I am probably the only person at Iglu who has never skied…
I started at Iglu after working onboard cruise ships for over five years, so needless to say my cruise knowledge is more extensive than my ski knowledge. However, with the winter season rapidly approaching I was anxious to improve this.
As the UK's largest independent ski agency, it's no suprise that amongst a team of ski and snowboard enthusiasts I was one of the only who had never set foot on a slope. As colleagyes shared their snowy experiences with me through stories, videos and pictures my interest in all things ski only increased to the point in which something had to be done to quench my growing thirst for snow.
This is my opportunity…
So, I began looking into where, if and how I could take ski lessons and found the perfect opportinity at the Go Ski Go Board launch at Hemel Hempstead. They were looking for somone who had never skied before to take part in a one hour lesson...this was definetely my chance!
I was so excited, although admittedly slightly nervous. Someone compared it to surfing which put me at ease as I like to surf, although I wasn't too convinced it was similar!
Gloves, hat, coat, boots…
The day I had been waiting for arrived. Ironically a boiling hot day in London, I took a swift train from London Victoria, one hour to Hemel Hempstead. It is also accessible via car, just ten minutes from junction 20 on the M25.
Upon arrival we were met by the organisers who took us to get our boots and skis. Our instructor, James told us a little bit about himself, what we would be doing and reassured any doubts we had. He made me feel at ease and I was eager to go out and learn.
The Snow Centre is an indoor slope that boasts real snow and as soon as I touched it I was filled with adrenalin to get started. First, James explained how to put on and take off the skies and went through some basic techniques. He was very patient and explained everything thoroughly.
Our next stage was to learn how to stop, an important stage for me! Again, James was extremely patient and helped us with anything we felt nervous about. Once I knew how to stop, there was no stopping me! James even noted "you do not have much fear for a young girl who has never skied".
We went on to learn different techniques for changing direction and turning. Every time we learnt something new it was explained in an understandable way and with great patience. I was enjoying myself so much that I did not realise we had been on the slopes for nearly two hours. I looked over to the intermediate slopes and could see the skiers and boarders speeding down and performing amazing tricks, I asked James if he could teach me to be like them, to which he laughed and replied "sure!"
My time on the slopes was unfortunately coming to an end but I really did not want to leave.
At the end of the lesson I felt fulfilled with what I had achieved and it has completely inspired me to learn more.
When I had first arrived at The Snow Centre with my nerves, I never thought I would be feeling like this by the end of my lesson.
I cannot commend James enough for his patience and excellent teaching skills. He made me feel completely at ease and comfortably pushed us that bit further. He had an excellent way of engaging with us on an equal level and making the lesson fun.
I would definitely recommend taking ski lessons, and even more so with the Go Ski Go Board programme. The only warning I have is that you may become hooked!
Watch this space…
During work the next day I couldn’t help but keep watching videos on YouTube of skiers and boarders and thinking how much I want to step into their world!
I cannot express enough how great skiing is. Take that from someone who has never been interested in winter sports! People are often put off as they think it will be too expensive, but this new programme offers affordable lessons and great rates on different courses.
I cannot wait to see what the winter season has in store for me and I hope I will be confident on the slopes by the new year! Watch this space!
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"Just home from Christmas in Val d'Isere... this was the best ski holiday I have ever been on. Val is stunning, the hotel fabulous, staff sensational and skiing out of this world. We booked through Iglu. They were fantastic. Peter had great ski knowledge, offered advice and went the extra mile. " - Pamela (Dec 2015)