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The Cover of Our 2022 Gear Guide is An Important First

In many ways, the image of Errol Kerr looks familiar, but the origin story of this image is unique.

Since the first issue of SKI was published in 1936, this magazine has endured world wars; the invention of LSD; the discovery of DNA; a lunar landing; the birth of the Internet, Amazon, and Facebook; a global pandemic; and the merciful death of rear-entry boots. For the past 85 years, if it had to do with skiing, you can probably find it in the pages of SKI—including a 1996 cover shot of Seal on a snowboard. But there’s one thing you can’t find. Until now, SKI has never put a Black skier shot by a Black photographer on our cover.

The cover of the magazine on newsstands and sent to subscribers this week features Olympian and X Games standout Errol Kerr. In many ways, the image looks familiar—SKI has certainly featured its share of skiers gouging formidable trenches into corduroy. But the origin story of this image is unique.

When photographer Stan Evans connected with Kerr and two other skiers for a two-day photo shoot at Utah’s Powder Mountain, it was as standard as any of the hundreds of photoshoots Evans has produced in his 20-plus-year career photographing skiing and snowboarding. It was, however, the first time he’d worked alongside all Black skiers, including Lauren Samuels, the captain of the 2017 NCAA National Championship ski team, and her brother, Justin Samuels.

In fact, it was the first time any of them had been on a ski shoot with another Black skier or photographer—the first time they weren’t, in some way, standing alone. The occasion deserves to be commemorated with this, the cover of our 2022 Gear Guide.

This issue marks a new season in SKI Magazine’s story. With a fresh redesign, new logo, inspired writers, and more, we intend to change what you expect from SKI. We aim to transform what we all think a skier should look like or where a skier should go. By centering and celebrating a broader, more accurate picture of skiing both as we see it now and how we hope to see it in the future, we can be part of protecting the greatest, least important thing in the world: Skiing.

The founding editors of this magazine called the first issue an invitation to a party, “one where we aim to both entertain and enlighten you with touches of humor and mountain photograph splendors.” We don’t see any need to change that. So consider this issue a fresh invitation.

This party doesn’t have a dress code—you can wear your favorite jacket held together with duct tape. Hat hair is expected. We don’t mind if your skis are 10 years old or if this is the year for something brand new. Some of us will catch first chair, others will stick around for the last. Midweek powder days are really worth hollering about, but solo lunch laps do it, too. See you at 3 o’clock for slush bumps. Tell everyone. If we get separated in the trees, meet us in the parking lot for après. BYOB. There will absolutely be music. Yeah, we’re still wearing our ski boots. It was a good day. The forecast shows a storm is coming. Tomorrow will be even better.
—Sierra Shafer, Editor-in-Chief