Throughout this season, I’ve worked to curate the best ski playlist I possibly could, but it was in no way easy. Some songs sound perfect when you’re off the mountain, but when you get on the mountain, they just don’t work. The opposite is also entirely possible, though a bit more difficult to discover. After an entire season of adding songs and removing them, I feel as if I’m at a point where I can say I have a very solid playlist, and today I’m going to share my top 10 tunes for shredding.
I am, of course, just one individual. I am the intern, a college student with a preference towards rock, jam bands, and a lot of weird instrumental noises. This list is in no way a definitive list of the best songs to ski to. It’s simply the songs I enjoy skiing to the most, and who knows, you might agree! Feel free to share the music you enjoy skiing to, but don’t get mad at me if you see something you don’t like or don’t see something you do like.
So without further ado, starting from #10 and making our way down to #1, here are the intern’s top 10 songs to shred hard to.
10. Wild Night – Van Morrison
It’s going to become a lot easier to write longer paragraphs for each song as I get further and further down the list, but I’m definitely able to point out the positives of this song. It’s got a faster tempo, but not so fast that you feel like you need to rip your legs off while skiing. The music is upbeat, keeping you moving, and the verses and choruses change enough to prevent the song from getting boring. Wild Night is definitely the kind of song to ski in more playground like terrain, like Arapahoe Basin‘s Land of the Giants.
9. Canary In A Coalmine – The Police
Canary In A Coalmine is most certainly a mogul kind of song. The rhythm guitar sitting on the upbeat and the funky bass line make it a jumpy song. I want to shred my legs to pieces while listening to this song, and I always do. Also, a canary in a coal mine, historically, worked as an early warning sign for miners, so maybe the song can work as an early warning sign for when the ski day is nearly over…
8. Sweet Jane – The Velvet Underground
This intro to this song always manages to trick me into skipping it, as I always forget how it starts… but no matter! This tune is one of the many more low-key songs in my ski playlist. And you may be asking why I would want to ski to more low-key songs. How does this hype me up? Well, simply, it doesn’t. It keeps me focused on the mountain, allowing me to work on form and style a lot more than the more “hype me up” type of songs. Also, I really don’t know why, but Lou Reed’s style of singing just works so well while skiing, at least for me.
7. The Passenger – Iggy Pop
Every time I hear this song I tell myself I need to listen to more Iggy Pop, and Lust For Life is absolutely a top tier skiing song. But, Iggy Pop’s most popular song, The Passenger, keeps things moving on the mountain like no other Iggy Pop tune. As a guitar player, the guitar is nearly always going to stick out to me more than any other aspect, and this song’s guitar line is perfect for shredding. It barely changes throughout the song, only complimented by changes in the rhythm of the lyrics. And, speaking of the lyrics, the muted vocals cause something to click in my head when I’m on the skis.
6. Hotel California – Spanish Mix – Gipsy Kings
As The Dude once said, “I hate the f**kin’ Eagles, man!”. That’s not, of course, the only reason why I prefer the Gipsy Kings version of this tune. For one, it’s faster, and the flamenco guitar gets me moving in a way the original just simply can’t. Also, while writing this article, I went to listen to the Eagles version, and it managed to crash my computer, wiping away a good bit of what I had written at that point. I know that has nothing to do with this story, but it fuels my distaste for the band even further, and I want to share my anger with you. This is the first song on the list that I actually prefer to listen to while skiing groomers. It helps me get low, in that good racer stance, while making some solid and smooth turns.
5. My Name Is Mud – Primus
I know I said I generally focus on guitar lines over any other part of a song, but with any Primus song, that’s never the case. Les Claypool is simply too good at the bass, and that’s what drives this song. It’s a headbanger without a doubt, and personally helps me to just destroy every muscle in my body while trying to send jumps and drops that I absolutely should not be going anywhere near. This is definitely going to be a song that not a ton of you readers enjoy, but even if you don’t like while off the mountain, maybe give it a shot while skiing?
4. Leaving Trunk – Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal does not get enough credit for his music in today’s world. That being said, I don’t think I’d want to ski to a majority of his songs, except, of course, Leaving Trunk. This is another one of the slower songs that bless my ski playlist. I would argue it’s perfect for getting buttery in some deep powder or simply enjoying some nice turns on groomers. There’s plenty going on to keep you entertained on the less exciting runs and plenty to get you moving on harder lines.
3. With My Own Bare Hands – Ween
Out of fairness to the rest of the music world, I limited myself to one Ween song for this list. Fans of G.N.A.R. the Movie know that the entire soundtrack is made up of Ween songs, from Boys Club to Ocean Man to Waving My D*ck In The Wind. I saw Ween live for the first time this past October while they played in Denver, and it was immediately the best concert I had ever been to. But the quality of the band or their concerts isn’t the point here. With My Own Bare Hands is on this list for similar reasons as My Name Is Mud. It’s a headbanger, and definitely encourages me to do some more risky things while skiing, but it stands out as better than My Name Is Mud simply because of the humor. If you are going to listen to this song, beware – it is INCREDIBLY unclean lyric wise. But, it’s funny, and humor is something I always intend on keeping solid while on the mountain.
2. Rill Rill – Sleigh Bells
This is one of the songs in my playlist that I can directly point to as stolen from a sports film. Specifically, I first heard this song in the god tier skate film Pretty Sweet, and plenty other tunes in my playlist come from that movie. Rill Rill just feels like it was meant for a ski/snowboard/skate/surf film. It samples the song Can You Get To That by Funkadelic, another incredible tune to ski to and one that’s also featured in my playlist. This song just turns up the energy from the sample, giving a song meant for back bowls, park, moguls, and nearly anything else.
1. Riki Tiki Tavi – Donovan
While creating a playlist on Spotify, the application will recommend other songs that it thinks fit with what you’ve already added. This song was one of those. I’d heard plenty Donovan songs in the past, but this one was new, and when I first heard it, I wasn’t 100% sure if it would be a good tune to ski to. I was quite pleasantly surprised to learn that I not only enjoy skiing to it, but that it’s without a doubt my favorite. It’s upbeat nature, fun rhythm guitar, solid bass line, and, of course, plenty of cowbell make this song perfect for everything. I’ve skied wild back bowls, leg shredding moguls, park, steep groomers, green groomers, cat tracks, and so much more with this song blaring in my ears, and it’s made every single run better. I think I listened to this song 10 times in one day while skiing, just because it fueled me.
Well, that’s it! Those are the top 10 songs, plus a few bonus honorable mentions! If you liked all of these songs and want to check out my personal ski playlist, you can click here to access it. Keep shreddin’ hard, folks!