Climbing Equipment Sales Reach New Heights

The increased popularity of sports such as indoor climbing has helped the overall U.S. climbing industry grow by 13 percent in the past year, according to The NPD Group.

April 6, 2018

Climbing Equipment Sales Reach New Heights

Black Diamond Equipment, La Sportiva and Mammut are among the top-selling brands in the category.

The increased popularity of sports such as indoor climbing has helped the overall U.S. climbing industry grow by 13 percent in the past year, according to The NPD Group.

Furthermore, the industry has grown its sales by $52.9 million since 2014, reaching a four-year high of $175.5 million.

“Climbing, a traditionally outdoor experience, is exploding indoors via climbing clubs and gyms around the country, and is even popping up in sporting goods stores and on university campuses. Once reserved for capable enthusiasts seeking a ‘man versus nature’ challenge, climbing has become an outlet for social activity and a new form of working out,” says Matt Powell, vice president and sports industry analyst, The NPD Group. “With climbing now officially part of the 2020 Olympic Games, I expect that this trend will continue gaining in popularity and participation.”

In the past year, climbing gear, the largest category making up 81 percent of total dollar sales, grew by 13 percent. Meanwhile, climbing shoes

grew by 28 percent, quickdraws by 26 percent and cams by 24 percent. Sales of climbing ropes and helmets also grew by 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

Additionally, according to The NPD Group, top-selling brands based on dollar sales include: Black Diamond Equipment in the hardware and helmets categories, La Sportiva in the shoes category and Mammut in the ropes category.

“While the core outdoor enthusiast will always exist, a new consumer base of families and friends seeking unique ways to have fun are exploring outdoor markets like climbing,” says Powell. “As the number of participants continues to increase and grow more diverse, retailers and manufacturers will need to develop and market product differently than ever before.”

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