Monday, March 24, 2014

Canyons Pond Skimming - 2014

This weekend it was time for one of our favorite Park City events, the Canyons Spring Gruv Pond Skimming.  If you haven't seen this in previous years of my blog, pond skimming involves trying to ski or board across an ice cold, 2-3 foot deep "pond".  Everyone is in costume and as you will see, some are quite elaborate.
The concept is simple.  You start about two hundred yards up the ski hill, run down carefully managing your speed, and then hit the water.  You lean back, but not too far back.  With coordination and balance, some make it all the way across the pond.  In reality, most don't.
While some people do very simple "10 minutes of thought" costumes, lots of them are very creative.  For anyone who has seen the TV show Breaking Bad, you will recognize this character and his tray full of blue meth.
Not sure what this guy was dressed as, but he is showing what happens when you start leaning forward.
... and it doesn't end well.
This guy didn't get all the way across, but his balance was so good that he was able to drink whiskey from a bottle as he skied across.  The RIP Shane probably refers to Shane McConkey, a famous extreme skier who died.

You can either go off a one foot drop or take the little jump.  Of course, the more exciting ones come from the jump.  Most doing the jump strive for big air, which is always followed by a big splash.  This guy had a much more athletic approach.
 Even with such a small jump, he managed to turn a 360 in the air.
 Coming back around.
 and landing it smoothly.
 Smoothly, but unfortunately with just a bit too much forward lean.
I said that big air from the jump means a big splash.  Here is the one clear exception. She got a good jump and some good, but not great air.
She lands it smoothly.
 And rides it right on out.  For grace, I don't think anyone matched her efforts.
I am not sure why this Panda has a cape and blue smoke coming from his poles.  Perhaps something from kid's TV?   Perhaps just really weird?
Now this is how a lot of people came off the jump.  Big and with little regard for their bodies.
 Notice the ski flying through the air. I'm not sure this was what ski binding makers had in mind.
I am not sure how this guy successfully skied down to the jump.  As soon as he went off the jump, both skis dropped off and he did his best Superman impersonation.
If you look closely, you'll see that this guy is built like Superman, making him one of the female crowd favorites.
We've seen what leaning forward can do to you.  Here's what happens when you go a bit too far back.
 You start with a forceful enema.
And then you get smacked on your butt with your own skis.  Not many style points awarded for this one.
I would have to give this guy the prize for the smoothest pond crossing.  Dressed in lederhosen, he's carrying a beer.
He made it look easy and didn't spill a drop. He popped up onto the far bank and chugged his beer.
A group came down, one after another.  The guy in the air clearly has no hope of landing in a way that can keep him upright.
I included his picture because this was probably the biggest splash of the day. I'm guessing 25-30 feet.
This one started looking ok.
 But he was rolling backwards too slowly for a back flip and too quickly for a happy landing.
 I was pretty sure he wouldn't recover from this position.
 and that was correct.
Every year there is at least one effort that goes way beyond all others.  This year it was Pinocchio, Geppetto, and a cricket on their boat, being chased by Terrible Dogfish.
 Geppetto took a fall as they got close to the water.  Not a good idea with Dogfish right behind.

The fact that the giant fish was going off the jump was just too much to watch.
 Not a lot of air, but at least the cricket got clear.
 Because Geppetto was dragging the ground, the boat never even made it all the way into the water.  That's kind of ironic.
The "spout" was created by a large fire extinguisher, routed up to the blowhole.   Now he looks like Sad Crazy Dogfish.
Fortunately, this guy was right near the end.  You can tell he has a lot more speed than most of the competitors.
 Then he cut hard.
One of the downsides of having a camera to your eye is that you don't see the water coming until it is too late. Glad I always have a cleaning cloth in my pocket.
Also glad it was a beautiful sunny day.

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