Pond skimming is less technique
and more prep and style. For starters, you’ll need your fattest skis—anything resembling water skis. You’ll also need a costume that looks like it was assembled by someone on mushrooms.
Check the inrun
of the slope to the pond, making sure the snow smoothly transitions into the water. Also, make sure the pond is more than a foot deep, or you’ll end up with some bruises.
Start at least 300 yards above the takeoff—
and point ’em. You will need as much speed as possible. Maintain even pressure on both skis and stay in a tight tuck until you hit the lip. Unless you feel like getting wet, don’t throw a trick on your first try. Instead, absorb the jump by staying low and keeping your knees bent.
When you hit the water,
stand strong and lean back slightly to keep your tips afloat. (This guy almost ate it being too far forward.) For extra points, take off switch or moon the crowd. If you make it to the other side, throw your skis sideways to come to a stop. If you don’t, click out of your bindings before you drown.
What not to wear:
A cardboard box. Skinny skis. A white cotton T-shirt. A Speedo.
Julia Mancuso is a veteran of the Squaw Valley Pond Skimming Championships. She also took the GS gold medal at a lesser contest, the 2006 Winter Olympics.
- SKIING MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2009