Innovation has come to the skateboarding industry in the last 5 years. There are now different shapes of boards, different sizes of boards, and there’s even a Kickstarter campaign for a skateboard that has in-wheel motors. Has this affected the skateboard sales statistics?
Skateboarding is a $4.8 billion dollar market.
The only problem with the skateboarding market is that most companies are not publicly traded. This means to stay competitive, many sales figures are kept close to the vest. This means many of the sales statistics for skateboards are officially estimates instead of finalized figures.
- About 11 million people self-report that they enjoy skateboarding on a regular basis.
- 77%. That’s the percentage of skateboarders that prefer to shop with small specialty brands rather than the top brand names that are on the market.
- Since 2007, skateboarding sales have dropped by 2% every year.
- Skateboarders are also getting older. In 2006, 71% of the group were in the 12-17 age demographic. Today only 45% is 12-17.
- The only youth demographic that is growing in the skateboarding market is the 9 and under group and that’s only because they have a greater overall population base.
- Only 3.1% of skateboard sales occur in sporting goods stores.
- Skate hardgoods sales fell 10% in 2008 and were down 23 percent in Jan/Feb 2009 combined, yet only 40% of skateboarders actually wear the appropriate gear when they ride.
- The cost of an average pair of skateboarding shoes: $50-$100.
- The most common place to ride a skateboard outside of a park: the driveway. It may cost up to $500 to have a professionally designed ramp installed.
- A skate shop owner operating a store that sold $475,000 worth of goods might only net about $30,000 in profit.
- A store with an Internet presence instead of a physical retail store space might earn $100,000 per year or more in profit with comparable sales.
The problem with the skateboarding market right now is that the 10-14 age demographic, which represents the majority of the industry’s sales, is declining. Skateboarders are getting older, but they are attracted to the new technologies… yet. As the under 9 age demographic grows and gets interested in skateboarding, their parents may just look at purchasing a new board as well to teach them new skills. Combine that with the innovation the industry is also experiencing and their may be better sales on the horizon.
Could Skateboarding Be On The Wayout?
- In 2006, more than 10 million people in the United States said that they were skateboarders. That number has declined every year except in 2012 when more than 1 million were added to the ranks over the year before.
- The United States accounts for more than 50% of the total skateboarding market.
- According to BJS statistics, the skateboarding industry looks to stay on par with industry growth and job creation through 2020.
- 500. That’s the total number of skateboarding parks that exist in the United States right now.
- Despite its downward trends, skateboarding is still ranked as a Top 10 global sport.
- A professional skateboard, similar to ones you see on TV and in professional tournaments, can run around $100 to $250.
- For beginners, a skateboard can be purchased for as little as $20. Mid-range skateboards may be as cheap as $40 for those who want to begin practicing tricks.
- A skateboard that includes no graphics can run $50 to $110. Adding graphics to an existing skateboard can cost $1 to $10 per decal.
Although skateboarding has seen some recent ups, the downward trends seem to still be dominating the industry. What is keeping hope alive are the 5-9 year olds who are just getting interested in the sport right now. When they hit the key 10-14 age demographic and start wanting equipment, the industry could see a dramatic rebound. On the other hand, as parents look for safe activity options, skateboarding may be put near the bottom of the list with American football. If that happens, it could be the final nail in the coffin of this industry. The next 5 years will shape the future of skateboarding. The experts believe that it will survive, but until consistent upward trends present themselves, there will always be an air of pessimism in this particular industry.