Haven't been skiing or boarding in a few years? Yes, even oldsters love to ride. But if you haven't done either because older Americans just don't do things like that, or you're "too old" to do it, wow, what you are missing, and what are you waiting for?
First, there are the senior discounts. Most ski areas have hugely reduced rates for skiers aged 62 and over, and some will even let you ski free, the best price of all. Second, you're never too old!
One study found that the average 65-year-old can expect an additional 12.7 years of healthy life –- meaning he or she will live disability-free until age 77.7. Highly active 65-years-olds, however, have an additional 5.7 years of healthy life expectancy –- they will remain disability free until age 83.4.
So, there's your choice. And, resorts like Michigan's Crystal Mountain want to help stir you from your couch lethargy, to get active, stay active and live longer.
The resort feels that few miles on the ol’ body-odometer is no reason to keep those skis buried in the garage. Crystal Mountain’s Snow Sports School is now offering specialized classes for senior skiers and snowboarders who have been away from the sport for a while or, perhaps, are just starting out.
“What we have achieved is a reminder to people that they don’t need to act their age,” said Ron Shepard, Crystal Mountain’s Snow Sports Manager. “Having a good time skiing and snowboarding isn’t something that is reserved for the under-60 set. These are activities you can do your entire life.”
Crystal Mountain’s new “Retired, Not Tired” program confronts the stereotypes of skiing and snowboarding; pairing seasoned instructors with smaller age appropriate groups.
The lesson component introduces the benefits of equipment & technique advances, while the sense of community that arises within the group keeps the atmosphere encouraging, challenging, and social.
Participants ski for a few hours, and then gather for a casual lunch in the resort cafeteria. One couple, the Millers of Leelanau County, commented: “We have been remarking for years that we wanted to return to skiing, and this was exactly the motivation we needed!”
Check out the program at Crystal's website, above.