The Popularity of Cross Country Skiing + Backcountry Snowsports
Last winter, the outdoor community saw an unprecedented surge in winter outdoor activities. Between travel and ski resort restrictions, more people discovered or rediscovered snowsports as a way to get out of the house, get back into shape, or socialize while enjoying the outdoors.
As a direct result of this popularity, winter gear has been in demand like never before. Last winter, touring and backcountry cross country skis and equipment sold out, with few or no options for our buyers to reorder. We also saw an uptick for backcountry gear and snowshoes. Indoor bike trainers also increased in popularity as people preferred the flexibility of riding at home with their friends virtually. More recently, running shoes and clothing have seen supply issues due to production and shipping delays.
If this all sounds familiar, it should. We’re still experiencing the same demand and supply issues with finding a bike.
COVID-19 has Impacted Every Piece of Manufacturer Supply Chains
Coupled with global supply chain challenges COVID-19 has brought, you may already know that almost every industry has been affected and may take awhile to recover. Everything from the components that complete a ski binding to the actual cardboard boxes they are shipped in have been in short supply. Demand and wait times have increased dramatically for these vital pieces which has further impacted supply.
What We Don’t Know
The high demand and (some) limited supply of winter gear from last year has encouraged our buyers to place orders as early as they could, for as much gear as we could get and with sooner arrival dates.
But even though you may see some larger shipments arriving at Skirack sooner than in the past, you may think you can wait to buy your winter gear. In reality product may not be available to reorder, once we are sold out. Unfortunately, we just don’t know.
Tips for Purchasing Winter Gear This Season:
1. Start Early
The earlier you begin the process the more likely you’ll get the right winter gear for you. The process begins with your own preliminary research into what you’re looking for and how you want to enjoy the outdoors this winter.
Starting early is great! However, please note we may not see most of our new winter gear until early October. Keep checking for new arrivals throughout September.
2. Shop at a Local Gear Shop
Once you’ve identified the type of winter sport you’re interested in, the next step is to head to your gear shop. At Skirack, we have a knowledgeable and experienced staff who are skiers and riders themselves. We know the ins and outs of the various types of gear and can help you narrow down your search even further. Our experts are a great resource to help with sizing and to discuss various details and differences between two skis, for example.
3. Custom Fitting
Most importantly, we offer custom fitting for all categories, to get the right gear the first time. This way, you’ll save time and avoid having to return something down the line when you find it’s not the right fit. By then, that item may not be in stock anymore. We can’t emphasize using our expert staff and fitting enough. That’s what we’re here for!
Another key piece of getting winter gear this year is flexibility. There are lots of options from many brands that will serve you well. Some models from certain brands may already be sold out for the year, pre-sold, or unavailable for months. With help from our specialists at Skirack, you should explore all options to see what the best fit may be, even if it’s not your first choice.
5. Act Fast
If you find something you want at the store, don’t wait. It could be gone the next day or next hour.
We hope these tips help you with your winter gear search this year. It’s certainly tricky and can be frustrating with many unknowns - but we are here to help. Remember, if you find something available do not hesitate!