Is 65 too old to try skiing?
Started by Badbark in Beginning Skiing - 91 Replies
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I'm going on my first skiing holiday this Saturday with my girlfriend and parents to Soll in Austria. My parents are both 65, slightly overweight and not sure if they want to try skiing or not. My mum also had key-hole surgery on her knee in October which makes her more apprehensive. I'm booked into a beginners ski school for 5 days and my parents are thinking about coming along for the first day and see how it works out. Is this advisable or is 65 to old to start skiing? Are they likely to injure themselves falling?

Any advice would be welcome.
I am nearly at that exalted age and really enjoy the sport and I know, and have met, lots of other old f**ts like me that ski.. I don't feel that they have any greater chance of injuring themselves than any other beginner...their muscles might not like it though! your mother must take advice from he doctor though...hope you (and they) enjoy it
Not too old! My husband was 58 when we took our first trip a few years ago. Whilst on holiday, we have bumped into - not literally - loads of older beginners, plus many senior locals skiing around the resorts. I don't think age should be a factor when deciding to learn this wonderful sport. Just accept that older folk take longer to learn new skills, so be patient and make sure you get an instructor who is willing to take things slowly. Might I suggest a private lesson initially for them to get a feel for it, rather than a group lesson?
Do be aware that if they are not very fit, they will tire easily and their muslces will protest. As some wise person on here once said "get fit to ski, don't ski to get fit".
And they will inevitably fall down a lot, which shouldn't be a problem, hopefully.
Above all, it should be fun for all. I hope they catch the skiing bug.
NO....not to old, I only started 2 seasons ago and feel reasonably competent at the ripe old age of 59. The good thing about being a little older is that you know your limits and don't do things with quite the mad approach we all had at 21. Just remind them that skis don't have brakes (the reason my wife doesn't like skiing)and just take things at their own pace.
I would consider the risk/reward question in this way. When you take up skiing at any age, there is risk of injury. What balances the risk, is a lifetime sport that you will continue to get better at, year after year. If at sixty five, you are confident that you will (if you like it) continue to ski for several years, then the risk (imho) would be worthwhile. If it's a one off thing, then I think there are other things to do in the mountains, that would be just as satisfying as a first weeks skiing, with much less risk.

I often share the lift with people in their seventies and eighties, who ski every day of the week in season, and stay fit in the summer, in order to be fit for winter. I think that's a different situation.

I took my mother cross-country skiing for the first time, when she was nearly seventy. It was a soft snow day, with nice flat groomed tracks. she loved it.

I suppose it depends how fit and well they are. If they regularly play badminton/tennis/squash/go sailing/do lots of active gardening or whatever then I think it would be okay, but if they usually sit about using the computer/watching telly/reading etc. then I don't think it would be a very good idea.

As you get older your joints generally stiffen up so you're less flexible, your bones break more easily, your brain works slower, you need more tea-breaks etc.

I think it's different if you've skied for years - then I think you can carry on ski-ing into old age - the same as you can carry on walking (hopefully!).

I think your mother is very brave, to try cross country ski-ing for the first time at the age of nearly 70 And I suppose it's not as dangerous as the usual sort of ski-ing, because it's more like walking on skis.

Ian Wickham
They are plenty of other activities cross country, snow shoeing
Skiing down gentle green or blue beginner slopes is not particularly physically demanding - but I would say your parents need to be reasonably fit - probably the hardest physical part of beginner skiing is getting back on your feet after a fall and they need enough strength to be able to achieve that.

I had my first ski trip 3 years ago at 59 and am now obsessed - but I was still playing football every week.

Cross country skiing sounds a better option, but probably only if they do a fair amount of walking.


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