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So is it like riding a bike?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

About 13 years ago I was 26 and an advanced skier. Now I'm 39 and haven't skied in, well, 13 years. I have no idea what to expect and it's freaking me out. My friend says it's like riding a bike but "with less muscle". I don't know -- riding a bike seems a lot easier than skiing. I've been doing yoga and running for a month to get ready. All these horrible knee stories have me freaked out. I'm not used to worrying about anything but being cold. But at least now I can afford some nice warm clothes. Oh, but I've only skied shaped skis once. It was a little weird, to be honest but I think they were too long. Mostly I just can't wait. Has anyone else made a return after so long?

post #2 of 15

I started up again after a 10 year break. It is like riding a bike, except not a street bike on a flat road. It's like your first bike ride in forever being a descent down a bumpy road on a mountain bike: you have to remember all the basics while trying to deal with the terrain at the same time.

 

That said, if you get yourself on some really smooth groomers, that'll make it a lot easier (and more boring).

post #3 of 15

It was almost 30 years for me this year after giving the sport up as a freshman in college due to a blown ACL.

 

I've been out about a dozen times this season and I'd say I'm about 90% back to where I was when I gave the sport up.  I'm having trouble with the bumps but steep stuff, Ice, and all the other challenges don't bother me.  The first day back was weird, and the shaped ski's are different.

 

I'm going to take some lessons before the season's over to see if I can't become more consistent in the bumps and develop more tools to get off the trails and into the trees.

 

One thing I think is remarkable is how sore you get coming back.  I'm in pretty good shape as I work out 4-5 hours a week but skiing uses some strange muscle groups.

 

post #4 of 15

For your basically first time out, don't use skis that are taller than up to your chin.  Take a lesson.  Almost every first timer lesson I've taught has had at least one person who just hasn't skied in a very long time, although I haven't encountered anyone who said they were an expert in the past.  You don't want or need a first timer lesson, but the ski school should be able to accommodate you with a sort of refresher class, you might even get lucky and end up with a private lesson for the cost of a group lesson.  In fact, go during the week if you can and you can almost be assured of having a private lesson.

post #5 of 15

If you were an Advanced skier, it will be a piece of cake. I took 12 years off between 25 and 37 and was also really hesitant. Went out on some blue groomers, and had it back within a couple of days. I was skiing well the first day, but it took a few days to feel 100% natural again. Don't worry, the new equipment makes it even easier.

 

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by HudsonHacker View Post

If you were an Advanced skier, it will be a piece of cake. 

 

but it took a few days to feel 100% natural again.

 I agree with the first part but not with the second part.  My hiatus was in the same age range, 25 to 35, but when I came back I was whooping and hollering on my second run!  Admittedly, a blue groomer.

 

Changing to shaped skis was a little tricky - I kept banging the tips together.

post #7 of 15

No worries!

The comparison to mountain biking is apt: it's going to be like adapting from riding a rigid bike with 1.8" tires & cantilever brakes to riding a 6" travel all-mountain bike with 2.5" rubber and disc brakes.

You'll need to adapt your technique, but once you do, you'll be amazed at how much more versatile the new technology is.

I wasn't off that long, but I went from 40day+ seasons in high school & college, to a period thru grad school & early career where I maybe had 10 days total over 8 years.

 

Coming back to skiing in the early 90s, the first thing I noticed was that skiing shaped skis was much less about working the boot fore-to-aft to initiate a turn at the tip and then carve through to the tail than it was about working the skis side to side: getting them out away from the body & on edge, and allowing the sidecut to do its magic.

 

Like other posters have said, get out there on the groomers & give yourself some time to play around and get your snow legs back.

Lessons are always a good idea, and the tip for signing up for a midweek group lesson is a good one: you may well wind up with a personal or small group lesson for a fraction of the regular price.

If you truly were an advanced skier who previously skied the whole mountain with proper technique on skinny skis, beginners' lessons would *not* be the right place for you.  You don't need or want to be in a group learning to snowplow & stem christie, what you want is some immediate feedback on how to adapt your carving technique to your new gear & current level of fitness.

 

Don't worry: the blues haven't gotten any harder, and you're an adult now: find your comfort zone and stay there 'till you're ready to grow it.

post #8 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

For your basically first time out, don't use skis that are taller than up to your chin.  Take a lesson.  Almost every first timer lesson I've taught has had at least one person who just hasn't skied in a very long time, although I haven't encountered anyone who said they were an expert in the past.  You don't want or need a first timer lesson, but the ski school should be able to accommodate you with a sort of refresher class, you might even get lucky and end up with a private lesson for the cost of a group lesson.  In fact, go during the week if you can and you can almost be assured of having a private lesson.


Agree on this.  Tell them your story at the ski school and they should be able to get you into the right group (or lack thereof).  Any long-time instructor also had to make the same equipment switch, so they should have some idea of what you're going through.

post #9 of 15

1. Expect to find muscles you haven't tasked in many years.

 

2. Get a lesson. Even 1 1/2 hours or 2 hours will pay off immensely, not only in getting "back on the bike", but in dealing with #1. Most returning skiers I work with start out trying to ski the old way. The new way is much more efficient.

 

post #10 of 15

I didn't ski for 18 years AND had never skied before that, and did  just fine.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks. Sounds like it will be fine. I can't wait. I'm taking a friend who wouldn't have fun waiting for me in a lesson, but I'll go for one soon.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

    It was great! Thanks for the excellent advice on the short skis. That helped. Turning was easier and less tiring. I stuck to pretty easy stuff, and all around it was so much fun. I need lessons though. Also, 13 years totally inflated my opinion of myself. I was skiing blacks back then, but couldn't have been advanced.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by karpiel View Post

I didn't ski for 18 years AND had never skied before that, and did  just fine.


Well there's no sense in stopping until you get to wherever you were before those 18 years.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by KristinB View Post

     Also, 13 years totally inflated my opinion of myself. I was skiing blacks back then, but couldn't have been advanced.

 

 

Yep...been there myself. For me it was over 20 years since the last time I skied. I too thought I was a bit more advanced then I really was. Three years ago I started up again...lol. It was for the most part like starting over.

 

As said...I took a couple lessons. That really helped.

post #14 of 15

I like the bike analogy, but it should be used with the qualification that it might not be valid in some snow conditions, such as powder.  Also, I think it's good not to get in the mindset that there is one style of skiing.  It's more a matter of versatility and developing the ability to adapt to different conditions.  That said, the "pedaling" style is a useful tool that should be seen as a part of a broader array of tools.

post #15 of 15

I also would definitely admit to having my fair share of issues with egoism :-)  But if being a bit egotistical, even if it's only an illusion of being an advanced skier, might at least motivate you to take on more risks, then I think it can be a good thing.  Just don't get discourage when you look at all the great skiers doing better than you- just focus on where you are now compared to where you started, that is your own progress

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