Win Smith takes owning a ski resort very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that on Sunday, April 9, the owner of Sugarbush Resort pulled on a Hawaiian shirt his wife had just brough back from Maui and a pair of shorts. He clicked into his Volkl 108s, grabbed his shades, a flowered lei and a plush toy, a Bernese mountain dog that looked just like Rumble, his pet who recently passed away. At the top, Smith dropped his poles and straight-lined it as fast as he could down the slope toward the crystal blue pool of water below.
Smith skimmed across the pond in the bright sunlight. The crowd cheered. His shorts were dry. Rumble was dry. And another Sugarbush Pond Skim started off. “I usually make it across,” he said. Then again, he’s been doing this for many years.
“The secret?” Smith admitted later. “You need speed, lots of speed. And you can’t sit back or you’ll sink.” As plenty of people did. In fact, for a long time Smith (who has rarely gotten wet above his waist) was the only one to make the far end of the pond.
Skiers and riders took the event equally seriously, donning outfits that ranged from fat suits to Batman costumes to bananas. There were cowboys and fishermen, a Gumby, a cheerleader and several fuzzy bears. Fat skis, snowboards and even teleskis were used (fatter skis help some, Smith says, but you still “need the speed,” he notes). Several skiers dropped in switch stance. The fisherman made it halfway across the pond while skiing on just one ski, holding a fly rod in one hand and a beer in the other. Judges scored and the crowd cheered just as loudly for splashes as for those who made it to the end. Photos by Angelo Lynn