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Tips for intermediates over 40 planning to ski until 70+

marzNC

Angel Diva
:bump:

There are lessons, and then there are effective lessons. The author of this article starting skiing at age 48.

 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@marzNC. Interesting read. The point of one small change and clear explanation of the why and how makes sense. What I wonder is she is more of a feeler who was forced into a visual learning scenario? I have taught so many non feelers that simply can not use their own sensations to help them but can actually pick out the movement or change we are pursuing as we ride the lift and watch. Seemed like many ideas were covered in the article and some build in layers while some have to be tailored to each athlete/ student.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
@marzNC. Interesting read. The point of one small change and clear explanation of the why and how makes sense. What I wonder is she is more of a feeler who was forced into a visual learning scenario? I have taught so many non feelers that simply can not use their own sensations to help them but can actually pick out the movement or change we are pursuing as we ride the lift and watch. Seemed like many ideas were covered in the article and some build in layers while some have to be tailored to each athlete/ student.
I also wondered about learning style when I read the article linked in Post #204.

I remember that during an lesson at the start of a multi-week program at Massanutten, our instructor asked at the start of a run about "feet". He said to pay attention to our feet. Then when we gathered before the next run, he asked for impressions.

As I progressed, I found that once one skill was more ingrained then I was able to focus more on a different part of my body in terms of feeling what was, or was not, happening. That meant I was more likely to be able to fix an issue without having to stop and re-set.
 

nopoleskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I always taught 'feel your feet" or Shins, or hip or other part
To me feeling your feet is #1-
I think often in lessons students are over burdened with Too much information.
Less is more- One tip and work on it.
How about "uncurl your toes"?
I can see someone who is skiing with toes in a knot-- stop, regroup, stamp your feet, start over..
The Only pressure should be on your edges.. free your mind, relax, BREATHE, go slowly, perfect moves slowly and they will be awesome at speed..

As for skiing old.. STAY Flexible, keep your core and leg strength and balance...
 

edelweissmaedl

Angel Diva
@marzNC. Interesting read. The point of one small change and clear explanation of the why and how makes sense. What I wonder is she is more of a feeler who was forced into a visual learning scenario? I have taught so many non feelers that simply can not use their own sensations to help them but can actually pick out the movement or change we are pursuing as we ride the lift and watch. Seemed like many ideas were covered in the article and some build in layers while some have to be tailored to each athlete/ stude
@snoWYmonkey and @marzNC these last few posts have me intrigued. I feel I‘ve been much faster to notice good and poor technique in others, and although I have progressed in my skiing wonder if I‘m not a feeler or perhaps a ‘slow feeler‘? I was disappointed that two years ago the Taos Ski Week didn’t have the video session and definitely wonder if that would help, but also had an aha feeling moment late last session that I wish I had been able to feel years ago! It seems ultimately I need to feel or knowtice, regardless of my learning style…..
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Slow feeler! Makes sense. I am a slow rememberer of movement patterns. Many students copy without feeling or understanding but do so super well. There is not right or wrong way. Inlove how teens often look perplexed at their coaches when something finally clicks and begins to happen well and consistently and gridgingly ask why they were never taught the move. So often they were but were not physically or mentally.ready for it yet. Glad you had aha moments!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
@snoWYmonkey and @marzNC these last few posts have me intrigued. I feel I‘ve been much faster to notice good and poor technique in others, and although I have progressed in my skiing wonder if I‘m not a feeler or perhaps a ‘slow feeler‘? I was disappointed that two years ago the Taos Ski Week didn’t have the video session and definitely wonder if that would help, but also had an aha feeling moment late last session that I wish I had been able to feel years ago! It seems ultimately I need to feel or knowtice, regardless of my learning style…..
My first regular instructor (home hill Massanutten) told me in 2013 that it would take a season or two to ingrain a basic fundamental skill that went against an old habit from learning to ski on straight skis as a teen decades ago. It took 2-3 years before I really I understood what he meant. Two years after that he was teaching a multi-week lesson program. Most of the skiers were older adults who were low advanced. As he went through fundamentals during that winter, there were many times when what I'd heard him say for years made much more sense as I observed him teaching someone else.

One run during the the multi-week program before we started one run, the the instructor asked "what do you feel in your feet?" He didn't get much of a response. We were supposed to focus on our feet during the run (2 min on a blue). Still didn't get answers that addressed the point he was trying to make. While some people hadn't had lessons as adults, others had. The more subtle points take a while to figure out.

During a recent semi-private lesson with my usual "crew" the instructor paired up the four students to do critiques. Meaning the person skiing behind their partner was supposed to watch and come up with a comment related to the skill we were working on. We only made 10-12 turns before stopping.

Many times it's seemed clear that the instructor is changing up approaches for me or a friend in the same lesson in order to hopefully get the student to "feel" something different than what happens with their usual approach. Can be confusing when first starting to take lessons. After several years taking lessons from very experienced instructors, it has become easier for me integrate new approaches that are designed to achieve similar goals.
 

EdithP

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I always taught 'feel your feet" or Shins, or hip or other part
To me feeling your feet is #1-
I think often in lessons students are over burdened with Too much information.
Less is more- One tip and work on it.
How about "uncurl your toes"?
I can see someone who is skiing with toes in a knot-- stop, regroup, stamp your feet, start over..
The Only pressure should be on your edges.. free your mind, relax, BREATHE, go slowly, perfect moves slowly and they will be awesome at speed..

As for skiing old.. STAY Flexible, keep your core and leg strength and balance...
I think I can now safely recommend something that WILL work wonders for core and balance if we have begun past the first flush of youth. Latin Dancing! I know that there are plenty ski specific exercise programmes around, but TBH I find them a boring drudgery, which for that reason I find hard to sustain.
But Latin dancing! Fun and play and still great results re: improved flexibility and joint mobility . Those pelvic exercises in merengue! Those legs and balance actions in Paso Doble! The general stamina that daily 30 minutes of intense samba will produce! And I have a proof of its working - last January I was still in the realm of wedge christies, now I am getting close to rrtrx.
 

EdithP

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My first regular instructor (home hill Massanutten) told me in 2013 that it would take a season or two to ingrain a basic fundamental skill that went against an old habit from learning to ski on straight skis as a teen decades ago. It took 2-3 years before I really I understood what he meant.
When I started skiing lessons on the moving carpet in February 2021, I was told I had picked up so many bad habits until that moments that now it could take me years of effort to develop a better technique. Turned out true. I think I am now more or less in a better place, but it has taken around 150 hours of ski lessons as well as one or two trips just for fun. It is roughly the same time I had been skiing previous to starting from the scratch with really good teachers. Which shows how crucial it is to start with good teachers in the first place and how vital it also is to monitor your own efforts in the early stages.
 

DebbieSue

Angel Diva
Less is more- One tip and work on it.
How about "uncurl your toes.
This^^^^
I’m a 63 yo advanced skier, very cautious though….no air, no chutes. 50 years of skiing in all NE conditions, typically 5-10 days per season, don’t like going fast, never raced. Last year semi/retired , best season ever, 21 days, yay!
My first day out at Killington 2 days ago, caught myself curling my toes when it got steeper, faster. Old habits die hard and come back to bite you for sure.
Really working on getting onto that little toe edge (which you can’t do w toes curled, ha ha) and getting rid of that stem which appears when I’m nervous!
 

Iwannaski

Angel Diva
This^^^^
I’m a 63 yo advanced skier, very cautious though….no air, no chutes. 50 years of skiing in all NE conditions, typically 5-10 days per season, don’t like going fast, never raced. Last year semi/retired , best season ever, 21 days, yay!
My first day out at Killington 2 days ago, caught myself curling my toes when it got steeper, faster. Old habits die hard and come back to bite you for sure.
Really working on getting onto that little toe edge (which you can’t do w toes curled, ha ha) and getting rid of that stem which appears when I’m nervous!
I took a lesson last week, and while I felt completely inept during the lesson, the next time I went skiing everything felt more fluid, and I have to say I think it’s because what the instructor was explaining about ankle flexing and LTE clicked - I also followed the lesson with reading a bunch of old threads here :wink:.

What I was thinking as I was enjoying my flow down the hill was how lovely and effortless improved technique felt on my middle aged body!!!

Also, I was thinking WHEEEEEE, this is fun!!!!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
A theme that runs through many threads is that lessons make a difference at any ability level. Most important for an adult beginner, but equally true for an intermediate who would like to continue enjoying skiing for a few decades. If ski days are limited, reaching a stage where skiing any blue in the regions where someone skis makes for more fun and less worry. Going beyond blues requires more days on snow, and happens more easily with lessons of some sort. As well as boots that fit well.

This thread has examples of advice given to an adult beginner:

 

marzNC

Angel Diva
One of the hardest tasks to do is getting up after a fall when both skis are still on. Actually harder on a firm groomer than on a slope with some pitch. Getting up in deep powder is a completely different story but probably not as likely to happen to an intermediate over 40 (see thread title).

Here's a link to tips about getting up after a fall that was posted in a recent thread by a woman in the UK who found after a lesson at an indoor slope that she enjoys skiing. Option 3 makes the most sense for an older person who is mostly skiing groomers. Option 1 is for kids and very flexible people. As noted in Option 2, skis need to be placed "across the hill" so that they don't start sliding.


When putting on skis on a slope, always put on the downhill ski first. Just as true when near the base or in a teaching area where the the snow is almost flat as on a slope anywhere on the mountain.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
One of the hardest tasks to do is getting up after a fall when both skis are still on. Actually harder on a firm groomer than on a slope with some pitch. Getting up in deep powder is a completely different story but probably not as likely to happen to an intermediate over 40 (see thread title).

Here's a link to tips about getting up after a fall that was posted in a recent thread by a woman in the UK who found after a lesson at an indoor slope that she enjoys skiing. Option 3 makes the most sense for an older person who is mostly skiing groomers. Option 1 is for kids and very flexible people. As noted in Option 2, skis need to be placed "across the hill" so that they don't start sliding.


When putting on skis on a slope, always put on the downhill ski first. Just as true when near the base or in a teaching area where the the snow is almost flat as on a slope anywhere on the mountain.

I don't fall that often, but when I do it's usually on something with some pitch and getting up is easy. Recently I tripped over my pole somehow while skating on a flat literally right outside the lodge and it was so hard to get up! lol I did it, but I had to use a lot more muscle on the flat ground with both skis on. I suppose I also could have popped a ski off, but it was an eye opener for beginners on flatter terrain, much harder to get back up!
 

skinnyfootskis

Angel Diva
I don't fall that often, but when I do it's usually on something with some pitch and getting up is easy. Recently I tripped over my pole somehow while skating on a flat literally right outside the lodge and it was so hard to get up! lol I did it, but I had to use a lot more muscle on the flat ground with both skis on. I suppose I also could have popped a ski off, but it was an eye opener for beginners on flatter terrain, much harder to get back up!
Haha, been there, a few weeks ago in Taos, I was not feeling great our last day but I still was excited to ski, just a bit uber tired. Anyhow, I got to the top of lift 1..not sure what happened but I never stood up...I ended up in a squat position going down the lift ramp. I was SO proud of myself when I rode all the way to the map and was actually able to stand up! I was so grateful that no one I knew saw that.
When I did fall my buddy helped me up with pole.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
Haha, been there, a few weeks ago in Taos, I was not feeling great our last day but I still was excited to ski, just a bit uber tired. Anyhow, I got to the top of lift 1..not sure what happened but I never stood up...I ended up in a squat position going down the lift ramp. I was SO proud of myself when I rode all the way to the map and was actually able to stand up! I was so grateful that no one I knew saw that.
When I did fall my buddy helped me up with pole.
Haha nice work!

When I fell I was on my own, heading back to my condo after my last run. There was someone I startled when I bit it, and she asked if I was okay while trying not to laugh. Lol No way was I asking for help as I lay sprawled on my stomach right then. :rotf:
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
At 65+, even though I'm in better shape than ten years ago, I'm more likely to just pop a binding (or ask someone to do it) after a fall now than 20 years ago when I was an adventurous intermediate.

I'm also more aware of the importance of NOT trying to stand up while moving after a fall starts. I often try to tell beginners who might listen that if they fall, falling sideways or forward is much better than allowing themselves to fall backward. Falling backward is how people mess up a knee. I watched a slow fall at Taos by an advanced skier who was barely moving who popped an ACL because she fell backward instead of sideways.

For those who haven't read it before, or as a review, here are tips to avoid a knee injury:
 

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