News Headlines     |     


Do you want to ski better?
Saturday September 25, 2010 - Email this article to a friend

The answer is obviously YES, but how do you go about it. One answer is to have some lessons before you even reach the Alps. Then have lessons out in the mountains with the same instructor. See how with one of our PlanetSKI partners, Inside Out.

This is the unique service being run by the ski company Inside Out.  The idea is a simple one.

Take some lessons on an indoor slope in the UK on real snow and then have the same ski instructor teach you on your holiday.  The indoor slope is The Snow Centre at Hemel Hempstead to the north of London and right by the M1.

The resorts in the Alps include Les Arcs, Meribel and Tignes in France and Solden in the Austia.

It works for a range of people from total beginners through to intermediate skiers and beyond.

InsideInside"We firmly believe that using an indoor slope like Hemel is a great way for beginners to get the best value out of their first holiday in the mountains.  All that walking up to slide down a few metres, the rudiments of snowplough turns and getting used to drag lifts can all be done in the UK meaning that the first few days of the holiday aren't "wasted" on the nursery slopes when you first get to a resort," says the co-founder of the company, Rob Rees.

Rees is a BASI qualified instructor and works alongside the respected Canadian instructor, Scott Pleva, who is also a race coach.

The company started its methods last year and they seem to have worked.

"Our experience over the last 12 months is that our clients who ski regularly with us have significantly improved their technique, and subsequently reported having much more confidence and much more fun when they went on their ski holidays over the winter," says Scott.  

But don't just take Rob and Scott's word for it.

OutsideOutside"I was very pleased with the coaching from the guys, I progressed from a complete beginner to feeling reasonably confident after my week on snow and having the same instructor at Hemel and in The Alps was a real benefit," says Matt Ranson. 

"Learning the basics indoors enabled me to maximise my skiing experience in the Alps.  Rob's tuition was thorough and I had a good time and would recommend them to anyone."

Matt skied at Hemel Hempstead and then took the Inside Out course at Solden in Austria last season.

Inside Out offers a range of courses at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead.

In a separate story here on PlanetSKI we have reported on how they offer assessments to top end skiers to see if they have what it takes to become a ski instructor.

They do courses at the other end of the spectrum too.

"I started skiing as a beginner with a week long ski holiday in February 2008 and immediately wanted to keep improving and make sure I didn't develop any 'bad habits' that would impede my progress. Inside Out's Coaching Clinics have provided exactly what I was looking for, and more. I have been attending their regular, monthly coaching clinics for just over a year," says Felicity Payne.

new_logo_400Route to improvement










So what's on offer?

Building Confidence Clinics

These are half-day courses, with a maximum of 4 clients per instructor. They are designed for people relatively new to skiing or for those with more experience but who lack confidence and control.

Skills Clinics

Day-long courses, with a maximum of 8 per instructor.  Designed for experienced recreational skiers who are looking to develop a good foundation of technical skills and perhaps to change some bad habits built up over the years.

Each month looks at different skiils  so over  a 12-month cycle all the fundamentals of skiing are covered.

Performance Clinics

A half-day course, with a maximum of 4 clients per instructor.  Designed for strong recreational skiers who are looking to refine their technique to ski all the mountain or perhaps work towards instructor qualifications.  They also have a different focus each month.

InsideOut offers video feedback, and the Performance Clinics also have an online personal development plan which is updated by client and instructor as their skiing improves and their goals change.

You can see a sample plan here.

Flat becomes steepFlat becomes steep











Extensive use of videoExtensive use of video feedback












Programme in the Alps

It offers a combination of Building Confidence and Skills Clinics.  Each Clinic offers six half-day coaching sessions, small groups (maximum of 6 for Building Confidence, 8 for Skills) and a personal review at the end of the week.

Outside on 'real' snowOutside on 'real' snow












In The AlpsIn The Alps












Taster sessions

A 120 minute introduction to skiing.

Learn to ski programmes

Three x 3-hour sessions, done over three mid-week days or over a weekend.

For beginners who we've taught at Hemel we offer a First Week in the Alps course with the same instructor who taught them the basics.

What's skiing inside like?

If you have never skied at an indoor snow centre you may be wondering what it is like.   Well for a start it is small. Do not expect the mountains.

The Snow Centre at Hemel Hempstead is 160m long, but if you are learning this is more than enough to practice on and improve your technique.

See this related PlanetSKI story from reporter, Krystyna Chauncey, that she wrote when it opened.

"Being able to ski throughout the year has meant there isn't that gap of 8 months before getting back on skis and spending those first few days of a holiday trying to remember what to do," says Cathy Collins who is a regular skier with Inside Out.

"The sessions at Hemel focus on a different skill or area each month; it's hard to imagine how you can practice skills for skiing on steep slopes or moguls in an indoor snow centre with the slope equivalent to a blue run, but we do!"

Next month Cathy is practicing her off piste skills. 

Fresh snow is guaranteed at Hemel Hempstead, but perhaps not waist deep powder.

This is a sponsored feature written by PlanetSKI. InsideOut supports us in what we do and we thank them for their help.

For the spirit of the mountains


Related Links

Related Articles

IT'S CARNIVAL TIME (Monday February 18, 2019)
FEBRUARY NEWS IN BRIEF (Sunday February 17, 2019)
A CANADIAN IN THE ALPS: PART THREE (Sunday February 17, 2019)
FEBRUARY SKIING SECRETS (Sunday February 17, 2019)
WHICH WINTER MUSIC FESTIVALS FOR YOU? (Saturday February 16, 2019)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners