Inflatable Sleds Market: The increasing preference towards snow-based recreational activities in North America and Europe, together with the demand for compact-sized equipment have driven the need for inflatable sleds. Average spending by recreational activity enthusiasts has increased by 0.3X over the past five years for all sports, whereas, for snow-based sports, it is approximately 0.4X in North America and Europe. Inflatable sleds, also known as snow tubes, generally come in a round-shaped tube, or sometimes toboggan length. These are prepared from heavy gauge PVC material, and includes crack-resistant additives to protect the sleds, thus ensuring long life. Inflatable sleds with rugged handles are preferred over handle sleds, as these render more safety. Properly inflated sleds act as hard plastic, and thus, help in easy gliding. Also, it is advised to inflate sleds at higher altitudes only, as there are high chances of losing air if inflated at home.
One of the key factors driving the sales of inflatable sleds is their compact size and light weight. Due to their light weight, sleds are convenient to carry, and thus, are preferred more than traditional sleds. Moreover, the ease of deflation helps in safely storing them till the next season. Additionally, the establishment of skiing schools, theme parks, tube parks, etc., in countries like China, U.S., U.K., etc., are likely to offer additional growth opportunities for the inflatable sleds market. However, the lack of control over speed and maneuvering is a critical issue which sledders encounter, and hence, a vast majority of sledders refrain from using inflatable sleds. This acts as a barrier to the growth of the inflatable sleds market. Furthermore, climate change is anticipated to negatively impact winter sports participation across the globe, thereby affecting the sales of inflatable sleds.
The global inflatable sleds market is segmented on the basis of seating capacity, price range, sales channel, buyer type, and region. On the basis of seating capacity, the global inflatable sleds market is segmented into single seating and multiple seating. Based on price range, the inflatable sleds market is categorized as economic range, mid range, and premium range. These inflatable sleds are delivered to customers through various sales channels like sports variety stores, specialty stores, modern trade channels like hypermarkets/ supermarkets, third-party online channels, direct to customer channels, etc. This direct to customer channel can be either institutional, online, or independent outlets. However, owing to the preference of end users towards e-Commerce, prominent players in the market are focused on enhancing their digital platforms so as to directly cater to customer demands, thereby escalating their profitability margins. The buyers of these inflatable sleds include individuals, institutional buyers, and promotional purpose buyers.
North America is anticipated to dominate the global inflatable sleds market throughout the forecast period. Asia Pacific, led by China, is projected to witness significant growth in the inflatable sleds market. The rising interest in winter sports twinned with growth in snow-based recreational facilities like tube parks in different Asian countries is expected to surge the sales of inflatable sleds during the forecast period. Also, a successful bid from China to host the Winter Olympics 2022 can create lucrative growth opportunities in the near future. Europe is likely to witness moderate growth in the near future.
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While a majority of the manufacturers advertise inflatable sleds as sporting goods for ski slopes, to stand out, a few of them promote them as nostalgic items. Moreover, besides introducing innovations in inflatable sleds such as improving material quality, durable valves, reinforced handles, etc., some manufacturers are also focusing on integrating these sleds with other features, like incorporating LEDs in inflatable sleds in order to sustain in this highly fragmented market. Tier III players expected to hold a lion’s share in the inflatable sleds market, with a majority of the manufacturers operating locally. China accounts for a major share in the production of inflatable sleds.
Some of the prominent manufacturers in the global inflatable sleds market are Airhead Sports Group, Blue Wave Sports Inc., Paricon Inc., EMSCO Group, Sunkid GmbH, Shenzhen Fanrefond Plastic Products Co., Ltd., Hengxin Sports Manufacture Ltd., Poolmaster Inc., etc.