Are Skiers the Richest Outdoor Participants?

Are Skiers the Richest Outdoor Participants?

A Colorado newspaper published a typo in one of their headlines this week, promoting a fundraiser for “Bling Skiers.” They meant to say “blind,” and that the fundraiser was to support adaptive snowsports. But according to recent research from the National Sporting Goods Association, skiers may be the last outdoor demographic in need of a handout.

NSGA found that certain sports/activities require more financial resources than others and tend to skew toward upper income households. Through the use of NSGA’s annual sports participation study, an analysis of participation by annual household income was executed to paint a clearer picture of which sports/activities typically are participated in by higher vs. lower income households.

Of the 51 sports/activities that NSGA tracks, Alpine Skiing leads the list with the median household income of participants being $114,000 per year. Golf is No. 2 with the median household income of $85,000. Rounding out the top 5 are:

  • Ice Hockey ($82,000)
  • Scuba Diving ($81,000)
  • Motor/Power Boating ($77,000)
  • Ranking Nos. 6-10 are represented by a variety of segments including Individual Sports (Tennis), Fitness (Work Out at Club), Open Water (Water Skiing, Kayaking), and Team Sports (Lacrosse).

The NSGA also found that all sports/activities in the top 10 have participants with median household incomes of at least $72,000. And that the median household income among participants of many of these sports/activities continues to increase.

As for the lower end of the tier, NSGA found that no sport/activity has a median household income level below $50,000. Wrestling resides on that threshold at $50,000, with Target Shooting (Airgun), Tackle Football, and Dart Throwing all under $55,000. Billiards/Pool, Touch Football, Paintball Games, Hunting with Firearms, Skateboarding, and Fresh Water Fishing round out the bottom 10 with median household incomes between $55,000 and $57,000.

Now as for those “Bling Skiers,” please feel free to check out the results of our latest ski test.