This is exactly right. And yes, if you work 60 hr weeks at an office job, have two kids, and live an hour and a half from the closest ski area, sure, it makes sense that "a ton of dedication" is required to continue to ski...even at a recreational level.
On the other hand, if you're 30 (or will be in a few months like myself), have built your life (including, and especially in a career sense) around skiing and outdoor sports/mountain living, it just doesn't require the same level of effort, or dedication if you like, to continue to ski park. I'm not saying I'm running around tossing cork 7 blunts off of the big line at keystone, but you will see me hitting rails, and spinning smaller jumps, cruising around switch, and doing tricks off of natural features all over the mountain. Shit, I do that with a cross on my back, on the clock.
People can take the sort of fatalistic, cynical, old man stance if they want, but I truly believe the guys shouting that shit the loudest are people who are basically trying to justify their own decisions and priorities. I have no problem with a grown man saying that they just think it's silly, not worthwhile, they'd rather spend their limited time doing some other sort of skiing etc., but when they start saying shit like how hard it is to continue, or that it's only possible to approach skiing park from a jocky, progression focused, pushing myself to the physical limits place I'm calling bullshit. If you could slide a flat bar at 25, you could do it at 35...unless you stopped skiing altogether, or simply choose not to.
I know guys in their 70's who crush steep bumps...you can't tell me that doing a 360 over a baby jump (assuming you've already got the skills to do it by the time you reach whatever we're calling "park old"...35ish?) is significantly more dangerous than a guy skiing a steep pitch with trees, exposure, and bumps.
Like you said, Huck....I'm 30, and yet, I'm in better shape than I've ever been in (which admittedly is still just pretty average truthfully @ 6'1" 185lbs), and I've never skied better. I'm still learning tricks in the park, and still love lapping it and doing mellow tricks and I have several buddies my age or close living the same way. Shit, my good buddy works park crew and is 29 and fucking kills it!
Lastly, like I said before, I started rollerblading (aggressive inlining for those >25 haha) when I was 11 or 12. I was thinking about skiing the way I rollerbladed at the same time. I remember when Line came out...when ski boards, sled dogs, etc. came out. I instantly wanted to do "newschool tricks" and wanted to hit the "snowboard park" on skis. It's really guys my age and maybe 5 years older max, who truly are the first generation of kids who grew up in a world where skiing park was an established reality/fairly commonplace thing. I think we'll see a lot more older people skiing in the park in the next decade or so, even if they aren't doing like they did at 19.
Triplestrum, I didn't mean anything personally, I respect you as a poster on this site and your perspective, I just feel differently. Same to you, JayB, not trying to be a total asshole or anything.