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Tips for advanced skiers over 50 planning to ski until 80+

Moleski

Certified Ski Diva
One of the reasons I decided to buy Stöckli Stormrider 85 demo skis five years ago is that my understanding is that because of the construction they will last quite a while. Unlike other skis I've bought that only lasted 3-4 seasons before the top sheet and/or camber weren't in good shape any more.

I opted to pay a little more to change out the demo bindings in order to have normal bindings that are much lighter when carrying the skis. For flights, I have wheels. For carrying from a parking lot, I wanted less weight. For a longer walk these days, I'm using The Ski Pack that I discovered last fall at Snowbound Expo in Boston. Not sure they are ready to ship to internationally yet though.
Ski Pack looks like a really good job! Am on board when exporting starts. Charlotte, my coach sourced the stormriders from another pupil and she herself also has a pair. Previously had Kenjas but bought too long and though I really haven't demoed many skis, I felt they were stiff and unwieldy for my abilities. I generally have a reasonable position but sit back when it gets steeper so they took me for a bit of a wild ride. The top sheet of the srs is a little dated with thorny briars all over but I don't care at all. Defo need wheels for airport!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Defo need wheels for airport!
I have a double Sportube hardcase that I use most of the time. I rarely fly with two pairs of skis but like having the extra space in the Sportube for bulky items such as snow boots or a small backpack.

Also have a DB SlimJim when I need to travel light. Usually because I'm going to share a car without a rooftop ski box with more than one other person. Looks like the SlimJim has been renamed the Light Snow Roller.
 

Moleski

Certified Ski Diva
I have a double Sportube hardcase that I use most of the time. I rarely fly with two pairs of skis but like having the extra space in the Sportube for bulky items such as snow boots or a small backpack.

Also have a DB SlimJim when I need to travel light. Usually because I'm going to share a car without a rooftop ski box with more than one other person. Looks like the SlimJim has been renamed the Light Snow Rol
 

Moleski

Certified Ski Diva
Need to give it some thought. Tube looks excellent but i guess is a bit heavier than the Slimjim. Airlines seem to weigh skis now, I guess in case we stuff all our kit in the ski carry bag and they miss out on fees. Need something tho cos was very unwieldy with a big roller bag and skis over my shoulder. Plus excellent way to decapitate older travellers if I turned around quickly.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Tube looks excellent but i guess is a bit heavier than the Slimjim. Airlines seem to weigh skis now
Airlines have always required that a ski carrier be under the maximum weight. In the USA, that's 50 lbs. I think it's less for international flights based on what I read on the Aussie ski forum. With two pairs of skis, that makes it difficult to add much else.

For more info about ski bag options, including what can be packed inside without causing an issue, check out these threads. It's not just a topic for folks over 50.


 

Slow Sarah

Angel Diva
Thanks for this thread! I appreciate the posts and some really resonate!
As I have gotten back into skiing (this is my second season after many years away) the things I try to keep in mind and have noticed:

Pace myself for the long term: A short good day is better than a long one that could result in an injury that could keep me off the slopes. It is also nice to be able to walk the next day. :smile:

Any day on the snow is a good one!

Take any opportunity to slow down and work on my technique.

Make friends: I plan to take lessons next year both to improve and make friends. This year was interesting because I had both big passes and planned to ski with my daughter but she wasn’t able to go as much as we expected so I did a fair amount of skiing by myself. I am pretty independent and like to explore and find my own rhythm but after a while I have found that I like to have some companionship throughout the day and someone to run through the day’s events with at the end. I always enjoy conversations on the lift. I need to meet more people for carpooling, conversation, tips and camaraderie! Hoping next year the focus on lessons will help on a few levels.

Improved technique pays off in a big way! Small things like bending my knees while leaning into the hill on steeper runs and letting my skis work for me when I am stuck in a fearful situation have saved wear and tear on other body parts that I would otherwise wear down like the outer edges of my feet or my lower back when snowplowing down cat-tracks

Listen to my body: When my legs stop responding right away I know it is time to be more cautious. There have been a couple of times I basically fell over later in the day from exhaustion. Once I ran out of steam mid-run in deep crud: SO not fun! It was funny but also made me consider if that had happened higher up on more challenging terrain. I love, love, love having long happy days but want to focus on staying safe and being able to go farther and improve over the long-term as well.

Patience is a practice!

Exercise at home has helped improve my on-mountain experience, especially work on my core. A few times I wobbled and almost went over and when I straightened I was aware of my torso in a way I had only ever felt when doing side twists.

Do harder runs first thing so I have the energy to CHARGE. Later in the day I still want to go but forget I still have to make it down the mountain!

Go easy on the caffeine and Advil during the day. This goes along with listening to my body. Anything that makes it easier to ignore its signals is important to moderate.

I watch people older than myself on the mountain and remind myself that the future looks bright indeed. :smile:

Enjoy the view! I spent a few hours this week waiting on someone who was struggling. I kept reminding myself that it was a privilidge just to be where I was: mid-mountain-Whistler-bluebird-mountains-forever!
 

Moleski

Certified Ski Diva
Airlines have always required that a ski carrier be under the maximum weight. In the USA, that's 50 lbs. I think it's less for international flights based on what I read on the Aussie ski forum. With two pairs of skis, that makes it difficult to add much else.

For more info about ski bag options, including what can be packed inside without causing an issue, check out these threads. It's not just a topic for folks over 50.


Brilliant, thanks! M
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Good news for the question: "Can you stay strong as you age?"
I'm definitely stronger now than I was pre accident :yahoo:and I have to say I like the feeling !! I just hope I've got the discipline to continue. I'm almost 60 and have a natural level of fitness that I've relied on my whole life (esp in my upper body due to years of visual merchandising and hauling armfuls of clothes and store fixtures around) but now that I have muscles and strength esp in my legs I'm on top of the world :love:
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Fair to say another tip that keeps advanced skiers on the slopes well past age 70 or 75 or 80 is that they don't mind starting to ski groomers more than off-piste. The Wild One Bunch at Alta are perfectly happy spending the day skiing off the Sunnyside lift on the green and blue groomers. Although when snow conditions are powder mid-season, they will take a few runs off the groomed surface. Even if it's just on the edge. The average age of Wild Old Bunch regulars is probably about 75.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I'm definitely stronger now than I was pre accident :yahoo:and I have to say I like the feeling !! I just hope I've got the discipline to continue. I'm almost 60 and have a natural level of fitness that I've relied on my whole life (esp in my upper body due to years of visual merchandising and hauling armfuls of clothes and store fixtures around) but now that I have muscles and strength esp in my legs I'm on top of the world :love:
Glad you are having a good time back on snow!

Noticed you skied with your 80+ friend recently. She sounds like quite a lady.

 

marzNC

Angel Diva
For older advanced skiers, the drill discussed in another thread is a very good one to know and practice. Starts with Post #52 by @AJM but keep reading at least until Post #68. Note that @liquidfeet and @snoWYmonkey are instructors. Link below goes to Post #52.

 

JaniceO

Diva in Training
I'm in a funny spot on this spectrum. I'm 64 and just began skiing last year. I'm still learning, but it's important to take it easy and not push myself dangerously. On the other hand, how do you learn to ski without pushing yourself?

I expect to be a solid intermediate this year, but I will have a lot of opportunities to ski - I'm not working every week day!
So impressed you're starting to ski at 64. You go girl!!!
 

CindiSue

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I live in Sun Valley and half the skiers seem to be over 75. I know many who ski into their 90's. Many of them ski a couple runs every morning; some skip the days with low visibility. Take care of your eyes, because that's the number one issue I see older skiers have; they can't ski in flat light.
 

BlizzardBabe

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@CindiSue, let me first express my extreme bottle green envy that you live in SV and I don't. That's done. Thank you. As to other things, yes -- as my mom aged it became harder and harder for her to see and ski in flat light. She also has macular degeneration in both eyes that thankfully is controlled with medication, but that might have contributed to it. She's given up her nighttime bowling league b/c she doesn't like driving home in the dark. Now, at 93, she's joined the "senior" league which bowls in the afternoons.

I echo your sentiment to "take care of your eyes."
 

CindiSue

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@CindiSue, let me first express my extreme bottle green envy that you live in SV and I don't.
If it makes you feel any better, there is no utopia. SV/Ketchum is beautiful, lots of outdoor activities (skiing right downtown), intellectual activities, and plenty of great, generous people. But it's also not easy living in a place with a large amount of uber-rich people. I just moved to a more normal neighborhood in hopes of escaping some of that, but the area is struggling to work through income equality issues. Just one example is trying to build a normal home when there are so many $20m+ homes being built that tie up all the workers (who can't afford to live anywhere nearby, so there aren't enough, and the majority are unskilled.)
Progress on lower income housing has been slow too, lots of NIMBY, despite the fact that teachers and firefighters can't afford to live here, let alone retail employees. (Believe it or not, "lower income housing" here is close to $1m.) I hope we figure out a way through it, so it remains a real town with real people. But I know that so many of the people who do live here can only afford it because they moved here decades ago.
This was all happening on a smaller scale but accelerated about 10 years when so many of the ultra-rich moved here as a pandemic escape. And the feeling is that many of them brought a not-so-kind attitude that was here before. So we'll see how it plays out. I think the town is awesome for tourists, and hope they just remember to be kind to the workers.
 

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