The shot ski is an instant party-starter. Something about the combination of skis and synchronized shooting really brings out the camaraderie. Learn how to make a shot ski in a single afternoon, and enjoy warm, fuzzy memories for years to come.
With your donor ski on the ground, measure the ski from the forward base-contact point to the rear base-contact point. You don’t want to mount the shot glasses on the tip or tail for a few reasons: One, the glasses need to be in approximately the same upright orientation—otherwise someone winds up with tequila dribbling onto his shoulder. Two, the shooters at each end of the ski need to have something to grip. Three, it just looks nice to leave a little space.
Divide your measurement into four (or more) equal lengths, and mark the center of the ski’s width at each division with a permanent marker. Ideally, you want about 18 inches between the glasses. More is fine, but less will cause crowding.
Find a ventilated area (preferably outdoors) and wear glasses and a mask of some type. You’ll likely be drilling through fiberglass, which will irritate your lungs if inhaled and can cause injury to the eyes. Using the Forstner bit, drill holes through the topsheet at the marks, just deep enough to expose the wood core. A Forstner bit is like a cross between a hole saw and a spade bit; it cuts a smooth, flat hole, excavating the material from inside the hole as it cuts. 1-3/8in seems to be the right size for all the shot glasses I’ve used, but you may need to take yours to the hardware store with you to be sure. Why drill, you ask? Because mounting the glasses to the wood core gives the glue better adhesion, and the holes add a bit of lateral reinforcement while keeping everything looking super clean. If you’re using some super-cambered skis, you can even use the drill to mount the glasses perfectly level, you perfectionist, you.
Affix the shot glasses to the ski using strong glue. I prefer Loctite Stik’N Seal Outdoor because it dries crystal clear, has a shock-resistant flexible hold, and isn’t affected by cold weather. Don’t over-glue, and DON’T use Gorilla Glue—it dries yellow and expands outward as it cures, resulting in a mess
Wait 24 hours for the glue to fully cure.
Buy some booze and host a party. Allow everyone to praise your shot-ski crafting skills. In your enthusiasm, try not to over-serve yourself.
I’ve seen, dreamt up, and heard of many different ways for making shot skis; this is definitely not the only one, but it is simple and durable. The main complaint with this method is that the permanent mount makes cleaning difficult. On the flip-side, the permanent mount means no dropped glasses (or lost liquor) at the hands of four inebriated revelers. Other methods I’ve considered: magnets and steel shot glasses, VELCRO, or devising some sort of tight-fitting cup to grip the shot glass bases. The possibilities are limited only by your creativity and motivation. There are companies out there selling kits, custom brackets, and even tiny glass ski-boot shooters with plastic bindings that mount to the skis.
Whatever you do, though, don’t buy a shot ski. You’ll be more proud and more respected by your peers if you do it yourself. Shot skis are easy (and fun) to make, and when you’re finished you’ll have a handcrafted work of art worthy of passing on to your children, should you live so long.
Take care (of your liver), drink responsibly, and have fun out there.