How to Rip the Lift Line

Erik Roner shows you how to rip the lift line. That is, learn to showboat or get out of the way.
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You’re never going to get a date or a sponsor if you ski the trees. Instead, hog the spotlight under the lift. Silencing would-be hecklers starts with the lift ride. Scope your line, looking for cliffs, rollers, airs, straightlines, or anything else that will grab attention. Avoid ducking behind anything that might block spectators’ vision, like trees, rocks, or lift towers.

If you aren’t certain about your line, spin a lap. Ski around to get a better look from various angles. Whatever you do, don’t sideslip down your line or be seen checking landings: You want to pretend you’re skiing it sight unseen.

Once you’re comfortable with your line, make sure all your gear is in order: goggle strap in the right place, pants pulled down to cover the second buckles of your boots, ski graphics clear of snow. Prepare as if this were your ski-film debut.

It’s OK to draw attention to yourself. Tap your poles together. Yell, “Dropping!” Wear bright clothes. Pretend to talk on a radio to your film crew. Shout, “How’s the landing?” from the top of your line, even if no one is there to spot the run-out.

Ski fast, fluid, and confident. If you stop in the middle of your line, you’ll be mocked by skiers watching from the chair. Pay close attention to your form—waving Euro arms and skiing in the backseat should be avoided.

Don’t ski the lift line if….
It’s your first day on telemark skis. It’s your first or last run of the day. There are man-size moguls. You suck.

Look for Erik Roner in TGR’s latest flick, Under the Influence.

- SKIING MAGAZINE, JANUARY 2009

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