Welcome to Grays on Trays®

Welcome to the Grays on Trays® guide to snowboarding for grown-ups, introducing a sport that’s too fun to leave to the kids. It is an online resource for all snowboarders, but especially adults snowboarders and those interested in trying it out. We aim to offer an informative guide.

Erika Dillman, author of Outdoors Online: An Internet Guide to Everything Wild & Green (Keep It Clean, Keep It Green), has said “Grays on Trays is one of the best introductions to snowboarding on the web–regardless of your age.” — Erika Dillman. We hope you’ll agree.


Why We’re Here

Why a site geared to adults? We enjoy snowboarding, but find that most existing publications dealing with riding aren’t written for adults; they’re written for kids. Read a few of them and you’ll understand.

Learning how to ride a snowboard is hard enough. If you’re a mature adult looking for information about snowboarding, you shouldn’t have to put up with a website that looks and feels like high school. And if you want to indulge in fake hip-hop or a street culture, there are places for that, too. On the other hand, if you want an introduction to snowboarding that you’d feel comfortable presenting to your boss or the grandmother down the street (or if you ARE the grandmother down the street), come join us. You might even say that we’re trying to make snowboarding safe for boring, conventional people with lives beyond snowboarding.

Instead of mocking the achievements of grown-ups–“Grandpas don’t snowboard”–we celebrate them. That’s one reason why we use the phrase “Grays on Trays.” It was first used years ago–the origins of it are now lost to obscurity–by adolescents to insult grown-up snowboarders. But today, we embrace it and relish the chance to blow away stereotypes. One 64-year old snowboarder told the Associated Press, “I love the term. I think it’s the ultimate compliment. If we keep active, we can contribute to the participation. Everybody’s gaining from it.”

What You’ll Find Here at GraysOnTrays.com

Our goal of the Grays on Trays® guide to snowboarding is to help the grown-up rider by providing information, encouragement, and a place where mature riders can meet and exchange information.

If you’re curious about snowboarding but have not tried it yet, know that you’re not crazy for having an interest, and you’re not going through a mid-life crisis. (If you are, well, that’s between you and your deity and your family members.) We don’t try to mimic some sort of snowboarding attitude or culture; we’re just here to encourage the love of the sport and support each other.

So let’s get a quick lay of the land.

Why go snowboarding? gives you some reasons–you guessed it–why people ride. We also let some older riders give you their insights about what is so great about this sport. If you look at who goes snowboarding after 40, you may find someone just like you. You’re not alone!

Snowboarding is unique, yet it’s like some other sports, so you may already have experience using some of the required skills. Still, we highly recommend that on your first day out you take lessons. One reason to take lessons is that you’re more likely to get hurt if you don’t have proper instruction. Consider this and some other facts from the page Is snowboarding safe for older adults?

If you have a lot of friends who are skiers, you might read riders v. skiers to get some perspective on the old and largely passed conflict between the two groups. There’s an interesting history to it.

One great thing about snowboarding is that there is always room for improving your skills, should you wish. One way to improve is to purchase your own equipment. The basics of snowboarding gear gives a quick rundown on the types of equipment. On the slopes, you’ll probably consult a trail map; our skills progression page is a map that tells you how well you are progressing.

As you master the fundamentals, you may wish to experiment with the various styles of riding, which include cruising on groomed trails, riding in the back country, and freestyle tricks in the terrain park. And there’s nothing to hone your skills like engaging in some friendly competition. Of course, snowboarding adults are competing against each other in real life anyway, so if you want to simply enjoy the ride on the mountain, that’s OK, too.

Aside from its on-slope thrills and challenges, snowboarding is an interesting subject on its own. Lots of kids come to this and other sites looking for information about the history of the sport. The snowboarding statistics page offers some interesting facts, including this one: there are over 1,000,000 adult snowboarders. They’re found at any number of the many slopes in our North American resort listing.

Too Fun to Leave to the Kids

That’s the quick review of the site. We hope it is a tool that will help you become part of the growing number of adults who prefer getting out in the winter to sinking into the couch. Poke around the site. Go to our discussion board and meet others who have learned the appeal of snowboarding for grown-ups. Ask questions. Encourage others with you experience. Introduce yourself; you probably have something to offer someone else.

And above all, don’t be afraid to learn. Snowboarding is too fun to leave to the kids.

86 Responses to Welcome to Grays on Trays®

  1. Tom "Shakey" Levak says:

    I’m 77. There’s nothing wrong with step-ins if you ride the groomers.

  2. Rick says:

    Just wondering who the oldest female snowboarder is in Montana. My wife Phyllis is 63 now, snowboarding at Maverick Ski Hill in S/W Montana. We’ve been snowboarding since we were 50. Anybody know who is the oldest gal snowboarding out there?

  3. Ann Nony says:

    Brother-in-law says that it is a stupid idea to try to learn to snowboard after the age of 30. Says that if I try to learn I will break my nose and my tailbone. Says that the issue is learning the pivot point or balance point and you can only do that as a kid, so forget about it at the age of 52. I am not a skier, haven’t skied for years. My thought is why not take lessons and totally pad up, helmet, wristguard thingees etc? Seems to me that I’d be a fresh learner and wouldn’t have to unlearn any downhill skiing tendencies. Thoughts? Am I crazy for thinking about this?

  4. Amanda says:

    I am 52 and started snowboarding when i was 50 – I had never been on any type of board before.or skis! and absolutely loved it ..In 2 weeks time I will be doing my level 1 snowboard instructors course. Learning to balance is part of the learning for everyone regardless of
    age..I say get the kit, have lessons and have fun!

  5. James Zueger says:

    If anyone is looking for a different riding experience, I started something new this season. I ride a board that is much shorter than I usually ride and with a narrower stance (bought it for my grandson – didn’t work out). It is VERY much different and I switch back and forth through out the day when conditions are favorable. I tried a longer board but it’s harder on my legs.

  6. Tom Levak says:

    The easiest, least tiring board, is a full rocker.

  7. bill hane says:

    the real stizt

  8. Richard Sale says:

    I am a intermediate level, 58 year old rider who gets 10 – 12 days of snowboarding a year, somewhat typical of an older rider I think. I have been frustrated with the lack of information/marketing for older snowboarders like me. There is so little that I almost feel I don’t belong in this sport that I really enjoy. With the help of my son, a professional videographer we made a review of two boards from Ride. This review is by and for older riders. I hope you find it helpful.

  9. Pat Moore says:

    Nice video, nice review, and great riding!

    You should try an alpine board. It’s my ride of choice at age 70.

  10. Pingback: Let it snow! Nine winter sports for the Blue Hare woman. – BLUE HARE

  11. Elena says:

    I’m a 60-year-old Italian woman and a rider. I’d been skiing for 40 years when I tried snowboarding and immediately fell in love with it. In Italy I can’t find people my age riding. It’s difficult even to find young women who ride, so I always end up with people much younger than me, mostly men. It’s challenging but very tiring! Some people think I’m nuts, but I don’t care, I just feel a bit lonely from time to time. I love your website!

  12. Sharon Hansen says:

    I’m in my 50’s and experience the same issues you do. Are you in the United States? Sharon

  13. Dave says:

    I’m 53 and ride with the young guns —I’m a big fan of the RIDE Snow Boards as well
    I started on an Agenda 2 years ago–then machete GT and now I’m on a HELIX
    I just love to cruise–no park–would love to know how you guys handle the steeps and maybe some exercises to get ready for the season

  14. patti says:

    I’m a 65 year old women who picked up snowboarding at 50 and love it. I was trying to find senior winter games that offered snowboarding competition . Dies anyone know if this is available?

  15. Pat Moore says:

    Hi Patti,

    Where do you live? There are many opportunities for seniors to race in recreational competition. I run the NASTAR program at Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, VT and usually set one course with stubby gates for snowboarders to train.on weekends. The Eastern Regional Championships will be held there at the end of January and there’s no prior qualifying requirements. There’s also a MId western Championship at Boyne Mountain in Michigan in February. The Nationals will be held at Squaw Valley in late March. Visit nastar.com

    The Vertical Challenge series takes place throughout the East all winter. Check out skiverticalchallenge.com

    Hope to see you at a few of these venues!

  16. Pingback: Last Week's Workouts -Happy Fit Mama

  17. Caramelshredder says:

    Great that you guys / girls no matter your age are snowboarding. I’m 40 and started boarding simple because skiing wasn’t so fun to me. I snowboard in Italy because the UK has no snow lol. The mountains are ageless and unlike a beach, no one is judging.
    And once you’re under a helmet, goggles and head to toe clothing, as long as you ride to have fun that’s all you need. Love this website and o hope to be still riding as I start to gray 🙂

  18. Julie Donnell says:

    Hi. It was good to find this site. I often wonder if I am the oldest woman snowboarder on the mountain when we go on our snowboarding holidays. I am 66 and took up snowboarding in my forties. My husband who also boards will be 68 in April. We live in UK and used to ski with our sons in Europe once or twice a year. They decided to switch to snowboarding and we decided to get off our skis and join them. It is a lot harder as you get older I feel and I get a lot of aches and pains nowadays! It is encouraging to read about you all … inspiring me to keep going!

  19. Kevin says:

    Hats off to everyone who’s posted on this site. I’m, compared to many others here, a mere whippersnapper 51 year old who’s returned to boarding after a couple of years away from the mountains due to hurting one of my ankles for the umpteenth time. Now that I’m back I plan on boarding till I drop and in the last week have introduced a couple of thirty-somethings to the joys of boarding.

  20. Just came across your site while looking for some book information. Awesome! I am a 55 year old woman who learned to ride in my mid-40s. I used to ski (solid intermediate), but other than that, not athletic at all. If I can do this, ANYONE can! I love it and I look forward to doing it even more once I retire! I also look forward to visiting this site more, now that I know it exists.

  21. Now 60, I’ve been snowboarding for 24 years at Bolton Valley VT and skied for 18 years before that. I’m still faster down the hill than my kids, 21, 16, and 12, all of whom have been skiing or snowboarding since they were tots. I’m on an old but fast Burton Triumph with Flow bindings and DC boots. If I go up on the quad as a single with three other boarders, they assume I’m in my 20s because of the clothes and gear. At some point it comes out I’ve been boarding longer than they are old.

  22. Brian L says:

    I’m 60, been snowboarding for 14 years. Go for it! My balance is getting better and better, and transfers to off snow. Twice, I was walking with foggy googles, on foggy day, forgot there were 4 steps in the resort, started falling but quickly jumped over steps and landed safely both times. Snowboarding is keeping me nimble with good reflexes, landing, balancing skills. When I’m 90, I still expect to be snowboarding, with no mention of a walker.

    I do wear a motocross jacket and butt pad, especially when it’s icy like cement but I also love to do halfpipe. Snowboarding will keep your body young, just take the proper precautions. I also board with younger people, 24 – 38, like others here.

  23. Greytray029 says:

    Nice Video, I’m in between Ride Machete GT and Capita Defenders of Awesome. I learned on a Ride Control, and it is great but too short 146cm for my 9.5 feet. So I like Ride, they are fun, and seem to be not so specialized of boars. What about Rossignol Jibsaw? Thanks.

  24. Greytray029 says:

    correction: Ride Machete GT, Salomon Hucknife? (or one of them), or Capita DOA? No park someday, small features, encounter, pow and hardpack. small natural jumps.

  25. JAMES C ZUEGER says:

    odd slope name: “Idiot’s Delight” Boyne Mt. Mi.

  26. I started snowboarding at 50 with a 3 hour group lesson. I’ve been in love with the sport every since. Now at 67 I consider myself an advanced ride — but not an expert since I don’t try double diamonds. 🙂 I’ve had two observations of me on the slope from middle age to older skiers — some are pleasantly surprised that I’m snowboarding well at my age, but the majority seem to have a “you’re too old for this” attitude. So, I’m happy to find this website with fellow, senior Riders!

  27. Aitzol Lasa says:

    Saludos desde el Pais Vasco (Norte de España)!!…que suerte he tenido de encontrar este site de espaldas plateadas! Voy para los 44 años de edad. Esquiando desde los 24 y esta temporada va a ser la ultima como esquiador y la siguiente temporada empezare con el snowboarď. Tenia miedo que mi edad fuera un obstaculo para iniciarme, pero al leeros me ha dado unos animos increibles. Muchas gracias por vuestros testimonios, espero poder contaros mi proxima experiencia en el mundo del snowboard!
    Lamento mucho escribiros en español, mi nivel de ingles no es suficientemente alto para expresarme con correccion.

    Un saludo!

    Greetings from the Basque Country (North of Spain) !! … what luck I have had to find this site with silver backs! I’m going to be 44 years old. Skiing from the 24 and this season will be the last as a skier and the next season will start with the snowboarď. I was afraid that my age was an obstacle to initiate me, but reading it has given me some incredible spirits. Thank you very much for your testimonies, I hope to be able to tell you about my next experience in the world of snowboarding!
    I am sorry to write in Spanish, my English level is not high enough to express myself with correction.

    A greeting!

  28. Javier Boone says:

    Age is no bar for starting following your passion.

  29. I started riding when I was about 38 or 39 and become an instructor two years ago. This will be my third season as an instructor, and I plan to take the level 2 ride test and study over the summer for the level 2 teaching test next year. I rode a slalom board with hard shell boots for a few years and didn’t plan to do any park features other than the occasional jump. When I looked at the ride requirements for snowboard instructors, I figured I would not get past level 1 because you have to do a 180 for level two. I thought “I’ll never be able to do a 180.” Well, it turns out that I can, so now I’ve said to myself, “I’ll never be able to do a 360,” one of the requirements for level 3. Time will tell. I’m curious if there are any other 50-somethings doing this kind of riding. Or maybe even older.

  30. Greg DuBose says:

    I am literally awake at 4a. So excited for first lesson tomorrow /today morning. At 51 and African American, I’m a serious minority. But this has been true in cycling and kayak surfing too. Really thankful for this site. My wife is 55 and has her first lesson in January once she’s medically cleared —just Off soft cast boot.

    Greetings community.

  31. Pat Moore says:

    Welcome Greg! Hope it goes well. Don’t get discouraged if progress isn’t as quick as you’d like. It took me four days of struggling before everything clicked. That was 22 years ago and I was 51 at the time.

  32. Shawn Pepera says:

    1st lesson TODAY!! I’m a 43 year old female and a knee injury is making me ditch the skis for a season on the board!! Fingers crossed!! Whats your opinion of wrist guards? I am reading VERY mixed reviews!

  33. John LaPlante says:

    Some people think they’re no good. I use them, especially for beginner, and have used these: https://flexmeterwristguards.com/

  34. Amanda Bristow says:

    I agree! I would not board without flexmeter wrist guards, knee pads, padded shorts and back protection. Unlike traditional wrist guards flexmeter actually flex to allow some movement whilst not enough to break anything. They were invented by a Dr who treated dozens of broken wrists from snowboarders, particularly learners..

  35. Mark Peacock says:

    I’m 66 and in good shape; skied most of my life, pretty good at it; want to learn how to snowboard (with instructors, not by myself); am I crazy? (My wife says I am.)


  36. Absolutely not crazy. Do it. At age 73 I split my time 50/50 between skis and board plus I teach snowboarding to grammar school kids each week.

Leave a Reply