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Trying to make a comeback.

Hi, I’m new to the forum. Used to slalom ski into my early 20s. Was pretty decent. Could ride the course at 15 off 36 mph. Then life hit, family etc and stopped skiing. Fast forward I am now in my late 40s, not in great shape, and want to get back into it again. For the past few years I have mostly done wakesurfing (almost daily July and August) a little footing (once or twice off a boom), and a little wakeboarding but my first love is salmon skiing.

Can you please recommend a ski and bindings, rope etc for someone like me. Any advice would be appreciated.


  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 554 Crazy Baller
    Welcome to BOS! Are you going to primarily free ski or are you getting back to chasing the balls? What is your height & weight??
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 845 Crazy Baller
    Senate (pick a trim level based on budget) and Radar Vapor or Vector bindings.

    Call Brenda at In Tow / JLBMFG and she can help pick/design a quality rope and handle that's just right right for you.
  • Thanks. 5”8 195. Hoping to be 175 or better by the summer. Will free ski most likely at least for the first season. I’m hoping it all comes back to me in one season but maybe that’s wishful thinking.

    Are detachable binding something you guys use? My kid’s friend busted an ankle last summer and has switched to them. Is that a thing now? The detachables?

    Anyone else here make a later in life comeback? And were you successful is getting at least partially back to former glory?
  • MarkMMarkM Posts: 146 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Congrats on getting back into the sport! We need more like you.
    As far as gear goes you don't need the latest and greatest gear. It's the Indian not the arrow (are we still allowed to say that?, ugh). Anyhow, "detachable" or hardshell bindings are my choice for sure. But they are a bit unforgiving for and make the ski more responsive. I do think they are safer though. Jeff Rogers still uses rubber bindings and a vest from when breakdancing was cool (well, I thought it was cool).
    As for fitness, get a copy of P90X. It's fantastic. Also, try going low carb. I'm a keto guy and it works for me.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,120 Mega Baller
    There are releasable binding systems. Reflex is one. MOB is another. There should be many threads here about the options and setup. I still run the Wiley rubber bindings and find nothing wrong with the release of those - and I crashed a lot over the years.

    I didn’t start course skiing seriously until I was in my early 40s. First tournament at 45. I’ve been able to progress somewhat and well beyond my first/brief exposure to the course in my mid 20s I did have an advantage of being in decent physical shape all along, so I think that is an important area of focus for you. It will make it much easier to reach any goals you might set.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,599 Mega Baller
    edited February 1
    Great to have you back! I did the same thing as you, 20 years out and started skiing again 8 (I think) years ago. I’m skiing mid 32 off every set these days, so it easily doable, even with work and family.
    Skis have changed tremendously, not necessarily in look, but materials are light years better and performance is just easier. The biggest thing that I noticed, early on, is the names changed. Kidder is now D3 (there’s an awesome interview with Denny Kidder explaining that), O’Brien is basically out of the game, HO and Connelly are still around, Goode skis may have just hit the market when you left but they are a dominant force, and Herb O’Brien’s last Company Radar Skis is top notch too. There are several others like Denali who has come on strong with incredible skis and technological advances in design in the past couple years.
    As for releasable bindings, Reflex seems to lead the market, and is my “go-to”, as well as HO Syndicate (which is the same as Edge Bindings) all using the same release system. MOB is another releasable binding company using an entirely different release mechanism and you can use any boot you like.
    You don’t have to go new anymore. There’s a great used ski/boat/gear/etc. site where you can find just about anything you’re looking for as well.
    If you go to the Ball of Spray menu and click “Home” and “Google Earth” you can very likely find a course somewhere near you.
    Oh yeah, you don’t have to ski 36 mph anymore. You’re at 34 now
    Good luck getting back into it, we’re happy to have you back in the addiction
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,120 Mega Baller
    There are a couple of other things to think about, since you are returning from a long hiatus. When I returned, I had forgotten a few really important fundamentals. Most notably, I could not keep my arms straight and found myself subconsciously pulling in with my biceps. You'll also see many tips on here about your stance on the ski and the need to be standing tall, without your butt hanging behind you. If you start back with bad form, it will make everything harder. There are some good drills on form/technique basics to be found on YouTube. Some from Seth Stisher come to mind.

    Also, once you are up on the ski again and skiing comfortably, make sure you are not solely relying on teaching yourself again. Get help from one or more of these sources:

    1. A ski partner (observer, not the driver) who can run the course at your max speed and, preferably, can run a legit 35 off.
    2. A ski school - get some lessons from a pro coach. Again, it's better if they are not also the driver, though some insist that can be done effectively.
    3. Video coaching. If there are no nearby ski schools, there are several excellent options for pro coaching tips from video of your sets. You will want to take video anyway to see for yourself how you are skiing and identify your own areas for improvement.
    4. Video posting on this forum - put your videos on YouTube and link/embed them here. There are tons of knowledgeable skiers here that can help you, if you are willing to post those videos publicly. And, many here will want you to be successful in your return to the sport and help increase overall participation.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,065 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Andre Actually, that would be brown bears. But genetically brown bears and grizzlies are the same animal.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • Amazing tips and advice. Much appreciate the comments. I’m writing everything down.
  • chrislandychrislandy Posts: 178 Solid Baller
    As someone pretty much in the same position a few years ago, I can highly recommend getting some coaching from the get go, plus fitness, then more fitness. One other benefit of going to a ski school is that you can try out a few different makes of ski & binding without having to shell out for them :)
  • DyscoDysco Posts: 46 Baller
    Welcome back. I was in a similar situation in my twenties, but got back in a few years younger than you. Lots of good ski/binding options out there. Honestly almost any 67"-68" upper-end (not always top end) ski made in the past decade will serve you well, so check out Others may say different but I've always found D3 skis to be very neutral and forgiving skis that will outski most of the people riding them. Also read some of Horton's older reviews on this site for some guidance too. Freshen the bindings if needed. I'll 2nd the Radar Vectors mentioned above, If I had the time/money to try multiple others, I might find something I like better, but these are really comfortable and confidence inspiring for me vs. rubber bindings. If you are one the bubble for size, go to the larger size. I'm a 10.5 and the XL fit very well.
    Oh, and make sure you start a bit slower...30, 32, and then 34mph. 36 is for the kids!
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 845 Crazy Baller
    Vapor (best) or Vector (good and a little less expensive) bindings, especially if you run double boots. Seriously.

    If you run a rear tow plate and want a hard shell, we really like HO Syndicate bindings (we use them on our trick skis).
  • CentCent Posts: 207 Baller
    Lots of hood skis a available.

    Lots of good bindings in releasable or sone rubber bindings. I have both but prefer the rubber from D3.

    Lots of people have narrow views of what they like, but that does not mean what is best for them is best for you.

    Their are demo programs available that can help you try skis. Some ski shops will do that also.

    Sone ski companies will give you recommendations based on a chat that pops up or a phone call.

    The new fear is really excellent but there are brand differences.

    All the ski companies are going to have some good skis for some people. Lots of people here like Radar products but there not fir everyone. D3 by reputation works for lots of people.

    As I said try sone skis then buy.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,382 Mega Baller
    edited February 2
    Welcome back. The crew at Performance Ski and Surf @perfski is very helpful when it comes to equipment needs and they provide outstanding customer service. You may try giving them a call. And when possible post some photos of your Jcraft.
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