Ski or Die Podcast Ep 1 — Welcome to Ski or Die with Elizabeth Montavon

Ski or Die Podcast Ep 1 — Welcome to Ski or Die with Elizabeth Montavon

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Hey guys, it's Elizabeth and welcome to the first episode of Ski or Die. So as you know, a few months ago, we launched Ski or Die the clothing line, and I really wanted to follow that up with some quality relevant content to the industry. And hopefully to help people understand not necessarily more about skiing in a technical sense, but more about like, you know, skiing and the people in it and the mindset behind it. And what this community really means to me and what I see through my ski experiences. And I wanted to also use a podcast to explain a little bit more of the story behind Ski or Die. So this Ski or Die mantra came to me this off season. , and it really was born out of my obsession with, you know, fighting the odds really feeling like I'm somebody who goes against the grain proving, you know, nonbelievers wrong and throwing 110% of my heart and soul into not only my skiing, but everything else I do in my life from sunrise to sunset.

So for this collective that I have in my head of, you know, the Ski or Die community for us, it's not really a question of will we ski today, but when, and for how long, right? , we're the people who ski when the wind is howling, when the water's flat, we ski. If we have to pull out the rain goggles or the wet suit or the dry suit, I mean, I feel like I really creating Ski or Die has made me think about, do I really live this mantra all the time? And when was it, it was either new year's day or the day after I had food poisoning. Right. And it was blown out. And, you know, I knew my dad had dropped the boat at the Lake and I just rallied and showed up and it was gnarly out there. Like, I don't think I realized in the moment, cause I was feeling so gross, how bad the conditions were, like, how blown out it was and how sick I was. Right?

Oh, it was so gnarly, and you puked all over my bathroom the night before. So when you went out on main Lake,

I did, I went out to Maine and the wind was out of the North. So if you're not familiar with Oakey, Healey, North winds run right down the Lake, but nobody wanted any of the North, South lakes. Everybody was waiting for the East West running Lake because it was the most protected. And there was like, I don't know how many boats was it? Like, was it 10? Was it like a full day?

Oh, it was so full. 

We're like slotted in line for East/West and we're going to have to wait so long. And I was like, you know what, screw it. Like Ski or Die means go ski in the massive head tail because you never know when you're going to have a head tail like that. , and a cold head tail, you know, because it was out of the North and yeah, we just like went and skied and it reminded me how important it is to be technically sound because that was what got me through that entire set. So, you know, that is me feeling like I live Ski or Die. And I know that I'm not the only one who does that and has the willingness to do that. And so I really wanted to create content that reflected that so that people could kind of band together under this, you know, manifesto, if you will.

It's, it's about, you know, the word settling is not in our dictionary, right? It's about having this courage and absolute conviction to be your best every day. But you know, something I want to acknowledge about Ski or Die is that, you know, old saying Rome wasn't built in a day, right. And neither was I, and neither is anybody else that I consider a true Testament to living the Ski or Die lifestyle. There is years of learning and unlearning and relearning and failing, succeeding, experimenting. I mean, there's just so much that goes into the water skier that I am today. I mean the water ski that you are today, you know, everybody, I know cause I'm lucky. I live in South Florida. There's so many Ski or Diers out here. There's just so much that really goes into making those people. And I think that that's something we need to start wearing loud and proud.

You know, one of the pet peeves I have about how we're raising this young generation of skiers is we push on them, this whole notion of sportsmanlike conduct, which is cool, but hear me out, we push it so hard that we want them to almost be emotionless, like to the point where they can't celebrate their wins and they can't, you know, feel and process their losses. Right? Like we frown upon that. And especially for women, I mean the demographic that people have an issue with when it comes to like expressing a lot of passion on the wins and losses as women, and that's not just skiing, I'm talking about every sport, you know, when Serena Williams throws a tantrum, cause she's upset, everybody says that's unsportsmanlike conduct. But when you know, a male tennis player throws a fit, everybody's like, Oh, well he's just passionate.

And I just think that's. And I've seen, that's how we're raising this next generation of skiers. And the problem is they don't know any better. So when we push this like hyper humility on these young people, what they don't learn is that there is a lot of Uber passionate moments and that comes from hard work, putting yourself out there, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding. And then we, as the adults get frustrated when they leave the sport. And I can tell you right now, I think a large part of why they leave the sport is because we've presented them to skiing in a way where it's supposed to look easy, right? If there's not any ups and downs. And if it's all just kind of like easy coasting, then skiing should be easy. So they try it. They don't always succeed at it. They don't get to process their failures and really feel that failure and let it fuel them.

We tell them to bottle it up or to be humble or, you know, just chin up, it's going to be fine. Or, you know, you have to behave. You can't express those emotions at the tournament or on the shore or on the dock because that's not attractive and that's not appealing. Of course they get frustrated and they look for other hobbies and other places they can go with their lives where they can have emotions, positive ones and negative ones, because that is part of the human condition. And so Ski or Die for me. And what I hope for a lot of people is recognizing that skiing is full of ups and downs. It's full of work ethic. It's full of, you know, those celebratory beers. There's also some days where you're going to shed some tears. Did I just rhyme?


You just rhymed

Oh my God, I'm so Epic. This is Epic. But it's for people who keep chasing, you know, one more buoy, one more foot, one more trick, despite those ups and downs, right? They embrace the fact that there is a wave you're going to ride and there's going to be highs and there's going to be lows, but that doesn't stop the Ski or Die dream for them. So that mantra coupled with the fact that I feel like there's no such thing as wearable ski apparel. Like I am so sorry because I just defended a lot of people, but let's be honest. There's a lot of event shirts that should only be worn to that event or other events that feel like cardboard. Yeah. And they feel like.

So I wanted to make ski shirts that were number one comfortable, but like aesthetically wearable, if you think about any other hobby or interest, there is an apparel line out there where it reflects the hobby or the passion, but you can like work it into your day-to-day wardrobe without your wife being like, can you not wear a ski shirt out to family dinner? Like I wanted to make a ski shirt that your wife won't hate you wearing if styled appropriately, if you can't style the ski shirt appropriately. Now like that part is on you we'll work on that, but I'm giving you the tools to wear skiing in your real life. And I think that's another important factor for growing the sport is let's be honest. We have to make it aesthetically look cool. Nobody wants to do stuff that doesn't look cool. It sounds shallow. It's just reality. I get that. None of this is really the norm right now. Ski or Die is something I see in action, but we're not really talking about it. So it might not be the norm. But if you know me, I love that. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. If anything I made from this point on wasn't, you know, completely an authentic message.

So I hope that you see that Ski or Die was created for people like you. You are the ones who keep showing up at the Lake and striving to learn more and get better. You are the ones who put in that hard work every day and know that there's a lot of power in good old fashioned blood, sweat, and tears. And because of all that, regardless of a tournament result, you are second to none that is at its very core. What Ski or Die is it's about what you do day in and day out. Not about the results that gets you, because what we know is when you continue to put in that work, that work ethic. When you continue to learn more, when you surround yourself with people like this, the results do come. We're not always chasing a result. We're chasing a process. And I would really love to begin to quantify that under Ski or Die and help other people shape their thinking to be more like this. So not only can they get a better ski results, but they can get a better life result. When you think about it, if you took the attention and the commitment you put into your skiing, when you're at the Lake, right? So you are on the platform. You're putting your boot on, you have a plan. You very intentionally showed up there because it is not easy to drop a boat in the water. It's not easy to find a boat driver. It's not easy to make sure your equipment is always it's that easy to expensive or inexpensive to make sure your equipment is always dialed in. Right? You did all that. If you were that intentional in every area of your life, right? So with your body, like your body wellness with your mind, like, what are you, what content are you consuming? What are you putting into your brain, your relationships with your significant other, with your kids, with your close friends, your job, you know, the people you touch at work. If you were that intentional in those four areas, your quality of life would be exponentially better than it is now. And that is Ski or Die, permeating everything else about your life. That is what this really is about. So my final question for you is, are you willing to ski or die? 

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