Winter Recreation

Featured Activity: Pond skimmers end ski season with a splash

Brundage Mountain and Tamarack Resort will participate in what has become an international celebration of ski season: pond skimming.

From Canada to France to the Rocky Mountains, ski areas produce thrills and laughs with an event that bridges the gap between snow skiing and water skiing.

Brundage will stage its ninth annual pond-skimming competition at 1 p.m. April 9 as part of its Crazy Daze event to mark the end of seven-day-a-week operations (bonus ski weekends have been added through April 24). The event began in 2007 but was skipped last year because there wasn’t enough snow at the base.

Brundage builds a 100-foot pond in the base area. Competitors sign up for free to take a run at skiing across the pond. The survivors advance to the second round, where the degree of difficulty is increased by shortening the run-up. Those successful skimmers advance to the third round. The winner, selected from the final few based on style, gets a season pass.

“The best part is the crowd there cheering for you,” said Ethan Savage, a Boisean who has competed in the event and now is the emcee. “And they’re mostly cheering for you to wipe out.”

Tamarack is diving into the pond-skimming game Saturday with the inaugural State of Idaho Pond Skimming Championships (the winner gets a 4-foot trophy). Registration is at 11 a.m. and the skimming starts at 1 p.m. (max of 50 competitors; minimum 14 years of age). Judging is based on trick creativity, outfits and crowd hype. The event is part of Tamarack’s closing weekend.

Skimming all the way across the pond is “easier than you might think,” Savage said.

“You need to reach maximum speed as you go down the hill and then you don’t want to lean too far forward or too far back,” he said. “There’s this perfect, happy medium when your skis hit the water that you don’t do anything to create instability. The really good skimmers ... they’ll actually S-turn through the water and spray the crowd.”

Tubapalooza at Activity Barn

The Activity Barn in McCall will mark the end of its season with a Tubapalooza celebration Saturday. The tubing hill and rail park closes for the season after Sunday’s session (noon to 6 p.m.).

Tubapalooza runs from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Prizes include season passes to Brundage Mountain and the Activity Barn. Participants must build person-powered, cardboard sleds capable of making the 600-foot run down the tubing hill. Prizes will be awarded for design and distance.

The $5 registration fee benefits the Brundage Mountain Lifetime Sports program that introduces schoolkids to alpine skiing and snowboarding.

The cardboard sled rally runs from 5 to 6 p.m. Discount tubing passes are available from 4 p.m. to close.

Related stories from Idaho Statesman