Are You a Retro-Skier?

Are you a Retro-Skier?  In other words, are you a skier who has shared some of the memories included in this blog?  Here’s a test to see how you rate as a Retro-Skier. Yes, I know, once a teacher always a teacher.

For each question, check all the answers that apply:

1. Indicate which of the following skis you have skied:

  • ____Wooden skis, no steel edges
  • ____Wooden skis with steel edges
  • ____Wooden skis with P-Tex base
  • ____Head Skis: Masters, Comp GS, or Comp Slalom
  • ____Rossi Stratos

2.  Indicate the length of skis you have skied

  • ____Greater than 210cm (men), 200cm (women)
  • ____206-210cm (men), 191-200cm (women)
  • ____201-205cm (men), 181-190cm (women)
  • ____180-200cm (men), 160-180cm (women)
  • ____Less than 180cm (men), 160cm (women)

3. Indicate which of the following ski boots you have used

  • ____Laced leather ski boots with no inner boot
  • ____Laced leather ski boot with laced inner boot
  • ____Leather buckle ski boots
  • ____Plastic ski boots
  • ____Foamed-fit ski boots

4. Indicate which of the following bindings you have used

  • ____Bear trap, free-heel bindings
  • ____Cable binding with release capability
  • ____Racing Turntable (Bonus point if you used a long-thong)
  • ____Cubco binding
  • ____Look Nevada toe piece

5. Indicate which of the following ski lifts you have used

  • ____There were no lifts, I walked!
  • ____Rope tow
  • ____T-bar or J-bar
  • ____Poma lift
  • ____Single Chair

6. Indicate which of the following ski pants you have worn

  • ____Wool snow pants
  • ____Knickers
  • ____Gabardine in-the-boot ski pants
  • ____In-the-boot stretch pants
  • ____Over-the-boot stretch pants (Bonus point if you had stretch pants with a racing stripe!)

7. Indicate which of the following ski parkas you have worn

  • ____Poplin pullover
  • ____Long-line parka with belt
  • ____Down-filled parka
  • ____Wind shirt (Bonus point if it had a flowered or psychedelic pattern!)
  • ____One-piece ski suit (Bonus point if it was fluorescent colors!)

8. Indicate which of the following ski hats you have worn

  • ____Cap with ear flaps and chin strap(See photo)Ski cap with ear flaps and chin strap
  • ____Hand-knit head and ear band
  • ____Moriarty hat
  • ____Knit hat with big pom-pom (Subtract one point if that hat was long enough to also be used as a scarf!)
  • ____Helmet

9. Indicate which of the following you have done

  • ____Carried a stick of wax with you so you could wax during a day of skiing
  • ____Hot waxed your own skis (Bonus point if you used your mother’s or wife’s iron!)
  • ____Used a flat bastard mill file on your skis
  • ____Used a P-Tex candle to repair your ski
  • ____Burned a hole in the carpet with a P-Tex candle

10. Indicate which of the following you have paid for an all-day ski ticket

  • ____Less than $5
  • ____$5 – $20
  • ____$21 – $50
  • ____$51 – $80
  • ____Greater than $80

5 Point bonus if the first lift-served ski area you ever skied is no longer a ski area!

Add up the number of checks plus bonuses to determine your score!

There are 60 total points available including bonuses.  How do you rate?

  • Greater than 45 points – you are the ultimate Retro-Skier and should be writing this blog!
  • 35-45 points – You’re a Retro-Skier!  (I scored a 40!)
  • 15-34 points – You’re a Retro-Skier with an *, sort of like Barry Bonds’ home run record.
  • Less than 15 points – It’s great to be young!  See all the things you missed.

15 Responses to Are You a Retro-Skier?

  1. Peter Wilén says:

    I scored 45 points – not so sure about the cost of one day ticket, so called clip-cards with 10 runs were common those days. The same about the first ski area – the slope we used is not a ski slope any more, but the area is a cross-country ski area, so I do not count any bonus.

    • Russ King says:

      The Ralph Nader “Unsafe at any speed” Was the Chevy Corvair.. I had one a 1962 Corvair Spyderwith an exaust driven supercharger and it was a Fantastic car a little light in front, but a 60# sand bag cured it, especially in the snow I have pictures of it (some where) In the Yodler Parking lot. It would climb Cazenovia Ski club Hill in the summer .
      I live in Manlius NY near Syracuse and Have been Skiing at Stowe since 1960. I am a 30 (plus or minus) year subscriber to the Reporter
      I scored 51.

  2. john lutz says:

    I just drove a ’65 corvair spider rag top — 65 mph top stable speed before wandering. You have a great column in the reporter and yes I am a retro skier. Usually get the paper too late to answer questions. John Lutz, Stowe ski bum class of 1969, now living in Canaan Valley, WV

  3. Mike Raeburn says:

    Well I scored 48, we didn’t have Cubco bindings here, but I have a set of the Look bindings that release in all directions at the toe and heel so I reckon that’s worth an extra point. You missed out skiing in climbing boots with a groove cut in the heel, that has to be worth an extra point. Do I get an extra point for having bleeding fingers from lacing up the inside boot, then the outside boot with laces up the back and the front?Then there were the plastic road mender’s jackets we used to wear, they got a bit stiff in the cold but let nothing through. If you fell over you didn’t stop ’til you ran out of hill or met a rock. Reckon that’s worth an extra point too. As for trousers we all used to wear Army Surplus over trousers cut down at the bottoms to fit into our boots. Extra point? Don’t know what a Moriarty hat is but I used to knit hats for my chums on a knitting machine so that has to be worth a point as well. Sad thing is I still have most of that stuff lurking in my shed!

  4. Mike Raeburn says:

    Reference above, forgot about the ski area, Mar Lodge is no longer a ski area. It never really was being too low, they sold the tows to Glenshee. If you give me all those bonuses it takes me to 59, a good decade less than my age. Off to Schladming next week, lots of red runs, just about right for me at this stage of life!

  5. Walter Melvin says:

    Great Little survey…Scored 52… no leather buckle boots..skipped from the Molitor lace to the Lange Cubco.too busy wrapping thongs…no single holes in the carpet and being a senior now, don’t have to pay $80 for the lift. took the bonus for the stripe, the wind shirt and the ski area..I actually had two ski areas ( only took one bonus) Bald Mt, and Kings mountain outside of Bangor, Maine. They are both gone now. Started going to Sugarloaf,Me. in 1953. I still have the wood skis with the ptex bottoms, as well as about 900 pairs of other interesting wooden skis..most from the 1950/60 era and a lot of leather boots as well.

  6. Larry Heath says:

    Cliff Taylor started GLM meat God of teaching skiing

  7. Duncan says:

    Great survey! What memories….47 years old and scored a 40 (sorely lacking on my retro clothing points). I started at Bromley just before my third birthday and while I missed the defunct area points, I’m glad to say ol Bromley is alive and well-skied there two days ago.

    My first skis were wood, boots of leather and laces and my brother stuck me between his legs and took me up the J bar.

    I garbage picked the Head masters and ski joured the streets of NJ behind my buddy’s car at 65 MPH! I even tried Nordic Jumping at the old Bear Mountain jump in 1988.
    What?…no points for having a blood relative (dad) in the 10th Mountain Division?

    Oh, what a sport!

    • Frank Santariga says:

      Hi Duncan,
      I saw you jumped at Bear Mt, did you ever ski at Silvermine Ski Center, that’s where I learned to ski, it was located just a few miles from Bear Mt on the Seven Lakes Parkway.

  8. Frank Santariga says:

    Here’s an old timer for you I scored over 50 points.
    ex: had wooden ski with steel edges, also had Spalding Siderals 210cm, (circa 1970), leather boots no inner boot and Plastic Nordica’s, Bear traps bindings on my woody’s and Look Nevada on the Siderals, No lifts to all types of ski lifts, black in-boot pants with white stripes, no jacket to one piece red racing suit with dark blue stripes, every kind of head gear you can think of (even a coon-skin cap) and finally always carried wax variuos colors for different conditions. It sure was fun taking the quiz and going over the comments. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  9. Doug Briggs says:

    I collect old skis, boots and other paraphernalia. Every year I ski on older gear including skis, boots, poles and clothing. I wish I’d saved more of my old stuff but I’m slowly getting some of it back. Notably I acquired a pair of VR17s which I mounted with red Nevadas and N17s. I am about to get a pair of XR1s. Boy I loved both of those skis.

    I scored 44, btw. I’d have gotten a 45 if one of the options was ‘You have waxed your skis with a brush.’

  10. Matt Broze says:

    52 or 53. Unfortunately, for me anyway, Summit is still a ski area or I’d have 5 more points. I never burned a hole in the carpet, and don’t recall ever using long thongs (just tight Arlberg straps with the Marker turntables) although one season in the 1950’s my dad used only long thongs (though holes drilled crosswise through his 7′ 2″ long wood skis–same pair he won the 1942 Silver Skis race on–and a home made custom tow piece that didn’t require toe straps–to hold his skis on). I had to look up Moriarty hats and just what exactly gabardine was, but they both fell my way (my mother sewed those ski pants). My previous regular one piece ski suit was a very bright shiny blue, but I don’t know if you could classify it as fluorescent or not. I’m still using a one piece ski suit and I’m still wearing the bright paisley nylon wind shirt I bought to brighten up the cover picture for the second edition of my 1972 book “Freestyle Skiing”. See the Downhill Skiing page at for a picture of the cover with the shirt. This season will be my 69th straight ski season.

  11. Bob Curtis says:

    Just scored a 44 on the retro survey. I guess I can add the 5 point bonus as I can think of a very early ski trip to an area with a lift that is now a real estate development in the Berkshires. That would get me to 49! Great memories. In my 60th ski season. Skiing with my wife for 53 years. Recently enjoyed skiing with 3 generations of family on the same chairlift: thank you for six-pack chairs! I did not burn a hole in the carpet but did wax and repair my skis. To think that I learned to ski on 220 cm skis and now ride 170s +/- and enjoy them puts a smile on my face.

  12. Scott Morham says:

    Let’s see, I still wear a Moriarty Hat and my Dad’s 1952 corduroy vest lined with sheepskin. I wore his old wool knickers Yurt skiing in the Uintahs last month. His old 215 Kneissls with cables and laquer bases are on my wall. I have my 225 Atomic Red Sleds still! I somehow lost Dad’s Poplin pullover but I still have my Mother Karens! I still remember skiing on golf courses after a snow, 48 for me. We got 88 inches last week and Nordica Enforcers rule these days but I’ll never forget skiing in the backyard with my Dad…..

  13. Bill Longley says:

    43 points for me- I started skiing at 4 years old in 1955 at Otsego Ski Club in Gaylord Michigan- one of the few private ski cubs that survived since the 40’s. Also skiied Boyne, Nubs Knob , Pine Knob, Mt Christie, Brighton, Caberfae and Skyline which had single chairs in the 60’s.

    After the classic Northland supremes , Treviso and Dynamic wooded skiis , I got a used pair of blue metal Kastles – 220 cm with Nevada toe and Marker swivel heel + long thong ( aka French Death Wrap). Graduated to Vermont and Coloradao skiing in early 70’s.

    I have a lot of my old stuff including tow grippers, Cubco bindings and Raichle and Koflach buckle boots. K2 Bermuda Shorts, Red Fischer Alu skiis etc.

    I just skied Brian Head in southern Utah ( great spot- low cost, great mountan and no crowds) with my Authier 210 cm and Solomon SX 70 boots. If I had to use the new boots I might quit skiing after 64 years .

    My three sons are also died in the wool skiiers. The chuckle at my stuff and ski on new gear.

    Love your site – just ordered the book to. Bill L

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