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
Hilarious Ski Industry Smackdown Is Comedy Gold
In life, Katie Burrell works a marketing desk job. In this film, she tries her hand at ski industry 'dream jobs' through adventure, humor, and a whole lot more. Read more…

“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 Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.