As the Northern Hemisphere whines about the winter chill, some of you are out there sliding and schussing like you were born in a crevasse and raised by a polar bear. Naturals. There's so many things to do in snow: Throw it, eat it, accidentally drop your ski pole in it off a chairlift, never to be seen again. We know you're all adventurous, but what does your favorite winter sport say about you?
Like racketball, only without a ball, racket or walls, skiing was invented by accident 5,000 years ago when a Swede was hit in the back of the knees by a moving chair in an early Sizzler, in the first recorded act of gaperdom. Today, it’s beloved by people who like to be coached “try to fall over less,” or who wish compete in fur gloves. Anyone spotted wearing sunglasses and no hat in below-32 weather is either famous, the ski school director, or an avatar being remotely operated by aliens.
You: are fast, tidy and not ashamed to wear ear muffs.
You can be seen: in a racing tuck, in the cafeteria line.
Your slogan: Everyone had better watch out at this year’s Thanksgiving table, because you like to CARVE.
Like skiing, only with a lower crotch, snowboarding was invented in the 1980s, via the monoski (let us never speak of it again), to facilitate more “gnar” when tearing through the “pow.” It has enjoyed renewed popularity alongside the rise of the X Games and freestyle sports, and as a home-base for the wear-er-ship of ironic plaid. Half the ski edges gives you double the time to talk about your dope ollies.
You: are mad psyched, and think the dayglo onesie you’re wearing is worth the trouble it now takes to pee. You might be goofy.
You can be seen: dragging your snowboard along a cat track while listening to Sublime on your mad giant headphones.
Your slogan: I’m not a rebel, I have a good side.
Like planking, only in the air, ski jumping is best performed by feather-light ceiling batts, but is commonly enjoyed by Norwegians. Where snowboarders and freestyle skiers attempt to fit in as many somersaults and twists in as they can, nordic jumpers perform a big do-nothing while airborne, as if they’re waiting in line at Cinnabon. Descending the K120 requires a brave competitor; competing in the lesser-known sport of skiflying requires an insane competitor, or a run-of-the-mill cat.
You: are LOVABLE, with a flying “V.”
You can be seen: sailing through the air as your mom yells, “Get down from there!”
Your slogan: It’s only jumping if you land.
Katniss has her bow, Harry has his broom, you have your butt and a plastic dish. Tobogganing—poor-man’s bobsledding—is a sport anyone can pick up, with or without the help of a retired John Candy. There are no metrics to determine champion tobogganists: after a particularly legendary descend, many of the sports greats have simply declared themselves to be WINNING. There are low barriers to entry, with competitors training on anything from garbage bags to ski jackets to shovels to inner tubes.
You: have no direction.
You can be seen: faceplanting.
Your slogan: When you see a toboggan track, know that you’re looking at a snow angel moving at 20 mph!
Skating around a frozen lake, chasing that tiny flat ball… what an idyllic way to spend the winter. Ice hockey is a lot like tunnel ball, except that the “tunnel” is liable to slip over or receive a gash to the face at any given moment. It’s a high-stakes game in which players try to get possession of the skidding “puck,” as it is elaborately known, while zooming along the ice—if you’re bad at hand-eye coordination in tee-ball, you are guaranteed to be horrible at this game.
You: have figured out a way to eat Nerds while wearing your face mask.
You can be seen: using your feet as brakes, like SUPERMAN.
Your slogan: You can't put awesomeness in a penalty box.
Once upon a time, a Scandinavian skated out the door to go on a date with a girl his friend also had a crush on. Halfway to the troutery, he got cold feet, and turned around, telling himself, “but he’s my friend!” then spun back around, crying, “but she has the face of an angel food cake,” reversing slowly as he lamented that his friend had liked the girl first, then turning his first figure 8 as he fought the pros and cons of dating a baker. “It’s so much carbs!” He yelled as he pulled his first double-axle: figure skating was born. Today, it is the same, only with Kenny G and nude sparkly fabrics to heighten the drama.
You: are the only person we know who can successfully shave her (or his) legs while listening to shower radio.
You can be seen: making the rest of us look like gumbies in Rockefeller Plaza.
Your slogan: That’s not a boob, that’s stardust.
Have you pulled a double axle or daffy? What's your toboggan of choice?