A Love Letter to Skiing...

Sharing what skiing means to me.


Domenic Caniglia

2/9/20244 min read

I just finished reading a book called “Without Restraint” which follows Rob and Ryan DeLena’s extreme journey in life as father and son and how Ryan found skiing which ended up saving his life. It got me thinking about the impact that skiing has had on my life. I wanted to take the time to share my experience with skiing and how it has shaped me into who I am today.

I started skiing when I was probably 4-5 years old, switched to snowboarding at 7-8 years old, then hung it up till I was about 14 due to hockey and lacrosse. I went to high school at an all-boys catholic school, so a lot of my friends skied, and I wanted to pick it back up again. At 14 years old, I felt as though I was learning again late in life, but ice skating my whole life carried over nicely and I was able to pick it back up, no problem. That winter, I was invited on my first bus trip with my friend Teddy who I still ski with to this day. We went on a bus trip from Rhode Island to Waterville Valley, and I still remember that whole day. Since then, I have been skiing non-stop, every winter for the last 10 years.

My early years were tough to manage due to my family circumstances at the time. There were a lot of different paths I could have gone down, but I was able to keep my head screwed on straight because I knew I had so many more places to go skiing. As a young kid, growing up with the situation I had, there was always a lot of noise in my head, especially when things weren’t stellar at home. Skiing made all of that noise disappear, every single thought disappeared when I was skiing. Luckily, as I progressed though high school, I made some amazing friends who I still ski with to this day, and I must thank these guys for putting up with my slower pace the first few years.

My mom is a huge influence in my life, she recognized the profound impact that skiing had on me and how it played a part in making me a better person. Upon this realization, she decided to start taking me on some trips around New England to help me go skiing. Sometimes it was just her and I and other times it was with my cousins who were amazing skiers already. Looking back on this, I realize the sacrifices she made to make sure we were able to go up north and get me on the hill. I am forever grateful for my mom and my family for taking me skiing.

As the years went on, I started to go skiing on my own with my friends. We would drive to Mount Snow at 2-3am and sleep in the parking lot, just to be able to get first chair. When we all went our separate ways to college, we still made the effort to get up there and ski together. Some of my most profound memories on the hill were with Teddy and Peter. From getting first and last chair at Jay Peak during a snowstorm to skiing at Mad River on a 60-degree spring day, we have truly had some amazing experiences and I am glad to have spent them with those guys.

After college, I was able to focus on skiing more and I was grateful enough to take a job at a company where everyone skis. This allowed me to be myself in the workplace and share some cool experiences with my colleagues. I knew it was a great fit when the first few conversations of the day revolved around skiing. Being a young adult and working allowed me to start to explore different parts of the country to ski. Last year we went to Big Sky, and I was truly able to understand how amazing and big skiing can be. Although, we went to Big Sky and have plans to go to Salt Lake City this year, the East Coast will always have my heart because that is where I discovered my passion.

This year, I finally finished accumulating all of the necessary backcountry gear minus the avalanche safety stuff. Backcountry opened up a whole new side of skiing for me and gave me even more of an outlet with skiing. When there is a long week at work or something else going on, nothing shuts my mind off like slapping the skins on and hiking up the mountain. Luckily, I convinced my best friend to take part in the backcountry adventures as well and he also fell in love with it.

Skiing has played a big part in shaping me into the person I am today. I started this brand to try to share my passion with the people around me. Boston Ski Co. is essentially a culmination of my relationship with skiing and what it has done for me. It stands for so much more than being a skier from Boston, it shows that no matter how the winter is going or what is going on in your life, there is a reason why you are going get out there. For some people, it could be just a hobby and for others it could be their profession. For me, skiing has been my outlet and has profoundly changed the course of my life for the better. Regardless of what skiing means to you, it has shaped every one of us and taught us things that we would never have learned without it.

Maybe as you are reading this, you completely disagree that skiing has had an impact on you. I challenge you to think deeply about what your life would be like without it. There is a magic energy that courses through the mountains that pulls us all in. That energy has more of an effect on you than you may realize, and I truly believe that it has influenced everyone in a positive way.

Ryan and Rob DeLena, thank you for sharing your story. This book allowed me to think about how my life has been affected by skiing and where I would be without it. Skiing has allowed me to meet amazing people, see amazing places, and most importantly, give me a way to escape. I cannot thank everyone who has gotten me to this point enough and helped me realize my passion. Skiing has helped me become the man that I am and will continue to help me navigate through life. I hope it has done the same for some of you. Get out there this weekend. Thank you.