Lakewood, CO – According to preliminary findings of the 2009/10 National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) National Demographic Study, 57 percent of skiers and snowboarders at U.S. ski areas now wear helmets.
Helmet usage among those interviewed nationwide increased nine percent over the 2008-09 season, when 48 percent of those interviewed were wearing helmets. In comparison, only 25 percent of skiers and snowboarders wore helmets during the 2002-03 season. The annual Demographic Study, compiled from more than 130,000 interviews of skiers and snowboarders nationwide, also showed that:
* 87 percent of children 9 years old or younger wear ski/snowboard helmets;
* 75 percent of children between 10 and 14 wear ski/snowboard helmets; and
* 70 percent of adults over the age of 65 wear ski/snowboard helmets;
Skiers and snowboarders aged 18 to 24 have traditionally represented the lowest percentage of helmet use among all age groups. This year, 43 percent of all 18 to 24-year-olds interviewed wore helmets, representing a 139 percent increase in usage for this age group since the 2002-03 season, when only 18 percent wore helmets.
This fall, NSAA will be launching a new initiative designed to encourage all kids 14 and under to wear ski and snowboard helmets. NSAA has set a self-imposed goal of nearly universal helmet usage for all children by 2012.