Tuesday, September 16, 2014

To Ski, or Not to Ski: That Is the Question

A holiday on the mountain is an experience everyone should enjoy at least once in their lives, with the pristine slopes and infectious alpine atmosphere offering a holiday ideal that's a world away from lazing on a beach catching a tan. After deciding where you wish to head on your holidays, the next big dilemma is choosing whether to enjoy skiing or snowboarding? If you are having trouble deciding what you would prefer to be strapped into on the piste, here are a few tips which could be of assistance.

A determining factor can often be which is harder to master; spending a week while struggling to stand up is no one's idea of a fun week away. The usual adage is that skiing is easier to pick up, perhaps because you can maintain your balance using two boards as opposed to snowboarding where it's just the one.

If you do decide to don the poles and skis, the easiest method of turning is known as the snow-plow, an action where you arch your skis and apply your weight onto one leg to turn in either direction. If you consider yourself as the 'snow plow king' after just a few days, why not try and add a bit of style into your skiing by trying to carve, keeping your feet parallel while leaning to make a turn. While you might feel confident, be sure not to lose concentration as your skis can quickly cross, a situation which can result in serious injury to your legs and knees.

Snowboarding on the other hand - or feet in this case - is slightly more difficult to pick up, particularly if you aren't used to being strapped in and facing one direction - an experience familiar to those who have tried skateboarding or surfing. The first thing to decipher is whether you have a goofy or regular stance, leading with your right or left foot respectively. The easiest way to find out is to stand at the tail of the board and jump on; the direction you jump will usually be your favourable stance. One you're strapped in, it's time to learn how to turn without catching an edge, which will come with a bit of time and practice. While you are bound to fall over countless times while learning this, don't be tempted to put your hands out to cushion the blow as it could easily lead to injuries to your arms and wrists. However, once you have mastered the art of not falling over, you will soon discover that snowboarding offers so many more opportunities than skiing, particularly in terms of tricks.

Finally, with both skiing and snowboarding offering fantastic experiences on the mountain, it all depends on which appeals to you the most. If either doesn't turn out to be quite what you expected, why not discover both by choosing the other one on your next skiing holiday?

How to Get Kids Skiing on Family Skiing Holidays

When it's cold and you're in a new place it can be difficult to get your child excited and motivated to go skiing. However, if you are well prepared and organized a family skiing holiday can be the perfect break and act as the base for fond memories to last a lifetime.

Children can start skiing from a young age and, with practice, become accomplished at the activity making it enjoyable as well as ensuring they'll want to return year after year.

The best start to a family holiday skiing is to ensure they are going to be looking forward to the holiday before you get there. By talking about the holiday early, showing your children on a map as well as pictures of where you are going to be visiting and even by watching clips of the Winter Olympics, you will be sure to get the kids looking forward to the trip rather than dreading leaving friends and home.

When you arrive at your snowy location make sure to keep your child warm at all times, as you may well know nothing guarantees tantrums like getting cold and wet. Be sure to pack well fitting ski boots, waterproof gloves, thermals and plenty of layers, as by making sure your child's winter gear fits correctly you avoid letting cold air circulate around the body. Many ski resorts offer kit hire so if you have forgotten anything make sure to ask rather than go without. Also by fitting in regular hot chocolate and snack breaks children will stay warmer and this will also keep them occupied with their mind off of the cold and onto the next activity.

The most important thing to remember when planning your family skiing holiday is to keep it fun. When children are entertained they are more willing to learn and will become pro-skiers in no time, perhaps surpassing your own skills on the slopes! By choosing a family friendly ski resort you take away the pressure of filling every minute of the day where they often provide not only ski classes for children but also entertainment. This can also provide some well earned rest for you and your partner where skiing, although fun, can be tiring and by booking the children into childcare activities you avoid the possible family arguments that can occur when drained from a day on the slopes. When the kids come back from their snow clubs and lessons they'll be ready to show you all they have learned and you can enjoy skiing together as a family.