I absolutely love Winter and I have been looking for some fun seasonal things to do, so I have some great Christmas (festive) activities planned throughout this month, starting with…. snowboarding!
I learned to snowboard about three years ago while on holiday in Andorra, which was so much fun, but also very (very) hard. After that holiday I decided to take some private lessons but to be honest I never really had a chance to do it until now, which is why I was so incredibly excited to be invited to visit Chel-Ski – an indoor ski centre in the heart of Chelsea.
I had been booked on a 1 hour beginners snowboarding lesson, because with it being so many years since I’d last boarded I definitely needed a refresher course! I was greeted at the reception by a friendly member of staff who asked for my name and found my booking on the computer. With it being my first visit to Chel-Ski she showed me where to find my instructor, the check in desk for my board and equipment and the changing area and toilets. I had arrived half an hour prior to my booking, as was advised, so that I could get my equipment ready, stow my bag in a locker and sit in the foyer area ready to be called through by my instructor, and of course take some photos. My partner Mark very kindly accompanied me as my photographer and snowboarding buddy 🙂
As I had no equipment of my own I used the venues supply of boots and snowboard and since it’s a dry slope you don’t really need to wear waterproof clothing, hat or gloves etc, which is a bonus.
I got to wear my gorgeous new red thermals from S’No Queen, which I absolutely love. Not only do they look amazing on but they’re also super comfy and warm. They’re very stretchy and comfortable and perfect for skiing or snowboarding. I literally want them in every single colour. Such gorgeous design with little diamontes for a touch of glam. They’re definitely thermals you want to be seen in!
Our instructor greeted us moments later and explained what our lesson would be focusing on, but he also wanted to see what level we’re at before deciding our next steps. He talked us through the health and safety of boarding, covered everything from how best to stand, securing and releasing the bindings, how to turn over, steer, stop and start on the slope amongst other things. He answered all of my questions and gave me great tips on how best to find balance by turning my knees outwards and looking up straight ahead of me. Chel-Ski has a unique revolving astro turf slopes, watered frequently to make them a suitable surface for skiing and snowboarding and I actually much prefer this terrain then real snow as it’s easier to learn on.
After some practise I was able to board down the slope without stopping or holding onto the bar, so we then moved onto the diagonal sideslip, which consisted of gliding from left to right whilst descending. I was shown how to put my weight onto one leg whilst looking in the direction I wanted to go, and pointing a hand to steer; the harder you lean and the further round you look, the more your board will turn depending of the extent of the angle you desire. Toward the end of the lesson my balance became better and I felt the tension and stiffness release from my legs as I really got into it and had the biggest smile on my face as I mastered each step 🙂
We had a fantastic first lesson and our instructor said we both progressed really well. Even though I’d boarded years ago, I wouldn’t say that I was skilled, so having a lesson certainly helped to get me back into the swing of things and gave me back my confidence. After the lesson was over we were issued an achievement record card, which our instructor filled out and signed.
After our lesson we sat at the Alpine Bar (located upstairs) to have a well deserved little rest and a nice cup of coffee. I loved the decor in there, it reminded me of a little Ski Chalet 🙂 which really makes me want to rent a winter cabin somewhere nice (like Scotland for example) and sit beside a fireplace with a nice glass of hot apple cider…this just screams winter comfort and the perfect winter vacation!
I had a fantastic time and can’t wait to come back for my next lesson, if you’ve ever had a skiing or snowboarding lesson please feel free to comment below on how you found it, what you enjoyed most and what level you’re at, and if you haven’t been I would highly recommend visiting Chel-Ski!
Thanks so much for reading and happy Friday!