Dry-Land Skiing: The Kooky Sport With a Dire Message

‘The Kook’ stars enthusiastic ski bum Michael Hibbs as he tries his hand at a new sport: skiing without snow.

At first, it’s comical. A man with a pair of Carhartt coveralls and K2 skis hiking up a grass hill: Something doesn’t belong.

This 15-minute mockumentary is mostly comedy, but beneath that, there’s an underlying storyline. The film quickly gets deep with what’s actually going on — this skier is on dry land because there’s no snow. It’s a commentary on global warming, and it’s every bit as scary as it is absurd.

In the film, our adventurous hero takes on grass, sand, dirt — even pavement and stairs — on a pair of skis.

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“How’s the pack above the treeline? Any good chutes?” Hibbs shouts at passersby at a bus stop. As its name implies, this film is kooky. But the message is clear: Skiing as we know it isn’t sustainable. Or, at least, it won’t be forever unless something changes.

That, and to each his own; if you want to go ski dirt, go for it. “The Kook” proves it’s possible.

Mary Murphy

Mary is based in Denver, Colorado, but frequently travels abroad. Her outdoor interests span from climbing to landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.