CyanicenineI think people are forgetting the real advantage younger kids have: No Responsibilities.
The older you get the more it becomes a balancing act to try and manage school, work, everyday life problems and still find time to go to the mountain.
Even if you are 15 or 16 living at home with your parents generously financing your skiing you have way more obligations at that age then you do at age 11.
It's this reason that I have slightly more respect for the older ski bums 18+ that are living out of a van eating dry ramen in the mountain parking lot. They are making huge sacrifices to do what they love. 11 year old timmy throwing dubs already isn't sacrificing jack. His parents are making it all happen for him, and he's too young yet to have huge life responsibilities.
Idk. If you love something it's not that hard to pursue. This is season 13 of working at ski areas for me. I'm slowing down because of injuries but still getting on the snow a lot. If you can get on your board 120+ days in a year, have food to eat, and a place to lay your head, what else is there?
I don't feel like I'm sacrificing shit. Sure I don't spend a lot of money, I don't drive an expensive car, and my living situation can be ghetto at times, but I would feel like I was sacrificing if I was working a "real job" living in some house with a nice car and barely getting to the mountain.
It's all about what you love. I've got a hotel room hear but a few of my friends here are in vans and rvs in parking lots. The lack of a toilet is a downside but other than that fuck it.
Sure my body doesn't recover from injuries like it used to, and I'm not shredding very hard but I still feel I have the same mindset toward the sport as I did when I was a kid. Get out there and shred.
There are some little rippers coming through the small park where I work with their dad. I just get stoked seeing people have that much fun in the sport we love. To hate on it would just be stupid.
Young, old, whatever get the fuck out there and shred. Saw a dude on a sit ski tearing up some steeps the other day, I guy with one leg getting his bounce in them turns, the blind skiers out there, it's all about the shred.