Skiboards – The True Ski Alternative Skiboards: Easy to Learn, Highly Affordable and SO Much Fun!

Let’s face it, not everyone finds skiing to be fun, especially when starting out. Consider the lessons, awkward moments on the hill, the occasional crossing of the tips, and of course, lugging all that equipment to and from. Skiing, like snowboarding, have relatively long learning curves, especially if you want to have fun riding most of the terrain the ski resort has to offer.

Welcome to the world of pure play on the ski slopes. Short skis, (formally called skiboards) comprise the category of 150cm down to about 65cm in length. Traditionally, this category was for junior skis but these are NOT junior skis. These truly bring a smile to your face and feels like being a kid again. Your fears subside because you are more in control, able to progress very quickly with the shortest learning curve on the slopes.

These short skis, or skiboards took the slopes almost a decade ago, and have been growing in numbers ever since. This is not a mainstream sport however. It is truly under the radar in terms of media coverage. Many learn about the sport on the internet or seeing someone on the slopes.The rider stands up comfortably (rather than leaning forward) and it feels like crossover snowriding tool for adults, families, from young to more mature. These relatively new short skis feel more like skating and are very easy to maneuver.

In contrast, the new Skiboards (referred to also as snowblades, ski boards, miniskis, short skis or skiblades) about half the length of skis and almost twice as wide, boast the fastest learning curve on the slopes. Much easier to control, turn or stop on, requiring a more natural stance than skis or snowboards, most people begin enjoying skiboards in less than one day. It is just so much easier to enjoy the mountain on skiboards.

Quickly learning to ride on snow is just one of the reasons more and more ski schools are introducing beginners to skiboards. “Far from a fad, the skiboard is an innovation that promises to change the whole mountain landscape. More and more ski schools are incorporating them into lessons, or even teaching skiboarding as a discipline unto itself.” (“Short and Sweet”, Allen St. John, The Professional Skier) As another instructor reported, he started an athletic never-ever on skiboards and by the end of the day, had him linking turns on solid intermediate terrain.

It is simply easier for ski instructors to teach people using skiboards. One such ski school, located in Aspen, Colorado is the very popular Bumps for Boomers program. Using skiboards, individuals are trained in a much shorter amount of time than longer skis to easily ride moguls and deep powder. Their program is very popular and books up early. The participants regularly remark on how fast they have improved their ski skills.

Think how good it is for ski resorts. Skiboards make it fun and easy to ride the slopes, and as a result, customers tend to come back more and more often. Having had so much fun, they tell their friends and family about it and bring even more people to the mountain. Skiboards, being a true ski alternative, definitely increase the enthusiasm for returning to the slopes. Most new skiboarders report that they never purchased season passes until they began Skiboarding.

Intermediate skiers usually find they can very quickly get out of the “intermediate rut”. They easily begin to explore more advanced terrain with a greater confidence and much less fear. What is remarkable is that this often occurs within just one day on skiboards. Imagine jumping up a level in just one day!

And wow, do these bring an immediate smile to your face. Designed for all age riders from beginning to expert, skiboards range in size from about 65cm to just under 150cm. It just takes one day to awaken to the possibilities for fun that these provide. Having fun on the slopes is generally the priority of most snow riders. Simply put, Skiboards deliver the goods much faster than skis or snowboards.

Skiboards come in a variety of lengths and shapes to accommodate all types of adventurers. Prices range from $99 up to $450 for the higher end models. Skiboards can be purchased with traditional release as well as non-release bindings. What’s nice is that all that is needed are regular ski boots, your skiboards and the desire to play and have a fun day on the slopes. Poles aren’t really necessary either.

By Doc Roberts, PhD.

Getting Your Kids Ready for Ski School

It’s your first time to take your little ones with you on your ski vacation and you’ve got your mind set on giving them ski lessons. But separation anxiety can kick in and this can make it difficult for your kids to learn how to ski, and for you to enjoy the rest of the trip.

But there a few things you can do to make sure your kids have fun on the snow as much as possible while they learn the art of skiing:

1. Before you fly, do your research. If you’re planning your family ski trip with ski lessons in mind, research beforehand on the ski programs a resort offers. Get to know if the ski instructors are trained to teach kids of certain ages. If you can, give the resort a call and ask for details such as how the instructors keep the kids together while they’re on the mountain, and if they include breaks in warm locations.

TIP: If you can, show up a day earlier and talk to the employees or the instructor to learn more about the ski lessons and how they go about it.

2. Get ski lessons together. If you’re worried separation anxiety can make your vacation a little less memorable and a little more stressful, consider getting ski lessons with your kids. There are resorts which offer group lessons for families, and some ski instructors are nice enough to give parents some tips on how to help their kids improve their shredding skills.

3. Make sure your kids are wearing the appropriate and properly fitting gears. Sure, kids can outgrow their clothes in just a year’s time. But if you want to your kids to have fun and feel comfortable while scaling the slopes, it’s important that their gears, clothes and accessories fit them very well.

TIP: If you want to save on ski clothes for your kids, go for ski clothes which can be lengthened or adjusted easily for another year of use.

4. Pack up some snacks. If factors such as high altitude and extreme cold are tough on adults, it’s even tougher on kids. That is why it is important to keep your kids well-fed and hydrated before, during and after the ski lessons. So make sure you prepare your little ones a healthy and hearty breakfast, and pack them easy to open snacks and hydration packs before you send them off.

5. Have a separation plan in case your child gets lost. Discuss with your child what he or she should do if he or she ventures off too far from the trail or ski group and gets lost. Depending on your child’s age and comfort level, you can instruct your little one to blow a whistle, or ski to the nearest lift station and let the lift attendant know that he or she is lost.

TIP: On all your family ski trips, make sure that your little ones have a copy of your contact information, as well as the name of the hotel you and your family are staying in.

Sure, entrusting the fate of you little ones to their ski instructors can be nothing short of terrifying. But with enough research and preparation, you can ensure that your children fly home in one piece after your family ski vacation.

Planning a Family Ski Trip: The Perks and Setbacks of DIY Ski Trips

Isn’t it a little too early to plan family ski trips? For the travel and budget savvy, it never is. Besides, waiting until a month before ski season hits its peak will only guarantee packing woes and sky-high premium prices. Hence, the early birds will not only get the worm, but also the best accommodation the resort has to offer.

While many will prefer the convenience of pre-packaged vacations, some may opt for the DIY ski vacations. While yes, planning every detail of your ski getaway will entail a lot of haggling, research and planning savoir-faire, the pay-offs can be huge:

  • Flexibility. Everyone gets to have a say on what they can do during the ski holiday. It’s a win-win situation if each member of the family has their own preferences.

  • Freedom. Planning your own ski getaway means you have the freedom to explore the ski resort your own way. This means you can visit off-the-beaten-path sights and even go backcountry skiing (with a guide, of course). You won’t have to worry about sticking to the schedule set by your travel agent.

  • Savings. As you get to plan out every aspect of your ski getaway, you can take a pick on the cheapest flights and accommodations available in the resort.

But with great freedom comes great responsibility. As you’ll be handling every detail of your trip, you have to go through all lengths to ensure that your trip goes smoothly. This includes enrolling your kids to a ski school of your choice yourself, and making sure everyone and everything is accounted for (the last thing you want is to lose your luggage or skis in between connecting flights, or find out little George got in the wrong flight). And if you’re bringing along young children or toddlers, the stress can be magnified further.

Hence, if you’re still going down this route (at your own risk), here are a few tips you need to remember when planning a DIY ski getaway:

  • Avoid the rush. Planning a DIY ski getaway entails a lot of research, hence, you need to do it earlier. This not only guarantees that you get first dibs on the best accommodations, but you’ll be getting it for a lot less. Discounts abound during off peak seasons as most ski resort operators try to get more people to book early to avoid the rush.

  • Check the fineprint. Many airlines, especially budget carriers charge extra for ski or snowboard gears. Hence, if the airline of your choice allows you to book in carriage early, do so in advance as you could be charged more if you wait until check-in.

  • Choose late or early season. Prices are usually cheaper during early season (when crowds are just trickling in) or late season (when everyone’s eager to go back to reality) as snow conditions aren’t usually certain outside of peak season. Plus, you get to enjoy the serenity of an almost empty ski resort during this time.

  • Choose lesser known destinations. Peak season still guarantees the best snow condition. And if you’d like to hit the slopes during this time of the year (but still want to avoid the crowds), go for lesser known resorts and destinations. With a little research, you can spot hidden gems which can guarantee just as much fresh powder as their more popular counterparts at a fraction of their cost.

  • Don’t forget childcare options. Ask the hotel or the resort operator if they have babysitting or daycare centers where you can drop of your little ones while you enjoy your day on the slopes. But do it with caution: Some daycare facilities employ people who may not have the necessary certified to tend to younger children. Hence, it’s best to research first on the day care facilities before entrusting your toddler to their care.

Remember that DIY ski trips may not be for everyone. Hence, it’s best to look into other options first before considering this route. A poorly executed one will not only guarantee woes, but also hidden charges you’ll be much surprised to find out.

Tips for Summer Camp Program – How to Find the Right Camp

Skiing during summer is very important because it prepares you for the winters. With improved skills and technique, you will be able to enjoy your slope time even more. Opt for a summer camp, which provides the unique opportunity to train yourself with the professional ski coaches. For the first timers, it is very important to choose wisely on the ski destination or resort. Most beginners opt for popular destinations without knowing what exactly they offer. However, all resorts do not offer easy slopes for beginners. It is very important to choose a resort which offers complete lessons on skiing for beginners and enhances the experience of those who have already done skiing.

That is the best way to gain good experience in skiing. Dry slope skiing is completely different from snow slopes. In dry slopes, you don’t come across rough surfaces and bumps. Nevertheless, it is going to help you in working on balancing techniques and improve your leg stability. Get rid of your fright of falling down as in this kind of training, falling down is inevitable.

Beginners must remember a few things. Firstly, don’t under-dress. Secondly, wear clothes in layers. Thirdly, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Fourthly, be flexible and you must do warm up activities before skiing. Finally, it is very important to learn from the experts.

There are a few points which you need to take in consideration before joining a summer skiing camp

  • Get all the information about the camp beforehand and check and opt for a top-notch summer camp. This will help you in having a good training experience.

  • They must have expert coaches to help you become an excellent skier.
  • Get some idea about what will be done during the training and also confirm whether video analysis of your movements will be done as it is important to find out the areas where you need improvement.
  • You must check whether the boarding and lodging is within your budget. If not ask whether you can stay in some other place or not.

Refurbish your Ski Racing Skills

A ski racing camp must help you to hone your individual ski racing skills. It should be open for all ages. The camp should focus on fundamentals of current race techniques and also should teach the fastest line through a slalom and GS course. The staff should set a variety of drills, tactics and full length courses. You must learn the fundamentals and correct techniques which are essential to succeed in a race.