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Are moguls too much for older skiers?

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
If I am skiing 1 to 2 weeks a year is it reasonable at 53 to be taking up mogul skiing? I ski blue runs, but don't ski blacks comfortably. I don't like to go as fast as I did when younger. I would like to be able to keep up (somewhat) with my teenager who likes to do the bumps, trees, and bowls at Vail for example. Are certain types of skis advisable for moguls or going through trees? Does age make a difference? I mountain bike during the year but don't have unlimited strength or stamina and wonder if getting older changes where or how you ski. We will visit Park City in March 08.
post #2 of 46
53 is NOT old enough to use your age as an excuse. Go for it!
BTW, Moguls are meant to be skied slow.
Softer skis work better in moguls. Shorter skis tend to be easier too.
post #3 of 46

depends on the moguls, and a whole lot more

first part: depends on the moguls. moguls vary. broad packed powder moguls are with smooth contours are very . tight, sharp, cut-off moguls suck pretty bad.: you can ask a good skiers or instructors "how are the moguls on the face?", and they will know what you are asking.

second part: technique.. always take a lesson if you are weak in an area of skiing. you will get hours and hours of increased pleasure after learning proper technique in a lesson. The way intermediate and advanced skiers ski moguls well, harmoniously one might say, is to remain in the troughs between moguls, slide your tails at all points of the turns, use a forward skiing side slip to set yourself up perfectly, pivot above the bump, slide your tails around it. Very important. Carving is a definite not in a mogul field, they will teach you at Park City, probably really good instructors.

So the ski you want is a ski that you can "release" the tails, so you can do the tail sliding necessary to control speed and side slip where necessary to match terrain. This is a ski that does not have major side cut, it may have less side cut in the tail, and is generally of high quality, but not overly stiff. Length about to your nose to give the knees a break. Want to run a model by me or trek chick or whoever, we always chime in on gear stuff.

Lastly, people keep tearing it up well beyond 50, but they prepare better. Bicycle, core work outs, stretching or yoga, warm ups before you get on the chair. Trust me, ya' gotta do it. Then you can keep rippin, anywhere you enjoy skiing, any time.
post #4 of 46
Just know your limits. Pick your spots and be willing to bail if it gets too tough. Newly forming moguls .... soft snow are probably no big deal but when they get to be like a field of VW beetles or you can't see out of the valleys .... get to the side and just slip.

Go for it .... within reason! You have problems on blacks ... you have to expand your skills gradually .... just going for it is not the answer.

End of story ... my kid left me in the dust a long time ago .... hell I taught him to "break wedeln" in moguls ... in places that I wouldn't dare go near now.
post #5 of 46
Good advice so far I'd say, although I disagree with the assertion that bumps aren't made to be skied fast. Just as there are many variations in types of bumps, there are many ways of skiing them.

Here are a couple of vids:



I'm not sure of the age of the skier in the first vid but I get the idea he might be in your ballpark. The second skier was 47 when the vid was taken, and he is skiing quite slowly compared to some others that use the same technique.

Obviously two very different approaches to the bumps by two very skilled skiers, but they show that it can be done.... with good technique and plenty of practice.

Bottom line: if you have the desire to ski the bumps, get out there and do it! But with the help of a good coach you'll most likely reach your goals much quicker

As far as skis, there are many available that would fit the bill. If you have the opportunity to demo a Dynastar Troublemaker, give it a shot and tell us what you think.
post #6 of 46
If you can find some intermediate-pitch trails with moguls, they should be fairly easy to transition into. In fact, I love coming across bumps on an easy trail, as they really help me perfect my technique, and from there it's not very hard to ski bumps on steeper trails. In fact, many good mogul drills involve practicing short turns and such on easier trails (even flat ones). Ease into it, take lessons if you can, and you might just surprise yourself. Skiing moguls well takes physical skills to be sure, but I honestly believe 90% of it depends on understanding and technique. If you can achieve that, the physical part will follow. You still have a few good years!
post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinaskiier View Post
If I am skiing 1 to 2 weeks a year is it reasonable at 53 to be taking up mogul skiing? I ski blue runs, but don't ski blacks comfortably....
Only if you spend those 1-2 weeks of skiing in lessons/camps.
post #8 of 46
I'm too old for them at 53. I started to avoid them at 23.
post #9 of 46
If you only ski 1-2 weeks a year, and are comfortable on blues only, then your risk of injury in moguls can be high, especially if you don't do them slowly. I would not say it is too late, but I would be very careful and try to take lessons.
post #10 of 46
You do not have to ski the zipper line the biggest and steapest bumps to enjoy the bumps. Start with some shorter than average skis with a shape described by davluri and get John Clendenin's book to learn how to soft edge your way through the bumps at a controled pace - better yet take the lessons.
post #11 of 46
The industry is providing very nicely for it's elderly by grooming a lot of fun steep slopes that used to be left to bump-up. A lot the under 30 crowd that in prior decades might have been bumpers are now park rats. Honestly, bumps are not an ideal place for most 50 yr olds to spend day after day. I'd say at this point you'd derive more long term pleasure by a focus on gaining skills to master steep groomed runs, ungroomed conditions, and powder.
post #12 of 46
I like bumps they just don't like me. Soft bumps @ speed.........:
post #13 of 46
Some of the best bumpers at my home hill are all older than me(52). These same guys don't ski the moguls fast, but they are rock solid and always in control no matter how icy and difficult conditions are. Mogul skiing is a different movement pattern compared to groom snow skiing.

To get better , as a 2 week a year skier, I agree that if you get some good coaching that will get you on the right track and you will improve much more quickly. Its not a function that your age is a deterrent to skiing bumps better, you just need to benefit by gaining a better insight as to how to make a better mogul turn and then practice .

Bumps will add another dimension to your skiing resulting in even more enjoyment. Ski them earlier in the day with your son, provided they aren't frozen up, then go cruise in the afternoon. Don't ski them when you're close to being exhausted from the day's skiing.
post #14 of 46
Funny enough, I actually find that bumps make many steep runs easier to ski.
post #15 of 46
I think there are a couple great quotes to help answer your question:

"Bumps are like heart-beats, you only got so many of them. When they're gone, they're gone."

"If you don't do it this year, you'll be one year older when you do."

both by Mr. Miller. just saw the new flick last night and not bad but definitely not like the older ones. but to help you out a little more, just start skiing them. start off on a lower angle slope with smaller and more spaced out moguls. just keep skiing them...over and over. watch people, when you see a good mogul skier rippin' it up watch his technique. its fairly simple when it comes down to and once you get it linking you'll progress much faster. any more questions just ask. oh and for skis, there are "mogul" skis. they really havent changed much over the years. whatever skis you are on now are probably fine for now and learning. if you start to get in to it then consider a pair of mogul skis. where do u ski mostly?
post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
Funny enough, I actually find that bumps make many steep runs easier to ski.
I would agree. Mentally they seem to break up the trail and seem to make it appear more manageable.
post #17 of 46
As a 54 year old who has been downhill skiing for five years, I've made moguls and powder my special project for this year (as well as making it up to double blacks by the end of year). Three quick comments:

1. Are you really ready to start letting your age be an excuse to stop challenging yourself and growing as a skier?
2. Taking lessons will really help, but you will also need to practice--maybe you should try to work on skiing more days if you really want to improve your game. I do around 50 to 60 days a year, and am hoping to double that when I retire next year.
3. Speaking of retirement, what are your plans, particularly as it involves physical activity? My doctor says she wishes it was winter 12 months a year due to the impact skiing has on my blood pressure and weight. If you want to make skiing your winter aerobic activity (and I can think of none better), then it will help if you can ski most of the mountain, not just the greens and easy blues.

On the other hand, after coming across some unexpected mogul fields half way down a few runs today, I did require a couple of ibuprofen and a long soak in the hot springs. So knowing your physical limits is also important (although this is just day 8 for the year, so I'm not even up to mid-season form yet).
post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinaskiier View Post
We will visit Park City in March 08.
There's a lot of great high speed cruising at PCMR that is great fun for intermediates on up. Most of the bump runs run parrallel to groomers and meet at the lift.

Whether one is too old or not is largely a function of attitude and physical shape- there is no age limit on skiing like a teenager, but I know few people our age who zipperline bumps. Hucking cornices, sure. Tree skiing, you bet. Powder, absolutely. There's a whole school of bump sking that's fluid and relatively slow, making consistant round turns down the fallline. Most "grown ups" I know do it this way.
Generally, a softer, short turning ski works better in trees and bumps, but gives up stability at high speeds and edge grip on hard snow. We've had endless discussions on this in Gear threads and the ski that does it all is the holy grail. I found the Dynastar 8000 to be a good cheater-bump ski, and pretty good at everything else, but with a speed limit. Pretty darn good powder ski too, up to a foot or so. That's just an example. There are newer skis now, you need to find one that fits your ability and height/weight.

You'll have fun with your son no matter what you do. You can blast around groomers all morning, have lunch and let him go yo yo Thanes bumps at PCMR for an hour or two while you have a beer at Summit House and enjoy the view.
post #19 of 46
The second guy was 47? Cool...
post #20 of 46
Being 58 and only started skiing when I was 43 I can tell you that 53 is not to old to start skiing moguls. Both my wife and I really started working on moguls 2 years ago. First suggestion is get some lessons (you will find that even though it might not come easy you will still have a great time). We ski almost exclusively in Summit county, one big advantage to being able to ski mogul runs is the crowd thins right out on these runs. Our first efforts to ski moguls came as a result of skiing with OTHG at Keystone and Breckenridge we were in a group where we where the youngest (55) and the oldest being a 74 year old grandmother (5 foot nothing and maybe 90 lb). She wasn't fast but just flowed through the moguls. We started out with lessons and then finding short blue areas that had moguls built up and finding runs that half the runs were moguls and half groomed. This allowed us to work on skiing the moguls and still have a way out. We still are beginners when it comes to moguls but now we make sure we hit several mogul runs every time we ski.
post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
The second guy was 47? Cool...
Yup He's really inspired me to get serious about bumps ie: seek coaching. I skied a few runs with him last year and for one short line I tried to imitate his style. It felt pathetic and I'm sure it looked that way too but he was very encouraging. I figure if I get some coaching and practice, practice, practice (which I would do anyway) for three years maybe I can ski (at least nearly) that well when I'm 47:
post #22 of 46
Yes and No

Learning proper mogul technique can be really hard on the knees and joints and you are going to be doing a lot of twisting, pivoting, and edging and this places a lot of torque on joints. Also, they don't call them bumps for nothing. They can make your knees very sore.

Keep in mind those who say they are in their 50's and 60's and ski moguls all day already have excellant technique and the efficency they have in ther movements decreases the stress on the joints. Just starting out is going to be much less efficient, with much more stress, and you are going to be doing a lot of falling due to doing things like grabbing edges, as you pick up technique.

Learning to ski moguls is like learning to snowboard - it will beat the hell out of you, but once you figure it out you are good to go.

Depending on how good your knee joints are at your age, I would consider this. Skiing moguls,especially with inefficent technique, can put lots and lots of stress on your knees.
post #23 of 46
Thread Starter 
bumpfreaq how do you put those vids on your message?
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post
Yes and No

Learning proper mogul technique can be really hard on the knees and joints and you are going to be doing a lot of twisting, pivoting, and edging and this places a lot of torque on joints. Also, they don't call them bumps for nothing. They can make your knees very sore.

Keep in mind those who say they are in their 50's and 60's and ski moguls all day already have excellant technique and the efficency they have in ther movements decreases the stress on the joints. Just starting out is going to be much less efficient, with much more stress, and you are going to be doing a lot of falling due to doing things like grabbing edges, as you pick up technique.
This is only partially true, you are correct in stating that those in their 50's who ski bumps all day are very efficient skiers. You are wrong about the need to get all beat up to learn bumps. I teach mogul clinics that are near zero physical impact on the knees. I am the mogul skier in the first vid and I am 52. I was completely exhausted and out of shape when I shot that vid.
post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinaskiier View Post
bumpfreaq how do you put those vids on your message?
Here's the thread with the info. Check post 14 for imbedding video
post #26 of 46
I see that you've doubled your days/year skiing since your post over in ski gear discussion. Makes a difference in terms of your question, IMO. If you ski a week a year, don't bother to stress over bumps. Take some lessons and your technique will get to where you can handle them when you must. If you ski two weeks a year, probably worth specifically learning different approaches. BUT:

The guys here who are advocating zippering bumps don't have middle aged skeletons. (But they will sooner than they realize ). I'm older than you, do bumps all the time because unless you time a big dump, interesting in-bounds terrain always, always has bumps somewhere. So if want the cool skiing, bumps are a necessary evil. And at times they can save your bacon (think glare ice groomed or refrozen in the trees) There are plenty of ways of skiing them smoothly, but first you'll need to get your groomed under control. Eg, lessons...
post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre View Post
This is only partially true, you are correct in stating that those in their 50's who ski bumps all day are very efficient skiers. You are wrong about the need to get all beat up to learn bumps. I teach mogul clinics that are near zero physical impact on the knees. I am the mogul skier in the first vid and I am 52. I was completely exhausted and out of shape when I shot that vid.
Hello,

True, you don't have to get all beat up and I am sure some take to the training better than others. For the majority though, there is going to be a rather signifigant learning curve and one will likely have to take some knocks before really picking it up-regardless of the instructiopnal method used. For most, there is going to be falling and some wrenching along the way before things fall into place. Catching edges and falling on moguls is not like falling on groomers. Things have a tendency to get wrenched around pretty easy. For someone with poor knees, stiff or sore limbs and/or joints I would not reccomend it as a first priority in skiing. Flexibility is a must.

For someone 55+ who hasnt been skiing long and only skis two weeks a year, I would probably suggest taking all-around lessons and develop and focus on moguls as one wants to acquired a deeper breadth of skills to tackle the whole mountain. I am not to dissuade anyone from advancing or following an interest, just trying to be realistic about it. Skiing moguls can be very tough for some older folks, not all, but a good number.
post #28 of 46
Thread Starter 
thanks. just wanted to illustrate what I hope to avoid. can't wait to get back out there.
post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post
Hello,

True, you don't have to get all beat up and I am sure some take to the training better than others. For the majority though, there is going to be a rather signifigant learning curve and one will likely have to take some knocks before really picking it up-regardless of the instructiopnal method used. For most, there is going to be falling and some wrenching along the way before things fall into place. Catching edges and falling on moguls is not like falling on groomers. Things have a tendency to get wrenched around pretty easy. For someone with poor knees, stiff or sore limbs and/or joints I would not reccomend it as a first priority in skiing. Flexibility is a must.
It is completely unnecessary to get beat up to learn to ski moguls too a semi proficient level. That being said, many people are block heads and do not follow suggestions well. They venture in and assume you must eat a few before you can ski them well. Those who assume are destined for a date with the ibuprofen.

Flexibility is usually adequate for most people who are skiing in their 50's. I have a mogul instructor on staff who is 88 years old this year and flexibility is not in his bag of tricks. I is possible to ski moguls with near certainty of low impact day in and day out.
post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre View Post
This is only partially true, you are correct in stating that those in their 50's who ski bumps all day are very efficient skiers. You are wrong about the need to get all beat up to learn bumps. I teach mogul clinics that are near zero physical impact on the knees. I am the mogul skier in the first vid and I am 52. I was completely exhausted and out of shape when I shot that vid.
Pierre is living proof that you can ski bumps in your 50's or older and do it low impact. This guy is absolutely liquid in the bumps. I'd love to ski more with him and learn.

Don't expect to learn to do this in one or two lessons, if you really want to do it, plan on putting in lots of time...but it can be done. Find a good pro and set up a plan.

I'm only 36, but I prefer to ski "lower impact" bumps because my knees and back are dwindling from past injuries over my lifetime. Since learning this lower impact style, my over all bump skiing has improved. Now every once in a while, when the conditions are right, I still love to hammer them.
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