1. Sweet, new boots!

Move forward three spaces.

2. Ouch, my feet hurt!

Go back two spaces.

3. Dig around in the garage for old smelly liners to replace the new stock liners.

Move forward three spaces.

4. Wow, I really should clean my garage, but I think I'll just wax my skis instead.

Lose a turn.

5. Buy new Intuition liners.

Move forward five spaces.

6. Google "How to cook an Intuition liner in the oven?"

Move forward two spaces.

7. Get distracted by pro skier rap videos on YouTube and melt liner in oven.

Go back 10 spaces.

8. Go see your local bootfitter.

Move forward five spaces.

9. Bootfitter says you've been in boots too big your entire life and drops you down two sizes.

Go back to No. 2.

10. Purchase boots from Amazon based solely on the preferences of your favorite professional skier.

Lose two turns and take a hard look at your life.

11. What the eff is canting?

Go back three spaces.

12. Feet scream in ecstasy as you step into a hot tub after a day of skiing.

Move forward eight spaces.

13. At an estate sale, find a pair of mint SX 91 Equipes. They fit perfectly.

Move forward 15 spaces.

14. Shin-bang. Dammit.

Related: What makes Intuition custom-fit ski boot liners so legendary.

Go back seven spaces.

15. Take a boot bag to the airport.

Move forward two spaces and shout, "I am a huge dork!"

16. While carrying your boots over your shoulder onto the airplane, clock an old lady in the head.

Sincerely apologize and go buy a boot bag.

17. I miss my tele boots.

No one cares. Shotgun a beer.

18. Driving in ski boots is weird and probably dangerous but very satisfying.

Move forward three spaces.

19. Toe-bang. Dammit.

Go back three spaces.

20. During love-making, keep your socks on to conceal your hideously deformed feet.

Blame it on the cold floor, and move forward five spaces.

21. Hey, you remembered to cut your toenails.

Move forward two spaces.

22. Drop into the line of a lifetime and immediately eat shit because you forgot to secure the walk mode.

Lose a turn.

Related: A good touring boot is lightweight, maneuverable, and flexible for the skin track, then locks in for the descent. Here are the best of the year.

23. Get a custom footbed.

Move forward 10 spaces.

24. Black toenails appear mid-February, just like clockwork.

What else are you going to do? Go bowling? Move forward three spaces.

25. Buy a pair of lightweight elf shoes for touring and enroll in an avalanche class.

Move forward four spaces and call your mom.

26. Frostbite ravages toes at avalanche class because you wore your new boots and all you did was stand around and watch the hairy instructor slowly dig several pits while it's 20-below.

Go back eight spaces. It's OK to cry.

27. Finally, a pair of ski boots that are not too new, not too old, but just right.

Ski boot nirvana. Move forward one space.

28. Two months later, boot liners are packed out once again.

Briefly consider snowboarding.

29. You revert to old, tighter boots, where you quickly lose both big-toe nails, heading into summer looking like a leper.

Return to bootfitter and pay him/her in dollars (instead of alcohol).

30. While at bootfitter, realize you'll never return to the glory days of shinning gates and sending airs, so find something comfortable, chill out, and be thankful you still have two knees.

Just start over.

31. It's not the gear, it's you. Ski till the end of the day despite whatever shape your boots are in.

Congratulations, you are now a skier.


This story originally appeared in the September 2018 (47.1) issue of POWDER. To have 6 issues of The Skier’s Magazine delivered right to your door, in print, subscribe here.