What your skis say about you
Alright, before we get into this, I have a disclaimer. This is not going to cover every group of skiers, and some of the things said here might make some of you feel…attacked. But that’s the point. Even with so many options for skis, most skiers and what they ski, fall into some pretty hilarious groups. My opinions on these groups may be a little contentious, but hopefully, some of you get a good laugh out of this. Here are four general groups of skis that may describe you as a skier.
"I like them FAT"
Ahhh man. This is a touchy subject for me. The skis that I put in this category include the likes of K2 Hellbent (may they rest in peace), DPS Spoons/Lotus, the Armada JJ and Magic J, Black Crow Noctas, Surface Labs etc. etc. There are a lot of wide skis out there. The people who ski these phat skis tend to fall into two different groups. The western powder hounds and the Midwest weirdos. The powder hounds are what you would expect. They get up early and make sure that every centimeter of their 130 underfoot skis is spraying up as much cold smoke as possible. These folks may not be at the resort that often, only waiting for the deepest of days to make their drunken parking lot appearances. These guys and gals are great to chat with on the lifts and will probably talk nonstop about their “Secret stashes” but will never fill you in on where they actually are.
Now onto the second group, and oh boy does this hit close to home. Imagine this. You’re in the solo line for the lift and finally, get to the chair. It hasn’t snowed in weeks and the snow surface is more similar to an ice rink than something that most people would ski. As you get on the lift you hear the sound of something PHAT smacking against the ice. You look right, to the skier next to you, who is riding some 130 underfoot monstrosities. You ask the rider on the lift “why the hell are you riding those things in (insert Midwest or East coast state)?” They will probably wax poetically about how much more fun they have than you on the one day a year that it does snow more than 6 inches. You remain confused as they ski off the lift. These people want attention and have the belief the bigger is better. The belief that "it's better to have a big ski and little snow than a little ski and a lot of snow". They know that the two cement cinderblocks attached to their feet draw looks and attention; and they love it. As ashamed as I am to say it, I fell into this group for a couple of seasons when I rode my K2 Hellbents on the icy West Coast... of Michigan.
"I still wear 4xl"
Alright, the skis in this category are the classic twin tip park skis. We're talking Ninthwards, og Chronics, Libertys, or any other more classic park and pipe skis. These guys didn’t get the memo that skis are wide now and a lot less symmetrical. The models they ride include anything...traditional. Almost true twin and probably around 90 mm wide. The models tend to be older, and more beat up; a product of still living in the "golden age" of freeskiing. The native region for this species is usually the park, but on some stiff twin tips, they will still rip the rest of the mountain. On the lift, they will probably talk about park skiing through the gold-tinted lenses of nostalgia. It's not that they don't like new stuff, but they are more comfortable with the familiar. Bonus points if they talk about how they totally wanted to put out a SuperUnknown this year but just couldn’t get the clips, or mention Slumdog Illionare. They will go on about how they almost have dub 10s on lock but the most you’ll ever see them throw from the lift is some nice-looking 5’s. These folks are pretty fun to be around and are a daily reminder of skiing's gilded past.
"I'm With The Trends"
This animal can usually be seen on a smaller, more core brand. In days past they would be riding ON3P Kartels or filthy riches. Currently, this species of skier can usually be found riding the ON3P Magnus, or some Vishnus. These people tend to be in with the trends of skiing and are the most likely group in this article to be living out of a Subaru at Mt Hood. These people tend to be pretty reserved, but once you look past the track pants, lack of poles, and smell of darts they are a pretty cool group to be around. When asked about their favorite trick they probably will talk a lot more about creativity, Magnus, and the diversity of ways to hit picnic tables than actual tricks. They are lovers of tow ropes, weird features, and skiing loose and we love them for that. If you're lucky you may still see some skis representing trends past…looking at all you skiers still riding Revision.
"I like skis that look weird"
Okay. We all know what skis I’m talking about. The strange stuff you see on the hill. Strange stuff that isn’t necessarily bad but does make you question…why? The first and probably most discussed offender on Newschoolers would be the Surface Outsiders. 8° degrees of rocker in the tips and tails? Insane. Some other potential skis to through in this grouping would be the K2 Marksmen, Moment Meridian, Line Sakana, or any skis of the strange and unique variety. Conversations with these snow lovers will probably be more focused on their skis than anything else, and how their weird attributes put them in a league above other skis. These folks will generally be seen riding most of the mountain, which you may find a little strange considering how niche some of these skis are. You’ll see Outsiders on icy groomers, Sakanas in the park, and all manner of goofy environments for these goofy skis. It almost seems like the skiers who ride the skis in this group prefer to ride them outside of their native environment. Often weekend warriors, who get at least a few days a week, you'll recognize these locals instantly just by looking at their feet. Even though it seems stupid to some of us, these people are often having the most fun on the slopes.
Well, that's the end of my rant. I mean no offense to anybody who feels like they may have been targeted. We all have quirks and different tastes, so it's good to poke fun at those quirks every now and then. It keeps us all honest. Take all this with a grain of salt. I'm just a slightly above average skier with bad takes.
Anyways, comment below anything that I may have missed (there's definitely plenty of stuff that I missed) or any other groups you see out on the slopes. Hope everyone has a good start to their ski and holiday season.