Note: This is a work of satire.
Ever since the Blizzard of Aahhh’s transformed skiers like Glen Plake, Scot Schmidt, and Mike Hattrup into action-sports superstars, the once unsustainable career of being a “pro free-skier” is now a real possibility. In fact, the occupation is now reaching record popularity among mountain town dwellers currently claiming pro status on their tax returns.
In a recent study completed by Teton Technical College, the number of self-proclaimed “pro skiers” has exceeded 5,000 in North America alone. However, that number is apparently continuing to grow after an initial spike in 2006.
Where is the center of this career craze? As of today, Salt Lake City is reporting an absurd amount of pro skiers with up to 2,227 skiers claiming to be pros. While that number might not come as a surprise to ski tuners in mountain towns across the country, the mayor of Salt Lake is taking a noticeable interest in the trending occupation.
In a recent interview, the mayor commented on the burgeoning pro skier market saying, “pro skiers have long felt at home below the Wasatch Mountains but what makes our pro skiers so special, is that the majority of them only need marginal sponsorship from some graphic t-shirt and hat company in order to claim pro status,” which he emphasized is currently “strengthening the local economy.”
However, many Little Cottonwood Canyon regulars claim the amount of pro skiers flooding into the market will eventually cause the market to crash. A former Sandy resident, Larry “Left Turn” Oswalt said that while the amount of pro skiers entering the market has made the in-bounds terrain at many resorts less trafficked, he told Unofficial Networks that the pro skier career trend “is built on a house of cards.” When asked about what he meant by “house of cards,” he pointed out the companies sponsoring such athletes were neither necessary to the sport nor well positioned within the ski industry marketplace. “Most of these companies are funded by mommy or daddy back in New York,” said Oswalt. “The chances of those parents continuing to fund these useless companies through another recession– there’s no fucking way.”
The pro skiers on the other hand, deny Oswalt’s claim. One of those pro skiers is Henry Waitsfield. Waitsfield, a 22-year-old high school graduate who grew up in Ogden but now lives in basement of his divorced dad’s Cottonwood Heights residence, said his sponsorship from GNAR Flatbrims allowed him to go pro in the past year. “Without GNAR, I don’t know where I’d be,” indicates Waitsfield, who was playing Call of Duty during the interview. “Their hats have been on my head in the park ever since they added me to the team last year,” to which he added, “since then, I get all the first drops.”
All in all, Waitsfield’s annual salary from GNAR amounts to roughly $150 dollars. That income comes in the form sticker packs, hats, and the occasional free beer from the company’s founder, all of which he accounts for on his tax return.
The founder, who bartends during his time away from the boutique headwear company, told Unofficial Networks that while business could be better, the amount of pros promoting his headwear is at an all time high. That never ending onslaught of Instagram and Snapchat posts has propelled his otherwise defunct brand to continue to stay afloat. Also, the founder claims that he met his girlfriend through interaction on the company’s Instagram. The GNAR CEO later admitted, “To be honest, if I didn’t run GNAR, I probably wouldn’t be getting laid and neither would my athletes.”
However, how long will this hot streak of skiers “going pro” last? Unofficial Networks estimates that companies like GNAR have at least two more years of tricking their girlfriends into thinking they’re pros before the IRS catches on and revokes their pro status.