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TO SNOOC OR NOT! - James Rampton, Serre Chevalier
Sunday January 15, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

PlanetSKI is in Serre Chevalier and as well as skiing in epic snow conditions we test the newest Alpine winter sport... er.. Snooc-ing! NEW

In our latest report from the under-appreciated, yet charming French resort of Serre Chevalier, PlanetSKI tests the newest ‎Alpine winter sport.

After some initial problems, we eventually achieve a maximum break as a medal-winning Snooc-er.

At first, PlanetSKI was convinced we would be snookered by Snooc.

Those who are aout to Snooc... salute you!On a Snooc......!



















Snooc is the latest winter sport to hit the Alps.

Have you tried the latest dance craze - its called The SnoocHave you tried the latest dance craze - its called The Snooc




















And to begin with, PlanetSKI was also hitting the Alps - with alarming and painful frequency.

After 40 years of sliding (albeit increasingly slowly) on downhill skis, suddenly we were back to square one on - or more often, off - a Snooc.

‎Invented by the felicitously named Cyrille Colmet Daage to help snow-shoers who found skiing downhill too hard, the Snooc is a simple yet ingenious device, best summed as a low chair on a ski.

Weighing just 1.2kg (the same as a Mac Book), the Snooc equipment can be easily carried uphill in a rucksack.

But that's where the easy part ends.

At the top of the hill - reached‎ via a hearty walk on skins or (in PlanetSKI's slightly less fit state) in a cable car - you fix the wide plastic seat to a ski.

Then, so the theory goes, you just sit on it and whizz off.

Unfortunately, the only place we whizzed off to was the nearest snow drift .

At this point, our very friendly instructor, Edouard Doligez, the owner of the Ski Experience shop and ski school in Serre Chevalier, was starting to dig a trench in the snow.

He jokingly suggested that we were never going to make it back down to the resort during daylight and so we would have to overnight in his snow-hole.

Edouard helped road-test the Snooc last season, and such was its success that it has now been rolled out to nine other French resorts.

Under Edouard's very patient tutelage, PlanetSKI gradually began to get the hang of the Snooc.

Our Snooc-tastic instructor, Edouard DoligezOur Snooc-tastic instructor, Edouard Doligez


















In glorious January sunshine, he guided me from the top of a blue run, teaching me how to throw out my arms and swivel my hips when I wanted to turn.

At the start, we went hand in hand.

As we picked up speed and started to turn in sync, we were soon waltzing down the slope like two particularly bizarre, be-anoraked characters from Fantasia.

Formation snooc-ingFormation snooc-ing















After such expert guidance, it proved surprisingly simple to slalom down the piste like - in my mind at least - a recumbent and a thousand times slower version of Tomba La Bomba.

And if you did happen to fall over, you were only toppling six centimetres rather than a metre.

Pretty soon, I was having such Snooc-tastic fun, I was thinking to myself, ‎ "Je snooc, donc je suis."

At the bottom of the slope, Edouard presented me with a pink medal to mark my improvement as a Snooc-er during the course of the day.

Edouard celebrates PlanetSKI's most improved snooc-er MedalEdouard celebrates PlanetSKI's most improved snooc-er Medal




















I felt inordinately proud.

The icing on the cake was the fact that the medal exactly matched my pink goggles.

At PlanetSKI, we are clearly in touch with our metrosexual side.
As we gathered our breath back at Ski Experience in Serre Chevalier, Edouard exp‎lained to PlanetSKI why he thinks winter sporters could become sold on Snooc.

‎"It's for all levels - it doesn't matter how good you are at skiing. It's possible to go the top of the slopes, even if you're just a beginner."

This was borne out by one of our companions, who with a mere single day's experience of skiing in her life, emerged as a demon - and demonically quick - Snooc-iste. 

"It's so easy to learn Snooc," Edouard continued. "After 100 metres, you can master it. And all the time, you're safe because you're so close to the snow. Above, it's great fun."

He's right.

‎At the beginning of the day, I felt like Snooc Doggy Dogg, more likely to be a stadium-filling rap act than someone capable of getting down the hill on a Snooc.

But by the end of the day, I was hurtling down the mountain singing my new theme tune, "Snooc-er loopy are we!"


Snooc equipment can be rented and lessons booked at Ski Experience at 38 Rue de Centre, 05330, Saint Chaffrey, Serre Chevalier. Visit website.

PlanetSKI is staying at the Chalet Refuge, Serre Chevalier with Zenith Holidays.‎
The chalet is available from £425pp ‎(or £225 during the weeks commencing 9th and 16th April), ‎for 7 nights catered board including airport transfers (Turin or Grenoble)‎.
Contact Zenith Holidays to book on 0203 137 7678 or visit website.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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