Kyle Kornyk could not have planned it any better.
While getting a crew of buddies together for Whistler's Blackcomb's annual Santa Day, when skiers and riders take to the slopes dressed as Kris Kringle, he realized his board was inscribed with a brand that doubled as the perfect descriptive homonym for the day ahead: "Santa Cruz."
"Santa Cruz, man. That's perfect. It just happened, I didn’t even plan that at all," he exclaimed with a hearty laugh through his fake white beard.
This jolly yearly tradition sees hundreds dress up like St. Nick for a day of holiday-inspired shredding. The first 100 people who showed up decked out in their finest Christmas gear received a free lift ticket. The mountain even welcomed the Grinch, Mrs. Claus and a Christmas tree to the slopes this year.
For Melissa Brodericks, the chance to show off her best holiday ensemble was too good to pass up — especially after she missed out on her chance to sport the red and white at the annual mass gathering of Christmas characters, SantaCon, this year.
"A bunch of my friends have recently moved to Vancouver so we decided ... we’re going to do our own SantaCon in Whistler," she explained.
Santa Day has grown into a family tradition for John Franco and his wife and kids — that is if he can motivate them to wake up in time. But skiing in a suit designed for the freezing conditions of the North Pole is not without its challenges.
"It gets hot. Really hot," Franco said. "The beard, everything, gets in the way."