ski gear with a retro look, vintage feel, die hard attitude.

The Chronicles

10 (more) Reasons Why Skiing Is Better Than Snowboarding

One of the first blogs I wrote back in 2010 was 10 Reasons Why Skiing Is Better Than Snowboarding… honestly didn’t think much of it and for whatever reason that has been one of the most read and commented on posts I’ve written.

Which isn’t saying much.

Anyway, we’re here 4 years later (this time with a website!) and people are STILL commenting on it… not to mention that the world seems to be obsessed with lists lately… I decided to update it with 10 more reasons skiing rules!

10. Unofficial Networks has a list of reasons why snowboarding is better… they could only come up with 8. Math.

9. Instead of facing front you have to go down the hill sideways. The only animal I could think of that walks sideways is a crab. Crabs get dominated by other animals ALL the time.

crabs

8. Carrying your skis on one shoulder and your boots on the other just looks cooler than dragging your board across the parking lot.

7. If you’re going to crash, you might as well do it the right way. Yardsale with all your $hit flying all over the hill. Go big or go home.

6. Pond skimming is way too easy on a snowboard. Challenge yourself bro.

5. With all due respect to Art Of Flight… there’s no such thing as 80’s snowboard movies. Here is the trailer for Aspen extreme… “Top Gun On The Slopes”

4. More on the 80’s… it’s a privilege to rock a onsie, not a right.

3. Nails on a chalkboard, an ’89 Toyota Camry with shitty brakes, a snowboard scraping the mountain.

2. WTF is a shot-board? Exactly.

1.SKI BUNNIES!

You  can never have too many snow bunnies hopping around.

You can never have too many snow bunnies hopping around.


The Top 5 Best (And Worst) Dating Apps To Use Skiing

We’ve all been there… “Hey! Let’s go on a ski weekend with a bunch of cool people!”… and BOOM… you find yourself surrounded by 18 other people of the same sex, in a cabin for the weekend, playing endless rounds of flip cup. So why not try out some random dating app and search for some friendly opposite sex company?? Works. Every. Time.

If by works you mean finds you the creepiest person you can think of and by every time meaning you already had it downloaded on your phone in the first place. Then yea, 50% of the time it works every time.

unnamed

Oh, you like shotskis? So do these girls.

So here is a list of the best and worst dating apps to use skiing. *Disclaimer* NO research was done on ANY of these sites prior to this article being published. Also, our website has nothing to do with online dating but you should check it out anyway! 

THE WORST:

5) eHarmony.com – Really?? REALLY?! Are you looking for love on  a ski weekend?? Plus there is a 90% chance the weird guy from the commercials is going to pop out from behind a tree while you’re skiing glades and scare the absolute shit out of you.

4) JDate – Nothing wrong with Jewish people looking for other Jewish love. But really, you’re limiting yourself here… to probably about 11% of the whole mountain. Not to mention you’ll probably have to end up meeting that persons mom on Sunday before you drive home.

3) CraigsList – Ever been on the CraigsList personals?? Me either…

craigslist

2) Chat Roulette – Not sure this even qualifies as a dating site but to describe it as an “experience” is an understatement. Plus, whatever naked person (98% of the time it will be a guy) you get matched with probably isn’t in your time zone let alone zip code.

1) Friend Finder – Can anything make you sound more desperate than Friend Finder?? I didnt think so. Maybe just “Im Desperately Looking To Find Friends, Lets Hang Out Now!”? Cant wait to meet your creepy self…

THE BEST:

5) Farmers Only – This is probably the most brilliant website ever. And no, you don’t technically have to be a farmer to log on.

4) Match.com – Only putting this on here because they give you options for what you’re looking for ranging from “Casual Sex” to “Lets Get Married IMMEDIATELY”. But lets be realistic, you’re looking for the former.

3) Plenty Of Fish – Plenty of fish in the sea… plenty of guys on the mountain. Have fun girls, it’s a meat market out there.

2) OK Cupid – Better than POF in that a) you can search keywords like, “ski / skier / skiing” and b) this is what I used to turn my profile into an ad for the ski house and found all the single girls who ski within a 50 mile radius to fill it up with. BOOM.

1) Tinder – I mean c’mon… did you really expect anything else?! You can literally swipe until your thumbs hurt, you’re only talking to people who actually want to talk to you back, and Ke$ha wrote a song about it. Tinder is the gold standard for online dating on the mountain.

swimwear-bunnies

These girls DEFINITELY use Tinder

Choose wisely my friend… there are lots of different paths down the mountain, out of your ski gear, and into the hot tub. And you’re one swipe away from the apres of your life!


27 Reasons Why Ski Season Is Better Than Beach Season

Even this guy is waiting for winter.

Even this guy is waiting for winter.

Everyone seems to be obsessed with lists lately. 13 reasons your boyfriend left you… 20 movie stars from the 80’s you wish you slept with before the 90’s… a list of the worst buzzfeed lists. Without even searching that I swear to God one exists.

 

So as summer is coming into the home stretch I started thinking about my own list. What makes winter so much better than summer… and (with the help of my intern Grace – (yes, you read that correctly – Ski Till I Die has an intern) here are the 27 reasons we came up with. Also, we finally have a website so you better go buy a shirt!

 

27. Summer only lasts for 3 months… ski season lasts for 6.

26. GNARNIA doesnt exist on the beach.

25. There is no such thing as “apres beach”.

24. Sand gets EVERYWHERE. And it sucks.

23. Goggle tans > Bathing suit tans

22. Seagulls dont ski. They fly south for the winter. That means during the entire summer they annoy the absolute $HIT out of you.

21. It’s impossible to be eaten by Jaws on the mountain. Unless you’ve seen Avalanche Sharks… in that case, you’re just F’d. Either way I would rather be eaten by wolves or bears.

20. You cant eat sand. Snow is delicious.

19. Snow men > Sand castles

18. You know that song ‘Summertime Sadness’…

17. Speaking of songs… all the girls you hear about in summer music, for whatever reason, always turn out to be huge whores. Notice a trend there??

16. I’d rather be on top of the mountain than under the board walk.

15. Bonfires in the snow are cooler than bonfires on the beach.

14. You can still hike a mountain in the summer. If you decide to jump in the ocean in the winter you will die.

13. Talking to girls on the mountain is way less creepy than trying to talk to girls on the beach.

12. Ferris wheels are gross. And sticky. Id rather have sex in a gondola.

11. Christmas in July is cool… Actual Christmas is cooler.

10. Tailgating on the mountain is 1,000 times more fun than sweating in the parking lot.

9. You are less likely to have someone blow a whistle at you for skiing out of bounds. And as a grown man, there is nothing I can think of that is more embarrassing than having a 16 year old tell you to get out of the water.

8. There is no Gaper day at the beach.

7. There is skiing and then there is spring skiing.

6. Have you ever ridden a snow mobile before??

5. You dont need an excuse for everyone to jump into the hot tub. Depending on how apres skiing went there is also a good chance that you can convince everyone topless is the way to go.

4. Nude beaches are full of disgusting people 9 out of 10 times.

3. You can’t catch crabs on the mountain. Plus, when you catch a wave you’ve usually been floating out in the middle of the ocean for :45 minutes and at that point most definitely lost your buzz.

2. Kids, fish, and whales pee in the ocean. We all learned early on to avoid yellow snow.

1. Without ski season you wouldn’t have anything to look forward to all summer.


The View From Above: Perspective From 10,000 Feet

The last blog I wrote was February 1 of last season. Since then I’ve probably started about a dozen or so posts but haven’t been inspired enough to finish them. I like to take pride in what I write, finding meaning in what I have to say, and relevance in how it relates back to skiing.

Right now I am sitting at 40,000 feet on my way to Boston from Memphis as no flights were headed back to NYC today
and everything leaving the south, headed north, was canceled last night. A good ski buddy of mine from college is renting a car as we speak, on his way to pick me up from Rhode Island and then on our way to Killington to take advantage of this epic pre-New Year’s Eve blizzard.

I was privileged enough to be able to spend Christmas with my family. My brothers were in town from Ohio, Noni & Papa J arriving from Florida, and mom and dad just as I left them. I’m blessed…

But last night, after getting back home from the first canceled flight, my folks had a talk with me about priorities.

See, I was breaking my neck to do anything in my power to get back east and in whatever capacity available- trying to figure out a way to get to the mountain. Not even questioning my motives; their discussion got me thinking even more.

I didn’t sleep last night. It could have been a combination of just getting over the flu, that giddy feeling you get when you know a powder day is waiting for you in the AM, or just not being able to comprehend that I might be wrong…

See, this is the 5th straight year that I have welcomed a new year and a new beginning in Vermont. An annual trip I organize with 20 of my nearest and dearest friends to celebrate the year that was and the season that will be.

And after half a day of reflection I realized… Neither one of us is right or wrong- not me or my parents. That I have a responsibility to my ski family to make this trip happen. Whether you realize it or not, if you are as passionate about skiing as I hope you are… Your skiing companions, your friends, want to share moments like this together the way you want to spend Christmas with your family. But when you’re an outsider looking in, sometimes it’s hard to understand that concept.

When I look back at what it took and the support I needed for Ski Till I Die- my ski family was just as important as my parents, and grandparents, and brothers- to give it a shot. It was guidance and motivation from both sides that made me think it could even happen in the first place.

But even I had almost given up with this whole Ski Till I Die thing… too much time and money and effort- and for what?? And maybe Mom and Dad were right; my priorities werent where they needed to be aligned… But for what??

And that brings this story back full circle. Because in the last 6 weeks I have gotten more emails, and messages, and phone calls from people who want this, from my ski family who keeps pushing me along, to ever let it go!

It brought a whole new meaning back to making IT happen; whether its getting back to your roots, or your passion, or your life! It’s skiing!

And trust me when I tell you that Ski Till I Die isn’t going anywhere, it’s here to stay, and it’s about time we got back on this band wagon and started getting to it!

So lets rip this and make it happen!!!

Happy New Year everyone- see you on the mountain!!!


The Chronicles: What It Means To Get Away

Everyone deserves a second chance. At work, in relationships, in life.

The saying goes; fool me once, shame on me , fool me twice, I’m an @sshole. But in this case the second chance happens to be a ski house. And that house happens to be a sanctuary to call home.

When I was growing up my family had a house on Mt. Cranmore in New Hampshire. In the summertime we would head up there and catch tree frogs in the pool. Hike up to Diana’s Bath, and catch lightning bugs at night. When my grandparents passed away we were already living in Ohio and just couldn’t keep it. I never realized how much I missed, or took it for granted, until this season.

My one goal when I walked off the beach after Labor Day was to make this winter ski season better than summer. I was single, Ski Till I Die was starting to get big, and life was about as wonderful as it gets. What better way to perpetuate that than by getting a ski house with 10 friends for 6 months.

Paradise.

Things suck at work? Your significant other isn’t what you had hoped? Life in general, wherever you are, just sucks huh? Well… on the mountain, everything is alright. It’s your getaway. Time to think. Time to relax.

The skiing has been awful this season. Really. terrible. I can’t even tell you about a memorable dump so far this season. Oh, there has been some? Yea, not anywhere I’ve been so far. Don’t let that disappoint you. Find yourself a mountain cabin somewhere – someplace – because what’s made it alright has been this house.

Everyone gives me a lot of flack; and deservingly so. I own a ski company and I don’t ski. So what?! I ski when it means something. When there is a foot of fresh pow on the ground, believe I make first tracks. But right now? I’ve been to the house… Le Bon Apres as we call it… probably 10 times since November. And I’ve been on snow 3 days. That’s right, 3. And I’ll still ski circles around you. I find that when I get up to the cabin I am just as happy lounging in the hot tub, Apres-ing it at the bar, and relaxing by the fire as I am on the mountain.

Ski Till I Die is an idea. It’s a lifestyle. So if you cant live the life, then what’s the point? The point is… enjoy yourself. You have a chance to get away? Do it. You have an opportunity to relax and forget about all the bullsh*t that’s waiting for you back in Manhattan? Then do it! You want to shred some gnar in the meantime… then click in and put down those tracks.

Every single time I’m up there I think about my family house in Conway. It brings me back to the glory days with Grandma and Grandpa “O”. It helps me forget about anything that matters besides how many snowflakes are gonna fall through the ski and land on my face and get me cold again. Then I dunk in the hot tub and come back up with the smile on my face that says – yea, this is my home… I’ll be here until the snow melts and nothing else matters.

Getting away is important. Enjoying what you do is even more relevant. But doing both? Now that’s finding paradise. Away from anything else that matters. Because on the mountain, everything’s alright.

I’ll shred the gnar this season… but getting away to Le Bon Apres is just as important.

 


How To Make It In America, On Skis: Season 2

WE’RE BACK BABY!

I love the HBO series How To Make It In America. Obsessed. When I watch the show I feel like the plot follows the last year of my life almost to a T. But that’s not what really turns me on to it. Besides the theme song; no matter what they deal with, in the end it always works out. Look past the Hollywood / Entourage / fairy tale BS and it’s still there.

I haven’t updated the blog since we failed to hit our goal with the Kickstarter Project. At that point I had kind of given up… I wasn’t inspired the same way I had been prior to the summer. No job, playing Sherlock Homeless at the beach, betrayed by friends… I wasn’t in the best place 6 months ago.

But now I’m here. Back on top might be presumptuous, but here is the rundown. Thanks to true friends I got back on track and got a job. Moved into Manhattan with a buddy of mine, and really started to push Ski Till I Die back in the right direction. Got in the shops, made our buy and we were off. Then life got in the way.

Work. Dating. Work. New York. Work.

Bottom line is I didn’t have any time, I needed an investor badly, and I hadn’t heard from any of the shops since they got the first delivery… bleak outlook, but we decided to follow up before Thanksgiving.

First shop – High Country Ski & Sport in NJ… great selling, wanted to collaborate on a lifestyle website, wanted a reorder.

Second shop – Skier Shop in Stowe VT… almost sold out, loved our gear, wanted a reorder.

Third shop – Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington… 100% SOLD OUT, WANTING A REORDER.

I was floored. Couldn’t believe it. After all the ups, downs, forwards, and backwards… it finally felt like we made it. Shortly after that I got an email from a friend of mine from New York City:

“Hey Boner-

My little sister (don’t get any pervey thoughts) came home from college in one of your Ski Till I Die shirts! I asked her about it and she says all the kids at her college (St. Michaels in VT) LOVE the brand. She was really excited when I told her you had started it. She said she’d be happy to sell them for you in her student center, I don’t know if you guys do that kind of thing but her school is a big skiing school. Hope you’re doing well- Kate”

Validation. We’re back… and we aren’t going anywhere. And it feels good. SKI TILL I DIE BABY!!!


Chapter 7 & 8 – Heartbreak, Homelessness, and Ocean Front Property

Ups and downs are the theme for this part of the story – ups, downs, and extremes. I don’t think that I deserve any type of credit for doing what I am doing – it’s what I love and believe in. But I like to think that being able to overcome adversity as it is presented to you not only defines you as a person but leads to success in the end.

March started off with the EWSRA Expo in Edison, NJ. It was nice to finally have something close to home and mid-week to occupy our time. Before we got there I’m not going to lie, I was a bit intimidated. All the major players where there presenting their lines for next season – North Face, Mountain Hardware, Shred – all had something to offer… just not anything like what we were putting on the market. We walked out with a new sense of – we can really do this – we were up.

We still had events to sponsor too with the entire month being booked up in Pennsylvania and Vermont. We started out up at the second mogul comp at Blue Mountain. It was a good test because Blue saw us before we really had a collection. This time around we had our catalog and tshirts to present and it was well received, very well received. After that we took a road trip up through Vermont and hit every ski shop we could find along the way. We came home gas poor (literally ran out of gas on the Mass Pike on the way back to NJ – thank you AAA) and with 5 new shops – bitter sweet.

After that though we started to tumble, well – I started to tumble.

I had been living with my girlfriend at the time and thought things were great. She obviously did not. I guess I didn’t see it. I’m sorry for the cliche but love is blind isn’t it? And I was unable to see what was right in front of me. She came home one night from work – and after a fight we had over dinner she told me she wanted me to move out. I was too exhausted to fight for it anymore. I guess she got tired of me, tired of my dream, and tired of waiting for my bank account to have more than a 3 digit sum in it – just tired.

I moved my stuff out the next day before she got home. It was over, and I was once again houseless. My lack of an address or key to an apartment was overshadowed by the fact that I had just lost the girl I loved. I moved onto my best friends couch, again, and proceeded to go on a 2 week bender paying no attention to anything else other than my bar tab and trying to forget about her.

Why is it that whenever you go through a break up everyone wants to take you out and feed you shots? Maybe the next one will take the hurt away? In my case the next one only made it hurt worse.

I was at a cross roads. My parents wanted me to move home to Memphis, I did not want to leave my business back in New Jersey, overseeing operations from 1,000 miles away. I booked a ticket to Cleveland to stay with my brother. Half way home and back to some normalcy. Then out of the blue I got a phone call from my buddy Mike: “Hey Ryan, I was talking about it with Christina and we wanted to know if you wanted to move in with us for the summer. We know how much this business means to you and we don’t want to see all the work you’ve put in go to waste.”

It was done – 3 days later I had all my stuff in the back of the truck and I was off to live on a beach for the next 4 months. It was the first time since September that I could settle in, sit on a bed that was mine, take a deep breath, and just experience a sense of relief.

Back to stability, back to focus, back to business… I had left a career, lost a girlfriend I loved, and had $27 to my name. But I had gained new perspective on friendship, sacrifice, and life in general.

I was ready to get back to the Ryan who started Ski Till I Die with the passion and energy and intensity that makes even the most pessimistic individuals believe. Losing my girlfriend hurt more than anything else – everything up to that point was easy for me, That wasn’t. But sometimes you have to define the moment before it defines you… this was one of those circumstances and that’s exactly what I did.

See: Journey – Don’t Stop Believing – The summer chapters come next week just in time for the 4th of July weekend. Until then, cheers!

Ryan