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Coming back to skiing after many years

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So glad to find this forum, it has been really helpful the last week or so to go over the beginner's tips. I use to be a decent skier as a kid/teen, being able to aggressively ski the blue squares in Vermont/New Hampshire and cautiously handle the black diamonds. I basically have taken the last 12 years off, with the exception of a single day of skiing 4 years ago. I decided to get back into the sport, and rented some skis at Wachusett mountain two days ago (more of a beginner mountain for those who don't know it). 

 

Things went well, I was able to handle the blue squares confidently, and the black diamonds with a lot of hesitation. I wiped out only once, and got a good twist on my ankle, which more or less ended the day - as it was painful to continue. I wondered if anyone had tips on what would be the right things to focus on coming back to skiing, as the basics seem to be there, but I'm not really sure my technique is solid. I had trouble at times keeping both skis solidly on the ground when making turns, with the outside ski not feeling firmly planted. Also, my shoulders are still pretty sore, which makes me think I was overly tight and not really in position correctly. 

 

The tips for sizing boots was immensely helpful here, and it helped me do the best with the rental boots. That being said, they weren't great - with them being too small for my bigger foot, and all around in general not being as snug as I was hoping for. I am thinking of demoing next time - so perhaps that will help? My plan is to buy some boots after a few trips, and source some inexpensive skis off of craigslist. Would appreciate any tips or tricks, as I'm looking forward to getting back into this, and want to keep up with the wife! :)

post #2 of 5

Welcome back to the slopes!  Glad you found EpicSki.  Hope we can help you learn enough to avoid any major wipeouts the rest of the season.

 

Good plan about getting boots sooner rather than later.  Have you read the articles about boot fitting yet?  Look for Articles on the menu at the top of EpicSki webpages.

 

I learned to ski long ago in middle school in the Adirondacks.  Then no skiing for ten years.  It was fun to discover that I still remembered what to do.  Didn't really get to ski enough to improve until after I retired early and started taking my daughter to ski.  Although it's easier to turn the current style of shaped skis, having a few lessons really made it a lot easier to know what I was doing.  Many mountains have beginner or advanced beginner packages that make the lesson almost free when you need rentals too.  Even though you skied before, might be worth checking out.  Even a few pointers from an instructor who is watching you and knows how to assess technique issues could make a big difference.

 

What type of trails does your wife like to ski?

post #3 of 5

I don't think Wachusett does boot "demos".  I'm pretty sure you just get regular rental boots and high-end skis.

 

In any case, if you're at all serious about getting into skiing I'd really, really recommend purchasing new boots that fit you well.  In rental boots you'll be fighting the equipment as much as anything else.  If you're going to spend money anywhere, spend it on good boots.

 

I'd highly recommend at least a couple lessons to get yourself up to speed on the new equipment (although I'm also biased, because I've been working part time in the Wachusett ski school, though I'm not teaching this season).  There are lots of ski instructors who had to make the same transition from the old 'straight' skis to the new 'shaped' ones, and no shortage of students who have done the exact same thing you're doing.

 

This is actually a situation where I feel like private lessons can be helpful, since you can specifically ask for an instructor who had to make the same gear transition and they can focus on just solving your problems.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Welcome back to the slopes!  Glad you found EpicSki.  Hope we can help you learn enough to avoid any major wipeouts the rest of the season.

 

Good plan about getting boots sooner rather than later.  Have you read the articles about boot fitting yet?  Look for Articles on the menu at the top of EpicSki webpages.

 

I learned to ski long ago in middle school in the Adirondacks.  Then no skiing for ten years.  It was fun to discover that I still remembered what to do.  Didn't really get to ski enough to improve until after I retired early and started taking my daughter to ski.  Although it's easier to turn the current style of shaped skis, having a few lessons really made it a lot easier to know what I was doing.  Many mountains have beginner or advanced beginner packages that make the lesson almost free when you need rentals too.  Even though you skied before, might be worth checking out.  Even a few pointers from an instructor who is watching you and knows how to assess technique issues could make a big difference.

 

What type of trails does your wife like to ski?

Thanks! Yes, I've been reading and re-reading the boot fitting articles quite a bit. It will definitely be my first purchase. The rental boots are really pretty far off from a good fit (and that included me swapping them out midday for a smaller pair!). My wife skis just about anything, but likes to go pretty fast. I think I'll have no problem keeping up once I've gotten myself back to shape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

I don't think Wachusett does boot "demos".  I'm pretty sure you just get regular rental boots and high-end skis.

 

In any case, if you're at all serious about getting into skiing I'd really, really recommend purchasing new boots that fit you well.  In rental boots you'll be fighting the equipment as much as anything else.  If you're going to spend money anywhere, spend it on good boots.

 

I'd highly recommend at least a couple lessons to get yourself up to speed on the new equipment (although I'm also biased, because I've been working part time in the Wachusett ski school, though I'm not teaching this season).  There are lots of ski instructors who had to make the same transition from the old 'straight' skis to the new 'shaped' ones, and no shortage of students who have done the exact same thing you're doing.

 

This is actually a situation where I feel like private lessons can be helpful, since you can specifically ask for an instructor who had to make the same gear transition and they can focus on just solving your problems.

Thanks for the tip about the demo's. Doing just the skis would be a waste of time at this point, as the boots are the weakest point. I am thinking that I should go for a custom boot and be done with it. I'm not sure if I can get something that works for under $500, but I'll check it out. If I were to go for a custom boot, does demoing still make sense? I have to think the boot fitter is going to get something that works on day one, and it really doesn't matter which out-of-the box boot I liked the most.

 

I hadn't really considered the lessons route, that might be a good idea. It's a bit pricey at $80 an hour, and I'd have to think that 2 hours are needed to get enough value from it. Maybe something I try on a night when I don't have much going on.

post #5 of 5

For lessons, if you can do a group lesson at a slow time mid-week or in the evening that could be a way to get started without spending quite so much.  Could end up with a private for semi-private at a bargain price.  The main advantage for a private lesson is that you can find an instructor you like and stick with him/her.

 

You might get lucky and the boot fitter will find past season boots that works for your feet.  Can add extras like custom footbeds later.

 

Demoing skis is always worthwhile.  If get them from a shop at the mountain, then can check out several on the same day.  Good to use them on the same run(s) for comparison.  The first time I went to a free demo day, I was surprised how different skis could feel.  That was several years ago when I was still an intermediate.  I find that getting on skis that I don't like is as important as finding skis that I really have fun on.  Even if I don't intend to buy what I try, it helps to know what works for when I go on trips out west when I rent demo skis that are better suited to the snow conditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lateralex View Post

Thanks! Yes, I've been reading and re-reading the boot fitting articles quite a bit. It will definitely be my first purchase. The rental boots are really pretty far off from a good fit (and that included me swapping them out midday for a smaller pair!). My wife skis just about anything, but likes to go pretty fast. I think I'll have no problem keeping up once I've gotten myself back to shape.

 

Thanks for the tip about the demo's. Doing just the skis would be a waste of time at this point, as the boots are the weakest point. I am thinking that I should go for a custom boot and be done with it. I'm not sure if I can get something that works for under $500, but I'll check it out. If I were to go for a custom boot, does demoing still make sense? I have to think the boot fitter is going to get something that works on day one, and it really doesn't matter which out-of-the box boot I liked the most.

 

I hadn't really considered the lessons route, that might be a good idea. It's a bit pricey at $80 an hour, and I'd have to think that 2 hours are needed to get enough value from it. Maybe something I try on a night when I don't have much going on.

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