But you know what it can buy?
And you know what new skis cause?
Extreme fucking happiness.
As soon as Kyle and I realized that I wasn’t going to puss out on the whole learning to ski thing we started looking into buying me skis. Sure, it’s a pretty steep initial investment, but compared to dropping a fee on rentals every time it evens out pretty quickly. I ended up with a pair of Volkl Unlimiteds. Basic, functional, nothing fancy; pretty similar to the skis you see in rental shops. But at the time, while I was still learning, they were great. I was slow and cautious on the hill, content at cruising speeds and making mostly slow, arching turns. And my skis could handle that. They did everything that I needed, and nothing more.
But as I became more advanced, my Volkls became less and less adequate. I started pushing them to go faster and faster, and they couldn’t handle the speed. I strove for quicker and bouncier turns, and they were extremely difficult to pull into a turn before they were ready. If I really leaned into a turn, putting the majority of my weight on my outside leg, my skis would give out. So many of my struggles on the hill had less to do with my technique, and more to do with the fact that I was trying to ski beyond the capability of my equipment. If I was going to get any better, I needed new, more advanced skis.
After a lot of looking (and more than a few pushy salesmen) I decided on the skis I wanted to buy. K2 SuperFree’s in a 167 length. That part was pretty easy; they got great reviews, a lot of women seemed to really love them, and they had all the dimensions that I was looking for. Almost more importantly, K2 is one of the few brands of skis out there who actually make their women’s line of skis with a woman’s physiology in mind, as opposed to many other brands who still “shrink it and pink it.” (Referring to the practice of taking a men’s ski and making it shorter and painting it pink.) My Volkl’s had been men’s skis and I’m been able to ski on them just fine, but with my advancing technique and a more difficult ski I wanted something that was made for my body, not a dude’s. And the SuperFree’s looked like they fit the bill perfectly.
Then came the difficult part: actually finding a pair in my length and in my price range. Just finding them long enough was a challenge. See, for some reason, the skiing industry seems to think that only midget women ski, because despite the fact that I am only slightly taller than average for a woman, I ski on the longest skis available. Most of the shops don’t stock anything close enough to long enough for me, and finding them online (where they don’t cost as much as a month’s rent) is even harder.
But after some serious searching, we found them. They were ordered and on their way, and before long they were on our doorstep.
PS, mad respect for our USP guy, who hauled an 8′ long box up the stairs to our 2nd floor apartment. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a man who takes his package delivery seriously.
I ripped them out of the box as soon as I got them inside, and guys?
They were just beautiful.
Sadly for me, it was three very long days between when I got my skis and when I got to try them out, during which it snowed 6″. The wait was torture, but finally my day came.
We stepped out of the gondola at the top of Gore Mountain, I stepped into my SuperFree’s, and pushed off down the first run.
The difference between my old and new skis is the difference between a warm, flat bottle of Bud Light Lime and an icy-cold draught Shock Top after skiing.
My first run down I felt like I was floating. I didn’t feel all the crud and ice beneath my skis, they cut through it all so easily. Where I used to spend my day watching Kyle wait for me at the bottom of the mountain, now I was racing him down runs and only his apparent desire to die on skis kept me from kicking his ass. On steeper runs I powered through turns, and instead of giving out my skis pushed back and popped me into my next turn. Everything I threw at my SuperFree’s they took and handled with ease. I’ve got three days on my SuperFree’s now, and I can’t wait to hit the mountain again and again and see how far I can go on my skis.
In short, they kick a lot of ass.
So yeah, money can’t buy happiness.
But it buys skis, and so far they’re making me pretty fucking giddy.