I should probably preface this column by sharing a simple fact: I hate getting rid of skis. Yeah, sure, us skiing folk might make light of this traitorous act by calling it “thinning the herd” or “shrinking the quiver,” but the fact remains that it sucks to dump skis. A few years back, I totally rationalized selling a pair of giant slalom racing skis by telling myself I hardly ever rode them. The reality was they scared the bejesus out of me, which is why I loved them. But I digress. Sadly, there comes a time in every skier’s life when a pair or two of boards have to go. In case you are wondering when that time may be, keep an eye out for the following signs.
1. You have numbered slots for each pair in your garage, which happens to take up a ton of space—so much in fact that your mountain bike, lawn mower, and other various implements are rusting away in both the front and back yards. Your neighbors are not impressed.
2. Every time you go to the mountain, you take a minimum of three pair, which takes up most of the space in the back of your Subaru. Your significant other has to contort themselves into the front seat and ride all the way to the hill with their gear on their laps. This lasts about two weeks. He or she decides watching the Seahawks flounder on Sunday is way more fun than riding to the mountain with you and your bevy of sticks.
3. The street value of your quiver equals the minimum down payment on a duplex.
4. The annual tuning costs of all of your skis is equal to or greater than the cost of one semester at WSU.
5. The reason the ski check limits the number of pairs of skis one can leave is because of you.
6. You can’t remember the last time you rode at least two of the pairs of skis you own. One of them has likely never been ridden.
7. The amount of time you spend in the fall prepping all of your skis far exceeds the amount of time you spend cleaning your house and doing yardwork. Coincidently, your house is a mess and your lawn is two feet tall.
8. You have been on a first name basis with the crew at your local ski shop for the last decade.
9. If you were to take all of your skis in at once for tune work, you would need to rent a trailer and get your CDL.
10. You have actually Googled “How Many Pairs of Skis is Too Many?” //
Brad Northrup is a former ski racer, alpine coach, and resort marketing director. He has cut his quiver down substantially over the past few years.