Are you over 30 years old and want to learn to ski? Or have you taken a longer break and now want to return as an adult? Then there’s good news: it’s easier today than ever before! We’ve put together some practical tips to help almost everyone get on their skis quickly and safely.
Skiing makes you happy – at practically any age
Skiing is possible at any age still or also again, if your physical fitness allows it or a doctor does not advise against it. Doctors even recommend winter sports for older generations, as it prevents osteoporosis, strengthens muscles and trains coordination and balance awareness. Skiing also makes you happy – and that applies to all age groups.
Learning to ski is no more difficult for adults than it is for children. However, while the little ones are not worried about the slopes, most adults are more concerned and afraid of both accidents and falls. Inattentiveness is the most frequent cause of accidents and injuries in winter sports. If you ride carefully and with a clear view, you can prevent this.
Caution is a good and safe companion when skiing, but nobody has to panic about the piste. From comfortable functional clothing to the right fitting and protective equipment, much has changed in the world of winter sports to make skiing more pleasant for beginners and returning skiers.
Functional clothing: upgrade for the wardrobe
So, the first tip is: new winter clothes are probably needed! If you learn to ski again, you’ll have to buy new functional clothing anyway. If you can still find old clothes from earlier times in the closet, they may need an upgrade – especially if the clothes no longer fit well or simply feel uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be that way nowadays.
A glance at the current functional clothing shows that the days of thick, uncomfortable layers are over. From ski underwear made of merino wool, which doesn’t sweat or freeze, to breathable jackets and trousers, a lot has happened here. Clothing for skiers is pleasant, breathable, adapts to the skier and keeps warm even in the freezing cold. This means that you can concentrate entirely on skiing and are not distracted by bulky jackets or feeling cold – or even prevented from skiing. So it’s true: there’s no such thing as bad weather – there’s only bad clothing.
Equipment: safer than ever before
A lot has also happened in the area of ski equipment. The equipment, for example, is made of lighter materials, so that you no longer have to go on the slopes with heavy, unwieldy skis and boots. In addition, boots and bindings offer a more precise fit and more flexibility in movement, so skiing means less resistance to your own equipment. Instead, the equipment now supports one’s own movements.
The trend towards wider, more tapered carvers also makes skiing easier for beginners and returnees. This is because the skis are shorter and almost automatically take turns, so that skiers need less strength. You also don’t have to perform such complex movements anymore, which makes it much easier to ski safely on the slopes – no matter whether you’re standing on skis for the first time or slowly finding your way back into the popular sport after a long break.
When it comes to safety, the helmet – even at an advanced age – should of course not be forgotten. Even if not all ski areas have a compulsory helmet, it is proven that it is safer to ride with a helmet.
Even if modern equipment makes skiing easier and more pleasant, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to be physically fit. Therefore, those who go skiing for the first time or after a long time will benefit from getting into shape beforehand. This does not mean that you have to train like a professional athlete, but it is advisable to prepare yourself for your skiing holiday with a few months of sporting activity.
This could be in the gym, but cycling, Nordic walking or swimming are also good ways to train the body for skiing. Yoga also helps to train many muscle groups and improve flexibility. Ski apps with special exercises can help you to prepare physically for your holiday. The most important thing in any case is regular exercise.
Ski course or alone on the slopes?
A ski course is not compulsory for beginners as well as for those returning to the sport, but it is really recommended. With an experienced instructor, you can master the first descent in no time at all. Even if you can ski, but have had a very long break, you can benefit from a group or individual course at a ski school. On the one hand, the skiing techniques have changed with the new skis. On the other hand, a professional teacher helps adult skiers to overcome their first fears and knows exactly how to support and challenge each skier individually.
If you can’t afford a ski instructor or don’t want to, you should at least practice with an experienced skier who has didactic experience. This is because going out on the piste alone is reckless and risky, even for those returning to the sport.
It is also important not to expect too much from yourself at the beginning. Firstly, disappointment and frustration are inevitable and secondly, the body needs time to get used to altitude, weather conditions and exertion, especially in the first few days. Therefore, one had better take it slowly and be happy about the steady progress. This results in much more fun and enjoyment than overtaxing yourself right from the start.
More comfort, more service, more fun
If you are afraid that ski areas and accommodations only expect young winter sports fans, you really don’t have to worry. The ski resorts have something to suit every taste and every guest. For example, there are family-friendly ski areas that even offer childcare for the little ones in addition to courses. This way, parents can also enjoy some time for themselves (and practice).
As far as off-piste entertainment is concerned, ski areas here offer a very diverse programme ranging from snow walks and tobogganing to a varied après-ski programme and even spa days.
As a beginner or returning skier, this should also be used. Particularly when your body is not used to skiing (anymore), you can relieve your muscles with a few days off and recover well for the next day on the slopes. In addition, it is a great change for all fellow skiers and provides for a lot of fun together, even off-piste.
Nobody has to worry about the comfort on the piste, either. Almost every ski area has comfortable ski lifts, often heated gondolas as well, so that even older skiers can comfortably get up the mountain.
Even if you have been prevented from skiing by a tight budget, there is good news: artificial snow makes skiing a pleasure even outside the peak season and also cheaper. Someone who has never been on skis before or hasn’t been for a long time doesn’t need a huge selection of different slopes right from the start. Here in particular, smaller, less well-known ski areas offer good beginner runs and lower prices than ski areas with many and varied slopes.
Thanks to better equipment, more safety and more comfort in ski areas, skiing as an adult is no longer a problem at all – for beginners as well as for those returning to skiing. If you don’t overestimate yourself right from the start and prefer to improve slowly, then the fun on the slopes is unstoppable.
The most important questions about skiing in adult age:
Is skiing dangerous?
No! Skiing in itself is no more dangerous than other sports. Anyone who is physically fit, attentive and considerate and follows certain rules will be safe on the slopes.
Can you still learn to ski at/over 30 years of age?
Of course! Adults can learn to ski theoretically just as fast as children if they are in good physical condition. However, adults often have more fears, which makes the first steps in the snow more difficult. Nevertheless: with today’s safer and more comfortable equipment as well as individual ski courses, it is no problem for adults to learn to ski.
What should returnees over 30 pay attention to?
It is advisable for beginners to take a refresher course before going out alone. Both equipment and technique have changed, meaning a course for the first few days will help you get back on your skis quickly and safely.
Do you have to be very sporty to ski as an adult?
Nobody has to be extremely sporty to be able to ski. However, a certain level of fitness is required for winter sports. It is best to start training a few months before your skiing holiday in order to get your body fit for the slopes. It is therefore advisable to exercise regularly and appropriately outside the skiing season.
Why take regular breaks in between?
The body first has to get used to the conditions in the mountains and to the new exertion – most accidents happen late in the afternoon when you get tired and unfocused. A ski-free day during your holiday not only brings fun and variety, but also some relaxation and regeneration for the body.
Are ski areas prepared for skiers over 30?
Yes! Modern ski areas have a varied offer for young and old. Even childcare is now offered in many ski resorts. Depending on personal preferences, everyone can find a suitable offer.