Take to the Slopes
Calling all adrenaline junkies, if the promise of winter usually means the opportunity to take a trip overseas to one of the many winter ski resorts, but due to restrictions you have missed out the last couple of years, then have you considered one of the snow sport centres within our region?
As the Winter Olympics are due to start on the 4th February it seems like the perfect opportunity to highlight the exhilarating sports on offer. You don’t need the fluffy white stuff, used to build snowmen, to experience the thrill of the slopes and you can take to the piste not just in winter but all year round.
Once every four years, since 1924, the Winter Olympics have been held in many cities around the globe with the first being held in Chamonix, France. Whilst skiing was an original discipline of the games, snowboarding made its Olympic debut in 1998 with athletes competing in giant slalom and halfpipe competitions.
The words ‘ski’ is a Norwegian word that comes from the Old Norse word ‘skid’, a split length of wood.
So, if you’re thinking of taking up a new sport, looking for an activity to get the whole family involved or you’re a seasoned skier who wants to keep practicing then why not take a look at a few of the centres listed below?
Did you know, Britain’s most decorated winter Olympian Lizzy Yarnold hailed from Kent?
Knockhatch Ski and Snowboard Centre
The outdoor dry ski and snowboard centre in Hailsham, East Sussex has a flood lit 110m main slope, surfaced with ‘Play Grass’ – the continuous carpet with no holes within the matting is mist lubricated to create the perfect conditions for skiing and snowboarding.
In addition to the main slope there is a nursery slope, both serviced by a drag lift, and a ringo run. The centre offers an extensive range of ski and snowboarding lessons, for children and adults alike, as well as open practice sessions.
Bowles Rocks Snowsports Centre
With two slopes and a team of experienced instructors, Bowles Rocks near Tunbridge Wells is the perfect place to hone your skills and prepare for an upcoming skiing trip. The soft nursery slope is ideal for beginners and snowboarders and the longer main slope has a faster, more snow-like surface.
They also offer bespoke activities for small groups of children in the February half term.
Sandown Ski Centre
Based on Esher Hill, Surrey, Sandown Ski caters for all abilities to learn or improve their skiing. With dramatic views over the London skyline, take to one of the dry ski slopes and have some fun. The instructors will get you in shape for the mountains especially if you’re feeling a little rusty and need to develop those muscles again. They also run ski conditioning classes at the gym, to get you fit for the slopes.
It’s a great location for a children’s birthday party to remember too.
We mustn’t forget the other part of winter sports culture – the après-ski! It’s the perfect reward to a day on the slopes. Time to relax, toast the day and compare notes with your fellow skiers.