I’m not sure the first place I saw it — maybe on a bumper sticker on an old Subaru, maybe Sharpied on the wall of some ski town dive bar — simple slogan, four words: Ski More. Talk Less. According to (wordy and hotly debated) webpages, it originated as a mantra for ski instructors. Less talking, more doing. Show, don’t tell.
That’s fine, but it’s better applied to everyday life as a skier, not just private lessons.
It’s the sort of thing that gets said a lot in the ski industry, but it is mostly ignored, especially by uninformed and obnoxious skier bros (and just to get it out of the way up front, I am one of the least informed, and loudest). But the deeper the snow gets, the truer that mantra becomes.
Stop frothing in the lift line, informing everyone within earshot of how big you’re going to go today and how your buddy who’s an Armada rep hooked you up with these skis for “like nothing, dude, I just have to tag them on Instagram.”
Stop blathering on the chairlift about how “snowboarding is totally just a fad.”
Don’t corner the harried shop employee on the bus ride trying to impress him with how much you know about your setup.
Don’t talk past the woman at the bar about how sick you got in Corbet’s last week. If you’d actually gotten that sick in Corbet’s we would have seen your face a million times in the Kings and Queens highlight video by now. (Unless you’re one of the ladies who attempted first hit backflips into Corbet’s. Hype your feats all you want. Can I get your digits?)
Don’t shout at the woman you just met at the show about how you spent last winter chasing snow. Actually, just don’t shout at women ever, unless they’ve explicitly asked you to shout at them.
Don’t tell me how you need longer skis and bindings with a higher DIN than the ski industry currently produces because you charge so hard. Unless you’re a genetic anomaly who plays in the NBA or NFL, you probably don’t. And just to nip it in the bud, unnecessarily long skis have precisely the same effect on the perceived size of your genitals as the unnecessarily large truck you haul them in.
Take a page from Seth Morrison’s book: Shut up and shred. If you want to make a statement dye your hair pink and throw a 90-foot Lincoln Loop, but please, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t tell me while stepping on my poles getting on the tram.
Before Candide Thovex entered the popular consciousness he ran his mouth at Pinky G’s about how he was going to do a backflip in the ocean, off a wave. No, wait, he made a movie called “Few Words” in which he skied at a higher level than had ever really been seen before, without talking onscreen.
The core of Nimbus Independent’s two great ski movie hits, “IDEA” and “After the Sky Falls,” is the witty and verbose dialogue in which Eric Pollard and Pep Fujas drunkenly argue about the respective merits of rocker and camber when applied to the scenario of the surf turn. Or maybe it’s the part where really good skiers do the thing they’re really good at, instead of blabbing.
Now, to be clear, I’m not saying we should be quiet while we’re skiing. Yell at your friends in the parking lot. Cheer for people under the lift. Scream at small children to “send it!” Experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat with every skier who passes you as you ride the chair. Applaud loudly when some guy sends a spread eagle in view of the lift line.
But please, in the name of Shane McConkey, by the power of powder snow: Dudes who slide down snow, please stop pretending you have some special insight, some unique take on skiing that needs to be yelled or bragged about to an unwilling captive audience. Shut up. Ride faster. Go bigger. Ski more. Talk less. Our hot air is contributing to global warming.