How to Build a Shot-Ski

The shot-ski is a great implement in the art of après ski bonding and a perfect example of how to upcycle.  We like the way it requires all participants to keep the same pace – no sippers allowed.  Recently we tried to make a shot-ski using a hot glue gun… it was surprisingly ineffective and we were forced to use tape instead. With thanks to the Jeremy Benson at, behold six easy steps to shot-ski heaven.

1.  Find the perfect ski
The first, and arguably most important, step in creating the perfect shot-ski is finding the right ski. If you don’t have old skis, ski shops will often have some pairs lying around. Thrift and second hand gear shops are also a great place to look. Whenever possible find a ski that has some kind of sentimental value to you, like those Volkl P9s you used to shred moguls on back in the day. Remember, the longer the ski is, the more shots you can fit on it. For example, my 202 Spalding Extreme Powders comfortably fit four shots (on a 225 DH ski you could probably fit five).

2.  Kinds of shot-skis
In my experience, there are two basic types of shot-skis. There’s the lazyman’s sit on top, where you simply measure out where to put your shot glasses and then glue (or tape!) them to the topsheet. Then there’s the integrated shot-ski, (discussed) here. In this style the shot glasses rest inside the ski and can be removable to facilitate the cleaning process.

3.  Measuring
While perfection isn’t absolutely necessary with a shot-ski, it’s nice to come as close as you can to uniformity. First, pick the number of shots you’d like to have on your ski. Four is a nice round number and a good starting point. If you must have more than four shots on your ski, by all means go for it, but cramping the ski will probably only lead to awkward shot taking and more booze on people’s faces than in their mouths. A good rule of thumb for spacing is approximately 18 to 20 inches apart. Good spacing will allow for a more comfortable forward-facing approach to the ski, which is already a difficult thing to deal with. Make marks that are centered in the ski width-wise and get ready to drill.


4.  Drill
To make holes in the ski, I used a hole saw – but a large paddle drill bit may also work. Ideally all of your shot glasses will be the same size. I’d recommend buying a set that you will use primarily for the shot-ski, then all of your holes can be uniform and the process will be much easier. Figure out what diameter your glasses are by measuring them and finding a comparable size hole saw or drill bit. In this case I used a 1.5-inch diameter hole saw. Line it up with the marks that you made during the measurement process and drill, being careful not to drill all the way through the base. By stopping your holes just above the base you can remove the core samples, making perfect, countersunk holes for the glasses to sit in. A flathead screwdriver or a chisel work great for cleaning out the holes. It is important to note that many skis out there have fiberglass, wood, metal and plastic in them, so be careful not to breathe in any fumes and wear safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes.

5.  Velcro
After the holes are drilled and cleaned out, smooth out any imperfections with sandpaper or a grinding wheel. At this point those who want their glasses to be permanently attached can super glue or epoxy them into place. Those who want their glasses to be removable may want to consider using Velcro to hold them in place when the shot ski is in use. I bought some adhesive-backed Velcro at the local hardware store. The adhesive on the Velcro works pretty well, but gluing the Velcro into the holes and onto your shot glasses will ensure that it works for a long time. Having removable shot glasses makes cleaning your shot ski way easier (and promotes better hygiene). Plus, you’ll be less likely to make your (significant other) mad when your ski is in the sink.

6.  Deploy the Ski-shot
Now that your shot-ski is in working order call up a bunch of your friends and celebrate something. Take shots from your shot-ski to thank the snow gods for a big dump or to urge them to make it snow. Mount it above your fireplace, keep it out in the garage, or bring it to parties. Whatever you do with your shot-ski hopefully it involves good times, deep snow, and most importantly, friends. Because taking four shots by yourself is awkward.

by Jeremy Benson for

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