Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

12" White Stickers
BallOfSpray $5 Donation
BallOfSpray $10 Donation

Too Old to Try Jumping?

bassfooterbassfooter Posts: 159 Baller
I’m looking for opinions on taking my first trip over the jump ramp. This isn't a difficult decision except for the fact I’m 58 years old. I have a couple of experienced three-eventers who think I’m all but guaranteed to get injured in the process. Several other experienced competitors, including @eleeski , think I’ll be fine. I’m in good shape, I’m fairly limber and I have no back or knee issues. Just some gray hair. And I'll have some very capable coaching if I choose to go for it.

Should I give it a try?


  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,735 Administrator

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts ★ Connelly ★  DBSkis ★ Goode ★ Hobe Lake ★ HO Syndicate 

    MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ MOB ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes

  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,522 Mega Baller
    Just the fact that @eleeski thinks "you'll be fine" should send off alarm bells. If you are stubborn, spend at least a dozen sets riding the jumpers and getting big air off the wakes. Then intentionally jump the wakes and try to land on your head and see how it feels. Then maybe try a mini ramp.

    In general, I have to agree with horton. Your tender young age is no time to intentionally get hurt.
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • dnewtondnewton Posts: 90 Baller
    I have zero professional help in this situation, but I pray to everything holy that at the age of 58 I am willing to ask a group of skiers if I am allowed to go off of the jump for the first time.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,735 Administrator
    I spent all of my Summers junior high school, high school and college working ski school. In those years I didn't see a ton of injuries from beginner jumpers but I saw some and we were pretty careful. We pretty much followed the method described above by Butterfield and occasionally things still went wrong and people went to the hospital.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts ★ Connelly ★  DBSkis ★ Goode ★ Hobe Lake ★ HO Syndicate 

    MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ MOB ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes

  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,872 Infinite Pandas
    @bassfooter is a talented athlete in good shape. He is an experienced waterskier who is good at slalom and reasonable on a trick ski. He would be a decent overall skier if he just plopped over the ramp.

    I do not advise him to "learn how to jump" for real. But just riding over the ramp gets him that overall score. That's well within his skillset and carries little risk given his health and abilities.

    It bothers me when people hold themselves back due to fear. "Toes are dangerous", "don't try for that 6 ball" and "you'll get hurt jumping" are excuses to justify mediocrity.

    Dave, get some coaching from Connie at Imperial, Terry Goodman in Washington or a ski school (Bennett's, Cory's, Travers, etc). Take your slalom with you and have some fun while you safely pick up jump basics.

    Enjoy the ticket to Nationals that that easy jump will earn you.

  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,735 Administrator
    Get more beginners jumping at Nationals. Don't even get me started ....

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts ★ Connelly ★  DBSkis ★ Goode ★ Hobe Lake ★ HO Syndicate 

    MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ MOB ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes

  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,872 Infinite Pandas
    edited October 2018
    Darn, @Horton I couldn't give you both a "disagree" and a "dislike".

    Allowing an incompetent jumper like me into overall made the competition fun. I am proud of my National overall medal. I've avoided coming in DFL at Nationals (and when I jumped at Senior Worlds).

    Inclusion is good for the sport - and fun!

  • riplashriplash Posts: 22 Baller
    Bassfooter, I think you should give it a try. But start at the level you described in your first post, just getting over the ramp, and see about going further or harder at your own pace after you master just getting over the ramp.

    Bruce_Butterfield wrote "Then intentionally jump the wakes and try to land on your head and see how it feels." and later Horton wrote " We pretty much followed the method described above by Butterfield". --- That sure explains a lot things about Horton.

  • igkyaigkya Posts: 654 Crazy Baller
    My knees hurt just thinking about this, but... if you are healthy with good knees, have the proper teaching and set up (mini ramps, etc.), why not 'try' ? After trying, only you could decide how much further you can/should go.
  • liquid dliquid d Posts: 1,115 Mega Baller
    You guys are's not the age , it's the mileage! This guy's got fresh legs and good knees- crush it, wait later, booyahh!
  • andjulesandjules Posts: 819 Crazy Baller
    edited October 2018
    Wow, strange diversity of opinion on this.
    @bassfooter I fall into the 'go for it' camp, given that you describe yourself as limber with no back or knee issues. One major caveat: make sure you've got a reasonably good coach/instructor.

    Your first plop over a ramp on a pair of old-school 72-78" jumpers @ 26-28mph — assuming you are an experienced and comfortable skier after a good dry-land lesson — should be a pretty boring experience. Except for the mental game, it's akin to sliding on ice in running shoes for about 1/2 second, followed by what feels like the equivalent of hopping off a kitchen counter (yes, the ramp is higher, but you've got forward movement and big skis which make the landing comparatively softer). If that description doesn't scare you (it shouldn't if you're spry and athletic, it should if you're arthritic and slow), go for it.

    Becoming an advanced distance jumper is a completely different question. At 58, you should think hard about the risk/reward... the road to jumping 100'+ is usually littered with a few bad falls that can be hard even on a 15-25 year-old body. But they generally won't be on your first plop over the ramp.

  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,961 Mega Baller
    My wife has threatened me with divorce if I go over the ramp.

    That said if you are going to plop and do some easy singles to compete in overall I think it is relatively low risk. Trying to go 100 feet is a total different ball game and comes with substantial additional risk.

    For equipment I would argue that if you can find a pair of 80-84" modern jumpers I think they are much better than a pair of old school jumpers. I have ridden the 72" jumpers my son learned on and his 84" Goodmans and the Goodmans are much much easier to ride and control. I know from watching my son the landings on the Goodmans are much easier as well.

    If I hadn't struggled with my back (and my wife's threat of divorce) I likely would have ridden over the jump. I don't think I would have done much more than plop though.

    Mark Shaffer
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,018 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I am in awe of some of the Jumpers that I know and they are very good at it and jump at the Top Level of the Sport, but all have had surgery, for what it,s worth my opinion is extremely Brave / Stupid or Tottally Insane.
    But I do respect your freedom of choice !

    When The Going Gets Tough, Get Stoked !

  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,463 Mega Baller
    edited October 2018
    The main thing to fear is yourself.

    If you are willing to understand your own limitations and stay within them, you'll be fine. If you immediately start pushing to failure, you probably won't be.

    P.S. My limits do not include going over a jump ramp.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • ZmanZman Posts: 1,495 Crazy Baller
    From a man who pole vaults!
    But, at 64. I share your limit. I think.
  • bassfooterbassfooter Posts: 159 Baller
    Thanks for all the thoughtful posts. So awesome.

    @Bruce_Butterfield I am getting pretty good at knowing when to listen to @eleeski and when not to. The guy is incredibly generous of spirit, has a twisted sense of humor and is a lot of fun. I cannot imagine a better person to help me set up my new/used trick ski. When I drop at the end of the slalom course, however, his coaching sounds just like Charlie Brown's teacher....

    @dnewton - thank you, I think! To quote a semi-famous song, "...and you know that you're over the hill when your mind makes a promise that your body can fill..."

    @igkya @andjules @Chef23 Thanks for the insights - I am only looking to plop and would only consider more aggressive training depending on how plopping goes. And I have some great coaches right here in town. Most importantly, I have a wonderful, understanding wife who loves her time on the course. I wouldn't consider this if she was truly concerned.

    @Than_Bogan nice to hear from you. As a fellow engineer, I always enjoy your contributions here.

    @Horton genuinely curious about the problem with novice jumpers at Nationals...

  • 94009400 Posts: 605 Crazy Baller
    edited October 2018
    Just going to drop this little bit of info here....I've seen 35-40 stitches and almost a section of lip gone from a plop over one time. The skier had successfully ridden out 2 or 3, then sat back on the landing on the next one. The rope came tight and snatched him over the front where he hit somewhere between his upper lip and nose on the front of the skis. Before that I though it was relatively harmless to pull a beginner. The skier was what would have been considered a level 9 slalom skier at the time.
    That being said, jumping is exciting but the better you get, the more painful the mistakes are.
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,653
    I have a ton of respect for jumpers but the mixing of solid stationary objects and water stopped making any sense at about age 30 for me.
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' Boat 2005 Nautique 196 6L ZO - Ski - KD Platinum

  • parkerc2112parkerc2112 Posts: 127 Baller
    I jumped in college but my body was much more capable of absorbing the shock and never blew out a knee. I went of the jump 2 years ago 53 y/o. In pain for next 6 months. Long story short, NO
  • bassfooterbassfooter Posts: 159 Baller
    @parkerc2112 VERY interesting story. And you had prior experience. Thanks for sharing.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,052
    Get on a set of jump skis and run the slalom course. When you can run the course at 32mph, THEN go over the ramp. You will have learned enough ski control at that point to make a trip over the big red devil worth your while without getting hurt.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 566 Crazy Baller
    For the rest of your life, do you want to be part of the masses who have never landed a jump?

    Don't listen to the naysayers. Buy the ticket, take the ride.
  • BooBoo Posts: 12 Baller
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,735 Administrator
    @BoneHead if anybody should jump it is you. Don't worry you don't need a helmet

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts ★ Connelly ★  DBSkis ★ Goode ★ Hobe Lake ★ HO Syndicate 

    MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ MOB ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes

  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 2,559 Mega Baller
    I three evented as a kid. On a lark I three evented in the 2014 regionals at 58. I’ve three evented regionals and Nationals each year since and it has been a blast. Then again, I am one of those people that gets @Horton started.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
    John Brooksbassfooterdthate
  • LakeOneSkierLakeOneSkier Posts: 263 Baller
    @bassfooter , give it a go!

    Our lake just purchased a new jump that we will be installing in the spring. By that time I will have made it 57 years without going over a ramp, but I've already committed to my jumping lake neighbor that I'll give it a go.

    Peer pressure, the result of many an injury. >:)
    Baller Index: -31.67
  • liquid dliquid d Posts: 1,115 Mega Baller
    Don't sweat 54 this year, i jumped within 5 feet of my personal best! No practice at all.
  • andjulesandjules Posts: 819 Crazy Baller
    @BoneHead: what does running the slalom course @ 32 mph on jumpers have to do with plopping over a ramp? Exactly zero of the skills, experience, body mechanics and physics translate between the two. That's like telling someone they can't try riding a four-wheeler ATV until they can ride a unicycle.
  • gdetraygdetray Posts: 31 Baller
    I'm 55, I've never jumped over 90 feet, get to jump about once a year, but I have WAY more fun with that occasional jump than I do running a good slalom pass, Get really comfortable on jumpers, jump the wakes a lot and run the course, stretch your legs and back, go 24 - 26 mph, have the boat run inside the course and don't worry about how far you go. Bend your KNEES, Keep your head up, eyes on the TREES, and FREEZE. Then just ride over, land, and ski away. I predict a HUGE smile on your face!
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,052
    edited October 2018
    @andjules I had not seen that plopping was the goal at the time. My original post still stands if he wants to carry it any further. Running the slalom course will teach you directional control, how to edge, and where the pull comes from. So it's very applicable to jumping.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

Sign In or Register to comment.