It struck a far corner of my mind- a true crevice of a long forgotten crinkled box. Well it had been long forgotten, anyway, until last year when I moved out here to Colorado, then I took up skiing again. It was like riding a bike again, but much much tougher. Plus, my skis were obsolete. I got’em tuned and was immediately sold on some free rentals of K2 True Luv parabolics- the new stuff. I skied on those skies on their first day and they skied on me the same. It was Vail, and gorgeous.
Anyway, I digress. Remembering old equipment though is a fairly common laugh on ski lifts with strangers. “I used to have neon K2’s.” “My mom had those! Rear entry boots too” “I had the very first parabolics! They were basicly straight!” Haha.. seeing those suckers even in your mind is like going back to the 70’s with a beehive, even though it was only 15 years ago. Hopefully anyone who skied in the 80’s and early 90’s remembers their skis by the color or their boots by the entry–
In any case, my point is, I SAW this ALL this weekend, in a moment. 10 minutes before my snowboarding lesson and I entered Zen spin-out as I gazed upon the escalator approaching the Starbucks at Beaver Creek where I was sitting, and holy cow! Honoring the Talons challenge was a particular guest with:
A CB blue polyfill parka with rounded hood
NEON K2’s- straight, shiny and ready to go
.. and rear entry, RED boots, a la kids rental pool circa 1989
-the only thing missing were the jeans, probably under his royal blue shells.
I thought for a moment I might be looking upon the ice man. For years, he was cryogenicly frozen in this gear, and now he emerges in triumph to prove that his gear is certainly still some of the best up there. With all the snobbery abound throughout the industry of perfectly form fitting gear and the latest and greatest, this blatant act of dissent- or else just plain defiance, brought the world of skiing’s hay day, before snowboarding was seen (at least on the east) as a scrape-off nuisance to two-plankers, back to perception, if only for a moment. Like an angel, this man carried the golden days on his back, in his hands and on his feet. He did not look around to catch my gaze, or those of any other onlookers who were as short of breath as I. A soldier of the days before true innovation, he moved along his path towards the top of the Talons, ready to take on the skis and skiers that had since sold themselves to the dark side. I was holding a video camera too, and was so stunned that I forgot to shoot. Then I moved onto my snowboard lesson- the sport that changed skiing to what it has become- parabolic, graphic, and in competition with a sport that was truly innovative from its very conception.
80’s ice man: Thank you. if you’re out there, let me know. You’re my hero.