The Helicopter, The Tram or Blind Destruction – how do you carry your skis? Next time you are waiting in line at the lift or sipping on a cool drink at the après-ski bar, take a look at the people around you and in particular at how they transport their winter sports equipment. We have put together the seven most common techniques we have observed over the years, categorised and classified according to strict scientific criteria.
1. Biceps of Steel
Biceps of Steel refers to the position holding your skis in one hand, parallel to your body, with your upper and lower arm at a right angle. Everyone who sees you carrying your skis in this position doesn’t think you will be able to keep it up for long – but they’re wrong. As you make your way from car park number 13 the five kilometres to the bottom of the cable car, it’s a question of mind over matter. The pain in your arm is searing, but there’s no chance that you are going to give up now. As you finally reach the lift queue you can drop your skis more or less elegantly to the ground safe in the knowledge that you, my friend, have Biceps of Steel.
2. No Risk, No Fun
This one is for the risk-takers, the daredevils, the madmen. If you are the kind of person who looks in the rearview mirror, sees the boot is open and keeps driving as the hi-vis vests and first aid kit tumble out onto the motorway, then this is for you. When it comes to carrying your skis, this ‘devil may care’ attitude expresses itself in a lackadaisical drag – all the way from car to lift. After all, it is far too much hard work to actually carry your skis. Anyone and anything brave enough to get in your way is simply ploughed to the side.
3. Blind Destruction
With a swish of the wrists, you confidently swing your skis onto your shoulder like a World Cup racer. The only problem? As you make your way towards the lifts you seem to have forgotten about the two-metre-long planks sticking out behind you. Three scratched cars, two broken wing mirrors and one black eye later you swing your skis to the ground, narrowly avoiding a group of children patiently waiting for their instructor to arrive. Our recommendation? Take along a roll of bubble wrap or get someone else to carry your skis for you.
4. The Old Pro
With a dark brown tan and bright red ski suit, you are the king of the hill – and everyone knows it. Your super-stiff ski boots and super-G skis tuned to within an inch of their life are proof, if any were needed, that you are indeed a cut above the rest. Your skills on the slopes are matched, of course, by your ability to casually carry your skis with a nonchalance and a style envied by all – at least that’s what you tell yourself. You’re the man!
5. The Helicopter (or: The Samurai)
Somebody told you somewhere that the best way to carry your skis is no as a pair but individually. You have taken this well-meant advice to heart and have one ski on each shoulder, crossed over just behind your head to form a walking X. You and your homemade helicopter may need twice as much space as everyone else, but hey – that’s life. Whenever you have to run for the skibus, The Helicopter turns into The Samurai. All of a sudden, the crowd of people ahead of you parts like the Red Sea as they flee for their lives.
6. The Tram
Similar to the abovementioned technique, but you are a low rider rather than a high roller. You hold one ski in each hand at around hip height. The Tram is actually a really handy way of carrying skis – it’s just a shame it looks so stupid. While your skis are safe and sound in your hands, there is still the question of what to do with your poles. We recommend strapping them to you back or, for those with a little more flair, clamping them between your teeth.
7. Horizontal Hold
The Horizontal Hold tells everyone around you: “Hey, watch out – I need my personal space.” That’s all well and good, but you shouldn’t forget that this position not only looks really silly but can also end up acting as a battering ram as soon as you reach a crowded place. That may be useful to get a spot on the lift, but you’re certainly not going to end up making any friends.