Outside Business Journal

2020 OBJ Retailer Survey results, part 10: Snowsports gear

136 independent outdoor retailers across the country responded to our annual survey last year. Here are the industry's best-selling snowsports brands, according to their responses.

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As we approach the end of our 2020 OBJ Retailer Survey results, we have just a couple key categories left to report on. This week, we’re taking a look at snowsports sales, with data from retailers about the relative sales of backcountry skis, alpine skis, snowboards, snowshoes, and more.

How we collected our data

As with the rest of the sections in our survey, we didn’t supply a list of responses for retailers to choose from. The results you see below all came from write-ins.

The numbers here reflect the percentages of respondents who actually answered each question. Some respondents declined to answer one or more of our questions about snowsports sales. These omissions were not included in the calculation of vote percentages. We also included a question about whether or not respondents’ shops sold snowsports gear at all. If they didn’t, we omitted them from the calculation of vote percentages.

Finally, survey responses were gathered with the promise of anonymity to ensure the collection of the most accurate possible data from retailers.

The overview

In the snowsports category, we saw a split between product types dominated by a single brand, and those with a more even spread of brand sales at specialty retail. In the former group, our data showed moderate market dominance by a single brand in backcountry ski boots, alpine ski boots, cross-country skis and boots, and snowshoes. The latter group, in which sales split more evenly across multiple brands, included backcountry skis, alpine skis, and snowboards.

We found it interesting that single-brand category dominance was much more closely tied to boot sales than to sales on the hardgoods side of the equation, i.e. skis and snowboards. In the boot categories, Scarpa and Solomon controlled the market for backcountry and alpine, respectively. For ski sales, market control was evenly split between multiple brands, especially in the backcountry category, where we saw a four-way tie for first place.

Salomon seemed to do the best overall, capturing a significant percentage of the vote and showing up as a top contender in five of the eight categories we studied—and nabbing the top spot in two of them (alpine skis, alpine ski boots). Rossignol also turned in a strong performance, taking the second-place spot in two of the categories (cross-country skis, cross-country ski boots) and the third-place spot in one (alpine skis).

The complete data for each category is listed below.

Backcountry / telemark skis

Black Diamond: 12 percent

Blizzard: 12 percent

Fischer: 12 percent

Voile: 12 percent

Scarpa: 8 percent

Other brands mentioned: 22 Designs, Atomic, Black Crows, Volkl, Yoko

Backcountry / telemark ski boots

Scarpa: 40.9 percent

Scott: 13.6 percent

Fischer: 9.1 perent

Salomon: 9.1 perent

Tecnica: 9.1 perent

Other brands mentioned: 22 Designs, Alpina, Rossignol, ROXA,

Alpine skis

Salomon: 21 percent

K2: 14.3 percent

Rossignol: 14.3 percent

Other brands mentioned: Atomic, Faction, Fischer, Lib Tech, Liberty, Nordica, Volkl

Alpine ski boots

Salomon: 41.7 percent

Dalbello: 25 percent

Tecnica: 16.7 percent

Other brands mentioned: Fischer, K2


Weston: 29.4 percent

Burton: 23.5 percent

Other brands mentioned: Thirtytwo, Capita, Flow, Jones, K2, Winterstick

Cross-country skis

Fischer: 44 percent

Rossignol: 32 percent

Salomon: 12 percent

Other brands mentioned: Asnes, Atomic, Madshus

Cross-country ski boots

Fischer: 44 percent

Rossignol: 40 percent

Salomon: 12 percent

Other brands mentioned: Alpina


MSR: 46.2 percent

Tubbs: 26.9 percent

Other brands mentioned: Atlas, Crescent Moon, Emory Peak, TSL

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