The first, and arguably most important, step in creating the perfect shot-ski is finding the right ski. If you don’t have old skis, ski shops will often have some pairs lying around. Thrift and second hand gear shops are also a great place to look. This pair of Spalding Extreme Powder skis used to be screwed onto the exterior wall of Porters Sports in Tahoe City. In addition to having the words “extreme” and “powder” printed on the topsheet, they’ve also got fluorescent pink bases and a sweet helicopter graphic. At 70 mm underfoot they certainly don’t meet today’s standards for powder skis but they absolutely fit the bill for making a shot-ski. Whenever possible find a ski that has some kind of sentimental value to you, like those Volkl P9’s you used to shred moguls on back in the day. Remember, the longer the ski is the more shots you can fit on it. For example, my 202 Spalding Extreme Powder’s comfortably fit four (shots, on a 225 DH ski you could probably fit five.
In my experience, there are two basic types of shot-skis. There’s the lazyman’s sit on top, where you simply measure out where to put your shot glasses and then glue them to the topsheet. Then, there’s the integrated shot-ski, which I’ll demonstrate here. In this style the shot glasses rest inside the ski and can be removable to facilitate the cleaning process.
While perfection isn’t absolutely necessary with a shot-ski it’s nice to come as close as you can to uniformity. First, pick the number of shots you’d like to have on your ski. Four is a nice round number and a good starting point. If you must have more than four shots on your ski, by all means go for it, but cramping the ski will probably only lead to awkward shot taking and more booze on people’s faces than in their mouths. A good rule of thumb for spacing is approximately 18 to 20 inches apart. Good spacing will allow for a more comfortable forward-facing approach to the ski, which is already a difficult thing to deal with. Make marks that are centered in the ski widthwise and get ready to drill.
To make holes in the ski I used a hole saw, but a large paddle drill bit may also work. Ideally all of your shot glasses will be the same size. I’d recommend buying a set that you will use primarily for the shot ski, then all of your holes can be uniform and the process will be much easier. Figure out what diameter your glasses are by measuring them and find a comparable size hole saw or drill bit. In this case I used a 1.5-inch diameter hole saw. Line it up with the marks that you made during the measurement process and drill, being careful not to drill all the way through the base. By stopping your holes just above the base you can remove the core samples, making perfect, countersunk holes for the glasses to sit in. A flathead screwdriver or a chisel work great for cleaning out the holes. It is important to note that many skis out there have fiberglass, wood, metal, and plastic in them so be careful not to breathe in any fumes and wear safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes.
After the holes are drilled and cleaned out, smooth out any imperfections with sandpaper or a grinding wheel. At this point those who want their glasses to be permanently attached can super glue or epoxy them into place. Those who want their glasses to be removable may want to consider using Velcro(genius! No one I know has ever done that) to hold them in place when the shot ski is in use. I bought some adhesive-backed Velcro at the local hardware store. The adhesive on the Velcro works pretty well, but gluing the Velcro into the holes and onto your shot glasses will ensure that it works for a long time. Having removable shot glasses makes cleaning your shot ski way easier, promotes healthier drinking, and limits the spread of herpes. Plus, you’ll be less likely to make your girlfriend mad when your ski is in the sink.
Now that your shot-ski is in working order call up a bunch of your friends and celebrate something. Take shots from your shot-ski to thank the snow gods for a big dump or to urge them to make it snow. Mount it above your fireplace, keep it out in the garage, or bring it to parties. Whatever you do with your shot-ski hopefully it involves good times, deep snow, and most importantly, friends. Because taking four shots by yourself is awkward. -Jeremy Benson