I confess, I have never pond skimmed. In my four decades of skiing, I have never had the desire for wet ski boots, ski pants soaked to three times their weight, or a cold swim in April ski area effluent. But both my kids and my husband have, they claim it is a skier's rite of passage. Of course, my daughter did not make it across the pond at Sunday River, she took the plunge and it took days for her ski boots to dry. It was truly her last run of the season; ending with a splash.
If indeed crossing a cold water pond on skis or a snowboard is on your ski bucket list, then this weekend is your last chance, last dance before you hang your ski stuff up to dry. Loon's Slush Pool pond skimming is Saturday at noon at the base of the Octagon Lodge. Sunday River will host Pond Skimming on Sunday at 10am at Barker, part of the weekend long Parrothead festivities. Pre-registration for these events is required, and there is no guarantee you will get a slot for your soak (I mean chance to dance across the pond) as sometimes the pond drains out before the enthusiastic skiers and riders get their shot.
It is so impressive when you have good momentum, your balance is just right, your boards are wide enough, and you fly across the pond and pre-jump the lip at the end to remain high and dry. Most do not, which is why I prefer my stance as a spectator. If you manage to glide across the pond effortlessly at Loon or the River, like waterskiing on early morning glass, then you should consider a trip to Vail next weekend for the World Championship Pond Skimming April 15, the wettest wildest spring ski party around.
A side note, crazy costumes are encouraged for pond skimmers and tend to entice the judges into higher scores. It also excites the spectators so they will cheer for you and your big finish, or more likely your big splash.
Sunday River pond skim photos by Greg Burke
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.