Skiers love to talk about skiing to just about anyone. But there are a few questions we get asked by non-skiers pretty regularly. I’m not complaining. I mean, you’re not going to learn if you don’t ask, right? And I’m quite sure that some of my questions about, say, football or just about any team sport, are maddeningly dumb and annoying to anyone who knows about such things. In any event, here are a few questions I’ve encountered more than once. Show this to your non-skiing friends. Maybe they’ll quit asking.
1) Aren’t you afraid you’ll get hurt?
Of course I’m afraid I’ll get hurt. I’m also afraid I’ll get in a car accident when I’m driving down the highway. Or that I’ll come down with a cold when someone’s hacking away near me on an airplane. Or that I’ll get stuck in an elevator and starve to death before I’m rescued (just kidding). There are inherent risks in just about everything we do. The trick is to do whatever you can to stay injury-free.
2) How can you stand the cold?
I absolutely hate being cold, but I love to ski. That’s why God invented tech fabrics, down jackets, boot heaters, and all the great things that can keep you warm when it’s 10 below. Dress for it and you won’t have a problem.
3) Isn’t skiing just gravity? You just point yourself down the mountain and go, right?
To some extent, gravity helps, but anyone who points themselves down the mountain and just goes without knowing how to turn and stop is bound to run into trouble (see question #1). Technique, skill, and practice all play an important part. See the following question, too.
4) Why do you keep taking lessons? Don’t you already know how to ski?
Well, yeah, I do. And I don’t, too. Skiing is a never-ending learning experience; there’s always room for improvement. Lessons help me get better and open up new terrain so I can better enjoy the mountain. It’s like piano. Sure, I could play chopsticks all day long. But wouldn’t it be great to play Mozart?
5) Isn’t skiing expensive?
Yes, skiing does require an investment in gear, lift tickets, and so on. But there are lots of ways to save money. You can buy lift tickets on Liftopia or one of the other discount sites. You can purchase gear at ski swaps. You can join a ski club that has killer lift pass deals. In other words, seek the savings and ye shall find.
6) Do you ski when it’s snowing? Do they keep running the lifts?
Ah, yes. That’s kind of the point. We like the snow.
7) Why do skiers use sticks?
I think they mean ski poles, and though some people ski without them, I’d say that most people don’t. Poles help skiers with timing and rhythm, and can help get you moving across flat terrain. I am definitely pro pole.
8) Why do snowboarders wear such droopy, baggy pants?
I have no idea. Then again, I’m not a 16 year old teenage boy.