Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pond skimming at The Canyons - 2010

NOTE: If you are one of the competitors and want some pictures, send an email to sjoyce at gmail dot com. Tell me your costume and your number. I took about 900 pictures.

Every spring, we gather for what has become one of our favorite events of the year, the Pond Skimming over at The Canyons ski resort. One hundred entrants dressed in costume and tried to ski or board across a man made pond.

First, we need a pond full of cold water. It was about 50-60 feet long and very cold. Notice all the floating ice.

Let's start out with a quick, fairly obvious suggestion. Don't lean forward!

Once you start to lean forward, the outcome is easy to predict.

Once the ski tip grabs water, you accelerate forward.

And the inevitable....

Another competitor using the forward lean technique.

This guy went all out. He came off the bigger of the two jumps.

Rolled upside down.

And then almost nailed the landing. He was the only one to get this much air, but couldn't quite hold it.

A very different approach: wear nothing but your underwear and ride a single ski, with a board attached for a seat. Oh, and use flip flops for steering.

OK, nope.

Perhaps a more stylish ride on a snowboard?

Nope, not that either.

Some focused more on the points for costume instead of distance across the pond. This was a bunch of four bananas.

They managed not to kill each other in the pond. That's something anyway.

Sometimes the judges might have felt pressure to raise their scores based on the angry, mean looking competitors. I think this was the wolf that ate grandma from Little Red Riding Hood.

For some, the outcome was all too obvious. When you paint a bulls eye on your belly and jump off stomach first, it's bound to hurt.

Sure enough.

A rocket? Really?

Again, easy to predict the outcome.

Yet another big crash, but is he ok?

Of course he is. It's bubble wrap man! And he floats.

He did need help getting back to his feet though.

The white trash Easter bunny was a crowd favorite. He was a bunny in a bath robe, looking rough, smoking a cigarette and carrying a basket of beers to give to the judges.

What a great ad for Pabst Blue Ribbon! This little girl was standing over with the judges and she managed to grab one of the bunny's beers.

This was the best of this year's competition. Along comes a black Cadillac Escalade driven by none other than Tiger Woods.

Skiing along behind him is Tiger's wife Elin. She's swinging a golf club and ripping the car to shreds.

About 15 competitors later, a woman comes down wearing a bikini top. "Tiger" immediately runs over and tries to get her phone number on his cell phone.

Elin sees him, and comes swinging again for all she is worth. Things like this continued to happen throughout the competition.

This guy tried a much more laid back style and it got him most of the way across the pond.

Another guy tried carrying that a bit too far. If your skis are perpendicular to the water, that's bad.

Yep, going down.


Another entry focused more on style than actually making it across the pond. Two guys dressed as a unicorn. They skied down the hill surprisingly well.

The jump was a bit awkward though.

And the landing was a mess.

Not to miss the equine competition, here is a Mexican bandit riding his horse.

Not so well.

This was an interesting picture. After getting out of the freezing cold water, he turned up a bottle of Tequilla. Since I was shooting at very high speeds, it captured the drink as he pulled the bottle back from his mouth.

Poor lonely horse!

It was a cold day in the water, even for Spartan warriors.

Was this inventive or just lazy? The chair was surprisingly graceful entering the water, but it only went about 10 feet.

Gene Simmons was one of the best costumes. He made it about 75% of the way across the pond.

These two guys were a ski boat and a skier being towed. They did a pretty good job off the jump.

Another favorite, straight out of the cartoons. It is Wile E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner. Of course, to be authentic, the coyote is riding a rocket , belching smoke as he flies down the hill.

This is the coyote, about to hit the jump.

And as it always ended in the cartoon, the roadrunner goes free and Wile E. is left strapped to a rocket, still belching smoke, in the ice cold water.

As the entrants kept exploding into the water, the pond began to fill with refuse.

The saddest of which was this little baby doll, floating face down in the water for over an hour.

You can't have an event in Utah without some commentary about the Mormons. In this case, it was the polygamists. He was skiing down the hill and as he approached the water, he tossed off one of his wives.

The funny part was watching the little boys up the hill playing with the inflatable doll. It entertained them for quite a while.

And finally, the spectators. My favorite was this young lady who clearly knew how to dress for success. I figure the kids around her were her entourage.

And my gang of friends... Julie was under the weather and couldn't make it. I went with Bill Benson and quickly met up with Rob Schumacher (our builder). Then our lovely Wednesday hosts from PCMR and their husbands joined us.

It was perfect weather and a fun day. Only 10-15 of the contestants made it across the pond, and they really weren't the fun ones to watch. It amazes me how creative people are and how many show up to compete each year. They even have to cut off the entrants at 100. Awesome!
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