No Slopes Necessary: Chilling With the “Shot Ski” on College Campuses Everywhere

By Erica Gleeman on April 6, 2017

Shot Ski by Alan Turkus via Flickr with the License
No changes were made to the photo, but the title was shortened

Snowboard skiing has made its way to Florida. Actually, the shot ski, a configured snow ski that looks like it belongs in Vermont or Colorado, has arrived with a splash on American college campuses both warm and cold. Affixed with removable shot glasses, the contraption enables four revelers to drink in unison as they hold onto the board, face their glasses, and enjoy their choice of party beverage. With a long tradition of warming up actual skiers at mountain lodges and resorts, the shot ski has gained increasing popularity among college partiers, including ardent fans at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

“For those of us who are shy about just standing around at a party, maybe nursing a beer, the shot ski turns the whole experience into a fun game with friends,” said anonymous student, 21, of Tallahassee.

An Idea was Born

No one could have foreseen the shot ski’s ballooning popularity when a group of ski buddies in Wisconsin first banded together a decade ago, hoping to add a little extra zip to their après-ski activity after long days on the slopes. “We stress the word `after’ folks,” the manufacturing company now emphasize from its web site, www.shot ski.com. “Don’t tear up your favorite ride by starting the shot ski too early now.”

While hitting slopes any time in Florida is naturally impossible, it is no surprise that FSU students have embraced at least the idea of mixing “skiing” and drinking. Tallahassee’s Sidecar Gastrobar features a shot ski with a fireball design, and the venue offers a full menu so participants can fill themselves with plenty of food to help absorb the alcohol.

This party craze can be ordered in 16 varieties, depending on ski length, thickness, weight, and glossy artwork, but customers can also place custom orders with their own logos or designs on both the ski and shot glasses. Each shot ski features four removable, 1.5-oz shot glasses that attach with the company’s unique “grip tite” technology. This allows users to remove the glasses for easy cleaning and avoid breakage during transport.

Using the Shot Ski

Using a shot ski is quite simple; the participants fill up the shot glasses on the ski with liquor. You can even fill it up with any non-alcoholic fluids; there is no discrimination here. To play the ski-shot game, all four participants must finish their shot. In unison, the participants lift up the shot ski to their faces and down their liquid courage, presumably until there is no liquid left in the shot glasses. If someone fails to finish their portion, any remaining liquid will likely land onto his face.

Shot skiing is a great tool to use against friends who normally don’t take, or finish, shots. The company encourages responsible drinking throughout its web site, but the game at least ensures that no one wastes money on unfinished shots. Regardless, shot ski is intended as a fun social activity, and no one should feel compelled to drink more than they can handle.

Check out this YouTube video to see shot skiing in action.

Tips for Shot Skiing Success

One of the more challenging aspects of shot skiing is leveling the playing field when players vary significantly in height, and range in order. If players lift the shot ski to the tallest participant’s level, the shortest person would find the drink right at his face. But starting at the shortest participants’ height means the shots end up level with the taller participants’ laps. One easy solution is to have each participant to bend down to the same level as the shortest player. Another fix is to align the participants in descending order. When it comes to starting to down the shot ski it can start with the tallest person of the group; the image below is a complimenting representation.

Shot Ski by Alan Turkus via Flickr with the License
No changes were made to the photo, but the title was shortened

A DIY Shot Ski

Are you ready to get downski for the shot ski: The newest college trend? Creating a do-it-yourself shot ski only takes an afternoon. One can purchase a real ski, find someone who actually ascends snowy slopes but has skis to spare, or even use a piece of sturdy wood that measure the length of an average adult ski (about five feet). Home Depot sells grommets that help make the glasses removable. Home crafters can choose glass or plastic shot glasses and simply adhere them with extra-strong glue.

Florida State Shot Ski by Anonymous Student

The best part is decorating the contraption to reflect one’s personal style. FSU fans are strongly encouraged to accessorize with spirited Seminole stickers, banners, and artwork in any medium that works. With shot skis also popular at sporting events, both at collegiate and professional levels, Seminoles should start planning out their customized  tailgating tool for the upcoming football season. For more detailed instructions, check out the blog, How to Make a Shot Ski, on www.Backcountry.com.

In addition to selling the entire retail line, www.shotski.com also offers related apparel, accessories such as can cozies and extra shot glasses, and sections for clearance items and custom orders. Buyers also can find the shot skis – used and often deeply discounted – on shopping sites such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.

Erica Gleeman is a New York native, but was raised in Boca Raton, Florida. She is a senior at Florida State University currently pursuing a degree in English - Editing, Writing, and Media with a minor in General Business. The Editing, Writing, and Media track re-conceives the English major for the 21st century. It still preserves the traditional core of English, the creation and interpretation of texts, by combining practice in writing and editing with the study of cultural history and criticism. However, it transforms both writing practice and critical study to confront the new challenges of digital technology, visual culture, and the Internet. The Editing, Writing, and Media major uniquely prepares for communications related skills.

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