There is one story in particular that stands out from the late great Matt Heffernan, it goes a little something like this: Everyone was ducking the rope into the High Cascade lap park and a couple skiers were about to do the same when Heff and the rest of salt crew rolled up. “You guys weren't planning on ducking that rope were you?” Heff said very seriously. They both shook their heads no, to which Heffy replied, “Why the fuck not?” and dropped in.
Ducking the rope, we’ve all done it. Sometimes it’s dangerous, but sometimes you have to say “why the fuck not?” The ski industry can get a bit stiff and stuck up, so we decided it’s time to cut the bullshit and duck the rope. Follow us as we drop in and head out of bounds.
It’s official, “radder-than-you” is out and “funner-than-you” is in, and it’s just as annoying. Gone are the days of proving how rad and core you are. Skis are shrinking, segments are being filmed inbounds again, and people are pretending to not care. Years of technological boom brought cheap POV cameras, good backcountry gear, and all kinds of new ski shapes. Skis began to grow to sizes akin to those of our parents’ skis before the days of sidecut, and every possible imagination of camber got a four letter anagram to describe it. With these innovations, however, came an unprecedented attitude of superiority and judgement, prove yourself or shut up. Fueled by social media and cheap cameras a new generation has brought skiing to a previously unimaginable level, with progression as its keystone buzzword.
However, with any boom comes a bust. And that bubble is bursting. Genuine, fake, trying to hard or not trying enough a new era of “funner-than-you” has emerged as skiing paradigms shift. While the origins may be genuine satire and commentary on the serious(ly lame) state of skiing, this narrative has been distorted and bastardized as skiing attempts to rediscover itself in a time of Olympic excess.
While the reactionary trend certainly brings some welcome refreshment, it similarly brings judgement and superiority. Guised under goofy instagram hashtags and inbounds segments to 80’s hits, the need to prove one’s self fun and carefree has taken over. Some pull it off better than others, it’s hard not to identify with Line’s “More Funner” ad campaign, but the other extreme is cringeworthy. Warren Miller Entertainment provides the best/worst example I’ve ever seen, with a segment that includes far more dancing on top of the RV than actually skiing. Unfortunately for the ladies in the film, however, Tim Durtschi and TGR beat them to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. So prepare yourself for the onslaught that has already begun, as skiers, pros and your friends alike, attempt to show the world how much fun they’re having and how much they don’t care.