How To Carry Your Skis: A Visual Guide

By Tele Tony Feb 3, 2021
There are many ways to carry skis. Most of them are wrong. We'll help you get it right.
How To Carry Your Skis: A Visual Guide

Let’s all agree to admit carrying skis can be a bit difficult. Some will claim they’ve always been experts at ferrying their sticks through town, onto shuttles and into lift lines, but they’re the same lot who fib about exiting the womb on skis atop a World Cup start gate. There’s no shame in the struggle. Skis are long, unwieldy and at various spots sharp and pointy. There are two of them, crudely tethered together by brakes which are either hopelessly loose or seemingly inseparably tangled. Motor skills are inhibited by gloves and mittens, and you’re probably wearing plastic boots with little traction. All that and we haven’t even touched on poles yet. What I’m trying to say is, it’s not your fault.

I harbor traumatic memories of unappreciatively trudging towards the lift dragging a tangled web of gear as a child. But look at me now. Sure, I’m a little rickety on the cusp of middle age, but I carry my skis with the refined grace of someone starring in Swan Lake, and you can too! Proper ski-carry technique instantly separates the wheat from the chaff; it’s the quickest identifier of on-mountain credibility. Carry your skis correctly, and you’ll get where you’re going free from the frustration of dropping your gear or the lawsuits that come with clanging innocent bystanders in the head. Let’s explore ski-carry methodology, with techniques ranging from woefully inept to highly effective.

The Delam Fever Dream:

Commonly seen at the tail end of a trek with skis in tow as energy wanes. The tails drop to the ground as spirits wilt. The eventual separation of the top sheet from the sidewall and core seems a fitting metaphor about the inevitability of struggle.


The Bundle of Wood AKA The Offering:

Like a conquering lumberjack returning with a freshly chopped haul of firewood, you resolutely trudge through winter conditions. Also, like the lumberjack, you haven’t realized there’s an easier way—radiant heating, y’all—and you’ll find getting through the door difficult.


The Scissor Me Timbers:

The brakes on your skis have become entangled—one on top and one below on each side—rendering your boards a crossed-up hazard for a wayward finger. Things are coming apart, and it won’t get better until you stop to fix it. 

The Double Dangle AKA The Park Rat:

This evolution of the Delam Fever Dream features one ski lazily held in each hand. The primary difference is the indifference to the wellbeing of your skis is performative. Extra points if the pole straps around each wrist let the poles drag as well.


The Tallahassee Briefcase:

Skiing is serious business, and you’re here to work. Surely combining all this gear into one precariously constructed house of cards is the best, most efficient idea. Sadly, no. Skiing is fun. The less you do, the more you do.


The Halfback Sweep:

Watching all that football during bowl season clearly had an effect. If a running back can secure a ball like this while being tackled, it’s clearly going to work for someone walking with skis. The poles should be safe there, too. Unfortunately, the only commonalities between a football and skis, is they’re both unusually shaped. A fumble is likely.


The Bazooka:

So close, but so far away. The over the shoulder method is on the right track, but cramming binding components on and around the AC joint isn’t going to be comfortable. Most ski vacations don’t require dropping to one knee and fighting off enemy tanks like you’re in the 10th Mountain Division, so there’s no need to prepare for a massive recoil.


The Let Me Get Those for You:

The only time you should be carrying two pairs of skis is when you couldn’t decide which part of your quiver was best for the day. Don’t be the dilettante who won’t carry their own gear. It’s never a good look. And don’t let your kids off the hook too easily, either. Struggle is growth, and growth leads to shredding powder.


The Right Way AKA The Local:

Here we are. Ski carrying nirvana. Notice the binding behind the shoulder, and the effortless balancing act facilitated by a single hand. Just look at the weight distribution! Gorgeous. Bonus points if you can stand the skis up directly behind the carrying shoulder and seamlessly pull them into position. Keep an eye out for bystanders!


The UpRight Way AKA The Claw:

Carry your skis the Right Way indoors or in the Tram line, and you’re likely to decapitate a fellow shredder. That’s where the UpRight way comes in. Keep your skis close. Move them forward one step at a time. Sit down on the shuttle bus all without changing grip. It’s as versatile as it is simple and elegant.