Courtesy: Daily Mail

Grandparents who ski or board play a major role introducing their grandchildren to the sport. This is one of several significant findings from the April reader survey.

It was the fifth reader survey, and it produced the largest reader response to date.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents identified as grandparents. The introduced more than 68% of their grandchildren to the sport. Importantly, 94.5% of the kids continue to participate. Each responding grandparent or grandparent set has an average of 3.7 grandkids.

These “gateway grandparents” may instruct the kids, pay for lessons, or encourage their adult children to do the same. Even if the grandparents don’t live nearby, readers report that they purchase equipment and clothes as gifts, and often host family ski vacations.

The average survey respondent is 68 and skied or boarded an average of 15 days last season. More than one-third skied 23 days or more.

“As this survey shows, grandparents play a major role introducing younger people to skiing and boarding,” observes Mary Jo Tarallo, Executive Director of Learn To Ski and Snowboard, the national initiative dedicated to spreading the joy of skiing, snowboarding and winter sports.”At a time, when the ski industry is seeking ways to attract more participants, the survey results shed light on grandparents as a reliable but overlooked source of new skiers and boarders.”


  1. Lee Kniess says:

    Is it possible for this information to be shown to the owners of the various ski areas that giving seniors a “decent” discount or even free skiing makes the area money they wouldn’t have otherwise?

    Seniors, for the most part, don’t ski on weekends so we are a vital way for these areas to get more people on the mountain.

  2. Dan Luneau says:

    As a grandparent with five grandchildren ranging from 4 to 11 I have them all on skis. What a blast, extremely enjoyable.
    Ski areas, and a few do, take note of this and offer incentives to keep us seniors engaged. Your numbers in the above article did not surprise me a bit. What us seniors need to do is leverage our value to the ski industry. Also, our presence in the lift corals sets an example to the younger set, especially generation X, that skiing into your 60’s, 70’s and 80’s is very doable and rewarding. I am 68 and got on the hill 63 times this past season. My only regret is that I did not get there more often.
    We are a major resource for the ski industry and the ones that don’t focus on that fact are not living in reality.

  3. It is possible the ski area decisionmakers consider the senior skier as a continuous “cash cows” and want to continue to beat us up. It seems as though my age group has always been paying full price for ski passes (both season pass and daily lift tickets) for my entire life; full price during college, during my pre marriage years and also while being at the young parent age. As I now see the ski areas offering college kids and 30+ young adults serious breaks on lift ticket rates, all the while, me, the seasoned employed have always been charged the max rate. Reminds me of the old cliche, “The whippings will continue until moral improves.”

  4. I look forward skiing with my grandkids in the coming years ,this coming season I’ve purchased a season pass (anytime
    Including holidays ) for $98 dollars and interesting enough my grandkids season pass is also $98

  5. Teaching my 6 year old grandson to ski is not the same as going skiing. Its a much more serious effect on an older persons body. Consider lifting 40 pounds up on to and off a chair lift seat about 20 times a day and lifting this weight up off the snow a dozen times. The same as a bag of cement from H.D. Your back and other muscles are quite sore and you feel it the next day.

    Yes he did start out with lessons. These were always with pretty young girls. They happily even carried him to the lift.

  6. Bruce Lund says:

    I have 6 grandchildren living in various locations in the USA, only two in close proximity to me in the Midwest. They are all older now -20’s and even early 30;s but when they were 8 – 12 I offered to pay for ski lessons ( all private), skiis, and ski equipment and to take them on ski trips. They all learned how to ski and enjoy the sport to this day.. I did the same for golf. Money well spent!!!

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