WORDS — Will Eginton
We’ve seen it everywhere; in Instagram posts, annual video parts and just about every dude’s “personal project.” The scene typically goes like this: Dude rocking a high-cuffed beanie and puffy blazes up to the trailhead in a lifted pickup truck sporting a $10,000 sled draped in some obnoxious wrap and super tall climbing bars. He’s got a chopped seat and a pair of super-fat twins on one side. On the other, an oversized skateboard with stupid foam pads all over the place.
Cut to the next scene of some incredibly mediocre pow turns on the sled through a meadow. Homie then stands at the top of a 23-degree pitch like it’s the top of the ultra-ramp or whatever the fuck it’s called at the X Games, and drops in on that stupid plank of wood. Shitty backside turns ensue, hands thrown to the sky. A toe-side turn—if you can call it that—leads to our fateful protagonist picking up speed before bailing into a plume of fluff. Cackling ensues.
I’m sick of it. I used to just let it pass. Keep scrolling. Smash “back” on my browser. Fast forward on the TV. Move on to more normal indulgences. I’d rather watch Hoji light up some hallways in Interior BC. The Blondes chuck themselves full noise. Matěj Švancer drop some absurd Dub 16 variation I’ve never seen. There’s so much rad shit going on in skiing, so why would I get bent out of shape about someone out and about having fun? Whatever blows your hair back, right?
No, I’m stewing over it. Full-on Maine Lobstah, guy. Boiling to the point that I’m red in the face, shrieking and all jumbled inside.
It’s a giant middle finger to us normal folks. The fuck-you money of professional ski-dom. It’s the wakesurfing of skiing—a warm embrace of absolute privilege.
Now I’m sure it’s fun. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? Sledding down the hill at your local park when you were eight-years-old was pretty damn fun. And yeah, sure, I tried to stand up on my Wal-Mart special and skitter off down the hill behind my house. We all did.
But those days are long gone, bub. Like many of you, my days of skiing 100 days a year are behind me. Work and life obligations relegate my time in the hills to two days a week—three if I push a night mission. And pow days? Those are sacred days. Those are the days we live for, and when the fatty flakes are flying, it only means one thing: Grab your skis and get out there.
So when the newest up-and-coming backcountry bro pops up on my feed on a Tuesday AM, faffing his way through some low angle meadows on his hand-crafted powsurf board, preaching some shit about “embracing the moment” or “feeding the soul” or some other bullshit written by his social media coordinator, I get a little chuffed.
I would do terrible things to be able to chase snow. To spend my winters seeking out soft snow and ripping new lines. If I was in that position, I’d want to be on my skis as much as possible. Why on earth would I waste my time tomahawking and stumbling through some boring terrain? That’s my opinion, and I realize it might not be shared. But guess what? You, the semi-professional/professional skier, are paid to inspire us to like, actually go skiing.
And powsurfing is not skiing. It’s actually so much worse: it’s condescending, elitist. “Oh, that fancy-lad activity I grew up doing on vacations to our mountain house? I’ve had enough. It’s kind of stale, you know? I’m gonna skip this killer storm cycle and just powsurf. Clear the head; reset a bit.” It screams “I’m bored skiing pow every damn day, I need to find stimulation elsewhere.”
Cool, man. You’re the man. You’re the absolute man. You get paid to do what we pay to do. And while us plebes are over here jittery-stoked and spun into a powder-panic, you’re pretending you’re a middle schooler that just found out he got a snow day.
So if you want to flex, that’s great, man. Glad you’ve found your balance, your inner peace; but I sure as shit don’t want to watch it. Sure, I might be turning into your jaded Uncle Glenn bemoaning park skiers not being able to turn. But at least I’m not blowing precious travel budget to turn a few B-roll shots into a mini-segment in my personal project.
This story originally appeared in FREESKIER Volume 24.
To subscribe to skiing’s independent magazine, click here.
This article was originally published by Freeskier.com. Read the original article here.