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Starting Over [over 55 in MT]

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So I have been 12 years without skiing. Next year I am going to start down the path to being the best I can. I am 58 and in reasonably good shape. Ok I know how to get in good shape.
I will be able to dedicate the entire season to getting better. No obligations. I will be living 1 hour from Discovery ski, and 2 hours to Big Sky. Will have 2 weeks at Telluride.
I had always thought to do about 30 minutes a day of coach Rick's skiing exercises. And possibly a instruction day once a week. Not the whole day.
So other than spending time on skis. Do you guys think this is a good plan? Do you have any suggestions or better ideas?
Thanks
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by doin1 View Post

So I have been 12 years without skiing. Next year I am going to start down the path to being the best I can. I am 58 and in reasonably good shape. Ok I know how to get in good shape.
I will be able to dedicate the entire season to getting better. No obligations. I will be living 1 hour from Discovery ski, and 2 hours to Big Sky. Will have 2 weeks at Telluride.
I had always thought to do about 30 minutes a day of coach Rick's skiing exercises. And possibly a instruction day once a week. Not the whole day.
So other than spending time on skis. Do you guys think this is a good plan? Do you have any suggestions or better ideas?
Thanks


Try to find a season long training program...doesnt need to be race orientated.  Lots of resorts have them for more "local types".  These are usually excellant value, and typcially are staffed by the best coaches on the mountain simply because these programs are the most fun/rewarding to teach, so the better guys tend to take them, as the better guys usually get first pic of programs to work.

post #3 of 19

I'm assuming you have upgraded your gear from 12 years ago, correct? Remember to keep your skis tuned. If you are skiing that much, it may will be worth it to learn how to tune your own skis. I second joining a season long program, not only will you get good instruction but it will help you meet other people to hang out with on the mountain. Nothing better than having a consistent ski buddy to encourage you to get to the mountain, share rides with, talk on the lift, offer pointers to each other and enjoy an apres beer with. Befriend the people who work at the mountain, it makes those days you are skiing solo less lonely and can sometimes get you nice perks like a free coffee or some ski tips on the lift. Wish I had a winter to dedicate to skiing. Enjoy, I'm sure you will see your skiing progress in leaps and bounds! 

post #4 of 19

Get some new boots from a shop and get them properly fitted.  Rent some recent model skis for your first day out and lessons.  Then, demo some new skis and get whatever you like.

post #5 of 19

Get a pass at Discovery Or Big Sky whatever place that you will frequent more.

 

Update your Equipment

 

Have Fun 

post #6 of 19

Doin1,

 

Good plan. Get on inline skates and/or mountain bike this summer.

 

Commit to a schedule/routine for going no matter what the weather is. 

 

Get yourself videoed (4 or 5 turns is all you need) at the start of the season and either monthly or when you run into problems, and then at the end of the season.

 

At least once during the season - bring a friend - share the love! Find one person on the hill every day that you can help whether it be turning in a found item, checking if a downed skier  is all right, holding a door open, helping someone find their way or give them a tip, etc. Aside from helping the resort be a friendlier environment it will provide an external focus point and therefore help speed the process of incorporating new movements into muscle memory. Greet the lifties by name and bring at least one joke for a lifty every day. Tip your instructor based on results.

 

Find a drill that is hard to do on a beginner run (e.g. skiing backward or one ski). Get at least one drill in on a beginner run or cat track every day out. Take at least one "free run" every day (technique thoughts are prohibited). Find a drill that is easy to do on a challenging run, then take it to an intermediate run and find a way to make the drill challenging on the easier run, then take it back to the more difficult run and see if you can the easy drill at a higher performance level (build on a strength). Make sure that you get at least one run on the nastiest conditions day of the season (and of course a full day on the best) so that you can legitimately tell people "you shoulda been here ..."

 

Define some specific goals and criteria to measure your progress.

post #7 of 19
Find a good ski buddy. Might just find one here!
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by doin1 View Post

So I have been 12 years without skiing. Next year I am going to start down the path to being the best I can. I am 58 and in reasonably good shape. Ok I know how to get in good shape.
I will be able to dedicate the entire season to getting better. No obligations. I will be living 1 hour from Discovery ski, and 2 hours to Big Sky. Will have 2 weeks at Telluride.
I had always thought to do about 30 minutes a day of coach Rick's skiing exercises. And possibly a instruction day once a week. Not the whole day.
So other than spending time on skis. Do you guys think this is a good plan? Do you have any suggestions or better ideas?
Thanks

Welcome back to the slopes!  I also started skiing at an older age after a long hiatus but not on a big mountain and about a decade younger. Group lessons mid-week can be a cheap way to get started because they tend to be only a few people in the group.  However, I learned a lot in less time with very experienced instructors in high end multi-day clinics or 2-3 hour private lessons.  If you can get a recommendation for an instructor, that's a good way to start.  Or can ask for a Level 3 instructor.  I know there are a few very good instructors at Bridger.

 

I found these ski conditioning exercises in Bumps for Boomers last fall while rehabbing a knee.  They proved pretty useful and practical for me because they can all be done at home with minimal equipment.

http://www.bumpsforboomers.com/basic-ski-fitness-free-online-video-skiing-exercises

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Try to find a season long training program...doesnt need to be race orientated.  Lots of resorts have them for more "local types".  These are usually excellant value, and typcially are staffed by the best coaches on the mountain simply because these programs are the most fun/rewarding to teach, so the better guys tend to take them, as the better guys usually get first pic of programs to work.

 

What Ski Dude said.

People nitpick certain aspects of these weekly programs, but they are by far the best bang for the buck out there.  The one at my hill is 8 1/2-day lessons once a week with a group of no more than 4 people.  I think it's 250-300 bucks...about the same for a full-day private.  Throwing a private in there somewhere in addition to the program isn't a bad idea, either...if you can swing the cost.

 

Oh, and update boots and get some inexpensive (you'll soon wanna upgrade anyway) easy-skiing skis.

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the pointers. I wasn't aware on the local programs. Big Sky, Bridger and Discovery all have them, great idea. I have already talked to Ski In Jackson about boots. My skis from before we're the early shaped skis. Have skis become a lot more forgiving since then?
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Marznc.
The high end clinics you referred to. Is Bumps For Boomers a clinic you would recommmend?
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by doin1 View Post

Marznc.
The high end clinics you referred to. Is Bumps For Boomers a clinic you would recommmend?

I actually don't know anyone who has attended a Bumps for Boomers clinic.  However, based on the fitness videos, if I were interested in skiing in Colorado it would be a clinic I would consider.  The high end clinic I attended was by NASTC, which is based in Tahoe but does clinics elsewhere as well.

 

If I were near Bridger and Big Sky, I would probably put together a personalized schedule of private lessons at Bridger and consider a Big Sky multi-day clinic.  No need to travel farther either for terrain or instructors.  Some of the best in North America work at those two places.  Have you skied there before?

post #13 of 19

doin1,

From your first post I see you have Rick Schnellman's DVDs.  I found them unsurpassed in providing all-around ski knowledge.  If you have the time and the stamina, you might do what I did when I got them last summer.

 

Start watching them now, and take notes.  Go through them all, one little bit at a time.  They progress slowly.  I set aside an hour a day to do this.  Take notes on the types of drills he shows, and pay particular attention to the terms he uses for the movements and the explanations of what they accomplish.  His DVDs do not prescribe a particular way to ski; he offers drills that give you experiences doing lots of different things on skis with the goal of you feeling what works on snow.  He parameterizes the drills.  For instance, he'll have a drill where you do something waay far forward, then centered, then waay far aft.  If you actually work through his drills on snow, you'll be a great skier by the end.  

 

As you watch the DVDs, target your notes on his definitions and explanations of how movement patterns relate to each other.  This will be particularly helpful as you get ready for a season of serious work on building your skills.  His ability to explain skiing terms and relate them to each other in one big organic whole is exemplary.  He is amazingly organized.  If you read here on Epic for any time you'll discover that typical ski terms mean different things to different skiers.  If you take lessons from different ski instructors next season, you'll run into this.  And it's not only words that are different from one ski instructor to another; they may contradict each other about what you should be doing.  This can be quite frustrating to someone wanting to up their game efficiently.  Rick's organization of ski technique and clarity in defining ski terms, embedded in those long, slow-to-watch DVDs, will clarify whatever inconsistencies or confusion you may encounter next season.  The notes I took while sitting at the dining room table, day after day last summer, have stayed in my mind and served me well.   

 

By the way, don't expect to master each drill on the first DVD fast.  There's a lot of one-ski-skiing in that DVD.  He says to not skip around, but you can.  And after you take the notes, you'll know what you want to skip to.  

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by doin1 View Post

My skis from before we're the early shaped skis. Have skis become a lot more forgiving since then?

The range of ski options can be overwhelming.  Something to be said for not worrying too much about the first pair of skis.  Get some suggestions, buy something off-season from a previous model year, look around for free demo days, and figure out your budget for the "late season" sales that start as early as Feb.

 

Ask around to see if there is an annual ski swap in the fall.  I would think there would be one in Bozeman given all the university students and local who ski.  Did you know Bridger is non-profit?  One reason the lift tickets and lesson prices are so reasonable.

post #15 of 19

My general rule of thumb is that ski technology advances in 3 year cycles. The edges of the cycles may be fuzzy (i.e. hard to recognize when a breakthrough technology takes hold vs yet another marketing ploy) but when you take any manufacturer's current ski and compare it to the equivalent ski from the same company 3 years back there's a good chance the difference in performance is big enough to make you say "whoa!". If you compare a new resort rental ski to any ski from 2 cycles ago, the new rental ski will be easier to turn. This is different from 20 years ago when rental skis always sucked no matter what the technology. I have my own pair of the same ski my resort currently has in its rental fleet. They kick butt over the Elan SCXs that I retired 10+ years ago. The obvious evolutions you have missed included better shapes for shaped skis and the introduction of rocker/early rise. The subtle evolutions have been advances in materials and glue technologies.

 

12 year old skis can still be great skis. You don't necessarily need to upgrade. Depending on your financial situation and your shopping abilities you may find that the benefits from upgrading to used shaped skis (pre rocker) or new rocker/early rise technology to be worthwhile. If your financial situation is tight (e.g. rather spend money on skiing vs gear), then don't demo new skis because you will be sorely tempted.

post #16 of 19

Doing a Body Flow class as part of your summer conditioning will really help with balance and flexibility. Body Flow is a combination of yoga, pilates and tai chi. Improving balance will help with skiing movements and improving flexibility will reduce injury risk.

I'm 66 and got back to skiing last winter and started Body Flow this summer on the recommendation of an instructor at my local ski area. Doing the classes answered a question I had about my skiing; why were my left turns better then my right turns. My strength and balance on my left ankle is much weaker then the right.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCC55125 View Post

Doing a Body Flow class as part of your summer conditioning will really help with balance and flexibility. Body Flow is a combination of yoga, pilates and tai chi. Improving balance will help with skiing movements and improving flexibility will reduce injury risk.

I'm 66 and got back to skiing last winter and started Body Flow this summer on the recommendation of an instructor at my local ski area. Doing the classes answered a question I had about my skiing; why were my left turns better then my right turns. My strength and balance on my left ankle is much weaker then the right.

What I learned as a result of knee rehab last year was that improving balance is key for improving my ski technique.  Doesn't take much to work on balance but makes a big difference if done daily for 10 min instead of once a week for an hour.

 

I got the SkiA Sweetspot last fall.  Fun way to work on balance that is obviously related to skiing since you do the exercises in ski boots.  I think the EpicSki discount is still active.

post #18 of 19

If you are interested in feedback from those who have taken the Bumps For Boomers program visit http://www.bumpsforboomers.com/meet-our-customers

 

Another way to learn more about the program is to subscribe to free mogul and powder skiing tips via email at http://www.bumpsforboomers.com/subscribe

post #19 of 19

If you are 2 hours from Big Sky then you are about 90 minutes from Bridger Bowl. (I assume you're living in or around Butte.) If you are free during the work week consider joining the men's program at Bridger on Wednesday. You get their best instructors and get to learn the mountain from somebody that knows it well. They have two sessions, one starting in January and the other in late February.

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