Skiing | Summer Alternatives
Skiing and snowboarding are snowsports, we all know that. Snow is required, and we can’t always get it – summer, we’re looking at you!
For those who missed it, the video above- Skiing the California Drought: No Snow, No Water, by Aero films in association with Happy United and Groove Guild –was filmed as a part of the Earth Day campaign. That’s off-subject, but skiing on rocks is always a possibility, right?
The Alpine instructors might want to do that, your off-season doesn’t have to consist of the same. Summer brings around a multitude of other opportunities; we’re going to explore a few today. It’s not all about the static ski machines either; there really are some great alternatives out there – you never know, you might be on the brink of discovering a new hobby.
Indoor Ski Centres
Sochi Winter Olympics brought about a huge increase in traffic for the indoor snow centres of the country. But for summer, is there something for everyone?
Most centres now offer dedicated freestyle and slopestyle sessions for anyone looking to pick up the tricks and tips to get the most out of their time abroad next winter. A weekly session with a coach is always a good thing. It’s not limited to freestyle, though. If you just want to slide down the slopes for fun, there’s recreational time and passes available and these are the norm. Depending on where you are, how far you’re travelling and the times and dates on which you wish to ski, it might be worth ringing ahead and booking – you can hire equipment if you don’t have your own.
While a lot of the online information, certainly in our upcoming Indoor Ski Centres article, is focused on the ‘real’ snow slopes, there is a great deal of traditional indoor ski centres around the country. Be sure to search your local area for the hidden gems.
This is one that you might not have heard of before. Despite that, it has been around in the international skiing community for some time now. 1966 saw the realisation that, in order to stay in shape during the ‘off-season’ without the expense of travelling halfway around the globe, something needed to be done. Developed by Richard Martin in Germany, then France, it’s a popular training method for downhill (Alpine) skiing. On the rise, although nowhere near as popular as traditional skiing with, you know, snow; the sport is officially recognised by the FIS (International Ski Federation) and has a growing fan-base across Europe, Japan, China and Iran.
Skating is, and has been for some time, a fantastically popular summer alternative to skiing. Major producers of skate gear have nailed it with this sport. Imagine the freedom of skiing through the trees or along a track on a beautiful summer’s day, backpack on with a picnic and nought but empty trails ahead of you.
In a similar format to cross-country skiing, the technique is great for exercise and will certainly strengthen those muscles come winter, so when you head abroad to visit your chosen resort, you won’t spend the second 24 hours recovering from your first day’s skiing.
Oft is remarked, the divide between snowboarders and skiers remains. Even out of summer, the ever-present ‘conflict’ rages on.
Snowboarders can try their hand at Mountain Boarding which, again, has been around for a number of years now. With dedicated centres around the country, it has quite a popular following: more, dare we say it, than grass skiing.
Inline Speed Skating
Speed skating is commonly associated with ice skating, however it is equally synonymous with the ‘race’-style road skating which is popular in the summer. Regularly achieving speeds of 37mph, the sport is replicable of skiing. Indeed, many skiers use inline speed skating as a way of training in the summer, or as a form of conditioning coming out of the off-season into their winter preparation.
Street skating can be dangerous, for that reason we would thoroughly recommend looking to join a local club or Friday Night Skate (FNS); these clubs and events are present in cities around the world. Bigger ones include Paris, Munich and Berlin, although LondonSkate isn’t exactly small. With free events run on Wednesday evenings, it is a fun way to get into the sport, find like-minded individuals and remain in-shape for the forthcoming winter season.