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First, wear the most ridiculous outfit you can imagine. Bring liquid refreshment. No matter what, resist all speed checks on the run-in. Don’t lean too far backward or forward; just try to feel for the sweet spot—which, of course, you won’t know until you hit the water. If you fall, try to spray the crowd as you go, and definitely take your skis off before you try to climb out of the water.
And remember, if you can click one foot into a monoboard, with your friend clicked in the other side, wear a donkey costume, and get across the pond without spilling your beer…you’re a pro. With this in mind, here are a few major pond-skimming festivals around the nation that you’ll want to check out.
The Canyons in Utah is holding their 10-day Spring Gruv festival, and like everyone else they know there is no better way to get people to behave ridiculously and have a good time than skiing over water. Saturday, March 27, will kick off the event with the contest and a free concert by Big Head Todd and the Monsters.
Vail hosts the World Pond Skimming Championships on April 18 during their Spring Back to Vail festival. With two season passes to the winner, the level of ludicrous outfits and ingenious new ways to cross the water is high. With 100 feet to skim, a kicker entrance, hundreds of beer-swilling spectators (and competitors) packed into days of free concerts and spring partying, this is one pond skim festival you don’t want to miss. The pond-skimming is limited to a field of 75, so register online if you want to do it.
Photo courtesy of Thomas H. Green/Vail Resorts
Killington Resort holds its contest during the Sunshine Daydream Festival, on April 17, with a 100-foot long pond that is seven to nine feet deep.
Sunday River’s Parrot Head Festival runs from April 9-11, when the Maine resort hosts three days of partying, with pond skimming to top it all off Sunday afternoon. And wherever you are, between it all, the free concerts, icy waters, tropical drinks, and general insanity is the inevitable farewell to winter.
Photo by Nick Lambert.
Squaw Valley claims a long, esteemed, pond-skimming history, dating back to at least the 1970s. They throw a huge party and some of freeskiing’s biggest names battle it out for bragging rights across the 150-foot Lake Cushing. The date varies yearly, from late April to early May; whenever the pond is ready.
Snow King Resort in Jackson, Wyoming, hosts a cowboy country extravaganza with its second year on the pond skimming circuit with a 70-foot pool and a horde of serious big-mountain skiers outdoing each other in soggy shenanigans. This one is held on March 21, with music, PBR on tap, and costumes.
Photo by Brian Modena.
Arapahoe Basin’s Reveal Lake, one of few natural ponds, melts each spring at mid-mountain. Its glacial blue waters hold its own festival every day, enticing skimmers to hone their skills all spring long before partying at A-Basin’s famous beach.