CCSAA, along with Snow Sports Insights conducted a consumer survey during late August into early September that attracted 1,239 responses.  Following are the survey results with a brief analysis.

Download the report here!

Executive Summary

  • 1,239 responses makes the margin of error +/- 2.8% for this survey conducted in August and September 2021. If this survey were conducted 100 more times, 95 would come back with results within 2.8% of these results.
  • 98% of respondents plan to cross country ski during the 2021/2022 season and 41% have purchased a cross-country season pass already.
  • 61% will ski alone most often, 44% will ski with their spouse, 41% typically ski with friends, 20% ski with kids, and 16% prefer to ski with their dogs.
  • More skiers participated on weekdays rather than weekends last season and they plan to ski even more during the week this season.
  • 34% say they will buy equipment and 34% say they will buy cross country-specific apparel. Most plan to purchase equipment in-store at a retailer, and they plan to buy apparel and equipment from retailers, but about one fourth of apparel sales will be made online from retailers.
  • Good grooming is a key feature of cross-country trails deemed “favorites” by cross country skiers.
  • Survey respondents include US and Canada skiers

Do you plan to participate in Cross-Country skiing during the 2021/2022 season?

What Does It Mean?

Retention efforts are working. Nearly all cross-country skiers surveyed plan to participate during the 2021-2022 season.

The industry worked hard during the past season on retention and also the acquisition of new skiers.

Have you purchased a season pass for winter 2021/2022? [Choose all that apply]

What It Means:

Although nearly all respondents indicated they have plans to ski, 39% are not planning to purchase a season pass indicating they will be skiing different ski areas. There is still time to convince them to purchase.

Male skiers are much more likely to ski alone. Note that 53% of female skiers and 67% of male skiers plan to ski alone.

Weekends v. Weekday Skiing 2020-2021 and plans for 2021-2022

Please estimate the percentage of time you participated in cross country skiing during weekends and during weekdays last season (2020/2021). The total of the two rows should equal (approximately)100%.

Please estimate the percentage of time you plan to participate in cross country skiing during weekends and during weekdays next season (2021/2022). The total of the two rows should equal (approximately) 100%.

What It Means – Participation patterns shifted to more weekday participation during the height of the pandemic and cross-country skiers don’t plan to shift back to “weekend warrior” participation patterns. This could impact staffing – more staff may be needed during the week

Do you plan to purchase cross-country equipment (Skis, Boots, Bindings, Poles) or apparel designed to be used while cross-country skiing this season?


More – 38% of male skiers plan to purchase equipment v. 28% of female skiers. 32% of female skiers plan to purchase apparel v. 36% of male skiers

When will you purchase new equipment and apparel?


What it Means – In equipment, cross country ski consumers are more likely to purchase end-of-season discounted equipment – as the industry has trained them.  Apparel sales spike during the holiday season and likely are purchased more often as gifts for cross country skiers

How are you most likely to purchase Cross-Country equipment and apparel?

What it Means– The specialty retailers are the first choice for purchase. The pandemic has not dampened desire to see and touch products prior to purchase. In fact, those respondents who said they were not sure commented that where they purchase depends on where they find products they want to buy.

Age and Gender of Respondents


What it Means – The typical cross-country skiers are middle-age and white with household incomes above $100,000, well above the average [$75, 235]. 

Self-Reported Level of Skiing by Gender

What it Means – Research indicates that males tend to overstate, and women underestimate their levels of expertise.  Something to keep in mind when renting and selling equipment, or when suggesting trails to skiers at your ski areas.

Methodology and Limitations


  • Survey was conducted online with panel members recruited by Snow Sports Insights and the Cross-Country Ski Areas Association [CCSAA] during August and September 2021.
  • 1,239 responses were collected for a margin of error of +/-2.8% at a 95 Confidence Interval


  • Survey conducted and analyzed by Snow Sports Insights, an independent Research provider. No significant limitations are noted.
Categories: Research