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Who are the Ballers? Survey Results

HortonHorton Posts: 29,993 Administrator

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Comments

  • DefectiveDaveDefectiveDave Posts: 479 Solid Baller
    Thanks @Horton! Some quick, possibly incorrect, observations:

    1. Whenever I go to waterskiing events, I see many more women than the survey indicates (though these events are still male dominated), so I think they just aren't participating in BoS

    2. It seems there is a sharp drop-off in people skiing with below $100K combined household income, and the national median income in the US is $51K (i.e. skiing really does price out many people with its economics)

    3. More people than I expected own very old boats and a full 40% have no plans to buy a new boat anytime soon (while many of these people are probably leisure skiers, it is also likely that at least some of them are being squeezed by the economics)

    4. Median age is probably somewhere in the late 40s

    These results trouble me somewhat, but I think they just confirm what we already knew. Expounding a little bit on observation 2, only 17% of US households have a median income above $100k. Lowering the cost of entry for skiing to $50k (through magic or whatever is necessary) nearly triples the number of potential skiing families who have easy access to the sport.
    akale15aupatking
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,060 Mega Baller
    Interesting. I am pretty close to the average baller. I was surprised that a higher percentage of skiers were on Radar than any other ski and the percentage that ski on private lakes. There are only a couple of private lakes around here that I know of.
    Mark Shaffer
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    edited September 2015
    Interesting. And in line with what I would have expected. One thing I have noticed around the places I ski is that the what used to be large skiing for fun or free skiing culture that existed when I was a kid is not nearly as present as it used to be. The people that would have been going for a pull around the lake in the afternoon are more typically wake boarding, surfing from a boat, tubing, or on a Sea-Doo (as opposed to a Jet-Ski, those are getting scarce too). The age demographic is a bit concerning. As I said, when I started skiing, there were a lot of high school kids driving their parents outboards around trying to lay it over as far as they could and make the biggest spray, and Dad skiers were much rarer, and to be revered. But I think also, the survey reflects the sample here at BOS.
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    The demographics of the BOS audience aren't really a surprise to me. It would be great to have more women and youth participate here, but it is unclear how to make that happen. Nevertheless, it appears that ski advertisers ought to be on BOS! Everybody is looking for a new ski in the next couple of years!
    Jim Ross
    Than_Bogan
  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,993 Administrator
    edited September 2015
    important note

    This data is Ballers who were interested enough to fill out the survey.

    Looking at the % USAWS members shows that the data is clearly biased to the upper level skiers. I estimate of regular visitors to the site the actual number is well below 10%. It has to be or my traffic stats must be WAY off... I have had some heart burn over that and now believe it to be pretty good. (4,393 unique visitors yesterday and 5,381 Monday )

    Also the male bias is readers of the site not of actual skiers.

    Still freaking interesting data. More of an indicator than statistically perfect information.

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  • webbdawg99webbdawg99 Posts: 1,067 Mega Baller
    Well almost 40% of respondents don't belong to USAWS or another governing organization. So I'd say its safe to assume that those people are not currently participating in tournaments. Of course that doesn't mean that they haven't at some point in the past.
  • dislanddisland Posts: 1,455 Mega Baller
    Lets not mix up "I can run 35 off" with "I ran an average of 35 in tournaments" two very different stats.

    Very surprised by the lead Radar has. It would be very interesting to cross reference the Goode skiers and radar skiers against the 38 off group and the 22-28 off group.

    The last tournament I was at all the big dawg guys (38 off+) were on Goode (all the different types, Nano, flex tail and all there million variations, I cant even keep track anymore) and most of the rest of us were on other stuff, mostly D3 and Radar. Very interesting indeed
    Dave Island- Princeton Lakes
  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,993 Administrator
    edited September 2015
    @webbdawg99 not sure I was clear (typing on phone). I believe 90% +/- of visitors to the site do not belong to USAWS or other federations. That survey data is biased toward USAWS because those readers are most invested / involved so they are more likely to do something like fill out a survey.

    FYI you guys that post are less than 1% of the total audience on any day.

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  • webbdawg99webbdawg99 Posts: 1,067 Mega Baller
    edited September 2015
    @disland The survey category that 25%+ of respondents checked was "Can run 35 off or more". To me, that means completing the pass....not getting into it. I could see how it could potentially be misinterpreted by some....which would explain the 25% response.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,993 Administrator
    @disland @webbdawg99 I think the question about skiing level was clear but let's not go down that rabbit hole please.

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  • webbdawg99webbdawg99 Posts: 1,067 Mega Baller
    @Horton But didn't 40% of people that took the survey reply that they did not belong to any organization?
  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,993 Administrator
    @webbdawg99 yes. What I am saying is if everyone who visits the site on a weekly basis had filled out the survey I believe that number would be MUCH lower.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

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  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 534 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2015
    I think it would be really interesting to see that boat data if ZeroOff was available for older boats as well.

    I.E. How many people are upgrading their 15+ year old boat just to have ZeroOff. I think that would be an interesting statistic.
    I know that is the only reason I'd get a 'new' boat.

    Very cool data. Thanks for sharing!
    aupatking
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,579 Mega Baller
    I think I incorrectly read the "most important boat attributes" as, what I'd be looking for in the next boat I buy, based on the questions it followed. Truth is, there are only 2 reasons I'm in the market, at all. 1. Open bow (my girls). 2. Zero Off. If I could put ZO in my 98 TSC1, I wouldn't care that the girls are in the back seat. That and Nautique (finally) and Malibu are putting out world class wakes with open bows.
    Also, we have more respondents making $500k+ than under $50? Gotta change something there (about every thread goes down this rabbit hole at some point). I have noticed waterskiing's higher education levels. Especially at higher skiing levels. How many engineers, doctors, and pharmacists (I have one personal favorite) do you see at tournaments? You'd have to go to a golf tournament to see more, and those guys make up the less skilled group there (not a fact I can support, just an observation from a guy that used to shoot even, or below on a blue moon). I just think skiing takes a certain personality type, with more considerable focus, than most. That, and a bank roll. We's ballers ya'll!
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,852 Mega Baller
    Skiers are rich. Time to embrace it and use our market power! :smile:

    But notice how this well-to-do crowd is running a whole lot of old boats. It proves my point that new boats aren't inherently unaffordable, but rather they cost more than their value to most of us.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    Skoot1123Intheday
  • rockdogrockdog Posts: 638 Crazy Baller
    @horton why can't I view results on iPhone or iPad? Only shows page 1.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,060 Mega Baller
    I do think that boats have somewhat priced themselves out of the regular update market. When I was a kid we would get a new to us promo boat every 2-3 years. We weren't rich by any measure and comparatively I am probably better off financially than my parents were at the same age. There is no way I can do that now. Part of my problem is I have stepped off the upgrade curve and it is very hard to get back on it but the initial expenditure is very high now.

    The primary driver for me to get a new boat would be to have ZO. Other than that my 2002 Malibu runs great and pulls a skier very well.
    Mark Shaffer
  • Bill22Bill22 Posts: 1,763 Mega Baller
    +1 what @rockdog said
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,718 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @rockdog it is a PDF file, not much you can screw up there sounds like an iStuff issue. Maybe there is an adobe update you are missing? Works fine on my Windows phone.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
    Horton
  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,993 Administrator
    @rockdog apple hates me

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Connelly ★DBSkis ★ Denali ★ Goode ★ Follow ★ Hobe Lake ★ MasterCraft

    Masterline ★ McClintock's ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes 

  • dislanddisland Posts: 1,455 Mega Baller
    Like cars today , boats are better and last longer. Also the wake technology has gotten so good that its hard for the mfg to make huge leaps that encorrage everyone to go get the must have latest wake improvement
    Dave Island- Princeton Lakes
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,522 Mega Baller
    Sometimes those who make a bunch are wise about their cash, too, and just can't justify in their heads the cost of a new boat that offers nothing more than their existing boat other than speed control. Perhaps why high earners but not many new boat plans.

    Some may be age, too. My guess is most Ballers in the higher income brackets may also fall into the 40-60 year old age bracket. If I made what I do now at 30...yeah I'd upgrade. Lots of years of skiing left in my body at that age and likely keep it for 15 years. Right now I'm closer to the end of my skiing rope than the beginning...do I really want to spend it? I was surprised at the sheer number of older boats still running in this group.

    Didn't expect such a RADAR preference...they must be doing something right. Other than not skiing a RADAR...I'm a VERY average Baller.

    As for those running 35 agree with Horton, survey participant bias. Also agree this doesn't mean spank it every tournament round. A non-Baller buddy missed all four of his 35 off attempts yesterday...but that's strange as typically he will run a couple of 'em...not necessarily right down the line first attempt but how would he answer? He's probably run fifty 35 off passes this year my guess is he answers he can run 35 off. I sure think of him as a guy who's capable because on another day he ran four 35 off passes over two practice sets. ZO on surveyed course with tourney pressure for him...maybe not.

    Boat preference survey was kinda what I expected, as was age, sex, income and educational levels.

    Where was the preferred cocktail and/or beer foil?

    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • rockdogrockdog Posts: 638 Crazy Baller
    Yep, my 3 year old UP TO DATE IOS iPad is a sluggish piece of crap, and I'm regretting recently swapping back to an apple phone as well.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,718 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited September 2015
    Try going to the app store and download the latest Adobe Reader app. If it is trying to display it inside safari then that might be the issue (safari is a steaming pile)
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,854 Mega Baller
    @horton, with your survey account, are you able/willing to download the raw respondent record level data (maybe remove the names and emails columns) and post it as a Google doc? Some of us data geeks might like to do deeper crosstab style analysis of the results... (of those skiers who... how did they respond to question "x" types of analysis)
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • Skoot1123Skoot1123 Posts: 2,006 Mega Baller
    I was surprised that there were more Malibu boat owners than Mastercraft boat owners.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,854 Mega Baller
    @disland - Regarding Radar vs. Goode -
    Goode builds only top-end competition skis priced above the the other "mainstream" manufacturers. While Radar produces top-end skis, it also produces many incremental levels down to combo skis and trainers. If a recreational skier or novice course skier is looking for ski options, they will find many Radar selections and may choose to not consider any of the Goode models. Further, Radar has incremental levels of skis which employ many aspects of the upper level designs at a more affordable price point. (Senate C, Vapor Graphite, P6, etc.) Those options which have all received positive consumer reviews have a lot to do with the growth of Radar product on the water.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,993 Administrator
    @ToddL no

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Connelly ★DBSkis ★ Denali ★ Goode ★ Follow ★ Hobe Lake ★ MasterCraft

    Masterline ★ McClintock's ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes 

    MattP
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,854 Mega Baller
    LOL! @Horton and @MattP - spreadsheets make everything better! Just ask @AdamCord.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
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