It’s that time of the year again! You’ve got your kit from TK Maxx, you’ve booked your flights and you’re all set for your annual trip away to the alps. But there’s something that’s been niggling you. You’re worried. And I mean really worried. How can you make sure everyone knows you’re the biggest punter on the mountain?!
Fortunately, in between watching videos of Shaun White on youtube and wearing my bolle goggles in the snowdome I’ve found the time to write a listicle worth reading. Here’s how to be an absolute punter:
What to Wear…
First things first, you need to get the look. As Shaun White famously said, ‘fashion is important’, and looking the part is something every punter needs to do. So lets start at the top, what kind of headwear should I wear? The best kind of punter hat is a jester hat; it shows that you don’t take things too seriously and that you’re the kind of person who’s on the mountain to have the most fun. You might be worried about your safety when riding down blue runs at a rip-roaring 17.34kph (#G-N-A-R-L-Y), so feel free to grab a helmet – a normal road cycling helmet works best – and get ready to get radical! Whatever you’ve got on your head make sure there’s a massive gap between it and your goggles, it’s important that everyone can see your forehead.
Sometimes it’s best to not wear goggles because squinting is the best way to see in a blizzard and it’s also good for working out those lazy, flabby eye muscles! Sunglasses are great in all conditions, wrap arounds or really small circular ones are best for screaming out ‘look at me, I’m a punter on the piste, skiing like an absolute beast!’ LOL!
Jacket and Pants
Jacket? What jacket?! No no no. Wear a gilet baby! Nothing keeps your body warm and your arms cold like a puffy gilet from Jack Wills. If you must wear a jacket, get one a few sizes too small and in a pattern that looks like the inventor of tartan vomited a rainbow all over it. Why not match it with a pair of trackie bottoms, or even jeans?! If going for the jeans look, be warned that some ‘park rats’ and ‘rail riders’ (rails aren’t real skiing, duh!) are also rocking this look and people might think you’re not a punter. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
How to Act…
Why Not Snowblade?!
Snowblades are the best because they combine the freestyle capabilities of a snowboard with the trendiness of skis. You can spin around on piste, do jumps really easy and turning has never been so much fun! I’d recommend trying a snow scooter for an afternoon for a great time looking cool, stylish and forward thinking.
Go to the Snowpark
Although it’s not a real sport, ‘freestyle’ is fun to try for at least an hour every holiday. So why not head to the jump park and do some stunts?! Remember, Shaun White had to start somewhere! You will have to abide by park etiquette though, the mains points of which are:
- Always drop in just before someone else does. The skier with the best jester hat always has priority.
- Stop just before and just after every feature.
- Always sit in the landing.
- Always try things you can never land.
- When doing a backflip summersault remember to flip first, then jump. You get bonus points for hitting your head on the lip.
- The features in the park always double up as a slalom course; why not take your ski school through?
Be a Video Star Internet Tube Sensation!
Make sure you document everything. Strap a gopro to your head, your chest, your board, your face, your wife, your poles, your child. Edit all the footage into one really long video and put it on youtube, then call it ‘Shaun White lands a new trick’ to get maximum views!
If you can’t video your trip then photograph it! Blurry photos of you in the air, an accidental photo of your feet, a photo of you grinding on a box, a photo of your lunch on the mountain, whatever it is, photograph it! Upload it to instagram with #shitshredshots and who knows? Your favourite snowski magazine might publish it online! If you really want to get your punter shots published then make sure you’re wearing your best surfanic jacket and get a whole foot off the ground, don’t grab and point at the camera. Voila, instant cover shot!
Tell Everyone How Good You Are
The best way to do this is to get the app, ski tracks. Take a screen shot at the end of every day, upload it online and everyone will know that you rode for an hour, travelled a whole kilometer and went a top speed of 20kph. You’re practically on the #roadtosochi!
Talk About How Cool the Olympics Are
The Olympics are great, what kind of hardened, cold-hearted, concrete cumberbatch would not like the ultimate test of national skill in expensive sports that most of the country can’t afford to participate in?! The best part of the Olympics for us adrenaline snow junkies is the fact skiers organize all snowsport things, which means even the snowboard competitions are worth watching! Make sure everyone knows how punter you are by starting conversations in the bar with one of these statements:
‘Gee whizz, that Shaun White really does go high with his halfpipe airs! His jeans might be a bit tight but he does deserve to win because he’s the best snowboarder of all time’
‘Remember when that girl fell over doing a trick on the jump in that race? What an idiot, she got a bronze or something not a gold, hashtag looser! LOL!’
‘I really think FIS are the best organization to facilitate the delivery of all snowboard events due to their longstanding partnership with the IOC. Moreover, those baggy panted, weed smoking, boardriders couldn’t organize a challenge in the Arctic!’
Words by Romberto Curluso; associate, deputy freelance wordsmith at The Seasonaire. Founding member of the esteemed snowsports listicle writers guild, part-time seasonaire and author of ‘Finding Jacob at the Folie’ – The number one, bestselling Alps themed Twilight fan fiction novel 2014.