How to Monoski
By James Roberton and Hugh McRae
Monoski: The definitive definition of defining gravity.
Prepare to have your mind blown by the most amazing machine to hit the slopes. Imagine all the technology, innovation, and development that goes into two skis, and HALF IT. That’s right, half as many skis, with twice as many benefits.
Monoskiing has been around for decades, but there is only one decade that has brought anything of any value into the world of snowsports today, and that is the 80’s. You might be thinking a modern parabolic composite monoski is the way to go, right? WRONG! 80’s Pintail monos play by their own rules and nobody else’s, not even their own. Just take a look at the names of some of the great boards to emerge from the golden age of monoskiing; MONO Life colours, Rossignol Liberty, Head Free Spirit, Duret Fun, Nidecker For More Fun. These brightly splayed graphics are not mere brandings, these names signify the very essence, the very spirit of monoskiing.
By banging both feet into one of these large, heavy, stiff, dangerous, shapeless pieces of wood, and suiting up in your hottest pre-gortex fluro sweat suit, you automatically become a better person. People can’t help but smile when you fly past on your feet or on your face defining gravity. Children ask their parents why they have to use two skis when they could experience the freedom of one. Anyone over the age of 50 immediately gets a flood of endorphins as they remember the exhilaration of taking a mono out for a slide. For a brief moment you lose all sense of time and space. Your body transcends the everyday directly to a hyper-sexualised 80’s advert.
We talked to some of Europe’s hottest monoskiers to find out more.
Tell us what it was like to finally descend pisteurs couloir on a monoski?
According to an old off-piste guide of Val d’isere, I’m a boner-fide virtuoso. Monoskiing Pisteurs made BASI level 4 training feel like a waste of time.
Last year you hit the XL Kicker (AKA TYRONE) in Val park on a mono. How long have you been skiing park, what’s life like as a jibby park rat?
I’ve literally never been in the park before. But I felt the power of the HEAD Free Spirit and just went “bing, bing” up and over.
Pintail Monoskis are getting so popular these days, last year you decided to make an investment and get your own, how much did you pay for yours?
I found it in a bin.
You’ve spent years hand tuning and preparing monoskis for the World Championships, tell us a bit about the love and craftsmanship that goes into repairing and maintaining these magnificent boards?
Generally they’re not a problem, but most of the ones we’ve seen have been mounted more than 4 times, and they’re held together with bubble gum and dreams.
You must love bringing them back to life when they’re all messed up like that?
Some people say monoskiing should be a one-time novelty activity. What do you have to say to those people?
If you’ve had pizza once, why would you ever have it again? If you’ve had sex once, why would you do it again? It’s like sucking on some big ol’ titties. It never gets old.
What happened when you bought your own monoski?
I met this old fossil of a guy and he gave me a beer, and said “if you’re ever in Annecy, let me know and we can hang out”. He never answered my calls.
What kind of apparel and accessories can optimise monoski performance?
The tighter and brighter it is, the faster you go.
For more information check out “How to Monoski” on Youtube by Fraser Boland.