An open letter: Your skis aren’t the problem, bro

To Whom It May Concern:

Your skis aren’t the problem, bro. It’s not their fault you didn’t stick that landing, that you went tomahawking down Flippers the other day. And how could it be? They’re only skis, a couple hundred dollar pieces of wood waxed better than a hippie at a drum circle. Inanimate, dead trees full of various graphics. Why blame them? It’s not like they are deliberately trying to screw you out of impressing the gapers going to go shred South Bowl. What about all the times that they’ve been there for you? When they didn’t get a core shot despite your pathetic path choice through that gully early season. When they gripped on the icy face where a fall would have been truly traumatic. Your skis aren’t the problem, bro.

Jerry, the conditions aren’t the problem. You say that they’re the reason that you took that fall – if it had just been a bit softer, a bit more corn, you would’ve G-turned out of there like a falcon pulling out of a dive. Please, let’s get real here. The true skiers, the ultra-hardcore shredders, have skied that run in all variable conditions. One is not judged on how they ski in great conditions, but rather how they fare in the unknown, the sloppy, the choppy of all runs. What’s stopping you from joining the masses of people that shred in style down the gnarly? The conditions have nothing to do with it. Let’s get Zen here: one must mold themselves to the run instead of molding the run to them. That double black may ski like a charm in waist deep powder, but waist deep powder today is not. Respect the run, and the run will respect you.

Gaper, your goggles are not the problem. Don’t have the right lenses for today? Neither did Glen Plake when he skied all over Chamonix in sunglasses. Neither did the Norwegians when they invented skiing over 8,000 years ago. I’m pretty sure goggles didn’t even exist back then, and yet they went skiing. Why can’t you? Erik Weihenmayer has never complained about what ski lenses he’s used. There’s a good chance your goggles let you see a fair bit better than whatever Mr. Weihenmayer is using, since he’s blind – and has probably skied that run you tomahawked down.

Your GoPro wasn’t the problem, dudeski. You were too worried about if the red light was flashing? And too worried about it rattling around, that it could fall off your helmet? You should have been more worried how ridiculous you look with a tiny square protruding from your helmet. Let’s leave the filming to the professionals. You know, the ones who don’t complain about their goggles, the conditions, their skis. The ones who accept why they fall, who laugh it off and get back up, who don’t sit there making excuses, looking for attention.

Your skis aren’t the problem, bro. You’re the problem. You french-fried when you should have pizza-ed.

Yours truly,

~A cynical climber

Illustration by Davis Connelley
Illustration by Davis Connelley