Why We Publish Skis And Boots For Seniors Recommendations.

We don’t know the numbers in other countries, but in the U.S. one-fifth of all skiers and boarders are 52 or older.

Based on reader surveys, we, as individuals, have more time, ski more often, and make more frequent equipment purchases than the kids.

Four years ago, when we started SeniorsSkiing.com, we set about to create a community of similarly aged people with a shared passion for playing in the snow. Then, as now, our goal was to provide you with information about the sport through the lens of the older participant.

Part of realizing that goal includes publishing the annual SeniorsSkiing.com Best Skis and Best Boots guides for older skiers. We like to think of these guides as—excuse the phrase—tools of empowerment: information you can use to assess the advice from sales personnel when shopping for your next pair.

Top equipment reviewers at realskiers.com and at America’s Best Bootfitters make the recommendations based on criteria relevant to older skiers.

In our experience, professional boot fitters are great at identifying the best product for your feet and your ability. But finding store personnel who can recommend the best skis for older skiers is a rarity.

During the recent SIA/OR show in Denver, we visited a ski company with more than one product on this season’s Best Skis for Senior Skiers list. Everything about the company’s products and personnel is oriented to youth. Yet, testers at realskiers.com determined some of its products would be good for the older set. The marketing people we met with were unaware their product had made the list and had difficulty envisioning their product being used by older skiers.

It made us realize that we seniors need to guide the conversation about what is best for us. It’s not coming from manufacturers, and, with the exception of professional boot fitters, it’s not coming from retail personnel. But armed with the knowledge that we at SeniorsSkiing.com are providing about the best skis and the best boots for seniors, it can come from you.

Jon Weisberg, Mike Maginn

Co-Publishers

4 Comments

  1. Peter McCarville says:

    Jon and Mike

    Thanks for this excellent observation and suggestion. Although right on the cusp of being a senior (55), I work with Seniors almost exclusively in this industry. I find that I spend an enormous amount of time working with guests on the equipment (use and choice). Sorry to say, I find lots of ignorance on the subject of skis. I also find a reluctance to learn and to change (well, welcome to life, I guess!). Not sure why but the marketing to “youth” , as you describe, is probably to blame to some extent. If there is no target marketing and education by the industry to seniors then they will be left out of the learning curve.

    I have taken groups of senior skiers to shops for a “lesson” about the new gear and get lots of backlash. They think it is the sales pitch rather than an opportunity. I guess they have been to one too many condo sales breakfasts.

    The other variables might be that skis and skiing have change quite drastically in the last 10-20 years. The gear IS very different and one needs to have a rudimentary understanding of the gear in order to make a purchase and to adapt to the new gear. AND, the new gear makes skiing more fun and more accessible to the older crowd. Thank goodness I am not skiing 210 cm straight skis that one use to have to throw around. I probably would have quit by now. “Tip and go” with the new skis is less effort but requires more smarts and technique that is lacking in the senior skier. For example, I find my biggest issue with seniors is to help them get away from 45-65 year old habits of sliding and throwing the skis around via hip action.

    I am glad that you mentioned that little help is coming from the shops around gear. I have had too many seniors get put on a ski (by a shop) that is just too much for them. The various layers of metal and other construction methods have made some of the skis just way more than an average 70 year old, low to middle intermediate, can handle. Another issue is the larger turn radii and wider skis. This makes skiing harder for a senior (actually everyone) out west here where we mostly see skis well over 90 cm waist width at the rental shops.

    Maybe you can share some more with future articles about the situation in the industry and maybe interview someone about the “forgotten” (?) 20% that makes the skis (?).

    Thanks again

    Peter McCarville
    Colorado

    • Jon Weisberg says:

      Peter, Your observations/comments help dimensionalize the issue. Not enough information is coming from credible resources to guide older skiers in equipment selection. Your comment about the skepticism that comes from “…one too many condo sales breakfasts,” also rings true. We’d like to learn more about the lessons you’ve conducted with groups of seniors. Sounds like a good initiative. Making good purchasing decisions requires some knowledge about what is best for the purchaser. If manufacturers aren’t training salespeople about what equipment is best for older skiers, the skier must have enough information to direct the transaction so he/she gets the best result. Jon

  2. I am a 71 year old skier who has began skiing since I was a child, skied Killington all my life, and has recently moved to Colorado. My skiing was definitely old style and very tiring. I now have a new pair of short, wider skis and am in a marvelous 10 week Women’s Ski Program at Eldora Mountain Resort. My instructor is in her early 60s and her goal for me has been to teach me to ski in a way that is much more effortless and less tiring, and as she says, will enable me to ski well into my 80s! The transformation in my skiing has been amazing. Skiing is much more fun, I get to the bottom of the trails and my thighs are not burning, and she is even teaching us kinder, gentler ways to ski moguls! I haven’t been able to ski moguls for years due to 3 surgeries and a recent tibial plateau fracture on one knee, and a shattered hip and thigh repaired with plates, pins and screws! Now I’m having fun again in the moguls. So I encourage you all to evaluate your equipment needs, and find an instructor who can help you update your skiing technique to fit your new equipment, and enable you to ski more efficiently and have more fun!

  3. One comment about the Daleboot recommendation for older skiers: I skied in Daleboots for many years, knew Mel quite well and worked for his company when I was in High school. Unfortunately, I think the’ve gone out of business. Certainly, the store that used to be on 400 S in Salt Lake is gone. I emailed to ask if they’re kaput or just moved and haven’t received a reply

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