Wheee!


We take the button lift to the top. First run of the holiday!
It’s slightly odd with no poles, but easy to turn, and easy to stop. Me like.

Andy and Melanie are both a bit hesitant. Neither has skied since
Courchevel two years ago; Andy’s still very much a beginner, and
Melanie’s recovering from a nasty cold. Chris and I are both roughly
equivalent intermediate skiers – at the lazy rather than adventurous
end.

I keep an eye on Andy, Chris on Melanie. As Andy and I reach the
bottom of the run, Chris rings me from part-way up to say they’re off
to the piste-side cafe for a vin chaud. Andy and I go up and down again
and join them.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Wheee!

  1. Anonymous

    So what the hell is a snowblade?

    What exactly is a snowblade. It looks like a snowboard shrunk down that you wear on each foot. Why? Why no poles?

    • Re: So what the hell is a snowblade?

      Snowblades (sometimes called skiboards) are shorter skis with pointy bits on both ends so you can ski backwards easily and use them for tricks etc. Related to snowboards definitely. That’s probably why no poles.

      They’re easier to ski with than normal skis – turns are easier, stopping’s easier, skiing uphill is easier, carrying them is easier…

      I found them pretty forgiving. Strangely where I had most trouble was in queues for lifts, where the lack of poles meant standing still on a slight slope was a right pain; I relied on leaning on other people rather than on poles. Luckily I didn’t have too many flat or uphill bits to negotiate, but they were OK; I even started to get the hang of the skating technique for those bits.

      I spoke to a chap (salesman and ski instructor) in a ski shop before the holiday, who said that snowblades are good for people who know the basics: who’ve done lessons and know the correct techniques. They’re not good, he said, for absolute beginners. He’s also found that people who use snowblades all the time hate it when they go back to “proper” skis as they suddenly have to ski “properly” again and have forgotten how to.

      I think he also said that they’re not that good in powder, but various web sites dispute that (the ones selling snowblades in particular). I’m also not good in powder, as shown by the times I face-planted in it last week.

      I said last week that on no account was I to be allowed snowblades next time, to force me to ski “properly”. But I might go ahead and buy some; I’d much rather just be able to go out and ski.

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