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.
Well, until I start to get some new gear to try out, review, and provide my own two cents on, I thought, “why not start with what you’ve got?!”. So head to toe, that’s what I’m gonna do…
Bottom to top.
Skis: Fischer Progressor 9+ w. Z13 Flowflex bindings – 170cm (+2004 K2 Axis XR w. Marker Piston Bindings – 167cm, +2003 Elan World Cup SL w. Marker Piston Bindings – 154cm)
Well then! Lets start with the K2’s. I love skis and I love K2… there are probably 4-5 other pair sitting in my parents attic as we speak and it was all I skied prior to the Elans I raced on in college. So being a K2 fanatic my first ‘race ski’ was obviously going to be K2. The XR’s were great. Stable at high speeds, they had a titanium laminate construction built into them so they were good, stiff, and absorbed a lot of the vibrations from all the ice (hard snow) I was skiing. They were also short enough where I could take them through the moguls or into the woods no problem AND light enough where popping a 360 was always as tough as I made it. Really the perfect performance all-mountain ski. Now they’re my rock skis, nothing wrong with that. All Gods creatures must serve a purpose.
The Elans were SO MUCH FUN. They were so short it wasn’t even fair (actually it wasn’t; they were technically illegal but I was never that good of a racer where anyone cared). They were lime green and made you look look like a pro. I donated them to the Marist Ski Team upon graduating but now that I think about it, I kind of want them back. Hey Kyle, I know you’re using them this year… give me my skis back.
Ahhh, the Progressors, my babies. I have demo’d a lot of skis. And I have never skied anything like these. Before I tell you about all the good things let me tell you about the bad things. 1) Have a ski shop mount your bindings. With the Fischer system they come with pre-drilled holes, standard on new systems. Well, I had never mounted skis like this before but I am thinking to myself ‘how hard could it honestly be??’. Yea… well, obviously harder than I thought. First day, first run, cruising down 49er at Hunter Mtn things started out great… until about half way down. I’m mid turn and my ski EXPLODED off my boot. I went flying, my outside ski and binging rocketed into the woods like a bazooka shot it off my leg and I ended up sliding 30 yards down the hill nearly missing the lift pole on my way down. I ended up ripping the screws out of the mount. Needless to say, have a pro shop do it for you. The Hunter Mtn shop did a great job remounting my bindings forward, which I actually prefer now as it allows you to keep balance so you don’t fall back into your tails as easily. Phew, bottom line I was lucky… scariest accident I have ever had on skis. 2) Dont take them into the woods – I mean, YOU CAN do it, but I don’t recommend it. The waist + turning radius + powder you’re skiing through is not the recipe for success with these sticks. Actually, that is about the only negative thing I can say besides being relatively heavy to jump off of, I can ski just about anything with them.
They ROCK at high speeds, its like taking a Porsche down the Autobahn – nothing to worry about. If you want to mix it up with GS / SL turns you can, it isn’t a gimmick. If you can really rip it, get these boys on edge, you’ll put them perpendicular to the snow. They’re responsive, grippy, and reliable. Best ski I have ever tried and if you let them they will take you for the ride of your life.
Boots: Well it’s time for new boots, bottom line. Most people don’t understand that boots are probably the most important part of your gear. Everything starts with your feet; displacement of energy, weight distribution, direction, everything. So avoid copping out on spending a little bit more on the right boot for you. If you end up without the proper boots, the $1,400 you spent on your setup won’t matter. Just do it, you will be happy you did.
Poles: Some kid stole my poles 6 years ago. Since then I just use whatever the rental shop will give me. The Goode poles they generally have work great. I like the flex and if I’m pole planting through the moguls and get stuck I won’t rupture my spleen with a pole plant to the stomach.
Pants: This is a special part of my uniform. I have been through many a ski pant. I had a pair of Spyder bibs for a season, and lost them some how. Then I had a great pair Obermeyers that I believe were stolen. Anyhow, after the Obermeyers disappeared and I went back to back seasons losing $150+ ski pants I was like screw it. So I happened to lose the last pair at Pico. Went to lost and found and got nothing. So the guy I spoke with was actually really great, and he told me that if anything came through that no one claimed he would send them along; I wasn’t hopeful. But sure enough 2 weeks later came a pair of Helly Hansen pants. They weren’t the shells I usually wore or the bibs that I preferred over pants, but they were Helly Hansen pants and they were free. Every year before the season starts my Mom tries to buy me a new pair but I say no thank you Mom, I like my hand-me-downs. Ill tell you what, I have been rocking those pants for 8 years now. They have duct tape smeared all over them, and I look homeless when I walk into the lodge. But they’re warm, comfortable, functional, and still waterproof… and they’re Helly Hansens.
Gloves: Grando race mittens. Again with green duct tape covering 47% of them. When you buy good gear it will last you forever.
Jacket: There are a few… right now I have a Columbia Titanium that is about 9 years old (couldnt afford the North Face and truthfully, it’s the same thing). My Mountain Hardwear shell has been great. Windproof and wonderful, its what I usually wear onto the hill. And ALWAYS I wear my Conti of Florence ugly ski sweater underneath it; you gotta represent the ugly ski sweater! Finally I have my new Ski Till I Die jacket. So lets hope that its as good as I think it is going to be… The last thing I will ever do is lie to my customer, I think its great but I haven’t field tested it yet so stay tuned.
Head Gear: Gyro helmet in the woods, fuzzy rabbit fur hat on the hill (see: Who are we?? for a photo), and my new Ski Till I Die beanie. I kid you not, I have not taken this hat off since I got the sample, I absolutely love it. I am wearing it right now.
My goggles are special. I used to have THE BEST pair of goggles in the world. They were over sized, mirrored, neon green and pink, and straight out of 1980. But, I’m sure you can guess what happened to them…
So the search started for a new pair. I have never been called conventional so I couldn’t get Oakleys like 85% of everyone else on the mountain. I needed something fresh. I found it with a company called Fortress Eyewear. Right now I have the womens (yea, get over it – I wanted to rock pink) Crush Pearl goggles. These ROCK… they don’t fog, they have the concave & reflective lens, they have an unmistakable style to them, and they cost me $50 even though they wear like a pair of $150 shades. See ya later Oakley!
So thats my get up… I remember a few years back, this girl behind me in the lift line tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Ill bet your’e a pretty good skier”. I replied, “I guess I’m ok, I mean I can get down the hill in one piece, why do you ask?”. “Well” she said, “having duct tape on your gear seems like a prerequisite for being a really good skier”. I just kind of smiled and nodded noting I look homeless but thank you. But the more I thought about it she’s right in the wrong way. We don’t wake up one day saying GOD I can’t WAIT to cover my gear in duct tape. The reason we are covered in it is because we fall in love when we buy good stuff and can’t ever find it again. Then when you take it in the woods, and after 30 some yard sales, and countless happy hours, it wears on you. So we hold on, and on, and onto it until it’s basically stuck to our bodies. Then we hold on some more… and when you do anything for that long, your’e bound to be able to get down the hill in one piece.