Why I Purposely Left My Skis Behind on My Last Ski Vacation

This article originally appeared on Ski Mag

Last season, at the end of a fabulous day of skiing, cappuccinos, and dumpling soup, I set my skis on a rack at the base of Alpe di Siusi, a pretty resort in Italy’s Dolomites. Before walking away, I turned back for one last wistful glance. As far as I know, my skis are still sitting there. Or a thrifty young local is taking them out for a spin. Guardami, ragazza. Sono retro. “Look at me, girl. I’m retro.”

Until that day, I’d been skiing on the same pair of skis for nearly two decades. A pair of K2 Phat Luvs circa 2004. My now-19-year-old son was in diapers when I peeled off the shrinkwrap. My 17-year-old daughter? She was only a twinkle in her daddy’s eye when I took them out for their maiden voyage.

Ode to Clunkers

The writer (right) rocking her Phat Luvs on one of the umpteen adventures they’ve accompanied her on over the last almost-20 years. Photo: Courtesy of Helen Olsson

The graphics were a sort of Hawaiian floral print over a kelly green background. I had them for so long, I swear the graphics had come back in style. In the fashion world, style is cyclical, with trends resurfacing after a period of 20 years. Bell bottoms, mom jeans, scrunchies, platform shoes–and my Phat Luvs. It’s true, even a few years shy of that 20-year trend rule, I’d get compliments in the lift lines. “Your skis are so pretty!” It was like I was sashaying Rodeo Drive with a vintage Louis Vuitton clutch. They’d become heritage pieces!

But let’s face it, the tech was not up to date. Just a couple years before my traditionally shaped cambered skis came out of the mold, Volant released Shane McConkey’s

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