Clever dry ski slope on which beginners and improvers can perfect their technique before hitting the slopes for real.
Your hair's gently flying behind your ears, your thighs are burning and your backdrop is a mountain range, but this ain't no Alpine adventure. Chel-Ski is a new dry slope that offers skiing and snowboarding training just a ten-minute walk from Fulham Broadway station. But don't expect to be bundled up in salopettes as you hurtle into artificial snow drifts, because your lesson will take place on a giant astroturf treadmill. Sounds stressful? It is, but only for the first few minutes. Getting used to skiing on the spot (and seeing the panic on your own face in the massive two-way mirror) is a challenge, but once you're up and gliding smoothly while the carpet slides beneath your skis it's the ideal setting in which to gain confidence and perfect your technique.
Sessions at Chel-Ski are always with an instructor and it's as much for beginners as improvers – it must be far less scary to learn to snow plough on a bit of carpet than it is on an icy slope. The mirror really helps you to understand which of your limbs is the troublemaker, and you can take a break whenever you fancy rather than having to wait until you get back to the chairlift. Despite the apres-ski-themed café this is no substitute for the real thing, but for what is essentially a combination of a lesson and a workout it's great fun. As is seeing how confused people get when you tell them you went skiing on Monday morning.
|Opening hours:||Daily 8am-10pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Fulham Broadway|
|Price:||Single sessions from £39.95, £34.95 children; discounts available for multiple sessions|
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