When it comes to how the sport of skiing is perceived, it takes only the trailer of a single ski film to get the gist: huge airs, heli drops, spine lines, and sluff. This, however, is not at all how the vast majority of skiers experience this sport—which is exactly why Nordica’s new video series, “Ski Time Is Family Time,” is so important.
The series is exactly what it sounds like: authentic stories of skiers and their families. It’s not sexy, it’s not extreme—it’s heartwarming and inspiring, though in a very approachable “I can do that” way.
“These videos may spark something in people who would otherwise not consider becoming skiers,” says Michael Rogan, PSIA National Alpine coach, who helped put the films together. “They may see other families that look like theirs trying it out and say, ‘We’re looking for something…maybe skiing is what it is.’”
The videos show real-world stories: Two friends in Idaho who bring their small local hill to life; a 12-year-old Latina in Jackson teaches her parents how to ski; a skier mom struggles to find balance in her busy life. They’re all centered around how skiing brings us together—and the ups and downs that come with it. Each video peels back the layers to get at the heart of what this sport really means to most skiers.
After all, neither becoming a skier nor raising one is an easy task. There is so much to endure and overcome: frustration, fear, discomfort, cold, snowstorms, exhaustion, expense, self-doubt. So why do so many of us keep coming back? In these films, Nordica posits the answer: community. Ski time is family time, even if that family is your chosen one. It gives those who pursue it a source for love, joy, friendship, and support.
“There are so many obstacles to becoming a skiing family,” says Rogan. “To get to that point where a family can say, ‘We learned together, we’re in it together, and we’re going to stumble together.’ Well, that’s such a rewarding moment.”
Rogan, who’s been a ski instructor for more than 25 years, sees how these moments create passionate skiers who become dedicated to creating their own skiing families someday. For some, it’s as simple as doing something together that everyone can talk about at the end of the day. For others it’s about having an annual ski trip to look forward to, or about finding the balance between teaching the kids but making sure to get a few of their own fresh tracks. Whatever the case may be, the moment when parents realize their kids will become skiers is pivotal. “The goal is to make your kids love skiing as much as you do, so you can continue to be your skier self,” Rogan says.
Ultimately, creating skiing families is all about empowerment, Rogan says—whether that’s empowering mom and dad to conquer their own fears so they can either teach or keep up with their kids, or empowering kids to find the independence at a young age to get on a chairlift by themselves and explore. “It’s really infrequent that you can find something like skiing where you have hundreds of acres available for you to discover,” Rogan says.
Check out Nordica’s website to watch the whole series. This season’s episodes feature the stories of two young families sharing their experiences entering the sport, as well as tips and tricks from Rogan on how to create happy memories with your family this season. “Skiing is one of those activities that multiple generations can do for a long time together—and have experiences that are rare in our modern world,” he says.