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Do Snowboarders Age Out Earlier than Skiers ?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Do you think snowboarders stop at an earlier age than skiers?

In other words, is snowboarding good for the snowsports industry for the short term only?

Is the ultimate goal to migrate snowboarders to skiing so they will stay on the slopes well beyond the age of 60?

With absolutely no scientific data I would think the answer may be yes. I see 60+, 70+, and even 80+ skiers out there. Not so many senior snowboaders. I do see 50+ snowboarders. This would be an excellent research paper.

This question was the result of the following post on another thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
Snowboarding attrition. They age out. It gets harder to sit on the slope when you get older. Seriously, boarders don't stick with it like skiers do.
post #2 of 16
I would think that it's hard to tell since snowboarding is only about 25-30 years old and has really only been big for 10 years or so, so there aren't that many seniors out there who've been snowboarding for years....
post #3 of 16
And with the variety of skis that have been produced in the last few years and the growth of freestyle skiing and backcountry alpine skiing, some snowboarders are switching to skiing.
post #4 of 16
There were projections by some industry group that the wrist injury rate among boarders would limit the length of time that people spend in the sport.

How valid, I have not a clue? I never did try snowboarding simply due to the fact that I had been prone to wrist injuries in the past and sitting out a season for me was not an option. I started skateboarding in 63 and surfing in 64 or 65 so I probably would have taken to it.
post #5 of 16
I have skied with a50+ year old snowboarder. He was at one time ski instrutor. He took up snowboarding becuse it is less stressful on his Knees. I am friends with a few people who got into snowboarding back in the early 70s. One still has the orginal snowboard he made from plans in one of the old surfing magizines. It is plywood covered with fiberglass shaped like a fish. there are two nylon straps that you use to hold you to the board. Back then you couldn't board at any resort. I recall it was a really big deal in Calif when one of the Mountains in Calif said they would allow boarders to ride their lifts.
post #6 of 16
They drop like flies after age 30. But the ones who stay are serious and a nice addition to the sport. Older snowboarders take a lot of runs.

Never took a survey or was even interested in evaluating the topic. It's just obvious to me, snowboarders age out.

Kids sitting on the hill give an indication as to why. It's a social activity for many boarders. If your time spent on the hill is largly just social, then it's not about the skill and the experience.

The park in general is a kids thing. Older boarders don't spend as much time in the half pipe. Only the hard core and the skilled stick with the features when they older.

This is how I see it on the east coast.
post #7 of 16
A few observations, again, not scientific:
- Snowboarding is a young sport, in the sense that it is 20-30 years old(as stated above)
- Snowboarding has been taken up(for the most part) by the young, who have a lot of stimulation in their life competing with their interest in snowboarding
- Because this is a "younger generation thing" they are going through the same thing we all did when we got married, had families and will likely come back to the sport in the future.
- Skis have come a long way in the interest in tempting snowboarders to step into the skiing world.
post #8 of 16
The real question: Do snowboarders grow up eventually?
post #9 of 16
I was one of the oldest snowboarders when I started riding twenty years ago and I'm still one the oldest.

Snowboarding is less physically demanding than skiing. It's a really great alternative to skiing when age has taken it's toll on the joints and muscles and skiing becomes physically demanding. I'm already past that point and snowboarding allows me to spend all day out on the snow. Of course, I'm not just spending time, I'm having fun. More fun than the average skier from the looks of it.

http://graysontrays.com/ is a website devoted to the older snowboarder.

Learn to snowboard this year or be another year older when you do. I'll be carving groomers on a snowboard at 65, relaxed and happy, but I'm not sure I would want to start learning snowboarding at that age. Some people do though. It's never too late. Get over your fears and prejudice and get on a snowboard.
post #10 of 16
I met some plus 60 snowboarders during the last years who started only a few (like 5) years ago but were laying down imense carves on raceboards.
It's never too late to start.
Many older people who came from skiing didn't get into snowboarding because of the learning curve. They gave up right after 1 day saying it is too physically demanding (which of course is only on the first few days). For non-carving skiers (the majority above 45-50 years old) the step-over to snowboarding is like starting up right from the start.
I think in 40-50 years snowboarders and skiers will be about 50/50 - but who knows what's up then!
Additionally most snowboarders that go to skiing are going back to skiing, lets see if in ten years it's the same that many aged around 20-30 go from snowboarding to skiing - because they haven't ever done it before.
post #11 of 16
If this were a scientific poll being done by Gallup, the margin of error would be north of +/- 20 pts.
post #12 of 16
Snowboarding is far trendier than skiing (although, sadly, skiing is starting to catch up). Trendies usually move on to the next big trendy thing after a couple years.
post #13 of 16
I started snowboarding in 1988 when I was in my late 20's. It was at Snowshoe WV of all places. I snowboard more than ski these days.

There was/(still is?) a 70-80 year old guy snowboarding at Steamboat in 1995. Steamboat locals know who I'm talking about - the guy with the banana yellow suit.

I've taught a 73+ lady how to snowboard over 3 lessons on 3 separate Sundays. After the third lesson she bought a board and a season pass. I also taught a lot of 40-50 year old men and women this past season. Most that age came from a skiing background. My main clientele came from the 20-35 year range this season. Maybe a different customer base on the East Coast?
post #14 of 16
The closest I got to Steamboat was Aspen in the 1970s, but I've heard of Banana George. That's so cool that you introduced a 73 year old women beginner to snowboarding who became a season pass holder after three lessons! You must be an excellent instructor!

I think most of those suggesting that snowboarders "age out" haven't even begun riding yet! Start riding this decade or you'll be ten years older when you do!
post #15 of 16
I shared a chair at WP a few years ago with a retired gentleman on a board who said he had skied all his life. He had a VERY serious injury on skis the last day of the season a few years before I met him. He said he realized the crowd he skied with skied faster and steeper than he should ski at his age so he switched to a board the next year and never looked back. He says he now goes out more with his wife and friends since they now cover the same runs. He says the fun is mostly in the challenge and by changing from skis to snow board he has the same challenge with less pitch and half the speed. He said the comfort of the boots was a welcome side benefit. Maybe he'll start a trend.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
The closest I got to Steamboat was Aspen in the 1970s, but I've heard of Banana George. That's so cool that you introduced a 73 year old women beginner to snowboarding who became a season pass holder after three lessons! You must be an excellent instructor!

I think most of those suggesting that snowboarders "age out" haven't even begun riding yet! Start riding this decade or you'll be ten years older when you do!
I credit the young lady from Boulder. She had a great deal of internal motivation. She had taken up yoga to increase her flexibility and then wanted to take up an active outdoor sport. All she needed was someone to walk her through the steps of getting comfortable on the board.

I had a class this past season with a family from Texas. I had two grandkids in their late teen's, mom & dad, and grandpa. Grandpa wasn't sure at first but he was comfortable turning his board at the end of the lesson. I think he might have been doing better than the grandkids.
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