Edition 1: The Ski Bum
Skiers come in all shapes and sizes, all speeds and styles, all cultures and all personalities. Once your gear is on and you head to the hill you join the community of skiers all there to enjoy themselves!
Now we have begun our search to find all types of skiers and boarders around the world, to see how their lives differ – but unite on the same love for skiing or boarding.
The first, is some of the riders that often get some of the most riding in of the seasons, and live and breathe all things skiing for the whole winter season. The ski bum.
Ever dream of waking up each and every morning with the only must do for the day is make it to the mountain?
Now before we get any more into this, a ski bum is loosely described as someone who’s seasons consist of ski season and waiting for ski season. Who ideally will spend every good winter day on the hill, and most of the bad days too. Large amounts of income are not generally a priority for these individuals and they tend to have their own lingo that can sometimes be found to be incomprehensible by the rest of the general public. Eat, Sleep, Ride – literally.
To identify a ski bum you can watch for several things:
- Obsessively checking the weather, watching for how many centimeters of snow are coming. Not bothered about the occasionally obscenely cold weather.
- Snow pants being worn as regular trousers.
- Throwing “send it” into any situation where they want someone to do something dangerous.
- The conversation somehow always comes around to skiing or boarding.
- Always seem to be short on cash until it comes to buying new ski equipment.
Young adults worldwide find themselves in countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and throughout Europe with unreal snow seasons working at the resorts and getting to enjoy mother nature’s gift to winter!
Now, while it’s easy to become a ski bum it can be much harder to upgrade into a higher paying position. Based on our conversations with ski bums alike we have outlined 4 stages:
- Homeless: Now this can be more or less literal. Some people by some magical way manage to get themselves into a ski town and couch surf on friends and families couches with no job and no responsibilities, all they have is a ski pass. Simply skiing or boarding every day of the season. They often befriend all the staff at the hill leading to discounts and freebies in order to have enough food to survive.
- Ski Hill Employee: the most typical of the ski bum community work for the hill. The ski resorts generally give free ski passes to their employees, making it so they can pay staff much less but never hear a complaint. Many resorts also have staff accommodation sticking everyone into one or two neighbourhoods for a giant adult college house feel.
- Proper job in the ski town: a potential goal for the ski bum is to break the trend and get a proper job in the ski town, that pays enough money for a ski pass and leaves enough time to ride. The dream is to have a job in your field but work with cool enough company to understand the pure happiness achieved when getting to ride a weekday powder day at the hill. Many ski towns have certain stores that will close down during the day if there’s an unreal powder days so employees can ride. The missed hours are worth it.
- Lifer: The lifer. Someone who has decided this is their life forever. Sometimes these people work at the hill but in management or senior positions allowing them to get out and ride as they please or it can be someone who has made the town their home for the purpose of being close to the ski hill.
For all the ski bums out there, we love you! We need you to work the hill for the rest of the riders to be able to come for a weekend or two during the rest of the season. We need you to shred so hard and enjoy every second of the powdays when the rest are stuck at work. We need the reminder that life can be considered successful in several different ways and we need there to be people out there living for the now and not stressing about the future.
Get inspired, check out Ratoong today and see what resort would be perfect for you!