Thanks to neon colorways, 200-plus-centimeter straight skis, flowing hair, ski babes, Zinka and single-frame sunglasses, the ’80s are fondly remembered as a really cool time to be a skier. That’s probably why locals across Ski Country celebrate this illustrious decade every spring—and especially on Closing Day—by bedecking themselves in retro outerwear, vintage-style sunnies and even old straight skis. To help you join in on-mountain fun, here are some tips for harnessing an on-point ’80s ski getup.
1. Track down a neon onesie or bright sweater/turtleneck combo
Ski town thrift and consignment stores are the best places to find these coveted threads, but you might be surprised by what older friends and family members have in the attic. If all fails, you can always buy the duds online at shinesty.com or retroskishop.com.
2. Don single-frame sunglasses (aviators and wayfarers will do fine, too)
Back in the 80s, Alpina had the single-frame market on lock down. For more than 20 years this popular look was relegated to lucky owners who were able to hang on to them over the years. To the relief of ’80s ski day enthusiasts, Pit Viper, a trendy Salt Lake City-based optics company, has assuaged the demand for durable, single-frame sunnies.
3. Liberally slather your lips and nose with colorful zinc oxide
Note: Make sure your still apply regular sunscreen or you’ll be dealing with one bizarre-looking sunburn.
4. Sport a pair of old straight skis (a monoski will also work well)
Maneuvering on the slopes on old school straight skis can be challenging if you’re not used to them, but it will earn you ultimate ’80s points.
5. Accessorize as much as possible
Fanny packs and headbands should be top priorities, but fur coats, jean jackets, vests, scrunchies and neon neck gaters will also help complete the look.
6. Pin down your technique
If you enjoy defying gravity, daffys and spread eagles are classic ’80s tricks that will earn you chairlift cheers. If you’re looking to carve up the slushy corduroy in style, make sure your legs are close together—preferably in an A-frame—and be sure to exaggerate the hip swivel and pole plant.
For additional inspiration we complied a mix of contemporary and classic ’80s ski videos.
Vail ’80s ski day | Vail, Colorado
Banff Sunshine Village ’80s ski day | Alberta, Canada
Engelberg ’80s ski day | Engelberg, Switzerland
Stowe ’80s Ski Day | Stowe, Vermont
Big White ’80s ski day | Kelowna, B.C., Canada
Once you have collected your “rad” retro outfit head to one of these resorts for fun-filled 2015 spring events. If you would like additional suggestions for a spring skiing trip or ’80s ski outfit tips call one of our seasoned Mountain Travel Experts at 800-610-8911.
Director of SEO + Content
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now living in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com as Director of SEO + Content, I've been able to combine a litany of skills, passions and interests. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.