By Jeffrey Schaub

KCBS_740TAHOE (KCBS) — After four years of bone dry ski slopes, it’s been a great season in the Sierra. And this week’s snowfall has made it even better.

But there aren’t as many snowboarders on the mountains as there use to be.

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“Skiing’s on fire, there’s no question,” Arturo Baylor at Mountain West sport shop in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood said.

Baylor says he’s sold out his entire inventory of skis, but still has plenty of snowboarding gear left.

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“Snowboarding, I think the industry’s really concerned,” said Arturo.

The sport’s popularity has flattened out. A 2012 industry study showed that snowboarding hit a peak of about 32 percent of U.S. snowsport participation in the 2001/02 season, falling to about 25 percent by 2005/06 and essentially flat through the 2011/12 season.

The study by RRC Associates said not only the growth had stalled, but there was every indication snowboarding participation “is headed toward a path of substantial decline.”

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The snowboarding industry has tried to counter the trend with, among other things, special snowboarding areas just for kids at several Tahoe-area resorts.