I’ve always been a big fan of skiing.
As a child, I have fond memories of spending time at the snow with my friends and family.
However, as much as I love the snow and skiing, I’ve never actually had skiing lessons, and am only self taught (which may explain why I injured myself skiing a few years ago).
In December this year, I’m heading to the slopes of Japan with my family for a white Christmas!
As excited as I was when booking this trip, part of me was a little apprehensive, as I haven’t actually skied since my knee injury two years ago (for those that missed the story, I tore the ACL ligament in my knee whilst skiing in Thredbo).
Despite the fact that I’ve had surgery and extensive rehab, I haven’t hit the slopes again since.
That’s why when the team at Vertikal Indoor Snow Sports contacted me to see if I was interested in trying out their indoor snow sports facilities, I knew it meant it was time to face my fears and pop the ski’s on again.
And wow I’m so glad I did!
Vertikal Indoor Snow Sports was founded out of a love of snow sports.
They offer a unique bridge between the indoor and outdoor experience where individuals can continue to develop and build upon their skills.
Their team of certified ski and snowboard instructors and coaches assists leisure and serious snow sports competitors alike to help maintain muscle memory, and reach their goals without the disruption imposed by seasons.
Vertikal provides year-round access to slopes that simulate real terrain, for the times when you just can’t get to the mountains.
I was so intrigued to see how skiing and snowboarding indoors actually worked, and most importantly I wanted to learn how sessions at Vertikal could help myself and my knee prepare for Japan.
During my first session at Vertical I felt SO welcome.
You know when you step foot inside a business and feel like it’s a place you want to hang out all the time?
Well, Vertical Indoor Snow Sports is exactly that sort of place.
Not only do they offer snow sports services, but there’s also a pool table and other games, a cute little fire place and lounge area, as well as the most delicious hot chocolates you’ll ever have (think marshmallows, cream AND chocolate in a mug!!).
You have the option to choose between skiing and snowboarding.
I opted for skiing as it’s something I want to learn how to do properly (like I said, I’m self taught).
Paolo Bellini, Vertikal Indoor Snow Sports Co-Director and Head Instructor, is my instructor, and I seriously couldn’t have asked for anyone better!
Paolo has more than thirty year’s experience in the skiing industry, teaching and coaching in the United States, Europe and Australia. He holds a diploma of sports psychology, sports nutrition and is a qualified fitness trainer too.
Paolo provides a holistic approach to snow sports, incorporating mental and physical health and fitness.
Our first few sessions focused a lot on getting comfortable enough in the ski’s and on the slope again.
We focused mainly on the basic skiing practices and muscle activation techniques – which looks SO easy to do, but let me tell you, is so difficult.
To say I was a bit wobbly at the start of our sessions would be an understatement.
However over time, Paolo has guided me every step of the way to becoming more comfortable with skiing again, and also learning to use the right muscles for particular movements.
I bet you’re wondering how this all works, and how it can really feel like you’re skiing in real snow…
Well, the slopes change speed and angulation at the touch of a button – and the instructor is always in full control of you on the slope.
There are also mirrors at the base of the slopes, which provide you with instant feedback – so you can actually see yourself as you ski or snowboard and make adjustments on the spot! For me it is so important to see myself, as I can constantly self-correct my positioning and movement.
Depending on what stage you’re at in your skiing or snowboarding ability, the session is tailored to your skill set.
I’ve found that by having regular sessions with Paolo, I really am starting to become more of a pro, and less of a self taught novice, and I really do look forward to seeing how I go on the real life slopes of Japan.
I’ve got a few more sessions to go before I head out into “real life skiing” as I call it, so keep an eye out on my Instagram stories to keep up with my progress!
In the meantime, I highly recommend that you look into trialling this yourself.
Whether you’ve a regular skier or snowboarder, or even if you’ve never seen the snow before and want to learn; contact the friendly team at Vertical Indoor Snow Sports!
All ski and snowboard classes include equipment and instructor.
Classes run for 30 minutes. Click here for their pricing information.
Photography by simonarphotography.com.