Profiling the Snowmobiler

snowmobileWith 2014 closed out and moving through the second half of the snow season it is encouraging to the snowmobile industry to be able to report excellent sales figures. In 2014, among the worldwide boom of 157,000+ snowmobiles sold, 54,028 were sold in the United States and 48,758 were sold in Canada. Add in the growing market of used sled sales and it’s an indication of a sport that continues to grow and attract more people every year.

Who are these sportsmen and women? The average age of a snowmobiler is 44 years old. He or she rides their sled 1620 miles every year, with 53% who trailer their snowmobile to various locations. 47% of riders snowmobile from their primary residence or have a vacation home where they keep and use their sled. Love of the sport may be a generational inheritance. Snowmobiling provides a great family lifestyle and is an activity family members of all ages can enjoy together. In the snowiest winter regions, snowmobiling is often the main form of outdoor recreation, and sometimes the main method of transportation. People who are introduced to the sport at a young age are likely to continue the sport throughout their lives and as adults they participate with their own children.

There are more than 3000 snowmobile clubs worldwide, and members participate in family activities, charity fund raising, and are an integral part of developing and maintaining trails. North America has over 225,000 miles of marked snowmobile trails that are cared for by volunteer clubs working closely with local governments and private land owners. These same clubs give back to their communities in another way as well, raising an average of $3 million annually for charities.

Manufacturers have kept close ties with their client communities, often partnering with snowmobile clubs in charity endeavors, and actively involved in safety education for riders. Over one million safety-related brochures, decals, and videos have been distributed free of charge through the clubs, Convention and Visitor Bureaus, Chambers of Commerce, the Forest Service, and other local and regional outlets.

Snowmobiling continues to gain popularity as a winter sport because it is great exercise that brings people outdoors where they can interact with nature and each other. It’s invigorating, and just plain fun – excellent for stress relief, and enjoyable for people of all ages.