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A Ski Bum’s (Realistic) Guide to a Productive Offseason

Summer is here! Time to accomplish all that shit you put off while skiing all winter. Or, you could just watch Netflix. 

We're solidly into the summer months. What little skiing is left is (mostly) subpar, but that's okay! You have the next few months to dedicate to other pastimes like getting a tan, shaving regularly wearing less than three layers of clothing and regularly feeling your extremities.

So in honor of the snowpack going the way of the dinosaur, here's a practical guide–from one bum to another–on how to kill all that free time you'll have now that your every waking moment isn't dedicated to gliding downhill on frozen water.

Wax your boards

What you should do:

A long hot summer in the garage begs for storage wax. You love your skis and/or snowboard, so why not show some TLC? Arguably one of the easiest aspects of base maintenance, a protective and healing deposit of Swix goes a long way towards enhancing future winters. Throw on a thick layer and then throw ‘em in storage.

What you’re actually going to do:

After a slightly muddy lap on the pass mid-May your boards will go straight in the corner of the garage. The huge pile of equipment (you’ve got quite the quiver, so do your roommates) threatens to topple with any attempt to extract your skis so it’s best to just leave them be. All of a sudden it’s October, not really worth putting wax on now; what’s a few more weeks? Targhee gets the first dump in November and there you are, throwing skins on your dry, rusty, and still dusty skis.

Hustle

What you should do:

What better time for your side hustle than the forced free time? With no distraction of athletics or, if you’re a real service industry skid: work, brainstorm a way to make a little extra cash. Maybe you’re starting your own business or just picking up those extra babysitting gigs; either way, take advantage!

What you’re actually going to do:

Make some excuses about the off-season being a terrible period to drum up business and convince yourself that the better use of time is finally burning through half a dozen seasons on Netflix. I mean, you’d hate to see your ex-girlfriend’s mom’s account go unused, soo…

Make use of local networking events

What you should do:

Not only will you be capitalizing on some free food, you’re more likely to get quality face time at an off-season affair with smaller attendance. Talk up your new side hustle, promote your business, or maybe be on the prowl for something new.

What you’re actually going to do:

More Netflix. Season four is riveting and you don’t really feel like putting on pants, let alone something professional-ish looking. Tell yourself you’ll brainstorm pitches and a plan of action for the event next month. Talk about it with a couple friends, get all excited about being professional and proactive together, then three days later forget these plans entirely.

Fitness

What you should do:

It’s not quite snowing but it’s definitely not quite dry yet. Get in mountain biking shape, or just maintain that quad definition you developed this winter! The off-season is great for empty trails and empty gyms, plus funemployment can offer an opportunity for full day excursions. Get down with that first-month-unlimited-for-$99 deal and look bangin’ for bikini season.

What you’re actually going to do:

Eh, you’ve had a big winter so might as well rationalize some serious lounge time as “recovery”. By the time you’re ready to head out for a jog it’s raining. Or it looks like rain. It might rain. If it rains, you don’t want to be stuck out there. Besides, you’re halfway through season 6 and you don’t want Netflix to think you’re a quitter.

Save money

What you should do:

There are fewer friends around, a dearth of social events pulling you out of the house, and chances are you’re not really making money, so why spend it? Off-season is a popular time for people to try a month of no drinking or that Whole30 thing. Hop on the band wagon; cooking more meals at home and resisting that booze habit will keep dollars in your pocket. Give yourself a frugal stay-cation and reap the financial benefits down the road when you might actually need to buy new skis to replace those rusty boards you neglected all summer.

What you’re actually going to do: 

The two-for-one deals only come around twice a year! You’re so bored that you should treat yourself to something nice, and you’re saving $22 on a free entrée so should probably spend $42 on that rosé. And a couple cocktails. And the appetizer. I mean, you’re splitting it with a friend. Then you find cheap tickets to Mexico, and you can’t pass that up. They’re so cheap! Well, cheap for Jackson. Kinda. Just $600. But it’s round trip so that’s a steal, right? And once you’re there the food is soooo cheap too, you’re basically doing the whole trip on a discount. I mean, you have to go. You can’t just sit around all off-season watching Netflix.

After a solid month of Wild Wild Country, free entrees, road trips, plane tickets, a Real Housewives of Everything binge, learning how to make croissants, heavy lounging, and absolutely no ski maintenance it’s a wonder I even had time to write this piece. I don’t know what you’ve been doing all off-season but my schedule has been quite taxing. 

From The Column: From One Bum to Another

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