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Advice (how to get back into skiing)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
What would be the best advice to someone who used to be a good skier but has not skied in 5 years and wanting to get back in the swing of things. New styles, key thoughts for your legs....anything like that. Thanks in advance.

[ November 14, 2002, 10:47 AM: Message edited by: dchan ]
post #2 of 11
Hi Panther,

Welcome back to the world of the living. First consider the Academy at Solitude end of January ... and tell all of your friends.

Before getting out on the mountain wake up your ski body. Do ski oriented stretches and limbering exercises: whole body but mostly legs and abs. Not much has changed in the basics. The new equipment still require that one understands how to ski. Yes things are a little easier with the changes in equipment. Yes ones movements can be more subtle to effect changes in direction, etal. BUT one still have to know how to ski.

You say that you were a good skier, so your first time on the mountain I would suggest one of two directions, both ending in the same place:

(a) relax. Start on terrain that you recall was comfortable and just ski. Feel what's up. Like riding a bike - if you haven't for a decade and then get on one .... it'll come back, usually quicker than you may have anticipated. More importantly ....

(2) buy a private for a few hours. And, for the first run or two, just ski .... as above. The insturctor will help guide you through some of the wake up calls that he/she sees that your mind filter maynot pick up on.

This is skiing not rocket science. Enjoy.
post #3 of 11
Hi Ya Panther,

So, you want to get back into sliding, huh? This is a great time to do so my friend. With all the new equipment out there, it’s a gas! I’ve been teaching the sport for over a couple of decades now, and I don’t want to say that it was getting old. But I think the sport needed a shot in the arm. And the new equipment, IMHO, was just what we need. I remember my first day out on the new shape skis. I hadn’t had that much fun in a long time skiing. It sounds like you might have put the skis away right about the time the shaped shorties started to get popular. There were some short shaped skis out there then, but they are a lot better now. So get on a pair of your favorite brand shape skis, and TAKE A LESSON on them. It’s a new brave world out there. And after a few days on the new stuff, you’ll want to be part of it. Have fun!------------Wigs [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #4 of 11
Being that you have skied a lot in the past I would suggest this. Why not get out on snow ski a bit to get the feel of what you used to do with some newer gear. See what you notice about what you are using and then go take a lesson or a carving clinic with someone. I predict that you probably have lots of muscle memory left in there and skis have not changed completely. They still are curly at one end, are slippery on the bottoms, and have bindings. The shape has always been there but now they have figured out which shapes work best and we have figured out ways to move to take the most advantage of them. So welcome back we have missed you, OHH yeah, and bring a friend!! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #5 of 11
You are going to get the urge to walk right in the shop and spend the $ on gear. STOP!

You may be a "mark" for the salesman who is going to ask what you were on before ...... like 190 somethings. Things have gone shorter, way shorter, so don't grab that first great deal on a pair of 188's. Depending on weight and all probably closer to the 160's depending on where and how you ski. Big open bowls will merit a different animal from eastern twisties.

Develop a realistic projection regarding your involvement prior to purchase.

If you were of the weight/unweight school things have changed. The shapes have smoothed things out. Easier on the knees too! A private with a good instructor will be worth it's weight in gold.

Welcome Back ..... it gets better as you get older! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #6 of 11
Demo skis! That way you can try out many different skis over the next year.

Take one or more lessons. You will feel comfortable sooner.

Find a friend to ski with, preferably an Epic Bear, but any old skier with similar interests should do.

Ski locally, if possible, at first. You will need a few trips to really feel comfortable and acclimated.

Exercise - Stairmaster and the like are good all around exercises to get you back into both the aerobic and leg strength needed to be comfortable skiing. Running and weights will also help.



I was out for quite a few years in the late 1980's. I came back and used my old equipment and struggled. I then demoed a pair of Elan MBX 18's and bought that pair the same day. Things had changed that much and they made skiing that much more enjoyable. Your boot are probably ok for now but a good shop can confirm.

Have fun!!!

[ November 14, 2002, 07:40 PM: Message edited by: Maddog1959 ]
post #7 of 11
Here are some ideas:

1. Find a good ski shop that has good rentals, especially boots.

2. It's about shaped skis, so rent some good skis about 15-20 cm.shorter than your penciled shaped skis.And get a good fit on some rental boots, you amy ahve to buy an off the shelf insole to help with your arch support.

3. Go to a location where they have good instruction. Talk to the ski school about a lesson, whether private or group, because you need one after five years, and you need one to help orientate yourself to the shaped skis. A very good investment in your skiing enjoyment.

4.If you still like the sport, then a new pair of boots, perhaps even a soft boot such as the Nordica Smartech boot is order. Now spend the money for custom insoles and alignment if your boot has enough lattitude to accomplsih your alignment needs.

5.Now you can continue to rent, hopefully a variety of skis from the shop, and attend some demo days at one of the ski areas.Some times there are shops at the ski ara that have skis to demo, demo as many pair as are available for a few usueally $30-40.Hopefully, through demoing you will find the skis that are right for you.

6. Take it one step at a time, don't become overwhelmed, and you will be on your way to ....well just.....

[ November 14, 2002, 09:00 PM: Message edited by: wink ]
post #8 of 11
Welcome back! Yoyour siu won't be disappointed. The posts before me gave you great advice! I don't know if ski shops will allow you to count the money you've spent on trying their demo's towards the purchase price of new equipment. They do allow this where I live and it's a great way to find out what you like and what is best suited to your ability and desires. Why not try this; it will likely save you a bundle in renting equipment and will get you what you need for you.

Keep skiing faster! :
post #9 of 11
Here is what I did when I had been off the snow for 4 seasons due to different reasons.

I grabbed my old straight K2's and gear. Headed to Sunrise, loaded up the quad. Did some streches at the top. Then proceeded down the first run I came too. I have little use for trail maps so I wasn't sure what I was getting into. I then proceeded to scare the living snot out of me at a high rate of speed. Repeat process until you feel borderline comfortable. If you feel comfortable, you aren't going fast enough.

Now, to upgrade to shaped skis, I got shop advice on slalom skis. Bought the ones I thought looked purty and fit my needs, no need to demo, and then repeated the first process the following season at Sunrise again. Oddly enough, I had to head to AZ for snow since WI was dry last year.

Didn't take lessons, just fell, and learned. I also watched a bunch of world cup races last year.
post #10 of 11

Welcome back, good year for a comeback. I agreed with wink, don't spend money unless you are sure. Any reputable shop should count your rental toward your purchase. rent your boot, rent your skis, and poles, rent your helmet and whatever else.

if you can do a season rental, asked the shop if you can switch to diff ski during the season. also, some ski shop have two diff class of rentals, cheapo rental ski and performance package. get the performance package, they ar the higher end skis.
post #11 of 11
Hey Panther, I just came back last season after 5? 6? years off. Didn't take too long to feel comfortable really... the only advice I can give is if possible stick at first to a small local area, or at least, someplace very familiar to you. I started off going out a few times poking around with my daughter and that helped me loosen up and get back into the rhythm. I'm not too hung up (yet) on straight vs. shape (after all, the snow and the hill still have the same construction as when I left) but certainly the advice above about demos/renting makes a ton of sense. have a blast [img]smile.gif[/img]
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