers. Yes, by skiers they largely mean downhill & alpine ones – but if even a quarter of those will sample the pleasures of cross skiing, they would surely never go back. Thus turning their country in the world’s most skiing – and the market the world biggest.

…So, going back to where we started, while the size of the global cross country skiing market is near impossible to assess with any certainty, we believe it’s already way bigger than USD 100Mn – and keeps on growing fairly rapidly.

And what do you think? comment, share – or correct us with facts & stats

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