The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead
If all Snow Centre instructors are as good as ours was, you’ll be in for a treat. Recently voted instructor of the year by his colleagues, Dwayne claimed 8th place in the Boardercross British Championships in 2006. And he’s as conscientious an instructor as he is a quality snowboarder. If we really wanted to hold his hand he’d let us, but if he could see we were capable, he’d leave us to it — keeping a watchful eye on us of course.
So, what’s covered in the lesson? First thing’s first, we were taught how to dress correctly so we didn’t overheat or lose our boots on the slope. We then learnt how to move about with one foot strapped in and how not to lose our boards to gravity. Finally it was time to put all the theory into practice and ride down the slope, and considering I was a little scared of the riding part, I loved it! Dwayne’s soothing words, “Screaming won’t slow you down, but I’ll stop you screaming!” were enough to calm any tentative boarders down. We practised coming down on both the heel and the toe edge. The only time we ever pointed the board downhill was for a cheeky little run down the slope at the end.
And being the fun-loving guy that he is, Dwayne squeezed a final little toboggan in too — on our snowboards of course! Overall, a great lesson with a brilliantly talented instructor. Highly recommended.
While this session was a bit more informal, the atmosphere in the centre was really relaxed. It’s a lot smaller than the Hemel centre, and right at the front is a cosy little café with a lovely ski-hut-feel to it. Insider tip — they do great coffee! After signing in, our instructor Kyran, gave us our boots and boards and talked us through the things we would cover in the lesson.
Throughout the lesson, we were able to keep an eye on our technique in the large mirror at the front and at those times we felt a little wobble come on, we could grab onto the bar in front of us. And did you know that that astro turf surface can reach a speed of 25mph? We weren’t quite ready for that though!
And because you lot are so awesome, I was able to wangle a little discount off some snowboarding lessons for you. Hope you enjoy!
Discounts from Outdoor Chics
- For 10% off a beginner’s snowboarding lesson at Skiplex, simply call 0845 600 3599 and quote “Outdoor Chics” (offer expires end April 2015)
- For 10% off a lift pass at The Snow Centre, just call 0844 770 7227 or visit www.thesnowcentre.com
and quote “GYBSLP10” (offer expires 21 March 2015)
- For 10% off a group lesson at The Snow Centre, just call 0844 770 7227 or visit www.thesnowcentre.com
and quote “GYBSGL10” (offer expires 28 February 2015)
Summary: Beginner snowboarding lessons
|The Snow Centre||Skiplex|
|Cost||Adult weekend/school/bank holiday: £52.00 Adult weekday: £47.00||Adult: £35.00|
|Duration||1 hour 30 minutes||30 minutes on the slope|
|Group size||Up to 8||2-3|
|Pros||– Real snow
– More detailed instruction
– As close to boarding in the French Alps as you can without getting on a plane
|– Great for practising specific skills
– Less busy
|Other discounts||55% off adult and junior memberships & 10% off permanent recreation prices for SCUK members|