Originally Posted by dperkinstx
I'm 52 years old. 6'1, 225lbs. I have only been skiing a few times until last year when I went 3 times. I went once this year with another trip planned for Spring Break. (Two or three times per year is all a person from Houston Tx can hope for). My goals are modest - to be able to ski greens and perhaps some day blue runs without wedging all the way down the hill.
Last year I found Liquidationsports.com and bought Nordica Sport Machine boots and Salomon Scrambler 55 (165cm) skis. My thinking was a shorter ski would help me with my turns.
When I ski I find my skis in a wedge, plowing down the hill. When I do turns, I can't seem to get my skis out of the wedge, particularly when turning left. When I go down anything that remotely resembles any kind of steep grade, I make one successful turn to the right. When I go left, I get 1/2 way through it, wind up pointed downhill, then start plowing until the slope lessens. All this plowing burns up my quads. On day 2, my quads are useless - making my turns even worse.
All I want to do is make smooth turns across the slope all the way down the hill. At 52 and still a beginner, I don't really have the need for speed. We're going to Copper Mtn, Co. in March. I don't mind spending all my time on the bunny slope, as long as I get better.
Any tips on technique and equipment would be greatly appreciated.
@dperkinstx, here's what I think you are saying about your skiing. Correct me if I'm wrong.
1. You started skiing in your 50s, and have been skiing four times so far. You loved it and bought boots and skis online.
2. You ski in a wedge.
3. You can make a full turn to the right in that wedge, but not to the left, when you are on a "steep grade." What's steep? A blue? Where are you skiing?
4. On these "steep grades" your wedge turns to the left cancel themselves out before you finish, and you end up heading straight downhill in a braking wedge until you get slow enough to make a turn to the right.
5. Your quads burn when you ski.
6. You are not interested in speed, but smooth controlled turns in both directions, preferably not in a wedge. You are willing to work on your form on the bunny slope. You have a spring break trip to Copper coming up.
So here goes a quick assessment.
1. First things first. Do your boots fit? Read the link below, do exactly what it says, and find out if your boots fit. The bad news is if they don't fit, you're going to have difficulty getting your skis to do what your feet tell them to do. If this is the case, rent better fitting boots until you can buy ones that fit properly. Many skiers are in boots too large, and wonder why they can't do what the experts are doing no matter how hard they try.
2. You have normal issues that day-one skiers have. Your turn to the right is strong, and your turn to the left is weak. A beginner lesson is designed to help people get past the strong-turn-in-one-direction-only problem. I get skiers taking a beginner (never-ever) lesson as a tune-up even though they have been skiing before. They often do this when they feel insecure with turns in one direction. I think you should consider taking a beginner lesson again to work on those left turns on the beginner slopes.
3. Dude! You indicate you are venturing onto what feels like "steep grades." Wait to do that until you get those left turns under control. Kids sometimes head down the slope in a braking wedge; that's bad enough, but 5 year olds are tiny. If they run into someone else, they are not going to cause the damage you will at 225 lbs. Get thee back to the bunny slope until you can control your speed with your turns, not with a braking wedge straight down the hill!
4. Any time your quads are burning like you describe, you know you are waaay in the back seat. Bend forward at the ankles while on those skis. This will put your entire body more forward. You need to feel like you are hovering your whole self over the fronts of your skis. Holding your body in a sitting-down position while on skis is possible because they are so long out back, but it's like getting into a squat in the gym and holding that for 7 hours. Stand up pretty straight, while bending forward at the ankles so your shins press into the boot cuffs, and practice your turns on beginner terrain until you can do turns in both directions without crumpling over (as if holding onto a walker) or sitting back (as if on a toilet seat).
5. There's nothing bad about skiing in a wedge. Learn the fundamentals in the wedge on the super easy terrain under the watchful eye of an instructor. Then take it up the hill to the next steepness available. Go back down when you find yourself in quad burn despair, or when you are doing the killer-power-wedge-braking thing.
6. Once those two baddies are gone, take another lesson. Your instructor will help you get out of the wedge. Steeper terrain requires parallel skiing.
7. Oh, and welcome to the world of skiing. You can do this; I know because I did (I started at 53). Best of luck, and have fun. Don't forget to check those boots. You may need to rethink them if they are too large; they can make controlling your skis impossible if too large.
Edited by LiquidFeet - 12/28/14 at 2:28pm