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.

Katie Burrell and four other skiers skinning uphill
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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 out of GearJunkie's Denver, CO office. She has a degree in English and Journalism, and been writing professionally for over four years. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from 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.