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Skiing is a sport for life, but how has getting older affected your skiing?

post #1 of 75
Thread Starter 
I'm getting older and still skiing  better each season, due mostly to skiing every day,  but some things have fallen off a bit.

And when does the technical improvement cease, giving way to age cutting into strength and balance and reflex speed?  aaaaaaack!
 
(I once asked a top level masters bicycle racer that question; he just said: ride your bike; I was 35 years old at the time)

Aerobic fitness tanked at 55 yrs old ( a genetic heart weakness catching up with me I think)

I hike up steep trails about 30 percent slower than 5 years ago.

I stop mid-run a whole lot more, especially after mid-day.

I am more concerned not to sustain an injury. not necessarily slower or wimpier, but way more concious. Hell, it hurts just to get twisted up and out of position.

But, on the plus side of the age/experience equation:  I'm a more disciplined skier, better technique, usually better judgement, more experience reading the snow and having a feeling for the mountain.

really, not trying to brag or pump myself up, wanting to know what you (masters skiers) are experiencing.

I know, stoke deficient in one respect, but for those totally ripping, there's your stoke.
post #2 of 75
I've been slowed down a bit by injury and illness.  I'm not letting it stop me.  I use CADS to protect my knees and a 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle' cover for my stomach to protect it from sharp blows.  Other than that I'm not slowing down.  I got 70 days on skis last year.  I can still teach kids and adults.

As far as technique.  Sure I'm not going to bang away in bumps and powder all day.  But good technique helps me ski efficiently which equates to more runs and longer days.  So I practice technique and keep at it.

If I have to, I've got a ski bike.  I'll use it more.  That will keep me going for a long time.
post #3 of 75
 The wipeouts hurt more and have a longer recovery period.. However Im enjoying skiing as much as I did when I was a kid
post #4 of 75

The line through the bumps is a lot less aggressive.  Cliffs are fun to look at but not necessarily ski off any more.  The reaction time and healing time both a lot slower.  The turns are a lot rounder (think that comes standard with the ARRP card). 

Thank God the equipment is a lot more fore giving.  Can you even imagine trying to ski the stuff we ski today on the stuff we used to ski it on?  It was The Ridge at Bridger on a pair of black Head Comp GSs' and Lange Standards,  lot of luck with that any more.  It is fun to see people discover stuff we were doing 40 years ago (we did not discover a lot of that either).  Would happily trade some of the $$ to go some places for some of the freedom of youth to go.

A virtual  for all of us who got here for all of us that didn't.

post #5 of 75
How did that Warren Miller phrase go..........
post #6 of 75
No longer have any desire to Super-G big steep bumps.
No longer willing to put up with painfully too-small boots.
Bruises take longer to heal.
Reflexes a little slower.
Now believe in the right ski for the job.
That's about all I can think of.
post #7 of 75
I would almost turn the question around....  How has skiing affected my getting older?  Ha  ha....

In my 50's I not only fought a general decline in althetic performance, but started picking up joint pain problems.   I used to take pain killers before skiing.  However, I am now holding my own at 61.  

- First, skiing is now a very social event for me.  Not only skiing with friends mid-week, but introducing grandkids to skiing on the weekend.  So, I don't worry about jumping off cliffs.  I just go to have fun and drink beer in the lodge.  And try to ski a little after beer.

- I started using resveratrol supplements and got rid of most of the joint pain.  I found that taking aspirin actually increased my pain. 

- After getting some pow skis, I actually ski better now and can go anywhere.

- I ski with an 84 year old and the only thing I worry about is hoping he won't get me into trouble.  I have to watch him though, when he ends up face down in deep pow.

I think ladies have more of a problem, their bones weaken with age, so a fall on hard pack can shatter an arm. 

So.... ok, sixty-one and still going pretty strong.  I have to bail on my grandson towards the end of the day, but he understands. 
post #8 of 75
I finally started skiing again this year after being away for a few years with a bad knee. Finally in March 09 I had total right knee replacement surgery.

So now this year I'm back out there at 60 years old. 6 feet and 195lbs. I ski smooth but not as far between stops. I'm more likely to ski the blues and have fun looking cool with great technique and grace and opposed to blasting through the bumps. I stopped that years ago.

For me it's the Zen of it all.

Well, that and the pretty girls.
post #9 of 75
I'm gonna hit 53 in a few weeks.  I used to be a better skier, but I used to get a lot more days in.  And Warren is right about that knee thing.  I am nursing a bad one through the season.  Does not mean I ski groomers...does mean that I ski carefully.
post #10 of 75
Thread Starter 
F____, Stranger. that hadn't occurred to me. When I read it I was blindsided. F______!!!!!.  

The longer we ski, the more skiers we know who are now gone. That's perspective.
post #11 of 75
post #12 of 75
I now (at 53) have enough vacation time (measured in months), position (where I can call my own shots and schedule), and $ so I can go where and when I want, and get the equipment I fancy to go with it.

That means no more least coast drek, lots of UT, CO and BC (usually 45-50 / year), three quivers around N.A. so I don't have to schlep it through airports, and last week a new pair of ObSETHed's to go along with lots and lots of Dynastars.

I've been lucky to have retained all my health, and try to do more challenging terrain every year, along with cat or heli if convenient.
post #13 of 75
I was huffing and puffing a lot at first today.  And, I'm in better shape than I was in last year.  About halfway through the third 1,000 vert I got in a better groove, opened up my jacket cuz I wuz burning up  I don't go a big as I used to because I know I won't take a hard fall well.
Edited by crgildart - 2/6/10 at 8:59pm
post #14 of 75
The training I'm getting from my ski school has made me a far more technically efficient skier, but being out there a lot also helps with stamina.  I had a nasty cold the first week of January that's still making me cough some, but laid me low for about 10 days.  First day back made my muscles a bit tender almost like the first couple of days in November.

When I turned about 45 (that was 25 years ago), I hit a wall in stamina and figured I was on the decline from then on in ski skills.  Boy, was that thought off base.  I ski better, harder (I've gotten back into bump skiing that I'd quit doing 35 years ago) and longer than ever before.

My biggest issue is slower reactions and declining vision.  Flat light and slight cataracts don't mix very well.  But all I do is slow my pace and keep skiing.
post #15 of 75
Thread Starter 
Kneale, so one part I missed. What explains how off base you were? The training regimine? Right on. One can be more fit training hard at 60 than being a fat, lazy couch potato in your 40's. And I know some ornery old skiers to prove the point

snofun, though 53 is still freaking young, and the subsequent years take more out of us than the former, you certainly take the phrase: age gracefully to the top of the skier's scale. Now to fully live your opportunity, train, train, train, I mean a 6-pak abs, and quads that look like blocks of wood, a butt that you could set your drink on, heck yeah, get some. and if you ever need a guide out Tahoe way.......

Gil, airplane turns and jumps that kind of pause and hover in the air, with soft steep landings are still way cool.
post #16 of 75
I'm only 30, but I try to take it easy with my skiing.  I could push myself and go faster, but I don't because I know the falls hurt.  I try to avoid injuries, I had enough of them when I started snowboarding at age 25.  I stick to easier trails too.
post #17 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kara79 View Post

I'm only 30, but I try to take it easy with my skiing.  I could push myself and go faster, but I don't because I know the falls hurt.  I try to avoid injuries, I had enough of them when I started snowboarding at age 25.  I stick to easier trails too.


Well, every age is part of skiing for life, right? Your post was really sweet. thanks.
post #18 of 75
These posts got me thinking,
After 10 years of not skiing and then jumping right back into it (Thanks to my kids!!), it feels like I never had a layoff.  All I can think about is my next ski day.  I feel like a kid again.  
I've even started working out again to increase my strength and decrease my chances for injury. 
I am constantly reminding myself to take it easy, especially after I wrenched my back trying to run a mogul field.  What was I thinking?  I don't have anything to prove anything to anyone, but sometimes having to prove something to yourself isn't to smart.
My left knee has starting hurting again, my left elbow too, not bad, but enough to remind me. 
post #19 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

The training I'm getting from my ski school has made me a far more technically efficient skier, but being out there a lot also helps with stamina.  I had a nasty cold the first week of January that's still making me cough some, but laid me low for about 10 days.  First day back made my muscles a bit tender almost like the first couple of days in November.

When I turned about 45 (that was 25 years ago), I hit a wall in stamina and figured I was on the decline from then on in ski skills.  Boy, was that thought off base.  I ski better, harder (I've gotten back into bump skiing that I'd quit doing 35 years ago) and longer than ever before.

My biggest issue is slower reactions and declining vision.  Flat light and slight cataracts don't mix very well.  But all I do is slow my pace and keep skiing.

 

Kneale, the youngest in this group is 61 the oldest 75 and we still are skiing, mostly in Mi, except we go west once in a while. We were in better than knee deep powder that morning. I know what your last couple of sentences means.
Now, I gotta get going; little racers are coming to the local area (in Mi) early this morning and I told the area I would be there before 8am to open the patrol shack - Still do that also keeps me young. I'll be dammed if I ever go south for winter.


 
post #20 of 75
I am a much better skier now than I ever was, thanks ESA, I am skiing so much more efficiently. Where i have declined is "in the air", I am just not as comfortable in the air as I used to be. I see these huge jumps now, that if I was in my teens or twenties, I would be flying off and spinning 3's and 7's, I just can't get the air I used to. 
post #21 of 75
Thread Starter 
Phil,I bet if you hung in the park for several days doing straight airs off the tables all day long, stuff would come together.

I was doing that a few seasons ago, but the slightest rough landing and my shoulder semi separates. Bad landings, and they happen often enough, tweak things in unpredictable ways, so I have just hung that up.

Notice how people we seldom hear from, post to this kind of thread, as if they have been waiting to talk about something they can relate to. I love that.
post #22 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

snofun, though 53 is still freaking young, and the subsequent years take more out of us than the former, you certainly take the phrase: age gracefully to the top of the skier's scale. Now to fully live your opportunity, train, train, train, I mean a 6-pak abs, and quads that look like blocks of wood, a butt that you could set your drink on, heck yeah, get some. and if you ever need a guide out Tahoe way.......

I still think 53 is young (I'm easily deluded), but when I see some others my age, well, it's scary how some folks end up. The only thing that I notice (besides the gray) is that it takes longer to heal than before, but otherwise I try to keep to the "kick ass and take names" motto when I'm on the hill. I know I've surprised some "youngsters" flailing out of a chute or two with comments about "the old guy nailing it".

In any case, being in S. Florida, that fitness description is what we think about for our 2nd (or 3rd if we can afford it) wives, but point taken (and it's easier to do when Oct-April averages 70 degrees).

Likewise, if the cold starts getting to you let me know, and with the water temp in the Keys now around 75 degrees - I could show you some of my favorite reefs (and tiki bars).
post #23 of 75
I'm 60 now and have definitely slowed down, and am more careful.
I just don't heal as quickly as I used to, but I want to keep skiing forever.
post #24 of 75
I would have my 86 year old uncle (who planted the ski seed in me) respond but he has left Maine for a week in Apsen to give that 3 year old hip repacement some turns on the big hill. I am 53, and totally revolutionized my skiiing this past summer thanks to a week with Rick "Fastman" Schnellman. As I like to say, "I no longer ski like Stein no longer skis." But it is really my uncle that I want ot be when I grow up. David
post #25 of 75
Pros and Cons of being a skier and getting old:

General:  Warren Miller - 1 yr older - when I retired last year on the courthouse steps in Houston Jan 11.  I thought of Warrens famous saying and came home; took off for Targhee and JH (gathering), went to Mammoth, went to Big Sky (ESA) had a great year heeding Warrens sage words.

Pros:   Better skier, expend less energy, because I raced and basically only skied groomers for 30 yrs, now I am expanding my powder and off piste skiing.   The real plus to this is that a whole new part of skiing has opened up to me with the challenges that this skiing represent.  Learning a lot of new stuff.  Certainly has kept my interest very high.

           Time, now being retired I have a lot of time to ski as much as my body will allow.

           Money, season passes are cheaper if you're over 65 (I am 67) which means more skiing.

            There seems to be a lot more opportunity to meet, ski, hangout with people while skiing.   As in racing I have met some great people skiing.

             For some reason, the steeps don't look as steep as they used too.  I find myself skiing steeper slopes confortably. Don't really know why this is happening.

             By expanding my skiing into and including powder, the anticipation of freshies has rejuvenated my enthusiasm-a good thing at my age.  Don't think I will ever Burn Out on skiing.


Cons:    Not as strong, don't have the stamina I did when younger.  Have to stop half way down on a lot of runs/powder hills/tree runs etc., don't like this but try to tell myself to smell the roses and see the splendor before me/snow mountains, clouds, sparkle off the snow etc.

             Rarely ski till 4:30 like I used to  do when younger.   Then again I didn't ski off piste and where I do now.   Usually quit between 2-3 and head for a Moosedrool.  Don't really worry about this because 90% of the time I ski one of the two mountains I have a season pass.  Almost all the time when I quit for the day my legs are feeling it.  Could backpedal it to easy blue groomers but since I ski a lot the free popcorn, Moosedrool and comraderie in the bar beckon.

             Haven't (knock on wood)  noticed more injuries and actually have less since I don't race anymore.  Race training was where I received most of my injuries skiing.

SUMMARY.   Still enjoy skiing very much, the challenge is still there.  Probably the most obvious changes to me are that I appreciate my time on the snow a lot more than I used to.   I stop sometimes and just look at the vista and tell myself how lucky I am to still be skiing.  Comparing myself to past acquaintances and people I worked with that are now really old and couch potatoes brings me to the realization that skiing was and is important in keeping me active and yes even younger than a lot of my peers in the aging game. Personally I would have to admit that flying by a youngin/i.e. 30-40 ish skier is really fun.  Although I fish and play golf all summer I really have to admit that enjoying my summer vicarious ski experience through EpicSki is cool but still can't wait for November and the real stuff.

The real valuable asset of skiing has been the friends made.
             

           

           

            T
           
post #26 of 75
I don't seek out huge moguls, icy couliors or living conditions with five roomates anymore. That's about it.
post #27 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
I am just not as comfortable in the air as I used to be. I see these huge jumps now, that if I was in my teens or twenties, I would be flying off and spinning 3's and 7's, I just can't get the air I used to. 

+1  I know I can work back up there for the most part, but not like when I trained for skiing year round on tramp, diving boards, wakes, etc..
Those air awareness instincts are buried much deeper or non existent thee days. 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Phil,I bet if you hung in the park for several days doing straight airs off the tables all day long, stuff would come together.
 
I spent some time in the park two years ago and worked back up to nailing every jump they had (easy tricks though).  Now I look at them and just think "why bother"?  What do I have to prove to myself or anyone else?"   Been there done that  I have plenty of fun keeping it a little closer to earth these days ripping it along the edge of the trees or in the bumps for my adrenaline rush.  Now I seek out the easier jumps I can still hit going pretty fast.
post #28 of 75
It's only made me better in every way!   Started at 10yrs, now 49yrs.  Injuries take much longer to heal, that's about it.
post #29 of 75
I think the more i ski and improve, the more i wish i had started skiing at a younger age.
post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSkyParadise View Post

I think the more i ski and improve, the more i wish i had started skiing at a younger age.
I don't know how old you are, but don't think this way.  Be grateful for every day you get on snow. So many of my contemporaries from my youth and young adulthood have given it up for one reason or another.  Unlike you who are out there whether you are killing it, or flopping around like a fish (like myself), or cruising green circle trails at 6 mph - every day is a beautiful gift.
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