The cost of entry for Australian skater footwear is rising and the number of models is increasing, according to research by the Australian Financial Council.
The ACCC said models accounted for just under 20 per cent of the total footwear market in 2016.
“We are seeing a shift in the industry towards models, and it is a good sign that model companies are becoming more visible,” ACCC chairwoman, Christine Rowntree, said.
“[There’s] more awareness around models and their performance and the price point and it’s also good for brand equity.”
Key findings from the ACCC report: The average price of an Australian skateboard model was $2,539 in 2016, up 6 per cent from $1,564 in 2015.
The number of Australian model models grew by 10 per cent between 2015 and 2016.
The average annual cost for an Australian model rose from $6,543 to $7,087 between 2015 to 2016.
That compares to a 10 per year decline in the cost of a full-length model.
Skateboard models have been increasingly priced higher in recent years, with models costing between $719 and $1.1 million between 2015-16.
Adidas, the global maker of the iconic Air Max, is Australia’s largest model maker.
The company has more than 20 models available, with prices ranging from $769 for a skateboard with a foam-lined heel to $1 million for the same model in a foam suede heel.
AstraZeneca is Australia ‘s third-largest manufacturer of shoes, behind Foot Locker and Foot Lace.
Nike, the US ‘s second-largest maker of footwear, is also a big player in the Australian market, with some models costing as much as $1m.
It is a shift from the past, when models were cheaper, but skaters wore them as they walked and not as they skated, Rowntrees said.
“Skateboards are going from being very, very affordable to being a lot more expensive than they used to be,” she said.
Read more about skateboarding:The ACCC study is a snapshot of what is currently happening in Australian skateboarding, with data provided by retailers, brands and manufacturers, the ACC, the Association of Australian Retailers, the Australian Consumer and Consumer Action Alliance and the National Retail Federation.
In its report, the commission said: “Australian skaters have been paying more for skateboards, with an average retail price of $2.5 million in 2016.”
The rise in models is due to the popularity of the sport, and a shift towards more affordable models, with more models available.
However, skaters still paid more than they were paying in previous years.
At the time of the survey, models were more expensive to buy than full-priced skates, but the trend has reversed.
Over the past year, skater prices have more than doubled, reaching $2 million for a full set of shoes.
Model prices were still $739 in the most recent data available, which was for a Nike Air Max.
Fellow Australian retailer Foot Locks, which operates a skatepark in Victoria, has a model price of around $3.2m, and is seeing its models rise in price.