If you thought the shot of that chick’s naked ass was sweet… I know you will love some naked dude. This is Jason Dobbs. What makes this even more G.N.A.R. is that this occurred during the legendary season of 2006 way before G.N.A.R. the movie and the naked skiing crazy that is sweeping the Earth.
We know that sports are just funnier when you do them naked. I’ve found tennis is particularly unflatteringly distractive as well as inconvenient because you have to carry extra balls in your sinister hand. In college, I nude waterskied, excited to execute the plan conceived: My boat-driving friend John would tow me inappropriately close to a sunbather-filled beach, where I would lay down a fierce angle, spraying the beachgoers for attention, just in time for them to see the crack of ass careening away. Just as I laid into the apex of my carve, I heard the motor cut, replaced by immense laughter from the boat as I slowly sank in my inappropriate dress, mere feet from the public beach. I gave a brief smiling wave as I “covered up” in the water, waiting for my flag-raising “friends” to loop back around. They took their time.
Amazing that I’d be so trusting to again depend faithfully on my friends to help collaborate on a naked athletic stunt, but so it was that on a deep, spring day photo shoot turned PG-13. While teaming with my friends, photographer Ryan Salm and writer Paul Raymore for a perfect day skiing pow, airing precipices off Light Towers and Palisades, we deemed an air of the front center of Extra Rock would cap the day’s events. When we saw some other ski buddies hucking creative, less-heralded lines to the far skier’s right of Palisades’ Burma, we saw a fresh opportunity. Although I was spent from a long day I wanted to come up with something to compete with the excitement of the backies and Lincoln Loops that were going down without having to invert myself. What trick could I do that would show up the others?
It was then we conceived the naked Spread Eagle* off a cliff. Salm and lens would post up below, as Paul and I hiked up the ladder section of the ‘Sades that faces Headwall. When we reached the top it was time to get prepared, undress completely, then redress just socks, boots, pass, helmet, goggles, and gloves. Paul would kindly schlep my clothes to the Newport unloading zone, which would double as my dresser. So there we were, with vistas ranging to the far shores of Tahoe and beyond. As I de-layered we spotted the first rolling clouds on an otherwise bluebird day. With my boots buckled I was quickly ready to send the twenty-footer. The laughter ensued (as usually does in nude sporting) as I stood proud and eager in the only outfit I’ve owned forever in prominent view of those debarking Headwall, or riding Siberia. “Hold on one minute,” yelled Salm, “let’s let this cloud pass.”
The cloud stretched to the Central Valley as I stood there under what had been until now a warm sky. With shadows engulfing the Palisades I could hear the cackles of Headwall gatherers. They were close enough to hear them announce to each other, “Dude, I think that guy is naked!” A couple patrollers unloaded and stood facing me for a minute. I was sure I was about to get the kibosh, but when I didn’t drop in immediately they went back to work. Leaving me naked and alone. It was ten minutes before Salm gave the O.K. that lighting was good, and asked if I was ready. I wasn’t going to let another cloud come along and spoil our fun, so I counted down, pointed my Elans toward the cliff, popped, and let it all hang out with a glorious Spread Eagle. If you were there that day, sorry! Sailing over twenty feet of rock with my pale skin for armor, I put down the landing gear, stomped it, and skied away. I slalomed a father-daughter combo traversing across Chicken Bowl; I’d guess they’ll be back at Alpine next season.
I skied over to the defunct Newport chair, sat on the cold, hard metal. I faced the table-topped Palisades that had hosted such a fun season and recounted the various missions accomplished. As promised, Paul brought me my soft goods and was joined by Salm in congratulatory laughter. Still, they let me clothe before the obligatory high fives went around for this team victory. I might have put the most at risk, but it was Ryan Salm who had to take the gnarliest line: After hours of filtering through images, editing, and censoring the final cut, he told me he was glad he didn’t have to stare at my junk on a computer screen anymore. Worthy though, because it made the cover, and Paul Raymore’s title interview had dubbed me “The Last Action Hero”. Still, a much bigger area would have needed censoring, had it not been for that last chilling cloud.
* – inspired by Shane McConkey, no doubt
The Line of the Week is a weekly photo piece by Ryan Salm featuring some of Tahoe’s finest athletes doing whatever we deem rad. We will be using the term “Line” loosely to describe anything resembling chutes, big airs, pointers or any general madness. All images are the property and copyright of Ryan Salm Photography.
For more of Ryan’s work, check out http://ryansalmphotography.photoshelter.com
Photo by Ryan Salm
Words by Jason Dobbs & Ryan Salm
Location – Palisades, Squaw Valley
Skier – Jason Dobbs – Naked