Learning to ski at 56….. How stupid an idea is that?

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  • Learning to ski at 56….. How stupid an idea is that?
  • sharkbait

    A very good friend of mine skis twice a year with the family and I have the opportunity to join them for all future trips… And I’d really like to.

    The only fart in the spacesuit is that the only time I’ve skied is 47 years ago when I broke my leg on the second day of a school trip!

    Since then I did snowboard for 5 years but that was still 17 years ago.
    (And I’m not sure if boarding is still for me although I still wakeboard every year.

    Am I being daft to even consider learning now?

    I’d really like to join them on the slopes rather than doing something else and seeing them in the evenings.

    Premier Icon lesgrandepotato

    My dad seems to have enjoyed it this week as a beginner. He’s 65

    Premier Icon martymac

    Not daft at all, i did it at 48.
    Go to a place and get your certification first, but I’d say if you can ride a board you’ll find skiing slightly more straightforward.
    YOLO, don’t waste it.

    Premier Icon w00dster

    Just been on my first skiing holiday at age 47, wasn’t for me. But family loved it.
    I should have practiced at the local indoor slope, but too many other priorities.
    I’m sure most people will recommend it, but I’d say it would be great to go to the slopes with some level of recent experience rather than as a noob.

    Premier Icon DezB

    Book proper lessons, you’ll be fine.


    Its much easier to learn that it used to be. If you don’t mind going downhill quickly and aren’t too bothered about falling over then you’ll pick it up in no time.

    Hmmmm, probably like a 2001 Yamaha R1 crashing

    ”all the sticky outy pointy bits will snap off when you crash”

    Premier Icon leffeboy

    You might find snowboarding more fun but why not.  Get proper lessons and you might find individual lessons get you going faster.  When I started with my daughter a bunch of years ago now we went to a snowdome for lessons beforehand so as not to waste to much time on the slopes

    If you want to snowboard and they ski then top tip that I got from here was to use ‘Flow’ bindings so you could hop off the top of the lift and keep going while doing your bindings up :).  It’s probably easier to keep up with them if you ski though

    A mate did his first skiing holiday when he retired aged 60.

    I think he’s been every year for the last 10.

    What have you got to stop you? Will you go for the first time in 10 years, cold you be going for the 10th time in 10 years?


    From an environmental perspective, very.


    53 and still slalom skiing, we just traded in for a new boat. Roll on the (real) ski season.

    Premier Icon Caher

    That’s not too old. But it’s a real technical sport. It was a bit harder than I thought. I had good leg strength through footie/rugby/cycling/squats but it’s a whole different set of muscles. Once you learn to relax it gets much easier.
    Lived in Switzerland for 5 years and it was life during winter.


    Went sking 2 yrs ago at 54 after a 20 yr break.Found it quite tough on the knees to be honest.It was fine for a couple of days,took time out on the 3rd day.
    You’ll be fine if you take things easy,depends on how healthy your knees are.I started trail running 6 months,before the trip,to try and strengthen the side stress on the knees,it helped i think,if i go again,i’ll probably put some kind of support on them.

    56? Fifty-Six? FIFTY-SIX……!!!!!!????????

    Everybody knows that the human body (nor mind in some cases) is not designed to do anything more taxing than drinking tea or working out a restaurant bill split 6 ways passed the age of 23.

    I’m 46 and somedays need help to climb the stairs and find my own clothes. (Think it has something to do with not smoking Woodbines like Ginger and Bertie used to during the war.)

    Are ye a man or a mouse? 56 and asking PERMISSION to go on a wee ski trip?

    Jesus….. Have you not heard of the term “Growth Mind set?”

    **** do it man. Bloody hell 56? FIFTY SIX? I hope at SEVENTY SIX I’m still kicking the arse of some of the young’uns I know either on the crag, slope or trail-park.

    Jesus….. You’re not dead yet “grandad!”


    Get right on it, skiing and being in the mountains is fantastic.

    Obviously the stronger your legs are and the quicker you learn the better.

    Ski boots will feel like an exquisite torture after boarding boots, hire boots especially as they aren’t fitted for you. The quicker you decide you want to keep going and buy a fitted pair the better!

    Ski specific exercise will really help. You will be cautious and nervous and being tense is tiring in itself. Then there is the getting up constantly. I have been with adults who could not even stand up after an hour of being Bambi on snow.
    Sitting against a wall , whilst painfull is one of the best. Build up slowly but you have to be able to sit for a good few minutes , feel the burn
    Single leg dips are good, close your eyes and the wobble effect also builds strength around knee and ankle.
    Ski boots will feel like your foot is in a vice , if you have high arches get some off the shelf footbeds now and weaar them in some wellies
    I had customs but over time they failed , but the shp bought replacemenetts are almost as good
    Go late in the year if you can March is way nicer than Jan for learning
    TK Maxx or Tresspass Outlet for kit
    Snowdome for lesson now is a wise investment

    Premier Icon OwenP

    Skiing is a lot of fun and unless you have a specific pre-existing injury there’s no reason it should be physically worse than say snowboarding or wakeboarding.

    The only thing to be aware of is that taught skiing progression can be quite slow (in my experience – I snowboarded a lot before taking up skiing). You mentioned you wanted to spend time on the mountain with your friends, who are regular skiers, but you’ll be on learner slopes and limited by basic techniques for a while. Not that it wouldn’t be a valuable long-term process, but as above learning in the UK (which might take some considerable time and money) could be worth considering.

    If you want to keep up straight away on a friends holiday, I wonder if sticking with snowboarding might be a better bet. Burton have re-released step in bindings (sorry, step ON) bindings if that appeals…

    Premier Icon slowoldman

    It’s too old for some, perfectly OK for many. Only one way to find out which category you are in.

    Premier Icon jimmy

    Echo any comments around strengthening exercise in advance – as much as possible. Also yoga / Pilates for core and flexibility. You’ll appreciate it massively. Like MTB, skiing is (deceptively) physically tough – if you want to enjoy it, do yourself the favour of getting in shape – if you’re not already, of course!


    Do it, it’s great fun. If you’re knackered or hurting go and have a break and a van chaud, or a beer!

    If you want to snowboard and they ski then top tip that I got from here was to use ‘Flow’ bindings so you could hop off the top of the lift and keep going while doing your bindings up :).  It’s probably easier to keep up with them if you ski though

    **** that, you can do your normal bindings up whilst the skiers are standing around right in front of the lift exit getting in peoples way whilst pointing at stuff with their poles!!

    My dad was around that age when he started and he’s a pretty good skier and just about to turn 70 so get cracking.

    I would not recommend snowboarding though At that age. A lot more of a faff in and around generally skiing orientated resorts and a lot of sitting around and risk of wrist and knee injuries which unfortunately take more time to heal at the more advanced ages. Just stick to skiing – a lot easier to learn these days with modern kit. He’ll be joining around the resort in no time. It’s all about how quickly he can get up and running and maximising enjoyment.


    My wife’s Aunt is going skiing again this year in Courcheval and she’s 80.

    I know a guy who took up skiing aged 60 when he retired and got the bug. He started doing about four weeks a year and five years later is a very accomplished skier.


    As above, do your buggering about at the Snowdome before you go so you know which way the skis point and how to do up your boots etc. If you’re the independent (bloody minded) type, give the lessons a miss and ski with the group. If you need the crutch of direction, get a couple of days of 1:1 with an Instructor and you should then be ready to join your group.

    Skiing at 56 is fine assuming no physical/mental ailments etc. I’m not far off that age and I can’t see me packing in unless something significant happens to stop me.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    You might think it’s a great idea at first but it’ll go downhill fast.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    And a slightly less silly reply,

    I’ve only dabbled occasionally, but I had a lot more fun on snowblades than skis. Much easier to learn too.



    No, no, no, no, no!!

    Blades are the one thing that unite skiers and snowboarders in their mutual hatred!!

    Premier Icon Cougar

    There’s that benefit as well.

    What’s wrong with blades (other than snobbery)?

    Premier Icon cb

    Blades are fun…I don’t care!

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