Skis. Snowboard. Tobogan. Sled. Butt. Couch.

Sledding for couch potatoes, scouching is becoming very popular among college students. Photo by Keyra Kristoffersen

In the grand tradition of high speed downhill snow transports, the ages have given us a plethora of options all designed to maximize our wintertime fun. Utah is especially known for its snow sports as many head to the hills and mountains, looking for a rush and an excuse to huddle next to that cutie nearby for warmth.

I would like to add to this long tradition with a new activity beginning to make serious waves and seems specifically designed for the young adult crowd, particularly poor college students.

If every winter you find yourself agonizing whether or not to use leftover student loan money to get that ski pass to Brighton, I have the solution and it might even help you catch that special someone, and we all know that’s who you ought to be spending that money on anyway.

It’s called scouching. Ok, now before you start in with the “What the heck is that?” questions, think about it for a moment… SCOUCHING. Ah good. You got it.
That’s right, it’s skiing on a couch.

Students have come up with a whole new way to be lazy. Minimal effort involved, at least in the activity itself – the construction may be a bit more of an undertaking.

Step one Get a friend with a truck or large van and go to the D.I. Craigslist and are also decent options because the point is to buy (or pick up free) a really cheap couch. While you’re there, pick up a pair of skis; there are always a bunch lying around.

Step two Take your prizes home and dump them on your driveway, garage, living room floor or wherever you have room because now comes the hard part. Using a drill, hammer or even a little brother’s head, attach the skis to the base of the couch. Closer together usually works best, depending on the length of the couch. Several pairs of skis can also be helpful. Do what you feel is best and ta da! You have a scouch.

Step three Now take that same truck-wielding friend or another in to hauling your scouch (carefully, you don’t want to break the skis) to a designated hill. My friends and I always go to a particular golf course on the way to Park City, but that might be a bit far for Utah County-ites. Try Rock Canyon Park, but be sure there’s plenty of snow and that it’s not too steep. It hurts to have a scouch roll over you.

Step four Once your scouch has been tested for safety, pile on the friends. A push start is required, but if you’re fast enough, it’s pretty easy to jump on and sail down the hill in a jumbled mass of laughing bodies. Then it’s a simple matter to push your scouch back up the hill (this is where steepness matters).

Modifications to your scouch can be extensive and though it’s called scouching, that doesn’t mean it is restricted to the use of a couch. Recliners also work very well, as well as stationary bikes, lawn chairs and cleaned out toilets can also be used. Once you become more confident about your scouching abilities, try a ramp built of packed snow usually about 2 feet high with a running start from a friend. This is your guide to the new fun activity called scouching – dress warmly and have a great time.