A beginner should not expect to be laughed at for asking Jean-Baptiste, the tanned demi-God ski instructor, if there is a right ski and a left ski before setting off downhill. But, should he ask which way the skis should point - or indeed clip into skis with the tips at the tail and the tails at the tip - then he should absolutely expect to be laughed off the slopes and taken in a taxi to the nearest airport. For a PUNTER he most certainly is…
Here’s SnowSkool’s guide on to how not to be one this season…
1. DO NOT TUCK PANTS INTO SKI BOOTS
This should not be mistaken with snowboarders that get the bottom of their pants stuck between the back of their boot and the inside of their hi-back. This is not great but it is forgivable. No, we’re talking about the type that consciously decides to tuck the ski pants into the ski boots. This is nonsensical – not only from the point of view that it gives snow the chance to slide into your boot, guaranteeing an uncomfortable day - but it also looks ridiculous. You may as well have PUNTER tattooed on your forehead - in 72pt Comic Sans, bold and underlined.
2. MIND THE PUNTER GAP
The Punter Gap is also known as the Gimp Gap (or Gorby Gap). This unfortunate situation arises when the helmet (or God forbid, the jester hat) slips back and the goggles slip down to expose a large expanse of naked forehead. It looks stoopid, your head can get cold and people can whole-hand slap your forehead. So guard against this faux pas or risk an unhealthy dose of PUNTER-itis
3. AVOID THE STAR JUMP
You’re in the Park and you’re feeling pretty cool, you’re standing on the first downward casing the features and working out which line you are going to absolutely… demolish. The Trespass logo on your jacket says “I ain’t no punk”. You start rolling, the speed picks up, the up-kick comes into sight and you know what you’re going to do: you’re going to hit it and then… oh. Oh no. You’re not are you? Oh you are - you’re going to spread your arms and legs into a star jump.
As you land, you hear the moans, groans and tuts of the rats who know now that you, Sir, are a PUNTER.
4. HOLD YOUR TONGUE
What is it about the sport of skiing that makes people think they are just a little bit craaaaaa-zy!!? When someone whips out the camera and tells you to “scootch-in”, the best bet for even the most photogenically challenged (and downright ugly) skier is a simple smile, maybe show a little tooth and definitely make sure your eyes are smiling too. What is with sticking out the tongue?!
You’re thinking: “Yeah…people are going to think I am pretty cool, maybe even a little mental”.
We’re thinking: “You’re not cool, you’re not mental - you’re an accountant and 100% PUNTER”.
5. SKI, DON’T BLADE
Ah snowbladers…the Kings & Queens of Punterdom! You see them sneaking, yes sneaking, about the pistes with their tiny wee feet. They’re normally the punks wearing jester hats (gap down to goggles), with their ski pants tucked into their boots. You can often see them in the Park doing star jumps off the XS kickers while sticking out their tongues for any passing paparazzi. Yes, snowbladers are the ultimate in uncool. It may be easy, but when was satisfaction ever gleaned from simplicity?