Ski Tips & Wise Cracks: How To Stay In Après Ski Shape This Summer
Don’t lose your post-shred hang out skills just because it’s flip-flop weather. Check out some "this-n-that" tips from one ski bum to another.
Welcome, friends, to Warren Miller Entertainment's “Ski Tips & Wise Cracks” - a series of articles that will help you keep, refine, and improve your ski bummery skills this summer.
Paddy O’Connell takes on the perplexities of summertime livin’ as a ski bum.
As Mother Nature takes ULLR down south and brings hair dryer winds and jorts weather up to us in North America, we skiers are often sidetracked by BBQs and beach volleyball scenes reminiscent of an oily Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Sure, enjoying a crispy bratwurst while bump-set-spiking in Levi’s is just fine from time-to-time. But, do it every day this summer, well friend, come winter you’ll be as clueless as a Jethro in an unzipped Starter jacket. Don’t end up bumbling about in unbuckled boots and briefcase-carrying your skis in the base area. Keep them skills tight this summer. Let’s start with the do’s and do not’s of staying in après ski shape.
NOTE: It is recommended to participate in all of the following activities wearing your ski gear or the ubiquitous, gender neutral ski bum uniform of paint-stained, cuff-rolled Carhartts, Dickies, or Mountain Khakis, a ten-year-old tee shirt from the local gear or pizza shop, a flannel, and a dirty flat-brimed trucker hat with Croakies or Chums-clad sunnies on the bill. Don’t forget the scruffy shadow beard for the bros, and a braided side pony for the brahs.
Chicken Wing Curls
If this article were entitled “How to Be a Dweeb This Summer” then we’d be talking about Crossfit, gym memberships, and actual weight training. But, what we skiers need to do is tightrope that line between being in peak physical condition and a total flabby mess. Our goggle tan zone and our legs need stay in prime tautness but our navel area can stay lovably pudgy. A Jello-esque midsection is, of course, the power cell of a ski machine. And abs are about as cool as white tube socks in Birkenstocks, which some people wear quite successfully.
At Happy Hours this summer, start reppin’ out chicken wing curls. Get yourself in an athletic position and, as is true with proper forward lean-shin contact ski form, pressure on your tongue results in power and smooth action. Proper horizontal spin eating etiquette, a la corn on the cob, should be adhered to at all times. Don’t go shoving that drumstick deep into your cheek and ripping it apart in one bite like a damn savage. As is true with smooth turning, wing reps need to be precise and deliberate. Wings can be swapped for doughnuts, sammiches, charcuterie, festival-style elephant ears or fried-n-sugared dough of any kind, or nachos. Quinoa salad need not apply here.
Nothin’ is more irresistible than booty poppin’ ski pants and a goggle-tanned face covered in wing sauce.
Put Out the Vibe
Deep lunges, power squats, burpees, these things will help build quad and calf def, which will, in turn, result in some creamy, powerful wintertime wigglin’. But the après scene is about puttin’ out the vibe. This summer, practice leaning your elbows on a high-top table, stretchin’ your legs out until you feel the back pockets of your ski pants or Carhartts tighten to within an inch of their life, and pop that hip. Look over your shoulder with a raised eyebrow and let ‘em know that you know that they know how rad you are. Hip pops improve the posterior chain, which is made up by the back of the leg ham strings, the ol’ back porch itself, the tramp stamp area, and multisyllabic portions of the lower back that are hard to spell and pronounce. Putting out the vibe is key to après success and should be paired with chicken wing curls as much as possible. Nothin’ is more irresistible than booty poppin’ ski pants and a goggle-tanned face covered in wing sauce.
K2 athletes practice keeping proper après form while in France. Christophe Hassel Photo.
Ski Boot Dance Fighting
Ever see Footloose? Was Kevin Bacon fit or flabby? Exactly. Now, you probably shouldn’t dance away your emotions in an abandoned warehouse like the twinkle toes Baconator himself, but you should definitely work on your ski boot dance skills this summer. Feed the Jukebox some dollars, put on some Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Huey Lewis tunes, and get your groove on. Changing out of your ski boots for the après scene is a big time no-no. Does Superman take his cape off when he goes to work? Nope. Nor should you don some sneakers for your post-ski day dance fighting. Plus, how will other ski bums recognize that you got a super-duper rad that day if you’re not in your boots at 10pm?
Pro Tip: Come bunions or disintegrating toenails, keep your damn boots on at all costs.
Any ol’ jackalope can click into some planks and pizza their way to an adventure. Après-ing properly requires practice and refinement of technique.
Here’s the deal, friends. Flexibility, aerobic and anaerobic endurance, strength, and power are all stellar physiological tools for triumphant skiing and staying in shape. But what sets true ski bums apart from the pool of bros and brahs are après ski skills. Skiing is the easy part. Any ol’ jackalope can click into some planks and pizza their way to an adventure. Après-ing properly requires practice and refinement of technique. Get after it this summer, friends. Get your après on, often and hard.
DISCLAIMER: The above tips are not based on anything that resembles real or actual medical fact or science. They’re just based on being super rad, bro.
Follow Paddy O on his ski bum journey here.