15 People You’ll Meet On Your Snowboarding Holiday This Season
Print it off and play Ski Resort Bingo
If you’re heading out to the mountains this season, you’ll no doubt stumble across a whole host of different characters and soon-to-be friends. We’ve compiled a list of 15 people you need to keep your eyes peeled for this winter.
1. Wealthy Skier Who Seems Like A Colossal Prick, But Is Actually Quite Sound
This character is quite easy to spot. They’re usually abnormally tall, decked out in an expensive red ski coat, and have a healthy bay-window of a belly that suggests they’ve not eaten less than three courses per meal for at least 10 years.
Their goggles will have a Macbook built into them, and their watch will cost more than your student loan.
They have anecdotes about somebody called Anthony from the country club, and that thing that happened when they went to South Africa to watch some rugby chaps rugbying about.
These people are easy to dislike because they’ve spent more on their skis than you’ve spent on food in a year.
But then, when you get chatting to them and you realise that, irrespective of their wealth, they’re just a bloke that likes arsing about on the snow, just like you.
The only difference is that your wealthy pal can afford a new pair of ski pants when they get a hole theirs, so be nice. Who knows, they might even get a round in.
2. Wealthy Society Kid Pretending To Be A Seasonaire
Spend enough time in a resort and you’re bound to come across a Toby de.Chinos or Isabella Rah-Rah doing a season. They’ll tell you they’re a seasonaire, and strictly speaking they are. However, their five months on the slopes are courtesy of mummy and papa.
Don’t be fooled by the fact they’re dressed in battered-looking pants and stained thermals. These outfit imperfections have been meticulously thought out in advance.
It’s no coincidence that the fromage stain on their jacket matches the strap on their goggles. These people are frauds. Rich kids playing at being poor. Jarvis Cocker would have sung Common People, if he’d have grown up in Tignes instead of Sheffield.
3. An Actual Seasonaire
Actual seasonaies are mythical beasts. The unicorn of the resort. They’re definitely there, but you’ll never see them on the slopes.
Real seasonaires (as opposed to our wealthy friends above) are too busy with their heads down toilets all day, cleaning up after Wealthy Skier has had a heavy night on fondue and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
When they do get a day off, you still wont see them. They’ll be off finding freshies in spots that tourists like us are never privileged enough to be shown.
However, when you’re on the lift, point your nose in the air and, beyond the smell of sweat and sunblock, you may catch a whiff of vomit and cleaning products. This is the tell-tale scent of a true seasonaire enjoying their 24 hours of liberty.
4. Angry Dad
The on-slope powder keg waiting for a spark, Angry Dad is definitely somebody you need to look out for.
Once accomplished skiers who enjoyed tearing around the mountain with their friends, they’ve now grown up, produced a sprog or two, and they’ve all come to the mountains for a week.
Angry Dad takes it upon himself to teach his little cherubs how to ski, whether they like it or not. And by god, he’s protective of them. Should you come close to colliding with his kids, Angry Dad goes apoplectic, erupting in violent outburst and generally turning the air blue.
Angry Dad was once just like you, which is worth remembering before attempting to take on his patriarchal wrath.
He is only a bloke looking after his kid (albeit one blind to the fact that you only crashed into them because they were standing in the middle of the slope just after a blind turn).
5. Ski Bum
Ski Bum is similar to Actual Seasonaire, but with a lower work ethic and less commitment to any specific employer. They spend as much of the season as they can in a resort, while spending as little money as possible.
This usually means sleeping on soggy basement floors, wearing whatever they can beg, borrow or steal, and robbing your pint when you’re not looking. What they lack in personal hygiene, however, they make up for in hours on the mountain. They may stink but they’ve got stylish front sevens on lock.
Despite looking and smelling a lot like tramps (usually because they pretty much are tramps), Ski Bum will always be a hit with the opposite sex.
This is usually because they’ve learnt that they need to live on their charm if they want to eat, and they’ve got rather good at it. The dreamy bastards.
6. Punk Rock Park Rat
Lost in a world where both Iron Maiden and The Sex Pistols are both relevant, and Flux Pavilion is a prophet, Punk Rock Park Rat is the poster boy for disillusioned youth. At least he thinks so, anyway.
Really they’re brattish youths in skinny jeans that are sickeningly good at riding rails. They're also experts at hanging around precincts looking glum or angst-ridden.
Generally speaking, Punk Rock Park Rat will be a teenager, wearing far more denim and leather than is wise on a mountain. He’ll kind of get away with it though, because he has an annoying habit of not bailing.
If he does, he’s far too punk rock to give a shit. Part of you will want to be Punk Rock Park Rat. A bigger, more envious part of you will think he’s a dick.
7. Mr First Time Out
Bless ‘em, this is the person that is venturing out on their first ever snowboarding holiday.
They’ve read all the magazines, studied the various buyers guides, and have come prepared for every imaginable possibility aside from those that will actually crop up.
They’ll be head-to-toe in rental gear, and appear to be three stone heavier than they actually are thanks to the 800 layers they think they need.
They’ll have a 45 litre backpack that’s full of Mars Bars, sunblock, even more layers (just in case), plus spare goggle lenses for any slight change in light and, inexplicably, an umbrella. Oh, and they'll be bricking it. Just terrified. Of everything.
It’s easy to sneer at Mr First Time Out, but remember, you were that person once. Maybe not with the umbrella, but you were them, nonetheless.
8. Mr Second Time Out
While Mr First Time Out has an innocent charm, Mr Second Time Out is a prick.
Mr Second Time Out is having their second spell in the mountains and knows all-too-well the mistakes that Mr First Time Out is making, and he thinks it’s hilarious. Of course, he forgets that he was that guy just 12 months ago.
Thinking that pointing out the mistakes and blunders of others will endear him to the seasonaires, Mr Second Time Out is a charmless figure, disliked by most.
You can spot him easily as he spends 12 hours a day moaning, and the rest of the time showing people memes criticising naïve snowboarders on their smart phone. Avoid Mr Second Time Out, and for fuck's sake, avoid being Mr Second Time Out.
9. Friendly Bar Owner (Who Becomes Less Friendly When You Vomit In A Stein)
“Guys! Whill-cahm to ze Slippery Biscuit!" booms Friendly Bar Owner as you and your crew pour into his half-empty alpine bar. He’s a large than life, rose cheeked, avuncular chap with a wandering European accent that you can’t quite place.
One of you will get a round or drinks in, and he’ll furnish you with complimentary free shots of some local fire-water (probably a combination of supermarket vodka and tap water). He’ll ask where you are from before mentioning the name of a couple of football teams from near your hometown.
Friendly Bar Owner is brilliant. While you keep buying the big beers, he’ll keep the venomous shots coming, along with the charming banter. But then…
It couldn’t last. Oh no. Those pints, shots, and lack of actual food catch up with one of you. The inevitable festival of vomit begins, and Friendly Bar Owner suddenly becomes a lot less friendly.
His face will redden to match his glowing cheeks. Veins in his neck will pop up, and a tirade of the most aggressive foreign language will hit you like a steam train. You will be evicted from the premises in the same way Jazzy Jeff was throw out in every episode of Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.
10. Spotty Parisian Prick On Snowblades
“People still snowblade?" you ask. It appears so. Maybe it’s the same kid? We’re not sure.What we do know is, they’re an absolute nightmare.
Dressing in a black all-in-one with a massive crash helmet and furnished with a complete disregard for anybody’s safety, Spotty Parisian Prick On Snowblades does nothing for Anglo-French relations.
They’ll be the ones flailing down the slopes at break-neck speed weaving in and out of skiers and snowboarders, crashing at the end of rails, and generally causing chaos.
They’re not without their uses though. If Angry Dad is around, he’ll be so consumed with rage at the presence of Spotty Parisian Prick On Snowblades, he won't notice that you’ve accidentally knocked one of his progeny flying when you tried that 180 to face plant. Handy.
11. Handsome/Flirtatious Alpha Male Ski Instructor
A vision straight out of a 1980s women-only strum-pamphlet, Handsome Alpha Male Ski Instructor is the long haired, chisel-jawed, tanned guy that breaks hearts and pelvises on a daily basis.
He’ll be dressed in a resort branded, brightly coloured ski gear and combines easy charm with terrifying territorial aggression should anybody stray too close to any of his ski school students.
The prick’s probably a vegan as well, just to reinforce that fact he’s better than you.
12. The Local Who Is Annoyed You’re There
Ski resorts are just like any other holiday areas: they survive on tourism. It’s those €15 jambon omelettes that keep the lifts moving. 99 per cent of people accept this.
However, if you spend enough time in a resort, you will find somebody that despises the presence of us tourists.
Local Who Is Annoyed You’re There is usually five foot tall, knocking on a bit in years, and perennially in the middle of some thankless housework. A tabard, head scarf, and miserable expression are ever present.
Remember though, as annoyed as they get, they live here so be nice.
13. Wanna-Be Pros Making A 'Sponsor Me' Tape
You’ve spent the summer doing squats and weighted wood-chops in the gym, spent £400 on a park board, paid the extra €5 for the lift pass to the park, and you’re finally ready to drop in for your first taste of freestyle of the season.
“Dropping…" you say to yourself, as your pretend you’re Mark McMorris. The first kicker approaches. You do a little, unnecessary speed check because you think it makes it look like you know what you’re doing.
This is it. Your first air of the season is moments away. The kicker is approaching…
Three… Two…WHAT THE SHIT?!
A bunch of people suddenly appear, GoPros in hand, filming each other trying rotations. Introducing the Wanna-Be Pros Making A ‘Sponsor Me’ Tape.
While we admire their ambition, these people sit around on features in the park, making shitty edits of their mates doing sketchy 180s. They get in the way of everybody else’s park time. Should you drift into their shot, they will moan at you for ruining their film - as if they’re shooting for Absinthe.
14. Local Promoter/Radio DJ
He’s usually approaching middle age at a rate that betrays his eyebrow piercing and innuendo-packed Matalan t-shirt.
He’ll bore you with tales about the day some big name snowboarder dropped in for a chat on his radio show, and promise that he can get you into to all the best clubs in town for nothing because he knows the guy that knows the guy that knows…
Bless him Local Promoter/Radio DJ is harmless, if a little clingy. He just wants to be your mate. Anybody’s mate. Please?
15. The Boyz On Tour Stag Do
The Arch Bishop of Banterbury and his band of merry blokes. You won't be able to miss this lot during the three days they spend in the resort.
They’ll be the ones on the lift wearing skintight morph-suits, Disney characters costume or questionable World War Two attire.
It's a lot of fun to watch the Boyz On Tour flail around from a distance. Just don’t get too close or you could find yourself roped in to one of their stag challenges, usually involving mild nudity, drinking from unorthodox vessels, or generally making a tit of yourself.