Ryan O’Bryan’s Essentials for a Successful Ski Day on the Ohio
Make sure you're properly prepared for a party you won't remember (if you do it right).
The 34th annual Ski Day on the Ohio is this Sunday at Newburgh Beach and promises to be another year of hot (and not so hot) bodies, live music, and alcohol-fueled excitement.
As fun as Ski Day is, it's important to remember that while we'll all be there to have a good time, we need to be smart about our partying ways. Nothing ruins a good party like someone passing out from heat exhaustion or too much drinking (or both). As the Boy Scout motto goes, "Be prepared" (or is it YOLO?), either way, here's what you'll need for great day on the Ohio.
Unless you're an exceptionally good swimmer who becomes an even better swimmer after the alcohol soaks into your system, the only way you're getting to and from Ski Day is by some sort of watercraft. By this point in time, it's too late to buy one and have it insured by Sunday so either hook up with a friend who has one, or make friends with someone who does for the day, then pretend like you don't know who they are when you bump into them at Wal-Mart a month from now. A good go-to excuse would be, "Man, I was really drunk that day, I don't remember any of it."
My mom always said, "You don't have to drink to have a good time," to which I would reply, "Yeah, but it doesn't hurt."
Ski Day is about drinking. For the love of all things good and holy, the main sponsor of the whole thing is a beer company. But pack wisely, you're not allowed to bring glass bottles of any kind to the shindig so if beer isn't your thing and you opt to bring along something with a tad more punch, transfer it to a plastic container of some kind first. Having the po-po pour your liquor into the Ohio because you didn't would be a total buzzkill.
I hate getting sunburned. Hate. It. Especially on my back and shoulders because it makes for uncomfortable sleeping in at night and I needs my beauty rest, yo! The forecast for Sunday calls for sunny skies, a high of 86 and 57% humidity, so it will be a perfect day for a beach party. However, just because the heat won't be as stifling as it has been for so many other Ski Day's, that doesn't mean you should disregard the use of sunscreen. If you're like me, the only time I think about sunscreen is when it's really hot outside. I guess in my head I equate actually feeling heat with burning. Remember, you'll be in direct sunlight ALL DAY, and unless you head into the woods to answer the call of nature, there is not an ounce of shade anywhere on Newburgh Beach.
Food and Water
While it may be impressive to some that you can shotgun a beer in 3.7 seconds, or consume the equivalent of three margaritas in one gulp from a beer bong, remember that alcohol dehydrates you and being out in the sun all day (see: Sunscreen, above) will only speed up the effects. Be sure to bring some kind of snacks or a couple of sandwiches to eat throughout the day to help keep your energy up.
Water is also a must to keep from succumbing to the heat and alcohol. Instead of grabbing a half-case of bottled water and eating up a ton of beer space in my cooler, I grab a gallon of drinking water from the grocery store and sip on it throughout the day.
Zip Lock Bags
These come in handy not just for keeping your sandwiches and other food items from becoming a soggy mess in your cooler, but they're also handy for keeping things like your smartphone, car keys, extra clothes, money, whatever from being ruined because your drunk butter-fingers dropped them in the river. Throw a box of gallon size bags in the cart when you go shopping for your Ski Day supplies.
Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel
If I may be ever-so-blunt, the Ohio River is a filthy cesspool of God-knows-what. When I was a kid, I had an aunt and uncle who owned a house boat and they'd invite us to ride on it frequently. The summer between 3rd and 4th grade, I came down with some kind of stomach bug that the doctors couldn't figure out the cause of for about a month. At the risk of being graphic, everything I ate came out one end or the other quickly. They somehow finally figured out that I had picked up some kind of bacteria from accidentally swallowing river water on a boating trip. True story.
Couple the nasty river water with the fact that you'll more than likely be shaking hands or bumping up against other sweaty party-goers all day, and it couldn't hurt to pack some anti-bacterial gel to bathe in when the day is done.
A Designated Driver
Local and State Police will be in full force at Ski Day waiting for your drunk behind to make its way back to dry land and hop in your car. While nobody really wants to be the D.D., it's important that somebody step up and take the responsibility. We want to make sure we see you again at Ski Day 2013.
If nobody is willing to stay sober and suffer through listening to all their drunk friends drone on with the same stories over and over again, be sure to have the phone numbers of the area cab companies saved in your cell phone.
The Right Attitude
It never fails. Every year as I and the rest of the radio crew stand on the Ski Day stage and do our thing, there's at least a couple of knuckleheads mouthing with each other which eventually leads to a fist fight. Remember, we're all there to have a good time. If your intention is to show up and start trouble, stay home, we don't want you there.
Will there be drunken idiots on site so mind-numbingly drunk they can't see or stand up straight? Of course. Is there a chance one of them will vomit on you? Sure, but we've all been that person at some point in time, so keep that in mind before you start shoving. Here's an idea, if you see someone having a rough go of it, offer to help them out by sitting them down, giving them some water, or finding a paramedic (they will be on site for this exact reason).
Let's have a safe and fun Ski Day on the Ohio 2012.