The UK isn’t known for its snowy Alpine skiing, so how do Brits gliding down European runs all winter get so good? There could well be a few blessed with the natural ability of a Norwegian three year old and quite probably more than one or two with pockets deep enough to afford a year-round pursuit of perfection on slopes worldwide. But most ordinary skiers have a much cheaper and easier secret: indoor ski centres.
Not a new innovation by any means, synthetic stand-ins for snow strewn mountains have been around for decades. Admittedly the first of the breed were fairly basic, designed mainly for kids and a bit haphazard on quality. That’s all changed for the better. Today’s indoor slopes are as much about brushing up on mogul technique as they are about baby steps for beginners. The runs are crisp and fresh and you can have just about anything from intensive private tuition to family coaching.
So if this is the year to snap on skis for the first time, give your family a head start at one of these super-duper ski centres.
This conveyor belt style slope means you won't waste time and energy making your way back to the top of the slope and can concentrate on perfecting your technique.
Chel-Ski’s learning-only indoor ski centre has an instructor/pupil ratio of no more than 1:3 (resort lessons are normally 1:10). All sessions are with qualified instructors so you won’t be going it alone on long, snowy runs – you can’t use any UK centres’ main slopes until you can ski anyway, so no loss here for total beginners. A central London location with long opening hours is another advantage and they also offer private family lessons and tuition for over fives.
When: 8am to 10pm, seven days.
Where: Michael Road, London SW6. Eight minute walk from Fulham Broadway tube station.
Price: Hour long adult beginner lesson from £39.95