Skiers are not all posh, let us shred our powder in peace
Stop giving us a bad name
You’ve heard it all before: “Only well-off, posh people from wealthy families ski.” You know, those fur-adorned, public school, “Dom”-sipping, moon-boot-wearing types? That’s what people who go skiing are like. It’s a stereotype which has left an unpleasant Möet-coloured stain on the ski world, and it’s an unfair one.
Skiing needn’t cost a fortune, and it doesn’t. Yes, your first trip is always going to be your most expensive. But costs go down each coming year as you accumulate your own gear and get to know the best ways to save money in resort. All inclusive package holidays make skiing no more expensive than that week you spent in the south of France in the summer, plus cut-price uni ski trips, and uni-subsidised weekly lessons make now the perfect time to get into the sport.
There’s nothing like paying a visit to one of the UK’s fine dry ski slopes on a pissing wet November evening, for an insight into how glamorous real skiing is.
So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the typical skier doesn’t have the expendable income to blow on long boozy lunches or huge sparkler-topped bottles of Belvedere in the club. Quick homemade sandwiches on the slopes (for maximum skiing time) and cheap supermarket beers/well-hidden hip flasks beat cordon-bleu chalet cuisine and €10 vodka mixers at aprés any day.
Those of us that are on seasons work our arses off – praying that the Russian oligarch we’re serving breakfast to whilst on a hangover and 2 hours sleep, will tip us generously enough to keep us in resort for another couple of weeks. (Or enough so that we can get that new pair of powder skis we want.)
Others work as reps or instructors as a means for a cheap ski holiday, or spend months working at home, so that they can muster up the funds to get their next fix of snow-filled-fun.
If you talk to a serious skier, you’ll hear most of us raving about how great our pow day was or how we finally nailed that 360 in the park – not how gorgeous the chateaubriand was back at the chalet. Because, believe it or not, we’re here to ski – not for anything else.
Our day is split up by ski runs, not by mealtimes. Yes, we like a drink. We enjoy a wild aprés or a big night out – but not at the expense of that first freshly groomed run of the day.
So here’s to the people that love the sport. Here’s to the seasonaires, the ski instructors, the chalet girls, the bar staff, the lifties, the racers, the park rats, the resort reps, the ski bums and, yes, even the punters.
We are the real skiers, not the superficial ski-snobs who care more about their outfits than their off-piste. Skiing is for everyone. So bear that in mind, Rupert, next time you’re spraying that €300 bottle of “champers” over everyone at Folie.