The biggest, baddest & best Pond Skimming Events across North America

Last year, Powder Magazine came up with the awesome idea of combining North America’s biggest and best pond skimming events into a giant circuit. Unfortunately from what we can tell, the world cup didn’t form again for the 2016-17 season BUT the events themselves are still going down hot and heavy!

What is a Pond Skim?

Before we ‘jump’ into the best pond skimming events, let’s explain what it is. It’s a competition or rite of passage as some would describe it. Contestants ski or snowboard into a frigid pool or ‘pond’ with the goal of skimming across to the other side. Typically, these events are held at the end of the season when the sun is warm, the snowpack is deep and the parties are wild!

Best Pond Skimming Events (Order by Date)

Now that we’ve got you excited and in the know, it’s time for some fun in the sun. So the next question to answer is “What are the biggest, baddest, & best events happening across North America?”

Pond Skimming (Sugarbush)

Longest Pond in North America

Date: April 8, 2017

Sugarbush Vermont Best Pond Skimming Events spring skiing

Sugarbush Image taken by: Emily Mason Photography

Sugarbush Vermont Best Pond Skimming Events spring skiing

Unique approach Image taken by: Patrick Breen

Spring is a time of contrasts in Vermont. One day it might snow and the next, the dirt mountain roads become ‘slop’ during the infamous mud season. Those hearty East Coasters always seem to take it in stride. Makes sense that this would be where the OLDEST continuously running pond skimming event in the United States would exist. Adding to that, the Sugarbush event also claims to have the longest stretch of water to skim in North America. How long you ask? 120 feet!!! That’s like a 12 story building.

Big Sky Pond Skim (Big Sky)

Most Creative Setup

Date: April 15, 2017

Big Sky is by far the most creative on the list. In 2011, the course contained two successive pools on the slope with a small area of snow between them. Then in 2014, there were two side-by-side water pools, one with a jump next to it and another with a long rail across it. If the past is any indicator, the 2017 edition will be just as off-the-wall and fun! No matter if your attempting to skim or just spectating, chances are you’ll be blown away. Just beware that if you do spectate, there’s a good chance you’ll get ‘hosed’ from the water spraying into the crowd.

Red Bull Slopesoakers (Copper Mountain)

Pond Skim meets Slopestyle

Date: April 15, 2017

Leave it to Red Bull to take the pond skimming concept and apply their own style to it. First, over a 150 competitors are allowed to take on the course. Second, take two parts pond skim, one part slopestyle, mix it all together and VOILA! You have the Slopesoakers contest. Filled with a plethora of obstacles, on and over water, this is definitely a can’t-miss event.

15th annual World Pond Skimming Championships (Vail)

Spoof on the World Alpine Championship

Date: April 16, 2017

Spring back to Vail Colorado Best Pond Skimming Events spring skiing

Spring back to Vail – Image taken by: Doug Clayton @dougtheexplorer

Spring Back to Vail Colorado Best Pond Skimming Events spring skiing

Spring Back to Vail Image taken by: Aaron Hoffmann

The first thing you’ll think when you read the title of World Pond Skimming Championships is “Who crowned this event with such a big name?” Well, it started as a spoof on the World Alpine Championship way back in 1999. Now as part of the ‘Spring Back to Vail’ Festival, this is a rowdy event filled with thousands of spectators. If you aren’t into skimming, don’t worry. There’s music, fun, and all kinds of other happenings going around to close out their season. And if you do want to try, winners receive a pair of Liberty skis and a 2018 Epic Pass.

27th Annual Cushing Crossing (Squaw Valley)

Done on an actual pond

Date: April 22, 2017

Squaw Valley Cushing Crossing Tahoe Best Pond Skimming Events spring skiing

Cushing Crossing Image taken by: Aidan

This pond skimming event is across a REAL pond named Lake Cushing, located just below the Gold Coast lift. The event is the brainchild of Jean Hagan, the woman in charge at the Squaw Valley Beer Garden. Jean and her staff plus Tom O’Neil of Olympic Plaza and a group of ski bums cobbled together that year’s first event. Twenty eight years later, this event is still bumping along just as wild as the first one! With the proposed base to base gondola station aimed smack dab in the middle of the pond, the original venue might have a limited amount of time before it moves.

Springfest Pond Skim (Stevens Pass)

Chuck-A-Duck, Dummy Downhill & More

Date: April 23, 2017

Stevens Pass WA Best Pond Skimming Events spring skiing

Pond Skim Image taken by: Ilya Panchenko

Stevens Pass WA Best Pond Skimming Events spring skiing

Stevens Pass Pond Skim Image taken by: Brian Behrens

Not to be outdone by the other pond skimming events, the PNW Wonderland resort, Stevens Pass, holds their Springfest on the last weekend of the season. Besides the pond skim, they also have a dummy downhill race and a Chuck-a-Duck. The dummy downhill is like the demolition derby of skiing with chaos, mayhem and of course fun. The Chuck-a-Duck contest is where you attempt to throw a duck into a target out in the pond. The first five ducks to make it earn a FREE season pass for the 2017-18 season! You’ll get 1 ducky for $5 or 5 for $20. All proceeds go to the Outdoors for All non-profit.


89th annual Sunshine Village’s Slush Cup

The oldest Spring fest in North America

Date: May 22, 2017

Sunshine Village Banff AB Canada Best Pond Skimming Events spring skiing

Slush Cup Image taken by: Michael Lawton

Yes, you read that right! In it’s 89th installment, this could be considered the grandfather of all spring events. Started by a couple of rowdy skiers in 1928 named Cliff Whyte and Cyril Paris, they discovered that fires and logging had created ready-made ski slopes all around Banff. After skiing deep powder all winter long, these ski bums, along with their buddies, gathered to celebrate the snow-melt runoff and started what has become a tradition for finishing off the long ski season in Banff. Makes sense why we put these two resorts in our top 10 for spring skiing.

Even though the following events weren’t all part of the World Cup circuit, they are still off the hook!

This is our list of favorite pond skims happening across North America. We hope you make it to one and celebrate Spring pool-side! Are there any we missed and should be added to our list? If so, let us know and tell us why?

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