Ski manufacturers have never designed a ski for senior skiers. With about one million on the slopes, there's enough of us to justify the investment.
But don't hold your breath.
There is a breakthrough this season. For the very first time, an in-depth evaluation of the best skis for older skiers is available. This is good news since choosing a new pair of skis, regardless of age and ability, has never been easy, and the abundance of brands and models is always confusing.
The evaluation is the result of a collaboration between realskiers.com, the go-to site for in-depth ski equipment evaluations, and SeniorsSkiing.com, the on-line magazine for 50+ plus snow enthusiasts.
Of the many 2017 skis tested, 38 were identified as suitable for senior skiers. Most are easy to turn, a characteristic that, regardless of the skier's physical condition, reduces loss of stamina. In other words, using these skis, it's easier to ski more runs and have more fun! The free list is available at SeniorsSkiing.com.
Working with testers from around the country, realskiers.com has been reviewing ski equipment for many years. The results are gathered each spring and published in September, where abbreviated reviews are available free and in-depth information comes with a paid annual subscription.
The recommended skis are grouped into six categories, each based on skiing preference, location, and snow conditions. They are:
Frontside (aka "Carving" skis)
• These skis encompass the broadest range of skier abilities from entry-level to experienced and are for general use on groomed terrain. Wider models are usable off-trail.
• Skis that are extremely versatile and for general use on groomed terrain. They also work off-trail.
• This category is suitable for those who have not skied in a few years.
• These are good for use in the West by high performance skiers and are good both for groomed trails and for powder.
• Skis for use on big mountains with selections for strong and for less strong skiers.
• Specialty skis for use in deep powder.
• These have high performance race ski characteristics and are suitable for carving turns on hard-snow.
While many consider skis to be unisex, some women prefer skis with weight and flex more suitable to their size and physique. The list identifies women's skis, as well.
Perhaps in my lifetime a ski manufacturer or two will introduce an innovative senior's ski. And, if they do, I have one request: Please, do not use a graphic showing The Grim Reaper.