The Best Ski Movies, from Great Documentaries to Pulp Hits

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Willem De Meyer

Ski movies are great any time of the year. Whether you like the pow with full snorkel status, getting sendy in the park or out on the street, or just laying it over, there is a film that’s going to tickle your fancy. Over the years, there have been a few that mixed comedy with the occasional top-to-bottom race, and year after year, there is plenty of ski porn for those waiting for the first flakes. Burn some skis, praise Ullr, and give Chione a kiss, because without them we don’t have ski movies.

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Aspen Extreme (1993)

In a little town some call Asssssssssspen, the life of a ski instructor is the gold at the end of the rainbow for two young hotshots from Detroit. Dexter Rutecki and T.J. Burke quit their jobs, hop in the car, and descend upon Aspen as tryouts for the elite ski instructor slot begin. Naturally, both are great skiers but T.J. has a bit more of the Playboy appearance and thus lands the job while Dexter is left to the bunny hill and little kids. Off the slopes, Dexter gets into some trouble with the other white powder while T.J. finds himself trapped in the middle of seduction from a cougar and true feelings for the local good girl. Aspen Extreme is undoubtedly one of the best, with great skiing, death, and drugs, and the all too familiar ski town drama story.

Blizzard of Aahhh’s (1988)

The year was 1988 and Greg Stump gave the world one of the greatest ski movies of all time. With the help of ski phenoms Mike Hattrup, Glen Plake, and Scot Schmidt, Blizzard of Aahhh’s put extreme skiing on the map from the mountains of Chamonix and Squaw. Even today, it is still all about the ahhs because the terrain Plake and Schmidt were skiing on late-’80s tech is outright absurd. The movie is full or rock ‘n roll, neon colors, incredible skiing (then and now), and one big mohawk.

Ski School (1991)

Sex, beer, parties, and skiing all within the confines of a VHS? This is Ski School. The common tale of good versus evil sets the scene for Ski School, where a band of hooligans might battle the privileged ski instructors in the spring fling to reign supreme. Naturally, with an 18-year-old’s mindset at the forefront of production, there is enough beer and ’90s-dressed females for all.

The Art of Flight (2011)

When you combine arguably the world’s best snowboarder and his friends with Planet Earth-type cinematography then you might find yourself watching The Art of Flight. It’s all about having a good time with the homies, shredding Alaskan spines, and sending it to near outer space heights. Perhaps it’s not the best idea to replicate any of the boarding seen in the film, but from the comfort of your couch, The Art of Flight is undoubtedly one of the best snowboard movies every made in technique and visual stimulus.

Out Cold (2001)

We revisit the age-old tale of a battle between locals and big money coming in to take control. In what might be considered his breakout role, Zach Galifianakis and his cohorts band together to fight off the local mountain’s new ownership while his best friend is swindled into joining management. There is a scene with a hot tub, the tantalizing Victoria Silvstedt, perhaps one of the best monologues of all time, and even some occasional snowboarding. It’s a perfect movie that you don’t need to pay attention to enjoy though your ears will perk up at some choice one-liners. Out Cold is everything you need it to be and just might propose some genius idea for you and your friends after a few too many.

McConkey (2013)

A tribute, documentary, and flat-out stellar ski movie, McConkey is the story of a skiing legend. Shane McConkey was a revolutionary known for his exile from Vail Mountain for taking the final run of a college bump competition naked, for skiing lines that others deemed impossible, potentially getting credit for inventing the powder ski, and for a good friend of his named Saucer Boy that was never far behind with a handle of Jack Daniels. This is a movie that speaks for the culture of skiing and the love and passion of a man who sadly passed too soon, presented by those who loved him most.

Hot Dog … The Movie (1984)

Ski ballet, broomball, old school bumps course, ski bunnies, and one hell of a Chinese downhill is what you have coming when you sit down to take in Hot Dog. In the ski world, a hot dog is a true showboater and this film has more than enough combined with ski town antics and a battle between average joe and the European WASPs. If you were to move to a ski town, Hot Dog portrays the life you’d want to live, especially with all the ’80s neon apparel.

All.I.Can (2011)

Pillows, steep lines, a whole lot of Canadian “eh,” big airs, and some of the best cinematography is what sets All.I.Can apart from the rest. There is a segment in the film where J.P Auclair has his own street course, flipping over cars, skirting along the sidewalk, and airing stairs just if it was a Sunday afternoon stroll, that will absolutely raise your stoke level. All.I.Can has a bit of a save the world, recognize what’s going on around you mentality that only adds to the quality of the skiing and the behind-the-lens shots. All.I.Can is a standout and deserves your shout out.

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