The STW Ski & Snowboard thread. The 2013-2014 season

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  • The STW Ski & Snowboard thread. The 2013-2014 season
  • Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Need any helpful advice you guys have.

    I used to ski a little as a kid – bit of alpine, mainly cross-country. I wasn’t great but I could parallel on a set of 210 straight edged XC skis.

    Then I did my knees in my early 20s.

    These days I ride a snowboard, but my 7 year old (who is disturbingly competent on skis) is desperate for us to ski together.

    Now I can’t snowplough, but if I can skip and parallel straight off then I reckon I might be OK.

    I’ve been to Cas Xscape and they said private lessons and rocker skis and I might well be able to do it (I don’t want to try for the first time in the Alps and wreck a week on the snowboard).

    So. Am I mad? What (constructive) advice do you have?

    Premier Icon cobrakai
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    My personal opinion is that it’s best to have a strong foundation to build on, so that means nailing the basics. If you accidentally take a wrong turn down a more technical slope, or even just when in the lift queues, snow plough comes in handy.

    At braehead, we used to get lots of people coming in who had not been skiing in years and didn’t know where they would fit in with the lesson structure. Private lessons is a good but pricey call. I’d book onto a level 2 group lesson and explain the situation to the instructor.

    Anyways, just spent 3 hrs bumming (ahem) about hemel. An older local guy I’ve met a couple of times turned up with his tellies as well so had a wee brush up on technique. Felt like stepping into a sauna when I left though then traffic jam on m3 in this heat while needing a piss. Not fun.

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    igm, there’s a school of thought among modern instructors that it’s better to skip snow-plough and go straight to parallel turning anyway. Bit like using a balance bike instead of stabilisers to learn to ride a bike!

    Even so, I think you would struggle to find group lessons following this approach. Private lessons may be the best way to go.

    I_Ache
    Member

    Plowing kills my legs but is necessary for two reasons.
    1. I’m crap.
    And More importantly.
    2. Because my kids cant ski at the same speed as I do when parallel so I need to plow to ski next to them.

    Is it your knees that are stopping you plowing? If not then it would be good to learn to parallel if only to be slow enough for your kid.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Taking the family to Bansko in early Jan and then the main event…my annual trip with the lads early March. Snows been great over the past few years so hopefully it’ll be more of the same next year. Can’t wait.

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Yes, its my knees that stop me snow ploughing – or at least when i tried to go back to skiing 10 years ago, I could snow plough, but I couldn’t walk properly for 3 weeks.

    Given I can ride a snowboard, cycle both road and mountain, or run a 10k and the injury didn’t stop me playing another 10 years of rugby, I’m inclined to think parallel will be fine.

    I should be able to hold low speeds with skidded parallels (like you effectively do on a board), but my my 7 year old is pretty quick (except on flats) anyway.

    I doubt I’d be trying anything I can’t do on a board .

    I’m going to give this a go.

    Thanks

    So, it would appear that the MIL is interested in being daytime childcare while we go skiing joining us on a ski holiday. Which is nice.

    She’s very much a non-skier, but I reckon she’d be fine to bring Little Miss CFH up the mountain now and again for lunch/playtime!

    Things may be looking good for January…! 🙂

    I_Ache
    Member

    Nice one Captain. I went up with my youngest last year while my wife skied with our oldest and we had a mess around on the snow and did a bit of sledging before meeting up with the wife and having a bite to eat.

    We have just booked our chalet for the first week in Febuary in Morzine. Its got a big steep garden that looks great for sledging with the kids/dropping off on skis!

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Good work cfh!

    igm – You’ll be fine. You might even be OK just to hire a set of skis and spend a morning on your own at the dome. From snowboarding you know what an edge does, how much pressure it needs to turn and stop, how behaviour is affected by speed and snow conditions. You’ll probably remember plenty from 1st go round.

    A private lesson is a great idea. You might be skipping steps and moving on quicker (or slower) than you think, and being tied to a a group’s pace might not be the best use of your time.

    I snowboard, I had one 45 minute lesson on skis on a dryslope and hated the teacher so much I neveer took another. Took skis out for a day halfway through a season in BC, and it was amazing fun, I was getting air out the halfpipe at the end of the day. I’m sure I looked absoultely horrible, but I was having a ton of fun.

    Actually, it not beng “my sport”, I felt no pressure whatsoever to try and look good or cultivate any variety of style – just hoon about!

    Tom B
    Member

    *warning contains bragging*

    Yesterday I landed my first backside board slide. It took me four attempts but I absolutely nailed it fourth time! I iz teh awesumz 8)

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    BOOM! 🙂

    (I’m shit at rails!)

    You slid on your backside?

    Congratulations, you’re now a real snowboardist!

    🙂

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
    Subscriber

    OMG – you’ve all started without me.

    So – we need to book a jolly sometime in January, several of us with plenty of experience (happy with blacks and like some off piste), suggestions please?

    Hotel or chalet,
    Europe.

    Thanks

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Anyone got some recommendations for French speaking resorts with decent cross country skiing, ideally with a decent hotel. More interested in specialist location away from mega resort with a couple of token xc tracks. Asking as I’m not sure my knee will be fully recovered for DH this year

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
    Subscriber

    Well, the mini vinnys (6 and 8 )have just done a 2x2hr intro at hemel, and want to sack off the horse riding in favour of skis. 😆
    Glory days, after some 10 seasons in resorts I gave it all away in the mid 90s, saw no point in spending huge cash for a week here and a week there, and have been skiing exactly three times since, admittedly once for a month, but it hardly counts over that many years.
    Bit of interest from the kids seems to have changed my mind however.
    Now, to find a beginner friendly resort (fishing for suggestions here) dust down the P10’s, and clean the spiders out of the V3’s!

    nbt
    Member

    wrote:

    OMG – you’ve all started without me.
    So – we need to book a jolly sometime in January, several of us with plenty of experience (happy with blacks and like some off piste), suggestions please?
    Hotel or chalet,
    Europe.
    Thanks

    2 weeks. Done many of the bigger french resorts, happy to look at smaller resorts or even try Italy or Austria – but IO speak french so it’s a lot easier there 🙂

    also, happy to consider nice apartments, must sleep 4 in TWO bedrooms (i.e. not one bedroom plus sofabed in lounge!) and preferably have two bathrooms

    Tom B
    Member

    Right then…..Serre Che of Tignes in Feb half term? Going through UCPA-never been abroad before, so can’t imagine that I’ll be needing too mush off piste etc…..plenty of good groomed pistes will be the order of the day-not too fussed about the snow park as I do freestyle stuff every other week in the fridge.

    I’m slightly edging towards Tignes atm but obviously have no idea what either resorts pros and done are!

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
    Subscriber

    Tom – I love Tignes. Also attached to Va D’Isere which I also love. Go there 🙂

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @TomB the freestyle areas in the Alps are nothing like those in an indoor centre, it’s like comparing a Welsh trail centre with Chamonix.

    Of your two resort choices I’d go with Tignes. It’s big enough to have a decent chance of getting away from the crowds in half term. Plus make sure you get over to Val d’Isere – the La Daille side at least. I recall you are a boarder, off-psite is what boarding is all about really and lots of options in Tignes/Val, just play around off the main runs.

    Tom B
    Member

    Cheers for the tips-not sure if the lift pass that I get from UCPA covers Val D’Isere too? Hopefully it does. I can appreciate that the snow parks are going to be much better than in the fridge, but I really just want to get on the slopes and board for hours without faffing-150m at the Chill Factore is only a novelty for so long!

    Spin
    Member

    New touring skis for me this year. I want something light but with a bit more grip than my Waybacks.

    Any suggestions? I don’t get the impression there’s many tourers on here.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    There are a few; “It’s all XC” after all!

    No help from me, I’m afraid, I know nowt about skis.

    meames
    Member

    Bit of help required here – do you have any tips for keeping things cheap during the school holidays?

    We don’t have kids but my girlfriend has got a job working in a school and as such we’re restricted on when we can go – which looks like it’s going to put the price up quite a bit.

    I’m competent on a snowboard having done 3 trips thus far and comfortable on black / off piste terrain, whereas my other half has only been once and is currently getting the grasp of parallel turns (she’s on ski’s) though will be having a few more lessons before we go to avoid the need for more tuition out there.

    Last year’s trip to Passo Tonale in Italy was cheap (approx £700 all in half board) and really good for her as a beginner but I’d like to go somewhere a little bigger this time so she can progress a little more (though having done the Espace Killy / 3 Valley’s before don’t feel the need to pay for that much terrain when it won’t be fully utilized)

    We’re not fussed on location (though Andorra or Austria would be cool as neither of us have been before) but would like either a half board hotel / room in a chalet if just the two of us, or a cheap apartment if as part of a larger group.

    I guess the trick is to avoid the UK travel companies and try to go direct due to the price hikes, but I don’t really know what the best solution is… any suggestions appreciated.

    UCPA would be a good idea also I guess.

    nbt
    Member

    Try mountainsun, I think they run special price weeks for teachers – they have places in Tignes, La Plagne and the Dolomites

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Nice little teaser video from Burton to get the snowboarders in the mood:

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlUfT2ZWSUY[/video]

    whatnobeer
    Member

    So, it looks like I’m off to St Christoph, Austria in January for a week of skiing with some old uni mates I haven’t seen in a while. Should be an excellent week, the resort looks pretty mint and we’re staying in a fully catered chalet hotel thing. Expensive, but hopefully worth the expense.

    Now, I don’t have my own skis or snowboard and haven’t actually been on a set of skiis in a fairly long time. Spent a week learning to snowboard in La Plagne 2 years ago but the snow was rubbish, very icy and hard packed and it was a pretty painful week, though by the end of it I was linking turns and could get down all of the harder blue runs.

    Last time I skied I got on ok, red runs and some blacks were fine and even some of easier off piste stuff.

    Question is, is skiing like riding a bike? Will I get back on the skies and remember how to do it all or will I flounder around and ruin my (already shaky) knees? Or should I get some lessons and get back on the snowboard?

    Secondly, is it worth getting a set of discounted ski boots (if I go for them rather than the board)? It will cost £55 to hire boots and there seems to be a fair few choices about at little over double that? Worth spending the extra cash if I plan on skiing a bit more regularly now that I have a job and not buming around as a poor student?

    dirtycrewdom
    Member

    meames – Member

    We’re not fussed on location (though Andorra or Austria would be cool as neither of us have been before) but would like either a half board hotel / room in a chalet if just the two of us, or a cheap apartment if as part of a larger group.

    Go for Andora or Bulgaria, both pretty cheap (comparitivly) and both will have enough terrain to push you other half but not be wasting it. I did both of them on my 2nd and 3rd holidays and I think that is the perfect time for them. After that you need somewhere a bit bigger. I always find apartments cheaper and think of them first, just for being able to cook your own food….

    …shit. I should be pushing chalets really as I’ll be opening one in a couple of years! Off to Morzine for the season. Cannae fooking wait!

    dirtycrewdom
    Member

    whatnobeer – Member
    Spent a week learning to snowboard in La Plagne 2 years ago, by the end of it I was linking turns and could get down all of the harder blue runs.

    Last time I skied I got on ok, red runs and some blacks were fine and even some of easier off piste stuff.

    Secondly, is it worth getting a set of discounted ski boots (if I go for them rather than the board)?

    What standard is the rest of the group going to be and what are they riding?
    If they are all snowboarding then you may have more fun on a board, but not necessarily if they are all quick and you’re not.

    Secondly, yes buy some boots. The determining factor is what do you want to do more in the future, ski or board? Buy the appropriate pair. Definitely worth picking your own up before the season starts though, 2 times renting is about the same as a new pair and they will be much nicer.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    There are 15 of us, a mix of abilities but mostly seasoned skiers with a couple of boarders. So either way would be ok, got to admit, I’m leaning more towards the skis….

    That said, anyone care to point me in the direction of a good deal on ski boots? Quite a lot of choice around the £100-£150 mark in the sales.

    dirtycrewdom
    Member

    I think go with the skis. It does take a lot for me to say it because I am an avid snowboarder and always try to convince people to go sideways….but you need to make the most of your week away. Get to Snow and Rock and Ellis Bingham to try on some boots and chat to the staff. They know their shit. The technology changed so much each year that most people on here or other places on the interest will give you advice based on reviews and experiences of older models so it’s pretty irrelevant.

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Booked. The same resort as the last few times, but its pretty and we need the rather excellent child care. So Les Gets it is.

    Easter so I’m hoping for a season like this last, or it’s the bus to Avoiriaz on a regular basis, but tied to school holidays now and February half term with our youngest at 3 yrs didn’t appeal.

    Tom B
    Member

    Easter is pretty late this year isn’t it? Deep down I’m hoping that my tax bill isn’t as bad as I’m fearing in January and then I may be able to afford a last minute few days away over Easter too…..I’m in the advanced stages of negotiations with Mrs B over booking my solo trip to Tignes for Feb half-term. I reckon that one more evening of moaning should do the trick 🙂

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
    Subscriber

    whatnobeer – I think you’ll be fine skiing. It will be a bit like getting back on your bike.
    Do have lessons though, they will stop you from getting into bad habits and with the equipment we have nowadays (not sure when you last skied but skis are easier to turn) you may have to relearn a few things. Also it’s very easy to be pushed along by friends, who may not have the real skills to help you catch up as quickly.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Great, cheers folk. Sounds like getting back on the skis will be the way to go. Been about 10 years when I think about it, surprising its been that long! Might pop over to the snow dome place in Glasgow, will let me check out some boots etc at Ellis Brigham and have a feel for what the new kit is like.

    Also it’s very easy to be pushed along by friends, who may not have the real skills to help you catch up as quickly.

    Hell yes! I see so many people in fridges and on the piste with much better friends/partners trying to teach them. Utter dead loss every time!

    Lessons is awsumz, no matter what level you’re at!

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Lessons is awsumz, no matter what level you’re at!

    Skier

    Yep. Boarders are just too kool for skool, innit? No need to learn, etc….

    (Blue touchpaper lit, retires to lunch at the pub)

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Nah, just took enough lessons to get me round the mountain nicely. If I took anymore lessons I might be tempted to do something stupid like half pipe and I’d only hurt myself.

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