In this days of economics inequality, corporate greed, and stalled opportunity, populism is back in fashion. This is no different on the slopes, where many people are now “keeping it real,” unable to afford the condos, season passes, and newfangled rockered skis that make skiing so much fun these days. The scavengers of the skiing underbelly are now the persuaders of popular opinion, as evidenced by the popular outrage over the flaunting of weapons, expensive cosmetic dental surgery, planes and Subarus in a recent edit. So now that you’re no doubt filming your every move with a GoPro and a GoPro on a pole, here are some keys to keeping yourself legit in the public eyes by using some simple rules to guide your edit-making endeavors.
1) No Foreign Cars
With all the wangsters bangin’ it up to Stowe in mom’s BMW with studded snow tires, the real American skiers who can’t afford a camera to film their friends are fed up. They’re driving to the hill in a beat-up 1988 Ford Ranger with three of their buddies clinging for life in the truck bed that has no rear hatch and three doughnut tires. As they smoke up the highway doing 15 up hill, ripping butts with the gas tank in the passenger seat, you swoop by on cruise control with heated seats and the Black Eyed Peas playing on your iPhone like a bitch. Do you want to be the subject of populist scorn on Ski Gabber when we bomb Iran and xenophobia kicks in, and you’re the asshole with a Mercedes in the driveway? Don’t think so.
2) No Bought Food
Your populist edit can include casual lifestyle scenes of your crew drinking warm PBRs on the trunk of your LeBaron and chowing down on soup crackers and cold 7/11 corn dogs from the morning before. However, eating outrageously expensive lodge burgers and hydrating with cafeteria-bought Gatorade or Sierra Nevada is a sure way to get yourself pigeon-holed as an elite. If you’ve already shot this, recover by filming your friend licking bread bowls from the trash.
3) Mis-Matched Gear
In the outrageously over-priced hard goods market, and with a bunch of broke lazy assholes in Greece threatening to sink our whole economy again, who has the spare cash to buy two entire skis? Only rich assholes do. Prove your coreness by rocking only one new powder ski, alongside your other, much shorter ski with the inside edge blown out. The only ski poles acceptable for core use must be stolen from two different gapers in the ski school. The golden ticket to popular acceptance in this category is rocking either a snowshoe or a snowboard binding on one ski, claiming you were too broke to fix the other one when the toepiece blew out.
4) The One Shitty Friend Rule
No real shredder’s crew is complete without the guy who sucks. Maybe the freaks won’t let into your private day school, but here in the real world, everybody has a buddy in their crew who totally sucks and follows you around the park on his snowblades, eats shit onto his chinstrap, and gives high school girls aggresive high fives and offers them Natty Ice. We know not everyone from your neighborhood shred mafia lands his two-sev on, pretzel 630 out on the bolts; accept who you(r shitty friends) are.
5) Look Fucking Haggard
Everyone assumes everyone else and their little brother is rocking I/O’s with interchangeable lenses. However, some of us grew up on the fucking streets (of our quiet suburban town)! Harness the poverty within and rock gear so fucking haggard people wonder where the hell you were able to find it. Whether it’s rear-entry boots, foam-core skis from ten years ago, or that horrible creation of the 90’s, the “wind pant,” prove how core your are by scavenging for gear that took so much effort to find you could have more easily gotten a job and afforded regular shit. Commit to the cause!
6) VHS All Day
All this hyper-digital shit sounds pretty expensive. But since you don’t make enough money in one year to get Travis Rice’s heli off the ground for one minute, there’s no way a $3,000 DSLR kit with lenses and a stabilizer is fitting into the Keeping It Real budget. Remember, you are so broke you have to heat your Ramen noodles with the sun and tin foil. You can’t even afford the free microwave in the lodge. But with all that spare time being unemployed, you were able to find a VHS camcorder and some family vacation tapes to film over in the dumpster of a vacation home remodeling. Blow the wanna-be George Lucas’s with their RED camera miracle machines and poach the private park jump follow-camming your buddy in a one-piece with a 17-pound Panasonic AG-450.
7) Stay in the Dark
Remember, in these days of 4G cell phone service and… satellites, communication and information is money. Acquiesce to none of it. Throw your phone in a river, delete your e-mail account and Facebook, and receive mail only through your food stamp coordinator’s mailbox. Be a dark ninja of the woods, living in a van, who only surfaces when the pow is good and the step-overs are huge. Or the pizza crusts are in the dumpster. Still, get it all on film, and get it on Newschoolers. Good luck identity-confused skiers of the present!