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DIY continuous ski slope

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Gidday from a frustrated skier!!

Really missed getting on the slopes and have been looking at options to get a ski fix and stumbled across this site talking about portable ski slopes that act like a treadmill in reverse that you can ski on https://www.alpine-engineering.com/portable-ski-slope/

I can't afford the £30k or thereabouts to buy one so It made me think - how hard could it be to make one up?

Anyone have a view on a DIY project for the rest of lockdown

- what material could be used for the ski surface
- what kind of motor would be needed to drive it
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
If you're really interested:

Surface: talk to Brian at Snowflex
https://snowflex.com/

Motor: you'll need a 3-phase motor with an inverter speed controller. Many options.
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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?
Seems quite cheap really - compared say with a swimming pool or a car. I'm not sure they're actually any good though.
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philwig wrote:
Seems quite cheap really - compared say with a swimming pool or a car. I'm not sure they're actually any good though.


£30k is cheap Shocked Shocked Shocked
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Not really DIY, but I would love to give it a go. Scroll down to check out the the Shiffrin/US Ski Team video.

https://www.skicosmos.com/
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xtr wrote:
Not really DIY, but I would love to give it a go. Scroll down to check out the the Shiffrin/US Ski Team video.

https://www.skicosmos.com/


I’ve seen that type of one, however all your doing is sliding on a rail. The ones I’ve linked to you actually ski on.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I had a friend who built a DIY ski lift. He used a scooter engine and lots of old climbing ropes. You had to hang on with a little gripper thing. It wasn’t easy!
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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!
I've seen these before, but never had a go, often wondered how good they are.

Wonder if it's possible to do these treadmill type ski things on a much bigger scale - say, on a dry slope. Could turn a 150 metre slope into the equivalent of 400 metre slope? Bit like walking the wrong way on an airport travelator - you walk at the same pace but it just takes you longer.
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For context: I've done 50-60+ hours of lessons on these type of machines.


These threadmill ski slopes use something that resembles snowflex, but isn't snowflex. It's rather more durable stuff specifically made for these machines. Snowflex slopes aren't generally skied as intensively as the threadmills (which take up to 3 skiers at the same time, and at 'top speed' it takes just over 2 seconds for a full revolution... the surface gets used rather well).



@Handy Turnip, They're really good, but do require your technique to be pretty spot on - there is no cheating on edge changes like on real snow, and that is a big teaching aid.

It may be possible to make a really long one, but I see little benefit. I wouldn't want to trade the non-stop nature of these slopes for a still very short run.
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Cheers @Ronald, might have to see if there are any locally and give it a go!!
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@Handy Turnip, last I checked they are like hen's teeth in the UK. Chemmy Alcott went to Dublin to visit one, and we got a dozen+ here in Netherlands.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I remember skiplex, with I think 3 places in the UK, which went into administration a few years back. There was also chelski which didn't reopen after the first lockdown. Not aware of any others.
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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
@tarrantd, There are some in France.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
tarrantd wrote:
I remember skiplex, with I think 3 places in the UK, which went into administration a few years back. There was also chelski which didn't reopen after the first lockdown. Not aware of any others.
Were they the ones in Chelsea (of all places)?

As noted by rjs there are probably many in France, but the only one I know for sure of is (relatively) confidential - there's just no market as it's in the Alps, people simply wait for winter. Same reason there are not yet many snow domes in France.

Edit: yep, Chelski Smile
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
tarrantd wrote:
I remember skiplex, with I think 3 places in the UK, which went into administration a few years back. There was also chelski which didn't reopen after the first lockdown. Not aware of any others.


The one in Chiswick did reopen under new owners/name but who knows if it will reopen after all the lockdowns.
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@patrick!, There is one in Cluses that is open to the public, it has had some use by French National team members during the summer.
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rjs wrote:
@patrick!, There is one in Cluses that is open to the public, it has had some use by French National team members during the summer.
That's the one I had in mind - it's probably open to all but the people really using it are pros. I hope my son doesn't hear about it from his club, else it's going to be like Ski Clinic (also in Cluses), "Dad, can we have a look?"
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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?
@patrick!, It is next to Ski Clinic.
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I skied on one in Zwolle, NL owned by a boatyard that slipped my vessel. Quite a challenge and I recall technique had to be spot on to stay upright.
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rjs wrote:
@patrick!, It is next to Ski Clinic.
Yes, but my son is unaware so I'm safe so far. Summer is for hiking, skating, sailing! Smile
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There are 2 of these in We Are Vertigo in Belfast. They seem to be great for learning on, might have to give it a go.

https://www.wearevertigo.com/activities/indoor-ski-centre/169
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
colinstone wrote:
I skied on one in Zwolle, NL owned by a boatyard that slipped my vessel. Quite a challenge and I recall technique had to be spot on to stay upright.


I tried it for a short session, it felt like starting to learn to ski all over again. Found it very hard to release the ski to turn but our kids did sessions with school ski club, soon got the knack and were happy enough on it.
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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!
Skieasy at Dukes meadow tennis club in Chiswick has one.

It's good to practice on and harder to ski on than on snow imo.

I like your DIY idea though PGammage
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Sweedish wrote:
Skieasy at Dukes meadow tennis club in Chiswick has one.

It's good to practice on and harder to ski on than on snow imo.

I like your DIY idea though PGammage


Thank you, although the best laid plans ......... Eh oh!
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Sweedish wrote:
Skieasy at Dukes meadow tennis club in Chiswick has one.

It's good to practice on and harder to ski on than on snow imo.

I like your DIY idea though PGammage


That appears to be a shorter one, so will have no more than 2 skiers on the slope, which is a good thing - middle of 3 feels crowded...
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The treadmill in Basingstoke is still there following the collapse of Skiplex. It's now operated by the same people as the Milton Keynes and Castleford fridges. Pre-lockdown 1 it didn't seem to be used much, at least not when I was there after 8pm (there's a wind tunnel at the same venue)

https://www.snozoneuk.com/skizone
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