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Dry-Slope Question for Instructors

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hey there, snowhead instructors. I have a student who asked me a question, and I don't know the answer, so I thought I should go to folks who might. He purchased my Basic Skills package, and wonders how it will be doing the training on a dry-slope. I've never skied on a dry-slope. I told him the balance training would be fine, but wasn't sure about the edging training. My program's Basic Edging skill development focusses on steering and skid angle management, and various types of sideslipping. So in a nutshell, my question is to you guys familiar with skiing on a dry-slope is, how does steering and skid angle management work on it compared to on snow?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I am not a snowboarder but i have done a lot of time on dry ski slopes as a skier.

In general i have found that dry slopes reward good technique and it transfers over pretty well to snow. Grip levels on dry slops depends on the type of dry ski slope and weather but in general i would say somewhere between hard pack and ice, so in my opining most of the time snow offers you much more grip. Because the surface isn't as slick a snow it also requires a greater turning force to turn your skis or board which usually necessitates and promotes good balance and technique. one potential advantage of dry slopes is that the surface is generally pretty consistent so the feel of each turn should be similar.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Wardy I went to the snow dome recently and skiid well and my feet were fine. I went back on the plastic and wasn’t fine, my toes really ached and I was aware I was clawing my toes (my boots are too big and I’ve unsuccessfully been trying to buy boots for my awkward feet for the last month). Do you think my feet will be back to being fine when I get back on the snow? Can you think of anything that will help me?

In general though, skiing snow is considerably easier than plastic. It will punish the slightest mistake. Because it hurts so much if you fall over though, it defiantely makes you concentrate more though!!
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@FastMan, you may find this informative https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_ski_slope

In my experience edging is fine on brush surfaces such as Dendix, not so fine on "continuous" surfaces such as Snowflex. If it's not raining, frosty or snowing then lubrication is likely to be essential, especially in the summer months. If the slope itself isn't lubricated then a spray of furniture polish on the skis works well, but it wears off in 50m or so.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I agree with the comments above on edging. Sideslipping can be a bit more challenging. It is certainly easier when the slope is well lubricated by water.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
bambionskiis wrote:
Wardy I went to the snow dome recently and skiid well and my feet were fine. I went back on the plastic and wasn’t fine, my toes really ached and I was aware I was clawing my toes (my boots are too big and I’ve unsuccessfully been trying to buy boots for my awkward feet for the last month). Do you think my feet will be back to being fine when I get back on the snow? Can you think of anything that will help me?

In general though, skiing snow is considerably easier than plastic. It will punish the slightest mistake. Because it hurts so much if you fall over though, it defiantely makes you concentrate more though!!


I would say that most likely some of is a consequence of your boots being to big, the first time you skied on a dry ski slope after snow you are subconsciously tying create the same sensations and feeling of control you had on snow which is going to very hard on a dry slope and especially in boots that are to big. While you might get away with boots that don't fit well on snow a dry ski slope is much less forgiving.

I will also say the the first time back on a dry ski slope after being on snow is always going to feel odd, don't worry about it too much and don't focus on wether you are skiing well, just ski and let your body get used to it again. The next time will then feel more normal again.

If you have awkward feet you need to find yourself a decent boot fitter and get them to sort you out. I haven't used them myself but depending on where you live take a look at solutions4feet, they get a lot of very positive reviews on here and are specialist boot fitters, I will warn you that it won't be cheap but in my experience getting boots properly fitted is always worth the money in the long run.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I would add that dry slopes are hard on the skis - if using one regularly then it's definitely worth keeping a pair just for that purpose. For the same reason hiring from the slope is unlikely to get you a pair with sharp edges (which are hard on the Dendix!) and the bases will have had a tough life too....with decent skis side slipping should not be problematic.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Yoda wrote:
I would add that dry slopes are hard on the skis - if using one regularly then it's definitely worth keeping a pair just for that purpose. For the same reason hiring from the slope is unlikely to get you a pair with sharp edges (which are hard on the Dendix!) and the bases will have had a tough life too....with decent skis side slipping should not be problematic.


Thats a very good point, having your own skis for dry slopes is nice because you can ensure your edges are nice and sharp, which in my experience is most important with snow flex type surfaces. But definitely don't use your nice snow skis, i have seen skis with grooves down the base where heavy dry ski slow use has melted the petex base away in high wear areas of the ski.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Thanks, everyone, for the feedback. Sounds like it's going to vary, depending on the type of surface, the preparation of it, the condition of the skis, it's not going to feel the same as snow, but probably doable. Sure would like to give it a try myself. One of these days.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

Sounds like it's going to vary, depending......



Just like snow then Toofy Grin
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Thanks very much wardy and yoda that’s really helpful. What you’re saying makes perfect sense wardy so I’ve relaxed a bit now!! I’ve realised I’m going to have to fork out for some decent boots and just suck up the cost - thanks for the tip on boot fitting. Will have a look. Yoda, actually I was thinking about getting some spare skis for “dry slope”.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@bambionskiis, My suggestion would be to pick up second hand piste skis, making sure they are a relatively recent model and have plenty of edges left. If the bases are a bit beat up well you are going to make them worse. Then learn how to service your own skis so you can keep the edges nice and sharp.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@bambionskiis, if you want to take dry slope skiing seriously then it is good to buy a pair of specialist skis. Most adult men I know ski on 155cm slalom skis such as these Atomics. https://my-race.com/5-ski-slalom. Women go shorter to 150cm. You will also need a bench and edge sharpening kit to maintain them.

I try, and fail, to get to a dryslope coached session every week and TBH don't find much trouble swapping from skiing on snow to the dryslope. It usually takes one run on either. It probably takes me longer to get used to a different pair of skis. I use a different pair on snow than on the dry slope, but on occaisions have really enjoyed the short slalom skis on really firm hard pack where you can impress yourself by doing short, controlled, carved turns when everyone else is side slipping in terror.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Cheers wardy and john. I’m lucky that I live about 15 minutes from a dry slope so weekly visits is easy for me. The other half is doing a ski maintenance “workshop” soon and is buying up bits of relevant kit to use afterwards so a lightly used second hand dry slope pair would seem the way forward. I’d love to impress myself with my turns - it hasn’t happened so far!! Cheers.
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