Skis icing up? Try SPF 45.

Skis icing up? Try SPF 45.

I was out in the garage, waxing up the skis, and as I was slapping some liquid wax on the fishscale section, I had a flash back to the smell of Banana Boat sunscreen and beaches in Hawaii.

But the smell of sunscreen was more the smell of an experiment gone right. Clarkie and I were out on a ski tour in Lassen Park and fresh snow was coating the trees and the half on/half off lighting was incredible. But in typical California snow, this can mean trouble for those that forget to slap on some liquid wax on their bases, John.

I love John. He’s a great guy with an abundance of smarts and a great conversationalist. He skies more than anyone I know and is probably the only person on the planet to have skied Upper Bidwell Park in Chico during a rare snowfall. But trip planning is not his strong suit. John is a grab and go kinda guy. But then, like I said, he skies more than anyone I know. (I think his record is over 70 days of skiing and unless you live someplace like Truckee or Tahoe, which we don’t, that is an amazing number of days for a California “flatlander” to ski.)

So there we were, out in the middle of no where and it gets colder and starts snowing. John’s skis start icing up. Bad. It’s-funny-if-it’s-not-you bad. I’m laughing anyway. One of us has to.

John SPF LassenBut we’re climbing up some steep slopes, so we decide there’s no real downside to great grip when you’re climbing. But then we top out on the road and start heading back down to the visitor’s center. The glide is at about zero. Uh, progress is really slow.

So I figured, what the heck, how about some sunscreen? I mean, it’s a lotion, it’s good for your skin, what harm could it do to ski bases? So we slather some on, let the bases chill up a bit and give it a try. All of a sudden he’s Mr. Glide and leaves me in the swirling snow flurries.

Anyone remember the Epoke Beach Classic in Redondo Beach in the 80’s? They’d set track on the beach and have a cross country ski race. I read someplace that skiing on sand is about the same as skiing on really, really cold snow. Like Alaska cold. Well, before global warming Alaska cold.

Can you guess the punchline? I don’t have one. But between different brands of sunscreens and SPF numbers, there has to be a punchline in there somewhere.

Best I can some up with is something like “Coppertone, the official glide wax of The Epoke Beach Classic.” Let me know if you got something.