Skiers and riders ditch the groomers and head to the halfpipe

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(Photo: Courtesy of Orage)
<p>A recent report shows that popularity in downhill skiing is declining, and a new sport called freeskiing is just taking off.</p>

Photo: freeskiing 3Winter is almost here and plenty of people are headed to play in the snow. But this year on the slopes, some are choosing shake up their routine and explore the mountains differently.

Instead of carving turns on groomed runs, many skiers in Colorado and across the U.S. are heading to terrain parks or discovering the backcountry to try something new.

A recent survey of snowsport enthusiasts shows that downhill skiing is declining in popularity, while newer outdoor sports, like freeskiing, are booming with new participants.

In fact, survey findings point to a nearly-50 percent increase in people who freeski and prefer to stay off traditional ski runs.

CPR's Lesley McCLurg spoke to Kelly Davis, who studies recreational and business trends within the snow sports industry, about what observers describe as a new and radical shift in winter sports.