How Not to Ski: A Pictorial Guide from the Internet’s Best Fail Videos

by Travis McCullough | January 26, 2024

School’s in session folks, and the class is How Not To Ski, also known as failing 101. By analyzing the how and why of a few bird-brained scenarios, we can better equip you to make us all proud out there on the slopes. That being said, if you find yourself in a scenario such as these, show some love by sharing some of that laughable material with everyone possible.

Newton’s Law Of Inertia

Among other professions, Sir Isaac Newton was one of the world’s foremost physicists. His famous laws of motion are something that everyone, especially skiers and snowboarders, can apply to everyday life. Most important, is his law of inertia:

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

Let’s take a closer look at how one unfortunate skier learned the repercussions of inertia the hard way…

It’s not for us to say whether this skier played hookie on the day of her last physics exam, forgot they had edges on their skis, or was in fact attempting to travel back to the future by reaching 88mph on skis. Regardless of the reason, we are just happy that they remained in one piece, provided us with a funny real-world example of physics at work, and a reminder to always rock a helmet.

Final Grade

Amplitude – A+

Impact – A+

Recovery – B-

Speed Check – F

Overall Sendage – B+

Boarding Or Bowling?

Now the idea of a T-bar lift is pretty simple, right? Just straddle the bar as is ever so slowly and gently pulls you up the mountain to your final destination. This may be true for skiers, but not all boarders have seemed to grasp the complexities of the T-bar yet. Let’s take a look at what happens when someone takes April Fools Day too far and greases up the T-bar for an unsuspecting victim…

To be clear, we are not knocking this boarder for having a slip-up that resulted in taking out a few skiers, it happens to the best of us. Our concern is that they didn’t go full send as they slid down the lift line. This boarder had a perfect opportunity to bowl a perfect strike here and it ended up as more of a 7-10 split. To quote our favorite mercenary transporter Jason Stathom,

…If you’re going to do something, do it with style!

Final Grade

Amplitude – C

Impact – B

Recovery – F

Speed Check – D

Overall Sendage – C

The Relationship Between Double Ejection And The Tomahawk

Now this is by far the most science-heavy scenario that we will cover today, so listen up groms. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s important to understand a few terms.

Double ejection – when a skier loses both of their skis simultaneously upon impact.

Tomahawk – the act of repeatedly flipping head over heel, indefinitely perpetuated by gravity, centrifugal, and centripetal forces. Also known as a rag doll.

It can be argued that if you’ve never experienced a double ejection into a tomahawk you aren’t skiing hard enough. Maybe your DIN settings are too low, or maybe your center of gravity is too far forward, but that is neither here nor there. The point is that it’s usually funny to witness these events from a third-party perspective, but it kind of sucks being the rag doll. Now let’s take a look from one of, if not the, gnarliest skiers on planet Earth, Candide Thovex.

Upon lift off everything looks copasetic. A clean butter off the lip into a switch 900 is just par for the course for Candide, but what happens next is another hard lesson in physics. He lands and boom goes the dynamite! Thovex’s skis are left back in the previous county and he continues his uncontrolled descent toward the bottom of the mountain. While this wouldn’t win you any medals at the Freeride World Cup, it’s always great to ski some of the pros working out the kinks in their lines.

Disclaimer: Candide Thovex is a god on skis among us mere mortal riders, and no shade should ever be thrown upon the man, lest you suffer the repercussions of Ullr.

Final Grade

Amplitude – A+

Impact – A+

Recovery – A

Speed Check – N/A, Candide doesn’t need to waste time with speed checks

Overall Sendage – A+

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

Now that we have thoroughly covered the science part of this class, it’s time to move on to the social studies portion.

Unless you have sworn off resort riding to go spend the rest of your days in the backcountry, avoiding long lift lines is going to be part of your ski day. Sure, inventions like high-speed lifts can help the situation, but can we really blame anyone for skiing being such a popular sport? No, we can’t, but we can blame the folks who compound these problems by riding solo on a three-chair. It’s not for us to say whether or not these people should be publically shamed, and who knows if there is a special place in hell for these people, but let’s take a look at what can happen when you try to deny people their inalienable right to shred as much as humanly possible.

It’s probably not wise to throw snowballs and other projectiles at these sinners, but in all fairness, they are taking a sluggish process and making it even slower. While skiing is largely considered a solo sport, we need to look out for our brothers and sisters in arms and remember our most important motto, Semper Fli! This was an all-around poor performance by these lift hogs, and if nothing else, should remind us all that sharing is caring. Who knows, you might meet your future spouse on a lift, or at the very least get offered a stiff drink to keep you warm on those cold days.

Final Grade

Amplitude – F

Impact – F

Recovery – F

Speed Check – F

Overall Sendage – F

Final Thoughts

Students of the shred, go forth and hone your skills so that you don’t end up in an article such as this one. On the other hand, if you do find yourself participating in something particularly bone-headed, just make sure to get it on film so that it can be immortalized into the annals of skiing’s funniest moments.

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