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UK sales of skis & boards down
Monday November 10, 2008 - Email this article to a friend

Sales of skis and snowboards are down. It may be due to the credit crunch, the problems of transporting them or the improvement in rental gear.

A recent report by the UK winter sports equipment trade body claims ski sales were down by 3% last winter while snowboard sales plummeted by 13%.  The total equipment and accessories market last season in the UK was £510m. 

The fall comes despite a 3% increase in the number of British people taking a winter sports holiday. 1.3m Brits now head to the slopes each winter though that may be affected by the current economic situation.

Part of the blame for the fall seems to be the increased cost of taking ski and snowboards on aeroplanes.  Ryan Air charges £25 each way for a pair of skis if you book online (or £32 each way if paid at the airport), while easyJet charges £16.50 each way for a ski bag. For a family of four just taking your equipment out can therefore cost a staggering amount.

For many it appears this may have tilted the balance between buying their own equipment or renting in the resort.

British Airways and Swiss currently do not charge but British Airways has gone on the record as saying that it is looking at the possibility.

Other factors though are influencing people.

Firstly rental equipment in most resorts has undoubtedly improved in recent years and it can also be obtained at a good price.  Some shops give up to 25% discount if you pre-book your equipment on line.  In addition many now like the option of using a different ski depending on the conditions.

A powder ski for a powder day, and a carving ski for an on piste day. Equipment is also changing at an ever-increasing rate with new lines and new fashions each winter so perhaps that is having an impact too.

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