11 ways to keep the ski and board dream alive while in lockdown

To think a week ago I was lying on my own private island, sipping coconut cocktails and being fanned by a Greek god called Alesandro, and now we’ll all be counting our Centrelink dollars so we can down no name vodka quarantinis at sunset, while singing with the Italians on their balconies. Only half of that sentence is true (hint, it’s the first part).

It truly is a first world problem in these times to be stressing over whether we get to wax our skis or not this season, when the elderly have nothing on the shelves to wipe their butts. Seriously.

But we all know what’s good for our mental health, and that’s the great outdoors, and, if you can afford it, then enjoying those outdoors on skis and snowboards. So who am I to take your dreams away like those cretins who took the bog roll in aisle 9?

I have hope that the Australia and New Zealand resorts will open this season, but then I had hope for thin thighs last August and you should see them now. Besides, if hope got us everything then I’d be soaking in a tub of sanitiser instead of washing my nether regions with dishwashing detergent. Please don’t make me use the dishwasher tabs.

But as Dusty says, you gotta keep “a wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin” because why fall down the rabbit hole that is the alternative. I’ve been down there and it ain’t no tea party, I can tell you.

Lockdown is inevitable now, thanks to the smashed avo Bondi crowd (you too, Manly, I saw you) but there’s plenty we can do to keep the snow dream alive while living in self isolation.  

Here’s 10 ways to do just that.

Buy local and online

Want that retailer you love to still be there when you drive by to get your fancy Spyder pants, your designer winter interiors, your snow chains? Then buy some gear online and help keep them in business. Gloves, goggles, helmet, hell just a lip balm if that’s all you can afford. It will matter to them, a lot.

Buy yourself travel gift vouchers

If you’re not impacted financially by the crisis, then help those in the hospitality, accommodation, tourism and events industries that are. Buy an online gift voucher from your favourite ski town barista, snow village cafe, on mountain restaurant, ski lodge, and use it later, when it opens, if it opens, but it will have more chance of opening if you help.

Reminisce with the elderly

Find an elderly member of the community who used to ski or board. Reach out to them, but don’t put them at risk, they’re vulnerable. Give them a call, send them an email, chat on messenger, talk about the good old ski days. Drop them off a basket filled with ski related food – fondue, hot chocolates, schnapps (and toilet paper) and leave it on their porch with a note “one powder hound to another.”

Support local and go global

While we’re supporting local snow tourism industries we also need to look after our Australian owned snow travel agencies. If you normally book direct yourself, consider booking through a snow travel agent for your northern season instead. We’ve written why this matters in the past, and it matters even more now. 

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Wash your hands with schnapps (kind of)

We all know hand sanitiser is extinct, it’s gone the way of the dinosaur in some mythical earthly event that made them simultaneously become fossils in some future earth. Never fear, you can support a local Snowy Mountain company and be safely sanitised now that Wild Brumby Schnapps have created ‘Kill the Bastard’ hand sanitiser, an alcohol based product distilled onsite from Australian fruit. 

Be sensitive on social 

Posting pics of yourself living the high dollar life in infinity pools with #socialisolationgoalswinning and the like is not helpful. 

Complaining about having to be in compulsory 14 day self isolation after coming home from a ski holiday, isn’t either. We get it, you’re bored but just be sensitive to those who have lost their livelihoods in the industry that got you to that ski holiday, looked after you on that snowboard holiday, brought you home from that holiday. You’re isolating for the greater good, and we thank you.

Posting comedy images of yourself making isolation related cocktails (while dressed in snow gear) in your kitchen at 9.00am from your cooking sherry and the last of the Christmas gin tagged #quarantini #pinacorona , however, is funny. 

Everyone loves and needs a laugh. If you want to laugh out loud – check out this rant about home schooling during isolation. You’re welcome.

Do TripAdvisor reviews

Hey you’ve got the time, right? So make those reviews you meant to but didn’t, on TripAdvisor and LinkedIn for those businesses you’ve frequented in ski villages and snow towns at home and abroad. This keeps algorithms moving, helps the digital footprint of the snow business, and who knows, may encourage a booking that keeps them afloat.

Join our Keeping the Snow Dream Alive FB Group

We’ve got a plethora of year long Facebook Groups where you can jump in and start chatting about skiing in Japan or Europe or Canada, USA and New Zealand. We’ve got one for adaptive skiers, for female skiers/boarders and we’ve got a dedicated “Keeping the Snow Dream Alive” group during the coronavirus crisis where retailers, hospitality businesses, snow travel agents, resorts and more can post their deals, sales, discounts to keep us dreaming about winters ahead.

Take a ski lesson

Seriously, pull up a couch and settle in for Sofa Ski School. There are tons of YouTube ski lesson videos on the interwebs. We love Klaus Mair’s, his carving instructional video has been viewed over 3 million times.

Watch a ski movie

This one’s a no brainer. Go narrative documentary style with Will to Fly, Finding the Line or The Crash Reel with Kevin Pierce or head straight to the powder and action flicks from Matchstick Productions, Teton Gravity Research or Warren Miller. If you haven’t watched the Oscar winning climbing film Free Solo, well, now’s your time, may as well put it on repeat.

Win some skis or snowboard

We’ve got Rossignol skis and snowboard up for grabs. Not just any skis either, the new Black Ops free ride all mountain skis or a One or Dive snowboard. Enter here. 

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.