Know anyone who learned to ski after 50? Be honest.

Erik Timmerman

Skiing the powder
Instructor
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
4,860
Generalizations are risky. I met a guy inline skating who learned in his 40's..and he was pretty good. But you can just kinda tell..he didn't learn young..there's a level of timidity..less dynamic. Nothing saying you can't get good..my experience just says you plateau earlier than if you start as a kid.
Well, like I said, he will never be Ted Ligety. But to be fair, even Ted Ligety can't be Ted Ligety anymore.
 

coops

Putting on skis
Skier
Joined
Jul 15, 2017
Posts
84
Location
Bangkok
My wife started to ski very late (50 or so)... she progressed very quickly, and I reckon because:

  • individual instruction - i.e. one-on-one. I'd first learnt on a plastic dry slope in the UK in the days of 'straight' skis, and then group lessons in France. Ugh.
  • A good instructor - ask around. The wife learnt in Val D'Isere, and thanks to my best friend she got to learn with Neil 'Woody' Woodward, who's a local legend and good guy. It was startling to see how quickly she progressed - The first day she was off of the bunny lift and off the Solaise chair - and Val D'Isere Green runs are no joke for a beginner (or the Poma drag lifts - 'button lifts').
  • Along with that, you're going to be learning on piste, so don't use wide/fat skis - use a slimmer more pronounced 'carving' ski (and not too long either) to get the feel of how to use them.. lessons in the morning, then ski a bit in the afternoon on your own to practice.
If you do like skiing (and not all do... the weirdos :eek: ), then you might want to take the plunge for your own boots... if so, don't fall for the trap many of us (yes, including me) did, and try to 'save money' - find out a good boot fitter (not a boot salesperson) and a good boot fitter will choose the boots for you. This after all ensure you have a chance of being in control of those planks on the end of your feet (same problem with rental ice skate boots with non-existent edges and lousy fit so [email protected] all ankle support).

Good luck... and after years of wasted money on ski boots, I finally found out about Zipfit liners - so bear that in mind too ;-) (I once borrowed Woody's snowboard and boots for a short trial I was so fed up with my old ski boots, oh the shame.)
 

Marker

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Posts
1,148
Location
Kennett Square, PA & Killington, VT
@jwtravel Latecomer to this thread, but saw your content on that other thread. I started skiing precisely at age 50 and I'm now 62. At first I was fine with just sliding around in the Poconos, but then everyone else we knew that skied wanted to take trips to Vermont and Maine. It forced me to starting taking lessons to up my game. My best advice is to see if you can find an affordable ski week with everyday lessons. My wife was already a good skier, so we went to Sunday River's version of that. I made a lot of progress after two years of that, but I think they then discontinued it. I'm sure you can find a similar week out west, which probably works better for you from Indiana. Taos is famous for theirs, but others here can say if it assumes more ability than you already have or is too costly.

One footed skiing was a drill that we did a lot at Sunday River. I fell a lot at first. :roflmao:
 
Thread Starter
TS
J

jwtravel

JWTravel (man)
Skier
Joined
Aug 27, 2020
Posts
64
Location
Indiana
@jwtravel Latecomer to this thread, but saw your content on that other thread. I started skiing precisely at age 50 and I'm now 62. At first I was fine with just sliding around in the Poconos, but then everyone else we knew that skied wanted to take trips to Vermont and Maine. It forced me to starting taking lessons to up my game. My best advice is to see if you can find an affordable ski week with everyday lessons. My wife was already a good skier, so we went to Sunday River's version of that. I made a lot of progress after two years of that, but I think they then discontinued it. I'm sure you can find a similar week out west, which probably works better for you from Indiana. Taos is famous for theirs, but others here can say if it assumes more ability than you already have or is too costly.

One footed skiing was a drill that we did a lot at Sunday River. I fell a lot at first. :roflmao:
Thanks, still not convinced that I have enough balance to “up my game” beyond shallow green runs. Not all green runs, SHALLOW green runs.
 

Marker

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Posts
1,148
Location
Kennett Square, PA & Killington, VT
Thanks, still not convinced that I have enough balance to “up my game” beyond shallow green runs. Not all green runs, SHALLOW green runs.
That's fine, you are still getting comfortable with the idea of becoming a skier. Once you are, then that next step!

I will warn you that joining this site will push you to learn more and advance. It's previous incarnation run by Phil and Tricia did it for me.
 

Seldomski

Paralysis by analysis
Skier
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Posts
1,605
Unfortunately, I kept going at Winter Park and managed to injure my left bursa sac on Village Way at the bottom. Bruising and swelling gone, but permanent little sac of water on my left hip. The bottom of Village Way is more of a Blue in steepness, but I had no business being on any slope at my level of “worn out” at that point.
I saw this in the other thread. Bummer. I hope you heal quickly!

Knowing when to quit is another skill entirely. For me, once I fall 'randomly' in the afternoon a time or two, I know it's time to call it a day. Or sometimes I make my way towards the exit if I had a particularly nice run and I don't think I will be able to ski that well again that afternoon.

This season is a bit harder to get off the mountain early. In normal times, there's après ski time waiting at the base. Now there's less to look forward to at the base.
 
Thread Starter
TS
J

jwtravel

JWTravel (man)
Skier
Joined
Aug 27, 2020
Posts
64
Location
Indiana
That's fine, you are still getting comfortable with the idea of becoming a skier. Once you are, then that next step!

I will warn you that joining this site will push you to learn more and advance. It's previous incarnation run by Phil and Tricia did it for me.
We’re you athletic as a youngster?
 

KingGrump

Most Interesting Man In The World
Team Gathermeister
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
5,878
Location
NYC
The fun part is making it down the hill with control. During the run, it’s a mix of concentration and occasionally slight terror. The learning/drill parts of life aren’t fun, the accomplishment feeling later IS.
My first time on skis. I was 24. Small hill in NY state. Fell a lot that day. Fell in love with skiing too.
For me, it's all in the sensation of the glide. Of the turns. I wasn't focused on control. I was focused on the sensations.
Control is good. So is having fun. Sometimes, as we age, we lose the ability to let go. To have fun. Slight terror is good. It gets our juices going. That is why I ski.
Mileage also help - a lot.
In the immortal word of Queen Elsa "Let it go." :beercheer:
 

markojp

mtn rep for the gear on my feet
Industry Insider
Instructor
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
4,688
Location
PNW aka SEA
Thanks for your honesty
FWIW, I've met skiers who've learned after 20 who have their L3 and are pretty fair practitioners of the craft, so you can put me in the column of not buying Rod's theory... at all.
 

Jack Lake

Putting on skis
Skier
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Posts
78
Location
Vermont, United States
Took up ice skating a month ago to aid with skiing. Core and balance.
Several of the instructors I've skied with have a similar story. At the onset of their lessons, they would seek out hockey players or ice skaters in general, because of the parallel with edge work in skiing and skating. Inclination and angulation in skiing is fundamentally the same as power skating. They went for the easier students to work with. ;)
 
Thread Starter
TS
J

jwtravel

JWTravel (man)
Skier
Joined
Aug 27, 2020
Posts
64
Location
Indiana
Several of the instructors I've skied with have a similar story. At the onset of their lessons, they would seek out hockey players or ice skaters in general, because of the parallel with edge work in skiing and skating. Inclination and angulation in skiing is fundamentally the same as power skating. They went for the easier students to work with. ;)
Well, in 11 visits to the ice rink as an adult who wasn’t good at it as a kid, the extent of my “edge work” thus far is staying upright and off the edge of my a_s. I’m stubborn, so I will keep putting in miles with the hope that I have some aha moments. I skate defensively, even fully padded/helmeted/splinted up. Harder to learn when fear of falling is prevalent, but at 54, my fear of falling is harder to overcome because of how well it’s served me.
 

Jack Lake

Putting on skis
Skier
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Posts
78
Location
Vermont, United States
I understand. There is a fair bit of athleticism required, possibly the most important factor after sticktuitiveness.
 
Thread Starter
TS
J

jwtravel

JWTravel (man)
Skier
Joined
Aug 27, 2020
Posts
64
Location
Indiana
I understand. There is a fair bit of athleticism required, possibly the most important factor after sticktuitiveness.
Athleticism is the missing term in my “after 50” question. I wasn’t naturally athletic as a kid, so a part of this effort is to see how much of it is innate (which led me to think I sucked and therefore quit) and how much was me simply giving up and my parents letting me quit. (I have met skiers and skaters whose parents forced them to learn young even if they hated it, knowing their kids might like it someday) I hated piano lessons as a kid but wish I had been forced to keep going so that I would have that skill and maybe the desire would develop later? As a kid, I hated anything that didn’t come to me almost right away. I’ll stick to this to either get better or get an injury where recovery time is longer than I’m willing to accept as the price for doing something. What the heck, it’s inspired me to lose 30 lbs and work on balance during what used to be completely dormant winter months.
 
Last edited:
Thread Starter
TS
J

jwtravel

JWTravel (man)
Skier
Joined
Aug 27, 2020
Posts
64
Location
Indiana
12th time ice skating since December 31, 2010, finally figured out the secret to getting up off the ice without the wall; tightened skates around ankle until it was more “locked”, voila! I whine so much on here, so I thought sharing a success was in order.
 
Thread Starter
TS
J

jwtravel

JWTravel (man)
Skier
Joined
Aug 27, 2020
Posts
64
Location
Indiana
12th time ice skating since December 31, 2010, finally figured out the secret to getting up off the ice without the wall; tightened skates around ankle until it was more “locked”, voila! I whine so much on here, so I thought sharing a success was in order.
December 31, 2020 , not 2020
 

mdf

entering the Big Couloir
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
4,654
Location
Boston Suburbs
Athleticism is the missing term in my “after 50” question. I wasn’t naturally athletic as a kid, so a part of this effort is to see how much of it is innate (which led me to think I sucked and therefore quit) and how much was me simply giving up and my parents letting me quit. (I have met skiers and skaters whose parents forced them to learn young even if they hated it, knowing their kids might like it someday) I hated piano lessons as a kid but wish I had been forced to keep going so that I would have that skill and maybe the desire would develop later? As a kid, I hated anything that didn’t come to me almost right away. I’ll stick to this to either get better or get an injury where recovery time is longer than I’m willing to accept as the price for doing something. What the heck, it’s inspired me to lose 30 lbs and work on balance during what used to be completely dormant winter months.
I have "adult-onset Athleticism". I was always the last one picked for teams in gym class. I got interested in skiing (and a few other things) as an adult. The contrast with my childhood makes it even more rewarding to be good at skiing.
 
Top